Instagram has launched Instagram Stories,  a Snapchat-esque way of posting a series of images throughout the day that can tell a bigger…well…story.

Those familiar with Snapchat will notice the striking similarities and will find it relatively easy to find their way around Instagram Stories. (You’ll also notice that the freaky filters are missing … but it can only be a matter of time before Instagram adds something similar).

For those who need a bit more support in finding out how Instagram Stories work, this is a beginner’s guide.  As with all things related to social media, Instagram Stories will no doubt change a lot over the coming months. This is what I’ve learned on Day 1.

Instagram Stories Video Chapters:

So why should businesses use Instagram stories?

  • Instagram has a huge existing audience (over 500 million daily active users) across a broad demographic.
  • Stories give you a chance to put a human face to your business. You can document your daily “stories” without bombarding the Instagram news feed.
  • You can test content within your Story before you share it on your Instagram or other social media profiles where it has a longer shelf life (by staying on your profile).
  • Those posts within your Story that are performing well or have greater longevity can be downloaded and shared across other social media.
  • Like Snapchat, Instagram Stories are great for personal branding. The videos and images give you a chance to convey your personality and share more informally with your followers.
  • You can build relationships with people by engaging with their Stories and sending messages.

Bonus Instagram Stories Tips:

  • When you are taking a photo or video, hold your camera in Portrait position (ie don’t turn it to the side). The images remain in the direction they are taken, and people are often annoyed by having to turn their camera to the side to see photos.
  • If you missed a part of a story, tap to the left hand side of the screen to go back.

So what do you think? Have you tried Instagram Stories yet?