Not sure what all the hype is around Instagram Stories? Here’s what they are and how you can use them (easily) in your yoga business.
What Are Instagram Stories
Instagram stories are 15 second clips (videos or images) that are available to your followers to see for 24 hours.
They can be found on your profile by clicking the circle profile image.
They can also be found at the top of your instagram feed - the circles at the top.
Why To Use Instagram Stories
You might be asking yourself ‘why should I use stories since the content is so short lived?’. And to that I would say, great job thinking about this because for most content you want to focus on things that will last longer than 24 hours but this is a different type of content.
Instagram stories are great for showing your day-in-the-life, behind-the-scenes type content. It’s great for those quick moments of inspiration where you want to share something but don’t really have time to create a post or blog post or youtube video.
Instagram stories are also great for connecting with your audience, no matter the size of your audience.
People are watching stories more than they are looking at your grid on Instagram so it’s a wonderful opportunity to stay top of mind with your audience.
Plus, if you do create something you want to last longer than 24 hours, you can add it to a highlight and it will stay on your account.
How To Add An Instagram Story To Your Highlights
Speaking of highlights, you can add anything you add to your story to a highlight. An Instagram Highlight is a “pinned” story that you want to stay on your profile. You can think of this like you think of the navigation on your website. So maybe you have a highlight that you show your weekly schedule. Or maybe you have a highlight that shows testimonials from students.
You can create icons or design images for your highlights too. Here’s a link to a canva tutorial for how you can create highlight covers easily.
Here are some examples of Instagram Highlights for inspiration:
How To Post To Your Instagram Story
Okay, so now you’re wondering how to actually post to your Instagram Story. Here’s the steps:
Swipe your finger from left to right and it will open up the posting feature OR hit the plus button at the bottom of your screen
Tap the circle at the bottom of the screen to take a picture or hold the circle icon to capture a video
If you want to use a video or image you already have on your phone, swipe up (or click the square at the bottom left to access your camera roll). Select the video or image you want to use.
Add gifs, hashtags, location, captions, etc. to your story.
Click the arrow at the bottom right or click “Your Story” to share to your story
Use the features on the far left of the story screen to find “hands free” so you don’t have to hold the circle icon down to capture a story video. This allows you to tap the circle and continue to capture video.
What To Share In Your Instagram Story
Not sure what to share on your Instagram Story? I’ve got you covered! Below is a list of ideas for you as well as my suggested plan for you as you’re getting started with stories.
Behind the scenes of planning for your yoga class
Show what your yoga practice looks like
Share your favorite playlist for class this week
Share your schedule for the week
Encourage your audience to have a mindful moment by showing them something in nature
Ask a question
Share about your class that’s happening this week
Tell a joke
Share an inspirational quote
Show a day in your life through pictures throughout the day
Share your post from that day to your story
Share someone else’s post and be sure to tag them
Show something you’re grateful for today
Answer questions that you commonly get from students
Show a tutorial on something
Invite people to your class or workshop
How To Get Started With Instagram Stories
If you’re just starting out with using Instagram Stories I highly recommend that you just play around and have fun. And really, get started by watching how others use stories to see what you like and enjoy. Spend a week simply watching other people’s stories to see how they use them and take note what you enjoy.
From there, start with simple stuff and just play around. No strategy needed at first, it’s important to play and be a beginner as you’re getting started. Here’s a plan for you:
Week 1 - Watch other people’s stories
Week 2 - Post to your story (pictures or videos) at least 3 times
Week 3 - Post to your story (pictures or videos) at least 3 times and add stickers each time
Week 4 - Post to your story (pictures or videos) at least 3 times and use filters and try to get engagement (polls, questions, slider)
What Are Instagram Story Stickers And How To Use Them
Anything you can add to your story is a “sticker”. You can access the stickers by clicking the square with a face in it icon at the top of your screen. This icon appears after you’ve added an image or video. Here’s what it looks like:
There are many options for stickers and Instagram is often creating and testing new ones. And as with anything else with Instagram, you might not have access to all stickers immediately. They often roll them out slowly to everyone on Instagram so be patient as you will get it eventually.
Here are some of the stickers on Instagram currently:
Captions (auto adds your words in text)
Music (choose from music to add)
Polls (2 options to choose from)
Questions (people can add in their answer)
Mention (tagging people)
Slider (you can change the emoji used)
Quiz (3 options to choose from with a correct answer)
Hot Topics (get vaccinated, Black Lives Matter, etc.)
How To Add A Location To Your Instagram Story
To add your location to your story, simply click the “location” sticker, then search and find your location. You can tag the store you’re in or find a location on a map to add it even if you aren’t physically there anymore.
This is a great way to connect with local businesses and encourage them to share your story with their audience. This will also help you show up for people who are searching for that areas content.
How To Add Captions To Your Instagram Stories
Adding captions to your story is great for accessibility. You can do this in two ways:
Use the caption sticker and your words will automatically be added as you talk
Add text manually to capture what you’re saying
There are benefits to both options for captions. But it’s critical to add text in some way to your stories because most people watch stories without sound. So if you don’t have any context for what you’re saying, people will not likely understand.
How To Use The Music Feature On Instagram Stories
To add music to your story simply click the “music” sticker then search and find the music you want to add. If you don’t have the music sticker on your account, try changing your account to a “Creator” account. This often adds the music option to your account.
How To Use Hashtags In Your Instagram Stories
To add a hashtag to your stories you can do one of the following:
Use the hashtag sticker
Use text and be sure to include the # before the word
Hashtags are great to use in your Instagram Stories because they then show up in that hashtag search. While your chances of showing up in a popular hashtag search are slim (due to the amount of people using that hashtag), it is possible to show up for less used hashtags.
How To Increase Engagement On Instagram Stories
The best way to use Instagram Stories is to encourage engagement with your audience. Yes, giving them a sense of who you are behind the scenes is great and that will help you connect with people but it’s the engagement that will help the most. Encouraging people to engage with you and have a conversation is the best way to connect with your followers.
Ways to increase engagement on IG Stories:
Use the polling sticker
Use the question sticker
Show your face and talk using video
Ask questions and encourage people to send you a DM
Use the slider bar sticker
Remember to be clear and ask for the engagement you want. People will often follow your questions and direction but you have to ask for it.
And don’t give up. Your followers might not engage with you on day 1 of using stories but if you continue to show up, they will.
How To See Analytics From Instagram Stories
If you’re wondering ‘is using stories worth it?’ then you’ll like this part. You can see analytics/data from Instagram Stories. Here’s how:
Go to your profile
Scroll down to “Content You Shared”
Click on Stories
Look at your individual stories to see data from each
*You have to have a business or creator account in order to see Insights. If you’re using a personal account, you will need to change your account type.
You can change the time frame and data point that you’re looking at too. Within the Insights section of your stories you can change “Reach” to other data points like “Profile Visits”, “Shares”, “Website Visits” and more. Remember that a profile view is MUCH more valuable than a view (aka: reach).
To change the time frame, simply click on “last 14 days” to change the timeframe you want to review.
Curious About Instagram Reels?
If you’re looking to make the most of Instagram, keep in mind that Instagram Reels are the hot thing right now!
I’ve written this blog post on how to use Instagram Reels and there’s even a $27 mini course you can buy that includes a 1 hour training and 30 days of reels for you!
Want To Learn More About Instagram For Yoga Teachers?
Here’s a list of other Instagram articles to help you use Instagram: