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Social media platforms can be overwhelming. We wanted to make it a little more whelming by breaking down each of the features available on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube over seven weeks. We’ll talk format, length, location, and life span, so you can make the most out of what the social media platforms have to offer.

This week we’re talking about Instagram and Facebook Stories. Each interface is a little different, but for the most part, the tools are the same. You can share the same Story on both Instagram and Facebook, if you have your accounts linked through the Accounts Center. Keep in mind that you can’t post a Story on Instagram from Facebook, but you can post a Story to Facebook from Instagram. However, some features won’t allow you to cross post your Story and some may not work. For example, if you add a poll to your Instagram Story, people on Facebook won’t be able to engage with it.

What are Stories? Stories are made up of 15 second videos or pictures that appear at the top of the feed. They are only available for 24 hours unless you add them to your highlights. Highlights are only available on Instagram and are located on your page under your bio. The preferred format for stories is 1080 pixels wide by 1920 pixels tall or a vertical video. Basically, point and shoot with your phone without rotating it.

What do they do? There is so much you can do with Instagram Stories. You can engage with your audience by posting polls, questions boxes, and quizzes. People can respond and react to your Stories, but it’s sent in a private message and is only visible to you. You can add fun music, filters, and stickers. You can even tag another account, so they are able to share it to their Story to theirs.

What should you post to stories? Stories don’t have to be as polished as your posts. They are gone in 24 hours, so make it a little more fun than your posts. Test out new content and see how your audience engages with you, if it works maybe turn that content into a post, where it can live on your feed permanently. Show behind the scenes of your day to day or a big event. Have a new product? Since you can’t post a clickable link in your Instagram’s post caption, add the website’s link to a Story. Tag other businesses and accounts involved to help grow your followers and network.

Stay tuned for next week’s blog when we talk about Instagram and Facebook Reels!

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