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Instagram Marketing for Small Business Owners | Stories and Highlights

Today’s Instagram hack will be how to make use of stories and highlights. It's the 6th in an ongoing series about how to best utilize Instagram platform for your marketing purposes. If you missed the others in the series, you can go HERE and scroll down the page to get to them.

Stories are short, in the moment posts that live on your page for 24 hours.  People can access them by clicking your bio pic.  

Highlights are created by stringing one or more stories together into a little vignette and they stay at the very top of your page.  Before you can use an image or video in a Highlight, you have to have used it in a story.  

Real Time

There are a lot of users that only move thru stories.  Instagram strings several of them together and so you can move thru a lot of accounts and posts quickly and get up to date info on what’s happening with them.  They are also a lot of times more real and personal, less stylized moments of people, which is appealing, especially when it’s our favorite accounts.

While your regular posts are more static, they also move down the page and can sometimes get lost.  The majority of eyes that end up on your page will look at the first 9 posts, perhaps even the first three, and decide whether or not to go further, follow, or move on.  Stories offer you the option of putting information out there in real time and catching people’s attention about something that is pressing or happening right now.

Call to Action

Stories are a great way to include a call to action in your post.  Especially once you’ve hit 10k followers, and the swipe up option appears.  You can lead them to your email or web page, or even back to your Instagram page, and let them know about special offers or new content that they just can’t miss.  


Highlights can be strung together and featured in many different ways and for many reasons.  I like to use them to highlight the different things that I offer in my business.  They are like static bios and a virtual resume, but with images and short bits of text.  They can be quite effective!


Just like in your regular posts, you can add hashtags to your stories, and sometimes get featured as the story on the hashtag page.  This is just one more way to get in front of more followers who may not have come across your page, but, are searching through hashtags.

Relationship Building + Appreciation

There are a lot of ways to show that you appreciate other accounts work or what some of your followers or those you are following are doing.  One way is to snapshot one of their posts and create a quick story out of it.  People love to see that you are paying attention to them and what they are doing and offering on a platform where there is so much content being added by the second.

I hope this post was helpful.  Next time we will discuss the DM, and how to navigate it and use it to your advantage.

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