This page contains affiliate links to products on Amazon and other affiliate partners. We may earn a small commission if you make a purchase through one of these links, at no additional cost to you.

Instagram is a powerful tool for businesses, with over a billion daily users, it’s a unique platform where you can provide your followers with a different look at your brand.

While the posts on an Instagram feed are ordinarily kept very clean and curated, the Stories function allows a more personal experience, where things aren’t kept as tightly structured. You can show a behind the scenes look at the day-to-day of your business, ask your followers questions, and even go live for a Q&A or demonstration.

We’re going to give an overview of some of our favorite features on Stories, and how you can use them to boost the engagement of your followers, and make connections with your audience!

The Basics of Instagram Stories

Just as in the regular Instagram feed you have the ability to either take a picture within the app or use one from your phone’s gallery. Once you’ve gotten the shot, you can spice things up, with text in a variety of styles, and a drawing tool.

This is a chance to establish a solid identity within your Instagram Stories. Using the same style of font and color scheme in your stories reinforces brand recognition, and keeps everything professional and cohesive. You may also choose to use a third-party app, such as Canva or Adobe Spark which allow you much more control over your text and images, use your brand’s fonts, logos, and additional personalization.

You can use these stories as a platform to shout out other brands and pages that you collaborate with or support, and add clickable MentionHashtag, or Location stickers, so followers can transition from your story to the profile page or location of the person or place that you’re talking about.

Once you have the perfect picture, the right witty text, what better to add than a cute or funny GIF to emphasize your message? Be careful not to get too carried away, just like when your mom sends you a text with too many Emojis, this trendy feature can feel forced if you use it too much!

Questions and Polls

Once you’ve created a relationship with your followers, you can turn to them for suggestions, advice, or even just silly questions to pique their interest!

This is a useful tool, not only to engage with your audience, but to start a conversation and get their invaluable opinions on options you may offer to them in the future, to ask them what they want from you, and to get insight on what’s not working.

When a customer asks or answers a question, you can respond to them directly, or share your response onto your Story, so that everyone can see the response together.

Polls give you the ability to present your followers with a quick choice between options, where they can vote with just a tap. This is a simple and FREE way to find out what your audience prefers, and gives you some insight on what to offer them.


As fun and engaging as Instagram Stories are, the downside to them is that they disappear after 24 hours. This is good because it allows you to create new content each day to connect with your audience, but unfortunately, you can’t go back in time to view days passed.

The Highlights feature allows you to pin Stories onto your profile, so they can be viewed as long as you’d like! They can be organized into different groups, so someone visiting your page can view an “About Me” Highlight, or “New Products”.  You can personalize these by adding a post to use as a cover image, and create another layer of branding to your profile.

It’s important to note that you cannot rearrange the order of a Highlight, and you cannot add directly to it – everything pinned there must have been posted to your story for the full 24 hours.

Instagram is growing rapidly, and more features are being added across the entire platform all the time. With these free tools at your fingertips, connecting with your audience has never been easier! Add Stories to your marketing strategy to create more authentic relationships, establish trust, and of course, gain more followers.

How are using Instagram stories to boost your business? Drop your strategies below!

Instagram profile of The Monkey Creative.