[HOW TO] Optimise Instagram Stories to get more followers

OK, you might be thinking what is all the fuss about Instagram Stories?


We recently shared a great blog, ‘7 clever ways to leverage Instagram Stories for business’ covering the some of the most effective ideas to help you generate content for Instagram Stories.


Our blog covered the basics on why Instagram Stories is important and how integral it is for your brand to be ‘showing up’ everyday on Instagram Stories. After all, the content disappears after 24 hours, making it super easy to manage and also holds you accountable to keep creating content to remain relevant, engaged with your audience, and of course utilising the Instagram app and all its incredible features.


Are you on Instagram Stories? If not, what are you waiting for?!


This incredible feature on Instagram helps you gain followers, get more views, connect with your community, and more importantly will help your business’s brand awareness – whether your brand is you or the company. People want to get to know the person and personality of a brand, and the easiest way for you to do this is through the power of Instagram Stories!


If you’re just starting out with Instagram Stories, we highly recommend you go and read our blog ‘7 clever ways to leverage Instagram Stories for business’ now, before continuing with this one! We’ll be waiting here for you when you’re done…


We’re going to show you 3 easy steps to optimise Instagram Stories for your business, to get more views and increase engagement. Did we mention we use these every-single-day ourselves? That’s why we know they work!


#1 Custom Locations/ Geo-tags/ Geo-locations: We’re going to go one better and give you the steps to create your own custom Instagram geo-location.


#2 Name drop: ‘Mentions’ on Instagram Stories is the best thing since name dropping was invented to get your name on that exclusive door list.


#3 Hashtags: If you can spell it, it’s got a hashtag! Don’t let this simple, yet incredibly effective step be missed when posting on Instagram Stories for your business.






#1 Custom Locations / Geo-tags / Geo-locations on Instagram Stories


Have you been looking at Instagram and wondering how big brands are tagged as locations? Or how fans are checking in at certain locations? Maybe you’re holding an event and want to promote your location?


Thankfully, you can create your own custom locations for social media, specifically Instagram, and it’s really simple!


There are so many features on Instagram Stories you can utilise to help increase your level of engagement, so we thought we’d show you (in 3 easy steps) how you can create your own custom location for Instagram. Since the app update many users have decided to leave the location field blank or tag their photos with nearby locations.


However, you can still create custom locations even though Instagram removed that ability from the app a while ago.


Ready to go step by step? Here we go!


Step #1 Turn on location services.

You used to be able to create a custom location directly in the Instagram app, but that’s no longer an option. The simplest way to create your business’s own custom location is through its parent company – Facebook. If your location services are turned off you won’t be able to do this so make sure your location services within the Facebook App is turned on. Most people’s default setting is to have this turned ‘on’. However if you’re one of those more private people and don’t like Facebook knowing your every move then you might have switched this off (which is completely fair enough).


Scroll to the top of your News Feed or Profile and tap ‘What’s on your mind?’. Tap to check-in. Tap the box at the top and enter the name of the location you’d like to add. If the location doesn’t exist, you’ll see Add [New Location] – choose that option, select a category, then enter the location information. To finalise, simply tap ‘Done’ or ‘Create’ in the top right corner.


REMEMBER: The first letter of your custom location needs to be capitalised and you can’t use symbols (such as # and @) or emojis.


Step #2 Create a Facebook check-in status update

Using Facebook, go and create a post that has a check-in status, and type your custom location we just created into the search box, it should now appear as an option. Now, post your check-in status update to Facebook. Doing this will now mean it can be found in Instagram and Instagram Stories.


Step #3 Final step to use your Custom Location/ Geo-tag/ Geo-location in Instagram and Instagram Stories

Go to your Instagram app and create a new post on Instagram. When you go to search for a location when (either as part of a post to your feed, or, as part of your Instagram Stories) the Custom Location/ Geo-tag/ Geo-location will now appear as an option, if it doesn’t click add location and then it will. HOW EASY IS THAT!



Name drop, and by that we mean tag their instagram handle

Instagram Stories is a great opportunity for your brand (aka YOU!) to get in front of your audience and community, but it also gives your audience the opportunity to connect with YOU too! And one of the best ways to do this is to name drop, and by name drop we mean @ mentions.


Don’t be shy, go on, we know you want to give it a try!


What should you do? There is no right or wrong way to mention another brand or fellow Instagram Stories fan. What we do recommend is that you mention a handful of engaged and interesting followers who will connect with the story you’re posting on Instagram Stories – there is no point mentioning them (aka tagging their insta handle) if it’s not content they are going to want to see or is relevant to them.


Sometimes if you’re name dropping it’s not appropriate to have their insta handle showing. In these circumstances (TOP TIP following so pay attention) you can use your fingers to pinch the handle again and again and make it so small it actually becomes invisible! However, there are times when mentioning all the insta handles will work in your favour and you definitely want to have their names showing! Such as when you’re sharing their work via your Instagram Stories (so they get the credit), or you’re wanting to encourage others to follow them because you find their content useful too, or even if you find a great post that resonates with you and you just know they will love it too.


Why do you want to be name dropping in your Instagram Stories? Well, doing so will not only tag them in it, it also notifies them directly to their DMs. If you’re anything like us, sending a DM on Instagram is GOLD and scores bonus points with the Instagram gods. We always prefer to have those more in-depth chats and create those connections with everyone via their DMs.


If you got a notification from Instagram for a DM and a like or comment on a post, which one are you more likely to go to first? We know what we do, straight to our DMs to see who is chatting to us.


Another handy reason why you should be mentioning (AKA tagging other accounts) in your Instagram Stories is because your Instagram Story is busy competing with the hundreds, if not thousands of others in the queue. This is one place you don’t want to get lost in the sea of attention!


Adding their handle as a mention in your Instagram Stories means you can be found easier and quicker by them as they simply need to go straight to their DM to find your Instagram Story – how cool is that! It’s like being invited into the coolest bar in town because your name is already on the list, meanwhile everyone else is impatiently lining up around the block just to get in.



Hashtags, there is no one magical hashtag – use them all!


Okay, maybe don’t use them all and whilst there may not be a particular magical hashtag to rule them all, there is certainly your core set of hashtags to help you gain more views and engagement.


Hashtagging in every post on Instagram is a given, if you’re not doing it yet and you don’t have a hashtag strategy – then we need to talk 😉!


However, did you know you can put (and should) include up to 10 hashtags in your Instagram Stories?




You heard right! Every Instagram Story you create, whether it’s video or static (AKA a photo) should always contain your core hashtags and some bespoke one which are relevant to that particular story.


Did you notice we put hashtags in all our Instagram Stories? No? Well that’s our secret… however we want to share it with you – after all that’s what friends are for 💕


Using our hashtag strategy we always put our core hashtags in all our Instagram Stories and then our secret is we squish them down (going back to our top tip above)so they’re invisible and impossible to read – so they are invisible. Why? Because nobody wants to see a hashtag in a story and it can be spammy.


And a great trick we use is to colour match our hashtags to something in the background and then “hide” the hashtags on it – I dare you to try and find one of ours, sometimes it’s like ‘Where’s Wally’ in our Instagram Stories, only we hide hashtags and mentions.


So there you have it!


Storm Teacup’s social media tips for 3 easy steps you can implement today to help optimise Instagram Stories for business, to help you get more views, increase engagement and grow your audience.


Let us know how you go, and if you found incorporating these three easy steps into all your Instagram Stories was difficult, we’d be happy to help Drop us a DM on Instagram – you know you want to 😉







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