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How to Tell Your Story with Facebook & Instagram Stories

In my last blog post I mentioned the growing popularity of Facebook and Instagram stories. If you aren’t familiar with how to create them, it might seem a little daunting. In this post I’m going to give you some step-by-step instructions on how to create everything from simple picture stories to more elaborate types of stories.

How to Create a Story

Since Instagram is owned by Facebook, the process of creating a story is similar across both platforms. Instagram has an option at the top left corner of the screen when you first open the app. It’s your profile picture with a plus sign on it. The text below it reads “Your Story.” Just click on the icon and it will take you to a camera setting where you can create your story.

To create a Facebook story, the options will vary based on the app you are using. If you are using the regular Facebook app, go to your business page and scroll down until you see the “Your Story” heading. You will see your cover photo with a circle and plus sign over it and the words “Add to Story” under the plus icon. If you are using the Facebook Page app, select the page you want to post to (if you have more than one) and touch your profile picture. It will pull up a menu of three options: Create Story, View Profile Picture, and Choose New Profile Picture. Click Create Story and it will open the same type of camera setting as the Instagram story.

You have the option to take a picture or a video directly from the Share Story platform. However, both platforms give you the option to access your Camera Roll on your phone if you have an image/video you’ve already taken and have possibly already edited. Once you have a picture or video on your story draft, you can make many different types of edits to the image or video before you finally share it.

– Filters: Similar to the filters you can add to Facebook and Instagram posts, but with fun selfie options too!
– Text: Add typed text in different styles and colors.
– Stickers: Search fun add-ons like GIFs, stickers, polls, questions, locations, etc. to add to photo and video stories.
Drawing: Add your own hand-drawn words or drawings to a story.
– Background Color: Change the background color on Instagram stories (not available on Facebook stories) by selecting the pen icon at the top, choosing a color, and then holding your finger down on the screen for three seconds.
– Boomerang/Superzoom/Hands-Free: Simple video effects that can help grab your audience’s attention

Another option is to create a story on Instagram and then share it on both Instagram and Facebook at the same time. You can link your Facebook business account and your Instagram business profile so your content can be easily shared from Instagram to Facebook, but not the other way around.

Design Specifications

– Your image/video doesn’t have to take up the whole screen but if you want it to the ratios are 9:16 and 16:9.

– Your video file size can’t exceed 4GB

– The video length depends on the platform and whether or not it’s a paid ad.

  • Facebook: 20 seconds max for regular story, 15 seconds max for paid ad.
  • Instagram: 15 seconds max for regular story, 60 seconds max for paid ad.

Creative Best Practices

Facebook offers some helpful creative best practices for stories. Here is a quick summary:

– Showcase your brand within the first three seconds and grab the audience’s attention quickly.

– Keep the story length around 10 seconds.

– Ads with music tend to do better but remember that some users might be viewing your stories with no sound. Be sure to include some text to give them context of what the story is about.

– Both Facebook and Instagram stories take up the entire device screen. If your image or video is horizontal, you can change the background color or add text to the areas not covered by the image/video.

– Make stories fun with the add-ons described above (GIFs, stickers, text).

– Use stories to try flash sales or insider sneak peeks.


– On Instagram you can share a post within your own story. Just go to the post you want to share and look at the icons directly below the image or video. Click the third icon that looks like a paper airplane and select the “Add to Story” icon, which is a circle with a plus sign in the middle of it.

– You can add music to Instagram stories. When you add a new story, you can scroll through different options at the bottom of the screen and one is called “Music.” Search through a library of music to add a song to your story

– Solicit questions from your audience. On Instagram you have the ability to ask your audience to ask you questions. One of the sticker options is called “Questions.” You can add a question box with a window where your followers can type a question. Once people start responding, you can include their questions in a new story and answer it for them!

– Facebook gives you the option to write a text status update and share it as both a status update and/or your story. So your Facebook story doesn’t have to be an image or a video.

Now that you know how to make them, get to telling your story on Facebook and Instagram!

Why do I work at AWG? “I like working for a company that supports local, often times family-owned, businesses in everything they do in order to help them succeed and stay competitive. It’s great to interact with the stores on a daily basis and learn about their story and the communities they serve.” -Melanie