Instagram stories are a great feature that many Instagrammers use to connect with their followers on a more personal level. Nearly all businesses, influencers, and content creators use the feature to share fun behind-the-scenes clips, bloopers from their latest posts, or simply talk about their daily activities. Every business looking to increase its reach on Instagram should post regular stories. Even if your followers miss something you post on your feed, they’ll no doubt spot your story!
Towards the end of August 2021, Instagram officially retired its “swipe-up” feature that creators used to share links on their stories. The reason given by a spokesperson of the app was that they wanted to “streamline the stories creation experience”. This blog talks about the alternative ways you can add links on Instagram, along with how to optimize your stories for maximum engagement.
What is the Instagram story link feature?
Stories are one of the most used tools in social media marketing. This is because one of Instagram’s main marketing features – sharing links – is only available through stories.
Link sharing is a super useful feature for creators and businesses to increase their reach and drive traffic to their websites. If you’re a business selling multiple products, sharing your website link on your story allows your followers and potential customers to get to know you and your products better. If you’re a content creator, you can link your other social media accounts, which lets your followers see the different kinds of content you post.
Many creators were left confused about how to add links to their stories when Instagram got rid of the “swipe-up” feature. With it, followers could “swipe up” from the bottom of the story to open the desired link. The new method of adding links to the story allows users to simply click on a “sticker” which takes them to the intended link.
How do you add a link to your Instagram story?
Many would argue that this new update is a lot more convenient because it requires less effort to open the links, along with having a lower glitch rate. Adding a link to your story is also super simple, and here’s how you can do it:
- Go to your Instagram app and open the “your story” option
- Add any picture or video you wish
- Open the sticker tray by either swiping up or selecting the sticker option on the top of your screen
- Scroll until you find the “link” option and tap on it
- You can add your desired link to the sticker and, once done, select the checkmark or “done”
- You can then change the color, size, and position of your sticker however you like.
This is how the sticker looks once posted:
Who can add a link to their Instagram story?
Previously, you could only add links to your Instagram stories if you had a verified account or over 10,000 followers. When announcing the feature, the developers of Instagram also gave their users some much-awaited news. With the rollout of the new feature, they announced that all accounts would be able to add links to their stories, regardless of their follower count or verification status.
However, some users have reported that they’re still unable to include links following the update. If this is you, don’t worry! You can still add links to Instagram, even if your account hasn’t been updated yet.
How to add links without having over 10,000 followers
If you haven’t got the story link sticker option yet, there are a few different ways you can add links on Instagram:
Link in bio
Multiple third-party apps and features allow you to add more than just one link to your Instagram bio, namely Linktree. A Linktree landing page can be connected to any Instagram profile to give access to multiple links. It can be used to direct your followers to anywhere you’d like, such as a form or a website.
Make sure to mention “link in bio” on your stories or posts whenever you add a new link to your Linktree page, so your followers can check it out! This is key as Instagram doesn’t allow you to add links directly to your posts, so your followers need to be directed to your bio instead.
Alternatively, you can share links via Instagram’s direct messaging system. To do this, you can add a “yes/no” poll to your story asking your followers whether they want to receive the link. Check whoever marked “yes”, and then send them the link directly via DM through the story itself!
How you can optimize your Instagram story for the best results
Gaining a decent amount of interaction on your posts is one of the main aspects of Instagram marketing for both businesses and creators. Regularly checking your story insights is a significant step in learning what your audience finds most interesting. Here are a few other Instagram story hacks you can use to fully optimize them to gain maximum engagement:
1. Use hashtags wherever possible, but don’t overdo it
Hashtags are imperative for creators, especially if you’re a new business and want to grow your page organically. Tags allow like-minded users to find you based on keywords related to the content you create. An Instagram post allows you to add up to 30 hashtags in one caption, but you can use less if you prefer. Just make sure to add the ones most relevant to your posts, and keep switching them up.
2. Create stories with interactive stickers – polls, trivia, links
The more a user interacts with you – the creator, the more they’ll see your posts on their feed. Replies and shares from your stories are a great way to generate maximum interaction, but a lot of Instagrammers hesitate to DM a large account. An alternative method is to use stickers that your audience can use more freely like polls and trivia. They can be about your content, products or general everyday stuff that you’d like to see their opinions on. Adding the link sticker and directing followers to your website or other social media pages, also helps them really get to know your brand.
3. Try to use all the story features interchangeably
The Instagram algorithm determines your popularity by how long a user views your stories or posts. To ensure that your followers view your stories ’til the end, make use of the different story features like GIFs, stickers, location stickers, and everything mentioned above. Don’t congest your story by adding all the features at once, though!
4. Create visually appealing stories that your followers will look forward to viewing
Posting stories that are aesthetically pleasing is another way to ensure your audience notices them. There are many graphic design apps that you can use to create templates for your stories for easy posting. Simplified is one such tool which offers a wide range of pre-made templates and also allows you to create your own, even if you don’t possess a background in designing. It allows you to design and edit videos and images using text, stickers, and emojis, resulting in swipe-stopping stories.
Ready to create eye-catching stories that will attract your audience’s attention and direct traffic to your website? Try Simplified’s Instagram stories tool for free today and take your social media marketing to the next level!