14 Fun and Engaging Ideas for your Instagram Stories:

“More than 500 million users watch Instagram Stories daily. So if you’re not using the feature as part of your social media strategy, you’re potentially leaving a lot of money on the table” Tony Tran, Hootsuite.

Video Demonstration for Beginners

If you’re new to Instagram Stories, check out this short Instagram Stories video demonstration before reading the rest of this blog post…

Video by Howfinity via YouTube.

Even though they have proven to be an important marketing tool, I often have difficulty coming up with ideas for what to share on my Instagram Story. So, I have complied a list of 14 effective Instagram Story ideas, adapted from Tony Tran, Hootsuite, for when I need inspiration. Even though these ideas are intended for Instagram, I believe that a lot of them could be applied to Stories on other social media platforms as well.

Instagram Story Ideas

1. Promote your Website, Instagram Posts, and Products

A great way to direct more traffic to your webpage is to promote your latest blog/ website post on your Instagram story. Similarly, by sharing (or teasing) your latest Instagram post on your stories, you ensure that all your followers know that you have a new post that they should look for. Additionally, to generate buzz, engagement, and sales, promote your company’s product launches or newly released products on your Instagram Story.

2. Use a “Shoppable Story” Sticker

Business Instagram profiles that are selling a physical product that complies with Instagram’s policies can add a “shoppable story” sticker to their Instagram Story. This allows businesses to sell their product directly from their Instagram Story.

3. Share a Poll or Question Sticker

Under stickers, Instagram allows you to add a poll to your Story (e.g., to get customers’ opinions on your products or to share fun and entertaining trivia) whereby you ask your viewers a question and they can respond by clicking on one of two possible answers. This is a great way to engage and interact with your audience, extend your reach, and gain valuable customer insights on your products. Another fun way to engage your followers is by sharing a question sticker on your Instagram Story whereby viewers can ask you a question or share an opinion/ idea/ request by typing a short reply into the question sticker box (which you can then view, share, and/ or respond to).

4. Use a Countdown Sticker

Create buzz by counting down to your company’s next newsworthy event (e.g., product release, sale, Birthday, store opening, end of a giveaway, live video, takeover, announcement, etc.) by adding a countdown sticker to your Story. Your followers can then keep track of, get excited about, set an alert, and/ or share your countdown.

5. Share a Donation Sticker

Hosting a fundraiser by adding a donation sticker to your Instagram Story easily allows you/ your brand to increase your engagement while supporting a worthwhile charity or cause. Through the donation sticker, your viewers can donate to the selected charity directly from your Instagram Story.

6. Share some Tips and Tricks or a “How to” Video

Establish yourself/ your brand as a trustworthy expert by sharing thoughtful tips and tricks (related to your area of expertise) with your audience and answering your viewers’ questions regularly via Instagram Stories. You can also share valuable information with your viewers and increase your engagement by sharing a “how to” video tutorial on your Story related to your area of expertise (e.g., a salon could share a quick make-up or hairstyle tutorial, or an artist could share an easy step-by-step drawing/ art tutorial).

7. Post an Interview or “Day in the Life” Video

Build trust and transparency while giving viewers a behind the scenes look at your brand by conducting an interview or creating a “day in the life” video with one of your employees to post on your Story (e.g., what they do in a day, how they use your products, their formal training/ how they got started at the company, what they like about the brand, etc.).

8. Show Behind the Scenes or Before and After Videos/ Photos

Another way to create transparency and trust is by sharing a behind the scenes video or photo of your workspace (even if it’s an unconventional “office” space) to give viewers a sense of how your brand operates. Additionally, a great way to showcase or demonstrate your product/ service for your viewers is to share some before and after photos or videos; for example, a client’s skin before and after using your company’s face mask, a bathroom before and after being renovated by your renovation company, or a plant before and after using your company’s fertilizer.

Two hands holding an orange smartphone over a white countertop filled with colouring supplies. On the screen, a small child is shown taking a video of themselves wearing colourful horns via Instagram Stories.

9. Do an Instagram Live

Get real-time engagement from your followers (e.g., asking questions, commenting, liking, etc.) by broadcasting a live video on Instagram; your followers will be notified when you go live and, after you are finished, your live video can be viewed on your Instagram Story for 24 hours.

Photo by Cottonbro via Pexels.

10. Share an IGTV Video

IGTV (or Instagram TV) is Instagram’s standalone video app whereby users can create long-form video channels to share more in-depth, informative, and engaging content (featuring their brand, product, or service) with their audience. You can then connect your IGTV profile to your Instagram profile to promote/ share a one-minute preview of your IGTV channel via your Instagram Stories.

11. Do an Instagram Takeover

This is when someone who doesn’t normally have access to your account (e.g., a brand Influencer, co-worker, or employee) “takes over” your account for a day to post fun and engaging content for your audience that promotes your brand/ product.

12. Share a Note-Worthy DM

If a follower sends you a note-worthy direct message, such as an important question/ insight or a rave review of your product/ brand, you could take a screenshot of the DM and share it with your followers via your Instagram Story.

13. Share a Quote or Throwback

A fun way to entertain your followers and increase your reach is to post a fun, inspirational, and/ or interesting quote (that is relevant to your brand) on your Instagram Story using a popular hashtag (e.g., #MorningMotivation). Another fun and entertaining way to engage your followers and extend your reach is to post a throwback photo or video that is relevant to your brand/ company (e.g., your company’s old logo or location, retired products, past events, or employee/ company memories, etc.) to your Story using a trending hashtag (e.g., #TBT or #ThrowbackThursday).

14. Host a Contest or Giveaway

Lastly, a sure-fire way to increase your engagement and gain more followers is to host a flash giveaway on your Story (or share your contest on your Instagram Story). Followers are then required to engage with your content in some way (e.g., share/ repost, reply to, and/ or like your post/ story) to enter your contest or giveaway.


What type(s) of content do you/ would you post to your Instagram Story? Which of the above ideas do you plan on using for your Instagram Stories in the future?

Social Media Posts:

Facebook: Need inspiration for your Instagram Stories? Check out these 14 engaging and effective Story ideas! https://bit.ly/3G8ak2i

Twitter: 14 fun and engaging ideas for your Instagram Stories #AndreaReid2021 https://bit.ly/3G8ak2i

14 Tips for Using TikTok Effectively:

TikTok logo featuring a white stylized eighth note/ music note with light blue and red outlines on a black background.

According to Daniel, Brandastic, “the TikTok app is the most popular social media app in 2021. It has been in the top app downloads since 2018”. So, here are 14 tips, adapted from Werner Geyser, Influencer Marketing Hub, to help you become successful on TikTok, including tips for how to make trending and engaging TikTok videos.

Image by Muhammad Salman via Pixabay.

1. Stick to One Theme

Taking into consideration your goals and your target audience, you should pick one overarching theme for all your videos so that you maintain consistency and your fans come to know what to expect from your videos (which will keep them coming back for more).

2. Post at Least Once a Day

The most successful TikTok accounts tend to post multiple videos per day. Plus, the more videos you post on TikTok, the larger the chance that you will get noticed or even go viral!

3. Film High-Quality Videos

Make sure that you are filming your TikToks in high definition with a steady camera. Additionally, consider using an external microphone for your audio and make sure to edit your videos.

4. Add Music

To increase your reach and engagement, take advantage of the fact that TikTok allows you to add popular music tracks to your videos (in both the filming and editing stages).

5. Interact with Other Creators on the App

The point of social media platforms like TikTok is to be social. You will have a greater chance of being discovered and going viral if you engage with other people’s content (e.g., viewing, liking, and commenting) and if you post/ participate in collaborations with other TikTok creators.

6. Use Trending Hashtags

To increase your reach, find and use trending hashtags that are relevant to your audience (you can find trending hashtags by checking out the “Discover” tab at the bottom of the app).

7. Showcase Your Talents

A lot of content creators become popular on TikTok by posting videos of things they excel at (e.g., cooking, dancing, skateboarding, playing an instrument or a sport, etc.). Use your strengths and talents to your advantage by featuring them in your TikToks.

8. Make “How to” Video Tutorials

Purple, pink, and white bullseye target background. A Caucasian hand is holding a white smartphone. On the screen is the TikTok logo (black stylized eighth note with light blue and red outlines) and a countdown timer (00:00) on a red and purple background.

A lot of content creators become popular on TikTok by posting entertaining and informative “How to” videos that showcase their skills (e.g., recipes, make-up tutorials, etc.). Again, use your knowledge and skills to create and post interesting “How to” TikTok videos to help you gain popularity on the app.

Image by iXimus via Pixabay.

9. Highlight a Current Event

A lot of trending TikTok videos feature current events so it is a good idea to keep up to date with the news so that you can post relevant and engaging content related to current and note-worthy events. For example, highlight milestones in pop culture or give a review of the latest movie or television show during your TikTok video.

10. Feature your Children or Pets

An inexpensive and convenient way to add cuteness, authenticity, and often hilarity to your TikToks, as well as increase your video’s reach and engagement, is to feature your children and/ or pets in your TikTok videos.

11. Post Lip-Sync Videos

When TikTok was first invented, most of the videos posted were lip-sync videos and they remain popular today. To help your lip-sync video become even more popular, be energetic, film your video in a unique location, and consider adding a choreographed dance.

12. Remake a Popular Video with a New Twist

Looking at popular TikToks can be a great way to get new ideas and inspiration. Remaking a trending video, such as re-enacting your favourite music video/ movie scene or creating a parody of your favourite show/ TikTok, is a great way to gain popularity on TikTok. Just make sure to add something special to your remake so that your video stands out.

13. Post a Duet

Fun and engaging duets tend to attract a large audience on TikTok. Duets on TikTok are done via split screen where the original video (with the creator’s permission) appears on the left-hand side and your video appears on the right-hand side.

14. Create a Hashtag Challenge

Lastly, fun, and simple hashtag challenges are a great way to increase your engagement on TikTok. To start, you will need to post an introductory video demonstrating and describing your challenge’s criteria for other TikTok users (make sure to include the challenge’s hashtag).


What type(s) of videos do you post on TikTok? Or, if you don’t have TikTok, what type(s) of videos would you post on TikTok if you ever downloaded the app in the future?

Social Media Posts:

Facebook: Want to use TikTok more effectively? Then you need to check out these 14 simple tips and tricks! https://bit.ly/3mQFa6N

Twitter: Create engaging & trending TikToks using these 14 easy tips #AndreaReid2021 https://bit.ly/3mQFa6N

Create and Share Instagram Reels in 10 Easy Steps

First, What are Instagram Reels?

Photo of hand holding up a black phone in front of a green tree. On the phone screen, a tanned woman with dark hair is smiling in front of a Caucasian woman with curly red hair who is sticking out her tongue and holding a black camera.

According to Benjamin Chacon, Later Blog, Instagram Reels are, “Instagram’s take on the ever popular TikTok…Instagram Reels is a completely new format on Instagram that allows you to record and edit multiple…videos set to popular songs”, all within the Instagram app.

Lewis Schenk, Entrepreneur states that it is imperative that you start using Instagram Reels because they have a wider reach, are more engaging, showcase your authentic personality, and have a greater chance of being featured on the explore page in comparison to typical photo posts.

Image by June Aye via Pixabay

10 Steps for Creating and Sharing Instagram Reels:

The following steps have been adapted from Benjamin Chacon, Later Blog.

Step 1: Open Instagram Reels

Firstly, you will need to open Instagram Reels via the Instagram app; one way to do this by opening the Instagram Stories camera and selecting Reels at the bottom of the screen.

Step 2: Add Audio

Next, if you want your Instagram Reel to have music, click on “audio” on the left-hand side of the screen to search for and select a song from the Instagram music library. Make sure you select which part of the song you want to feature in your Reel before you hit the “done” button. Alternatively, you can record your own original audio while you are filming your Instagram Reel.

Step 3: Select the Length

Underneath the audio icon, Instagram allows you to select whether you are going to record a 15 or 30 second Reel. Additionally, due to a recent update on the Instagram app, you can now chose to record a 60 second Reel.

Step 4: Set the Speed

The next option on the left-hand side is speed; select the speed for your Instagram Reel including slow-motion, normal, and fast speeds.

Step 5: Add a Filter

Underneath speed is the effects icon; choose a filter for your Instagram Reel from the Instagram effects gallery.

Step 6: Touch-Up

The next option on the left-hand side is the new touch-up feature; use the slider to choose the touch-up intensity (if any) for your video.

Step 7: Set the Timer and Countdown

The final options on the left-hand side are the timer and countdown. Select the amount of time you’d like to record (either a smaller segment or the whole video) so that you can record your Reel hands-free. Once you hit record, Instagram Reels will start counting down from three or ten (depending on which option you select) before the video starts recording.

Step 8: Record your Video

You’re finally ready to shoot your Reel! Simply hit the capture button at the bottom of the screen; while you’re recording, you will be able to see your video’s progress via the indicator at the top of the screen.

Step 9: Add Additional Features

Once you’ve finished recording your video, click on the icons at the top of the screen to add additional features to your video including voice-over, additional effects, stickers, drawings, and text. Make sure to use the slider near the bottom of the screen to select where in your video you want the selected features/ effects to appear. On this screen, you can also save your video and adjust the audio on your video.

Step 10: Finalize and Share your Reel

Once you are happy with your video, tap the “next” button. On this last screen, you can add any desired captions, hashtags, and tags to your Reel. You also have the option of editing your video’s thumbnail picture. Lastly, when you are ready to post your completed Instagram Reel, hit “share”.

Video Demonstration:

For more helpful insights, watch this short Instagram Reels video demonstration…

Video by The Rubicon Show via YouTube


Have you ever made an Instagram Reel? If so, what was your Instagram Reel of/ about and did it receive a lot of engagement? If not, how do you plan on utilizing the Instagram Reels feature for personal and/ or professional purposes in the future?

Social Media Posts:

Facebook: Have you ever posted an Instagram Reel? Check out these 10 easy steps that will help you create and share your first Reel! https://bit.ly/3af3aL3

Twitter: Learn how to create & post Instagram Reels with these 10 easy steps #AndreaReid2021 https://bit.ly/3af3aL3

11 Tips for Getting More Instagram Likes that You Need to Know

Photo of an Instagram profile displayed on a laptop and a mobile device set on a wooden table. There are various trees and plants in the background. (Dennis, 2018)

According to Business Blogs (2021), you should always be looking to increase the amount of likes that your Instagram posts receive. This is because Instagram likes aid in increasing traffic to your website and increasing sales, staying on top of your competitors, gaining leads, building connections, and promoting your brand or business.

The 11 tips from Santora (2021) featured below are guaranteed to help you increase the amount of likes your Instagram posts receive.

1. Know Your Target Audience

Knowing the target audience for your Instagram content, the people who are interested in what you are sharing, is one of the most important things you can do in terms of getting more likes. You will never be able to reach and appeal to everybody with your Instagram posts; the key to getting more genuine Instagram likes is to keep your target audience in mind while you are creating your content and developing your marketing strategy.

2. Know Your Competition

To help you get more likes, check out your competitions’ Instagram pages to get ideas and see what types of content is popular with their audiences. You can also gain more followers by following and engaging with profiles that are the most active on your competitions’ social media pages.

3. Test out Different Types of Content

Not only will posting diverse content keep your Instagram page fresh, exciting, and engaging, over time you should also get a sense of what types of content are most popular with your target audience (e.g., actionable quotes, behind the scenes pictures, photo carousels, etc.). All of this will help your Instagram content to get more likes and engagement.

4. Post High Quality and Striking Photos

Photo of a tanned women with dark hair and bangs holding a Nikon camera up to her eye in front of a yellow-orange background. (Vo, 2020)

To ensure that your Instagram posts receive lots of likes, you need to be sharing high quality photos. Posts with the most likes always include high-quality and eye-catching photos taken in natural lighting with simple backgrounds. You should also consistently choose and use one filter that helps your photos to stand out.

5. Post Videos

Videos (such as “how to videos”) are a great way to help your content stand out on Instagram and get more likes; a great way to increase your reach is to make accessible videos using captioning instead of audio.

6. Post Instagram Stories

Instagram stories are a huge trend right now and this trend is expected to continue in the future; posting a candid and fun video to your Instagram story is a great way to engage with your followers and get more likes. You should also take advantage of Instagram highlights to keep important content (e.g., FAQs) readily available to your followers.

7. Use Interesting Captions

Your followers will be expecting an interesting, personal, and/ or thoughtful caption to accompany your Instagram photos (e.g., a story, feeling, opinion, personal anecdote, important information, etc.). Your Instagram captions are one of the main factors in getting people to engage with and like your photos.

8. Include a Call to Action in your Caption

Image of a black man wearing glasses and a white t-shirt sitting at a table in a dark room. The man is reaching his hand up to hover under a glowing red speech bubble with a heart and a zero inside. (Ajegbile, 2019)

To help get more people to engage with and like your Instagram content, you need to include a call to action (e.g., ask a thoughtful question, double tap if you agree, click the link in bio, tag a friend, email us for an appointment, etc.) in your caption.

9. Post Regularly and Consistently

A good way to help your content gain more likes is to research the best time(s) to reach your target audience; alternatively, you could post your content on different days and at different times to see when your content receives the most engagement. One of the best times to post on Instagram is any day between 9 and 11am EST (Warren, 2021); some other notable times that are guaranteed to increase the amount of likes your posts receive are Wednesdays between 11am and 3pm (Jones, 2020), Thursdays between 2 and 3pm (Coleman, 2021), and Fridays between 10 and 11am (Arens, 2021). Once you determine the best time(s), post Instagram content on a regular basis and develop a posting schedule so that you maintain consistency.   

10. Use Relevant Hashtags

Relevant hashtags are a great way to increase your Instagram likes and help your posts reach your target audience (e.g., if you are a local business, use popular local hashtags to target local customers). Make sure to only use trending hashtags if they are relevant to your content. You should use 10 to 20 hashtags in your Instagram posts; hashtags should be included in the first comment of your post instead of the caption itself. If you’ve created your own hashtags (e.g., a hashtag for your business), share those hashtags in your Instagram bio to help increase your brand recognition.

11. Promote your Content with Paid Ads

Lastly, if it’s within your budget, investing in Instagram ads is a great way to extend your reach to more viewers, attract new followers, and gain more likes.

Did any of these tips help your Instagram posts get more likes? What are some things that you’ve tried that successfully increased the amount of likes your Instagram content received?

Image of a black cellphone and a white coffee cup on a white table. A hand is double tapping on a Instagram photo of palm trees on the phone. (Cottonbro, 2020)

Facebook Post: Want to get more likes on your Instagram posts? Check out these 11 tips guaranteed to increase your Instagram likes! https://bit.ly/2W7GCZ7

Twitter Post: 11 sure-fire tips guaranteed to get you more Instagram likes #AndreaReid2021 https://bit.ly/2W7GCZ7

Works Cited:

Ajegbile, O. (2019, October 7). Man in White Crew Neck Top Reaching for the Like. Pexels. https://www.pexels.com/photo/man-in-white-crew-neck-top-reaching-for-the-like-3314294/

Arens, E. (2021, May 10). The Best Times to Post on Social Media in 2021. Sprout. https://sproutsocial.com/insights/best-times-to-post-on-social-media/

Coleman, B. (2021, September 21). When Is the Best Time to Post on Instagram in 2021? HubSpot. https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/instagram-best-time-post

Cottonbro. (2020, July 30). Liking a Photo on Instagram. Pexels. https://www.pexels.com/photo/liking-a-photo-on-instagram-5052877/

Dennis. (2018, October 30). Laptop Mobile Instagram. Pixabay. https://pixabay.com/photos/laptop-mobile-instagram-3781384/

Jones, C. (2020, January 2). The Best Time to Post on Instagram. Expert Voice. https://www.expertvoice.com/the-best-times-to-post-on-instagram/

Santora, J. (2021, August 3). How to Get More Instagram Likes in 2021. Influencer Marketing Hub. https://influencermarketinghub.com/instagram-likes/

Unknown. (2021). 5 Important Reasons why you should look for Instagram Likes. Business Blogs. https://www.businessblogshub.com/2014/05/5-important-reasons-why-you-look-for-instagram-likes/

Vo, T. (2020, May 5). Photographer Girl. Pixabay. https://pixabay.com/photos/photographer-girl-photography-5149664/

Warren, J. (2021, August 5). The Best Time to Post on Instagram in 2021, According to 35 Million Posts. Later Blog. https://later.com/blog/best-time-to-post-on-instagram