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I'm so glad you are here. I'm Elizabeth and this is the blog. This is the space I tend to. The place I share my heart and our stories. I pack these pages full of tips, stories, adventures, travels, outfits, and recipes. It's a little bit of everything and a whole lot of me. My hope is that these words & photos would encourage & inspire you. That being here will brighten things at least a little bit. Please stick around & explore. There is something here for everyone! Click through the categories below for more! 

Instagram Stories

Use Instagram Stories to grow your brand and connect with your followers! Let’s talk Instagram stories!

Last week I opened my Instagram account and it was as if Snapchat had taken over (except it was WAY more easier to navigate than Snapchat ever was for me!) Instagram just rolled out a new feature that allows you to share videos & photos to your account without having them go into your feed and they only stay live for 24 hours. It is a lot of that Snapchat vibe but in an easy to manage place – our Instagram accounts!

Not everyone is sold yet on Instagram Stories but right now when it is new is the best time to play around with the platform and see how it can work for you and your brand. Here are five ways that you can use Instagram Stories to build your brand and connect with your followers.

 

Share the “imperfect” in a “perfect” World

This may be my favorite part about it! Instagram gets such a bad rap for being too pretty to be authentic. We want pretty pictures, beautiful images, and encouraging captions but at the same time a bit of us wants the dirty dishes in the sink, the faces without make up, and the everyday normality of life. We follow beautiful feeds, crave people to be authentic, but un-follow accounts that don’t post pretty pictures ๐Ÿ˜‰ Instagram Stories is the answer we have all be waiting for. We can share those imperfect, unedited moments while also creating a beautiful feed filled with our favorite pictures and the things that inspire us! By joining in on Instagram Stories you are opening the doors to connect with your followers authentically while also sharing yourย art & brand with them!

 

Share behind the Scenes Moments

When you are working on photo shoots, blog posts, and new projects, give your followers a sneak peek. You can share a quick video of the project you are working on to build hype and just invite your followers into your creative process! The best news is that it doesn’t take a photo shoot, planning, or perfect lighting – you just grab your phone and share something in under 5 minutes. It is a quick way to reach your followers!

 

Watch other Instagram Stories and interact

There is an option to send a message when you are watching the other people’s stories. Use this to connect with other creatives and friends you follow! Connecting over the Olympics, Stranger Things, or messy kitchens may be the beginning of a great relationship! Also, it shows that you are just a normal person (and not just some big brand)

 

Keep Postingย on your Instagram Feed

Just because you can share all kinds of things instantly on Instagram Stories doesn’t mean you should stop posting on your Instagram. Posting your carefully curated images, connecting with others, and growing your reach should still be on your radar! Now when you grow and connect with new accounts, they can see your “real & raw” story and also see how you share your feed! This will only be beneficial in drawing in new eyes & followers! Here are some tips on upping your Instagram Game!

 

Have Fun!

If you are an Instagram lover already, just use it as a tool to continue connecting and engaging with your followers! If you love it, feel free to post as much as you want in your story but don’t feel like you need to all the time! Find how scheduled (or random) you want to be with your Instagram Stories and enjoy it!

What are your thoughts on Instagram Stories? Have you made one yet? Make sure to follow me @oakandoats for our Instagram Stories!

XOXO, ELIZABETH

Photo by: Dorien Scheltens Fotografie

  • I am one of the people that have mixed feelings about Instagram Stories. I think it’s because I really do love Snapchat and the authenticity it can bring – which I’m hoping Instagram can, too. I think one thing that would convert me is if I could be more selective about whose Instagram stories appear at the top of my timeline. I’m super selective about who I follow over on Snapchat because it’s so easy to waste time on social media. But with Instagram stories I feel like I have to scroll sideways for forever to see if certain people have posted a new story, because I don’t have time to watch everyone’s stories.

    • Oak & Oats

      Oh yes! I do agree! That would be nice! I do like that if you go to people’s main pages you can just click on their profile picture to see just their story! But I agree, it would be nice to follow less! Or be bale to choose!

      • That’s a good point. I just don’t want to have to go to people’s main pages to check if they’ve updated. However, I think it can be a helpful additional factor to deciding if I want to follow a new account.

        • Oak & Oats

          Totally! I think they may keep working on things!

  • Great tips! I have yet to try Instagram stories but it seems wayyyy more user-friendly than Snapchat. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Oak & Oats

      I think so!!! I suck at snapchat! hahah

  • I wasn’t sure about Instagram stories in the beginning but I totally agree with you! I think it’s going to be a great way to share the “imperfect” side and connect with people. I just get so distracted by them and it’s so hard to get work done! lol

    xo Bryn
    http://www.waketonroad.com

    • Oak & Oats

      hahah yes! I keep my phone reserved for phone time and pit it away while I need to do work!

  • My favorite is the behind the scenes views. It makes me feel like I can relate a little better with those that I follow, and I hope my audience feels the same way too!

    • Oak & Oats

      Yes! I agree!

  • I am loving the update so far, but I can’t help but feel like I am cheating on Snapchat hehe! Every new platform and social media enhancement comes with a learning curve and adjustment!

    • Oak & Oats

      Totally! I think snapchat is more friends and instagram stories are more for everyone! so it is not cheating!

  • I totally agree with you! I’ve been enjoying watching those fun, “imperfect” behind-the-scenes shots, especially from those accounts that either don’t have a snapchat or that I don’t follow. I’ve yet to post on it but I will definitely take your advice when I start tinkering with it! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Oak & Oats

      YAY! Enjoy it!

  • I hadn’t ever gotten around to trying Snapchat. A different app plus video just was intimidating. I am loving Stories though! I am having so much fun with it, even if the videos still make me anxious. I’m actually hoping this will help me get used to videos enough to make some more permanent ones.

    I did one longer Story series about my weekly meal prep process and it got a good response. I’m looking forward to seeing what other behind the scenes stuff I can do!

    My only difficulty: I have two accounts and figuring out what to do on what account is confusing.

    • Oak & Oats

      Oh yes! That makes sense! But I am so proud of you! You are doing great!

  • One of my favorite ways to use Instagram stories/Snapchat is to share behind the scene photoshoots for upcoming blog posts as a teaser! Loved reading this post. Ps- the new site looks great!

    • Oak & Oats

      I really like that too! I should do more of those type of things!

      Also thanks SO much!!!

  • We LOVE instagram stories!!!

    We used to be on snapchat as we loved sharing this more “real” & “authentic” (sometimes goofy) side of what we are doing in everyday life! But snapchat was annoying technically speaking, as we couldn’t use it at the same time and it was also quite hard to get any followers there… Now it’s pretty cool to be able to do all this in one app.

    It’s so much fun seeing what the people we’ve been following on instagram do behind the scenes, and sharing our own with our own followers as well! We love to follow you too, by the way ๐Ÿ™‚ hehe!

    Sometimes those styled, curated posts just don’t tell the whole story and I was always afraid that we appeared a bit “cold” on instagram, you know? Now I just love how the curated feed and the spontaneous stories complete each other ๐Ÿ™‚ and I agree, such a lovely way to share sneak peeks…! Lately I’ve been having fun sharing my illustration work in progress, something which I would never post in our curated feed as I find it hard to photograph, lol!! Just perfect to be able to use this tool for these reasons ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Oak & Oats

      Okay girl! I agree with like everything about this post! haah! So true!

  • I HATE HATE HATE Snapchat, and I was starting to get nervous when bloggers started using it. But I was so happy that Instagram come out with “Stories”, because now I can do “Snap-chatty” things without having to download Snapchat. And you are right. It’s way easier!

    • Oak & Oats

      Yes! Oh girl. I love it so much! Snapchat is really not my jam (sorry snapchat!)

  • I’ve never been on Snapchat but I’m loving Instagram stories and the ‘behind the scenes’ to peoples lives it brings ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Oak & Oats

      I totally agree!

  • I’m super excited about IG stories, mostly because I’m too much of a slacker to use snapchat, ha! Now, I just need to get better and sharing stories, woot!

    • Oak & Oats

      Girl. Me too. but for real.