How to Use Instagram Story Highlights (Part 1 of 4)

Instagram Story Highlights: How to use Instagram Highlights - - Instagram Tips and Tricks, instagram stories, instagram stories for business, social media marketing

With all the new things happening on Instagram every single day it's super easy to just put on your earmuffs and start tuning everything out, right? It's a lot. However, there is one huge thing that I want to be sure you are taking note of on Instagram... something really, really big. This is the biggest update that's been rolled out recently and it is a huge opportunity to grow and attract your perfect audience. So what is it? Instagram Story Highlights.

This is the first in a series of four blog posts on Instagram Story Highlights, so buckle up. I'm going to spill all the tea on stories, highlights and how you can use them best to grow and attract the perfect audience to your incredible brand.

Instagram story highlights – here's what's up.

Previously, Instagram stories would always expire within 24 hours of being posted. This allowed us to be really messy, really imperfect, and give more of a behind-the-scenes, unvarnished view. This is what makes Instagram stories so great, and exactly what we love about them. 

They feel messy, they feel authentic, they feel real – whereas the feed can sometimes feel varnished, glossed over, and just a little bit too perfect.

Until now, my friend. This is where Instagram story highlights come into play.

Story highlights are a permanent collection of stories that live continuously on your Instagram profile.

Yes, you heard that right. They will be there forever (or until you remove them).

When I check out a new Instagram page, I honestly go to their story highlights first. Sure, I can see their grid view of the 6 most recent posts chilling below, but where I really feel like I get to know someone is in their stories.

When I go into the stories, I feel like I really get to know the person behind the brand, which is honestly what I'm most interested in. While the feed is gorgeous and meaningful, stories are where a user really connects with their audience.

For this reason, if you're not using highlights yet, you are missing out big opportunity.

Here are my top tips on how to take advantage of this incredible feature:

1. To create a highlight, simply tap on the plus sign circle to the far left (it says new underneath).

2. From there, you can add any story from your stories archive (the stories archive is something I will go into in the next blog post).


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3. You can also select a cover for your highlight and give it a name (I'm going to talk about that one as well, two blog posts from now).

4. Whatever you add to your highlight is going to stay there as long as you leave it there and it's an all you can eat buffet, sister – add however many you want.

One word of caution though, when you start to really beef up a certain highlight category, it's a great idea to go back in and edit pretty brutally. Delete anything that is in your absolute best because people only have a limited attention span and we can lose them pretty quick, so you want to share your best stuff, not all your stuff. Think of it as your best of real. We love you and we want to see what you have to say, but we don't have a ton of time (#realtalk).

5. Once you've added a highlight and given it a name, it will show up on your profile, right underneath your bio and right above your actual feed. 

When somebody taps, they're going to be taken right into the first story within that highlight.

6. To edit or remove a highlight at any time, you can simply tap and hold right on your profile.

Story Highlights are amazing because they really round out your personality on your Instagram profile.

In my opinion, your feed is your magazine and your highlights are your home movies.

Over the next few weeks, I'm going to be sharing a ton more info on highlights, highlight ideas, how to make really cool covers, what to choose for your categories, and more, so stay tuned.

In the meantime, are you using Instagram Highlights yet? What are you using for your categories? What are you using for your covers? I want to see everything! Drop a link to your Instagram in the comments so I can stalk you and let you know how awesome you are doing.


Chris Emmer

Graphic Designer / Branding and Social Media Strategist / Yoga + Meditation Guide / Your New BFF.

West Michigan based, small business + wellness obsessed.