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How to Manage Instagram Stories With Later

Learn how to improve Instagram Stories performance by scheduling, publishing, and analyzing with Later.

Scheduling Instagram Stories

When it comes to a winning Instagram strategy, Stories are just as important as posts. They’re temporary images or videos that showcase your brand and even have the power to make you money.

Instagram Stories strategies have a ton of moving parts from visuals and calls to action (CTAs), to timing and performance. By managing every step of the process from Later, you can guarantee they’ll always be on time, consistent, and measurable.

Saving time is easy when you plan Instagram Stories in advance. Schedule one or multiple stories at once, and then sit back and have Later publish them automatically on your behalf.

The Instagram Stories scheduler is available within Later on for Desktop. To access it from the Calendar, first make sure that only your Instagram profile is selected from the social sets and profiles menu.

Screenshot of the Later app highlighting the profile section

Note: Only paid plans have access to Instagram Stories scheduling with Later. Learn more about plans here.

Open the Instagram Stories scheduler by clicking Stories. On the Stories page, you’ll see a horizontal timeline along with your side library.

Screenshot of the Later app highlighting the horizontal timeline section

To schedule an Instagram Story:

  1. Select one or more media items from the side library
  2. Drag the media items to the timeline and drop on the publish date and time
  3. Add more media items to the Instagram Story by dragging from the side library and dropping in the Stories editor
  4. Confirm or edit the scheduled date and time
  5. Click Save Story
Gif of the Later app showcasing how to drag into the Stories editor

You’ll likely want to customize the Instagram Story content before saving, which can be done from the Stories editor.

Screenshot of Later app highlighting the different buttons in the Stories editor

Save time when you publish by editing Instagram Stories media in advance. The media editor helps you perfect the image or video within Later.

To launch, click Edit on the Instagram Story you want to edit.

  • Crop to Instagram Story dimensions (9:16)
  • Add filters
  • Apply text with 10 fonts, 9 colors, 3 alignments, underline, bold, italics, and all capitalization
Screenshot of Later app in the image editor

When you’re happy with the media edits, save by clicking Update Image.

Add captions or text to the Add Clipboard Text box. Anything in this box will be automatically copied to your clipboard when it’s time to publish.

Remember to click Save Story when you finish editing the media and publishing details.

Publishing Instagram Stories

If you’ve enabled Auto Publish for Instagram, your Stories will be automatically published on your behalf. If you’d prefer to manually publish your Stories, your chosen media and caption will be sent to your mobile device via push notification when it’s time to publish.

TIP: Download the Later mobile app here.

To publish an Instagram Story from a notification:

  1. Open the Later push notification
  2. Tap Open in Instagram on iOS or Add to Story on Android
  3. In Instagram, tap to open your Camera Roll on iOS or Your Story on Android
  4. Select a single media item or tap Select Multiple and select all the media items you’d like to add to your Story
  5. Paste the copied text to any Story
  6. Add any other Stories features like stickers, polls, or drawings
  7. Tap Share
GIF showcasing how to publish Instagram Stories from a notification

When you open the push notification, a blue and white image with a stop sign will be automatically downloaded along with the media you scheduled. This is a clear indicator for you to know where your Stories media ends in the camera roll.

Screenshot of the stop image highlighted in a mobile camera roll

To increase Instagram Stories engagement, combine Later’s editing tools with Instagram features. Try adding stickers, surveys, or polls to interact with your audience.

Screenshot of an Instagram story on a mobile app

Instagram Stories Analytics from Later

Measuring results is a crucial step for any social media strategy. Your Instagram Stories performance is no exception.

Later on the web has built-in analytics to help you understand your audience engagement and behaviours.

Screenshot of Later's app analytics view

Note: Instagram Stories performance analytics are only available on some plans.

The key metrics to watch in order to learn more about how your audience views your Instagram Stories are:

  • Impressions: total times a story is viewed
  • Reach: total accounts that viewed a story
  • Completion rate: percentage of accounts that finished viewing the story
  • Average views per user: average views per account

To investigate how your audience interacts with your Instagram Stories, take a closer look at:

  • Replies
  • Back
  • Forward
  • Exited

When you have a thorough understanding of how your audience views and interacts with Instagram Stories content you can start building benchmarks.

Benchmarks allow you to compare your engagement rates between content types or with industry standards. It also helps you set goals for content experiments you may want to run in the future.

For example, if you know your impressions are lower than industry standard, you can try different techniques like hashtags or tagging locations.

To learn more about Instagram Stories best practices, check out The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Stories for Business.

Next Steps

Turn your Instagram Stories into brand-building, sales-driving content! Customizing and experimenting with an Instagram Stories strategy will take your business to the next level.

Check out these resources to learn how others are using Instagram Stories to support their business.

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