Skip to main content

  Article updated: May 11, 2023

Create an Instagram story

By using the Composer to publish or schedule your stories, you can manage your entire digital marketing plan in Hootsuite. When you prepare and schedule your stories in advance, you can see them along with your other content in Planner.

Instagram stories must be published via mobile notification. You or a team member will receive a push notification to your Hootsuite mobile app. Hootsuite sends your prepared story, including all media files, to your mobile device for you to publish via the Instagram app.

Complete the workflow in Instagram to keep full control over the look of your story with access to the latest Instagram sticker types and the ability to add final touches like filters and tags.

Note: Instagram requires this publishing method from all third-party tools like Hootsuite.

Watch Best practices for optimizing your story for tips to maximize your story reach. Visit Hootsuite Academy to watch more videos, take courses, or earn industry-recognized certifications.

Before you begin

Make sure you’ve already done the following:

Create your story

  1. Go to Composer.
  2. Under Publish to, select your Instagram account.
  3. Above the Content area, select Story as your Instagram content type.
    Story highlighted above the Instagram content area.
  4. In the Clipboard text area, enter text and links for your story. You can proofread your text using Grammarly. Include up to 10 hashtags; you can select the hashtag icon if you want some AI-powered suggestions. Clipboard text is sent to your device with the push notification and copied to your device clipboard. When you add your final touches in Instagram, you can paste in your text and create link stickers.
  5. Select Upload media to attach up to 10 images or videos to your story.
    You can also select Design with Canva (see Design images with Canva in Composer for details) or Media library to add free stock images or other image assets from your media library apps. Business and Enterprise plan members can access images from their content libraries to keep story content on-brand.

    Note: The maximum file size for images is 8 MB, and maximum video length is 60 seconds.

  6. Optionally, point to an image thumbnail and select Edit image to make edits such as adjusting the aspect ratio, or adding text or stickers. See Work with images. You can also edit your images later using the Instagram app.
  7. Review your story using the preview on the right. You can drag your media assets around to reorder them in your story.

    Note: Playable previews aren’t supported for .mov files in Composer.

  8. Select Add next to Notes for the publisher to enter guidance or instructions to the person who will be publishing the story on Instagram.

    Tip: You can even prepare reel content with these steps and instruct the publisher to create a reel when they open Instagram.

  9. Select Post now or Schedule for later. Stories must be published via mobile notification. You can also save your story as draft.

    If you get the error, "Your Instagram account requires a paired device," it means that no one has push notifications enabled in their Hootsuite app for the Instagram account you are sending content to. Enable notifications, and then try again.

Publish your Instagram story

When it’s time to publish (either right away or at the scheduled time), all devices that are set up to get publishing notifications for that Instagram profile get a notification. See Enable Instagram publishing notifications for more information.

From the notification, any team member with Hootsuite publishing permissions and login credentials for the Instagram profile can publish the story in Instagram.

  1. To open the notification in your Hootsuite mobile app, go to Streams, and then select Notifications.
  2. Select Publish in Instagram on the new publishing notification. If any notes for the publisher were included with the story, you can see them when the notification opens.
  3. Select Open to publish in Instagram. Your caption text and links are copied to your clipboard and the Instagram app opens.

    Important: Hootsuite does not detect which Instagram profile is signed in to your Instagram app. If you use more than one Instagram account, make sure that you are signed in to the Instagram app with the same profile you selected in Hootsuite, so that you publish the story to the correct account.

  4. In the Instagram app, select Create , and then select Story (or Reel).
  5. Select the camera roll image to open the story assets saved on your device.
    • If your story has more than one asset, select the multiple option so that you can select them all, and then select Next.
  6. If you have copied clipboard text to include, select the text option, touch and hold, release, and then select Paste.
  7. Add your finishing touches to your story using Instagram effects, stickers, drawing tools, and text, and then select Next.
  8. Share to your story.

Watch Getting creative with editing features for tips to make your story stand out. Visit Hootsuite Academy to watch more videos, take courses, or earn industry-recognized certifications.

If multiple team members get publishing notifications for the same Instagram profile, the Notifications list tells you if a notification has already been opened by a team member.

An Instagram publishing notification, showing that a team member has already opened it.

Opened by (name) means the story has already been opened in the Instagram app. You can open the notification, select Opened by (name), and then either mark the post as not opened or open it again.

The options to Mark as not opened or Open again on a publishing notification.


Can't find what you're looking for? We're here to help