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The One WRONG Thing You Should Be Doing On Instagram

Updated: Aug 30, 2023

use Instagram correctly

Today's Biggest Video Record No-No

A recent Marketing Tip of ours inspired this blog post. Follow us on Instagram to see our simple marketing tips weekly. In that post, we provided the tip for recording vertical video when using Instagram Stories. This made me think more about vertical video, it’s rise, and when you should be actually using it.

What Is Vertical Video?

Vertical video refers to video content that is shot and viewed in portrait mode. It is taller rather than wider. Examples of this exist all over the internet today. The creation of vertical video is primarily due to the rise of mobile phones and their ability to shoot videos.

As you can see, when you record video in portrait mode it creates a video with large borders to the left and right of it.

This leaves a lot of your scene out of the picture, and visually isn’t as pleasing to consume.

What you’ll also notice in the video is the man noticing his wife turning her phone to landscape after already hitting record. This continues to record your video vertically even though you’ve turned your phone sideways, and ultimately still leaves your video with those large borders.

So what’s the big deal…

Why It's Bad

But here’s the main issue – Pretty much all of the video content we consume, YouTube, Netflix, Cable TV, is meant to be seen in landscape (The proper term when it comes to video is widescreen). And whether that be at a movie theater, at home via your television, or on your computer or tablet, widescreen captures more of the scene.

So when it comes to recording video, think of where you intend on sharing it. Most likely it’s for your own collection, or to share a moment with friends and family, so it’s best to turn your phone horizontally first, then hit record.

But in the past few years, the rise of Snapchat Stories, and now Instagram Stories has provided a platform for vertical video.

Your Instagram Field Should Include Widescreen Video

Vertical Video Is Important To Small Businesses

Why Your Business Should Take It Seriously

Vertical video, whether we like it or not, isn’t going anywhere… Especially on Instagram.

Instagram Stories has over 200 million daily users and is still growing. “Influencers are seeing an average of 6-10% of their followers open their Instagram Stories on a daily basis, which is an incredibly high engagement rate.”

Instagram Stories are intended to be consumed vertically, and in turn, have created a place where vertical video makes sense.

So where I’d usually yell at my friends and family to shoot their videos horizontally, when it comes to sharing their moments on Instagram Stories, widescreen video doesn’t make sense. As of now, the user interface is vertical, so your Stories are best served vertically. 🍽

Instagram Stories Is An Important Part Of Small Business Marketing

What Your Business Can Do With Instagram Stories

The same applies to small business owners who are looking to gain followers and promote their businesses using the latest trends. We all know social media marketing is important, and if you’d like to get a better understanding as to why, check out this Marketing Moment lesson.

For small businesses everywhere, Stories gives you another avenue to reach more people. This feature is still in its infancy, so getting ahead now and creating eye-catching Stories can really set your business apart from its competitors.

Small Business Use Instagram Stories To Build Their Brand

You can use Stories to:

  1. highlight an event/outing

  2. provide highlights of your day

  3. share moments that your followers need to see

  4. share worry-less content (it disappears after 24 hours)

Stories allow you to share without having to think as much about the content. Plus a raw, more realistic perspective of your business is more interesting to today’s viewers. And by giving them an inside look into your business, you’re building a brand following.

Shooting Better Videos For Instagram Stories

There are two main types of videos for Stories:

  1. Regular Video

  2. Effect Based Video

There Are 5 Types To Record Video On Instagram Stories


Live Stream what your business is doing Live (Similar to Facebook Live).

Normal (Video) Click and hold the shutter button to record a 15-second video. Release the shutter to stop.

Hands-Free This option is practically the same as Normal, but only requires one tap to start the video, and allows you to record longer video without having to hold your your thumb to the shutter.

Boomerang This option is a Gif-like video that shoots a short video and loops it forwards and backwards.

Rewind This option captures a 15-second video but plays it in reverse only.

The Correct Way To Record Video On Instagram Is Vertically

Quick Tips For Shooting Better Videos For Instagram


I’ll keep it short since I just covered this above. Keep it vertical because that’s how Instagram Stories are meant to be consumed.


Showcase where you are and what you’re doing. People want to see what your brand is up to, and how it relates to them. Sharing what your brand is doing throughout the day, whether that’s your daily routine or an event you’re attending, keeps users interested in your day.


As a small business owner, your ultimate goal is to grow your following and convert followers into loyal customers. Use your Stories as a tool to provide value to your viewers. Share exclusive content, tips, contests. Really focus on having them engage through your Stories.


Many times when shooting “amateur” videos, people tend to move their camera too quickly in between different things they are seeing. This makes the content difficult to consume, so don’t be afraid to hover a few extra seconds in order to focus on what’s really going on. Your viewers will appreciate it.


Building on the previous tip, “amateur” videos tend to be shaky, also making your video unappetizing. So keep your hand steady. It helps to hold your phone with two hand to add stability to your shot.


Though vertical video may seem irritating on most platforms, it is becoming more and more prevalent daily. And for small business, Instagram Stories provides an opportunity to share vertical videos, that don’t require as much production, and can grow your brand following.

Your Turn

Did you find these tips helpful? Are you using Instagram Stories in your small business? If yes, or no, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the latest social media trend in the comments below.

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