Instagram stories have taken over if not the whole world, a major chunk of Instagram users and the time used with the application. Photos, videos, memes and yes, all those awesome stickers to add! The temptation to do your own ones if you’re into GIF making is enormous. So this Social Media Monday is all about how to get your own stickers available in Instagram Stories. Let’s dive in! At first you need to make some super cool gifs. What are the emotions or moods your would like to present? How would it look like? GIFs can be done in several ways, I use Photoshop for that and there are many other options too. I don’t go deeper on actually making GIFs on this post so much but if you need help with that, feel free to ask. Maybe I can write some instructions for that too. GIFs and stickers on Instagram Stories I’m fairly new with Instagram Stories but I was hooked in the minute I tried those out. Using stickers is an easy way to brighten your content and make it stand out from the flood of information. Since the beginning I was tempted to make my own Instagram Stories stickers and GIFs as I was struggling to find the perfect match to my own Stories. Making your own set of GIFs it’s also a fun and perfect way to engage your customers and build your brand too. When designing the GIFs for your brand, think about your customers. What would be useful for them? What is the content they are sharing in Instagram Stories? What can you add on that? Testing the idea What I often do when I get a new idea is that I test it with one of my accounts or channels. If it works, I can duplicate the process spread it around afterwards. That’s also why I started this Social Media Mondays article series. I wanted to make notes of my process and also share the real time insights and ideas while I was working with different parts of social media. You can read more about this article series from here. How to get your own stickers to Instagram Stories? To get your own stickers available in Instagram Stories you need to apply to GIPHY as a brand or as and artist. The status depends on what you do and what’s the purpose of your stickers. I applied as a brand so these instructions focus mainly on that part. Before you can apply to GIPHY as a brand (or an artist) you have to already have an account on GIPHY and at least five GIFs ready and uploaded so I suggest that you start by doing that first. You can create a new GIPHY account here and when you’ve done that, just upload your fresh, new GIFs in there. What are the technical requirements of the GIFs when applying to GIPHY? GIPHY has some requirements you should meet with your GIFs and stickers. Here’s your easy checklist: at least one element of it should be animatedstickers should be exported with transparency, no colored or white backgroundthere should be at least 20% transparency in the first frame to get your stickers approveduse RGB colorsset your GIF loop ‘forever’make your GIFs width and height equal to each other Check, check, check. Let’s upload! How to upload GIFs to GIPHY? When uploading your stickers, GIPHY asks few things from you. The source url is the place where you want your file to point. If you have a website (which you should, not only to get approved as a brand to GIPHY but in general too!) upload all your GIFs in there to get the url right. The most important part comes after the url and that’s the tags. These are the keywords your GIFs can be found later on, so pick carefully. GIPHY also disapproves tags without any point so use only those related to your content. Note! Don’t forget to add one tag that points to your brand and can be used to find all of your GIFs. Mine have several tags but all of them can be found with a tag ainoa. How to apply for the GIPHY Brand Channel? After you have your account ready and your first five GIFs uploaded you can apply to Brand Channel to be verified by GIPHY. You can apply for the Brand Channel in here. Just make sure that: You have an actual brand (ie. Ainoa)You have an up and running website on your own company domain (ie. http://ainonieminen.com)Your email address is related with the same company domain (ie. firstname.lastname@example.org)Your social media channel is also connected to your brand (ie. instagram.com/ainoawashere). You can give only one social media channel so pick the one that best represents for your brand.You must have avatar. The easiest way is to use your logo.You have your first five GIFs already uploaded There you go! Send the application and make a small dance while waiting for the approval! It may take a little while to GIPHY to come back to you. My approval came approximately in 6 hours but I’ve heard it can take longer too, so patience is the key. After your account is verified, your GIFs will automatically be available in the Instagram Stories and can be found with the tags you gave when uploading. Mine you can find with tag ainoa and would be super awesome if you tagged @ainoawashere when using them. I would love to see how they work! ♡ ☆☆☆ Social Media Mondays is my ongoing article series which I write while I do the actual work with social media. It includes insights, ideas, tips and tricks I’ve discovered while managing our several accounts and channels and with some client work too. These articles are my own notes about the process and also inspiration for you to try out the same things or to avoid some of them. Feel free to share your thoughts on comments or in social media by tagging @ainoawashere and using hashtag #socialmediamonday You can check the last article from here.