Instagram Supplemental Tools

Pamela Mehta, MD
Edited by AHSM Admin

Purpose of Supplemental Tools on Instagram: Supplemental tools on Instagram are a great way to engage with your followers via polls, IGTV and IG live.


  1. How to create a Poll. The polling feature is only available in Instagram Stories so you will need to create a story post to use this function.

a. Create a Story post: To maximize the impact of the poll, your story post should have some context related to the topic of the poll. Take a relevant photo or create your background or link an article for your story. Add any filters, text, or emojis to the story, and leave room for the poll.

b. Adding the poll to the story post: Tap on the Sticker icon (the square with the face) at the top of the Story screen and select the Poll sticker option. You can ask any question of the audience, and you can also customize the poll responses from just the “yes” or “no” by tapping in the box and adding your own responses.

c. Place your poll and share your story.

d. Monitor the results: You can see who voted and what they voted for in the analytics section. Remember these analytics will only be available for 24 hours after you post the story and poll.

Why create the poll and how to use the feature constructively: Polls are great to engage with your followers and to ask for feedback. Feedback may include opinions on: products or advice you offer in your area of expertise, preference for timing (day or evening) – perhaps for live broadcasts, Preference for communication – perhaps dms verses comments on posts, and finally topics or content for a blog post.


2. How to create an IGTV account: Before you can start sharing your videos, you need to first create an Instagram TV account. First download the IGTV app from the App Store or from Google Play. Then Sign up to the IGTV app- if you’re already logged in to your Instagram account it will automatically use your profile. Click on the settings gear icon in the right hand corner, and then click “create channel”.

a. How to upload a video to IGTV: Click the “+” in the right hand corner to add a new vid. Next, select a vertical video from your camera roll and add in your title and description. Remember– just like when you upload a video to YouTube or write a blog you want to utilize relevant keywords, the same goes for IGTV, make sure your videos are “searchable” by adding in some powerful keywords. You can link your video to an external page- your website, a gallery, your portfolio or even an online store. You can create a thumbnail for your video as well. Finally, hit the post button and you’re all set.

Why create and IGTV channel? IGTV is unique in that unlike the videos or stories that you’re able to post on Instagram stories, IGTV allows you to upload long form videos (up to one hour) and the videos won’t disappear after 24 hours. Videos are also uploaded in full screen and vertical format. Unlike YouTube, where the user is required to search for something, IGTV starts playing the second the app is open- much like turning on a television. In addition, it also takes on a “on demand” feature as a video that you stopped watching will resume from where you left it. You can also search for videos. All of these features make IGTV another way to interact with your followers and leave a lasting impression.


3. How to create an IG Live. To start an Instagram Live broadcast, tap on the Your Story profile photo (with the + sign next to it) at the top of your Instagram news feed or you can tap on the camera icon at the top left of your Instagram screen. This will take you to your stories where you have several options at the bottom of the screen. You can choose the live option. Once you start your live video, Instagram will notify your followers. You will be able to see how long you have been live- you can go for up to one hour- and you will be able to see how many viewers you have in real time. Your viewers will be able to comment for you and all those viewing to see. Your live will be up for 24 hours and will appear at the top of your followers news feed for those 24 hours.

Why create an IG Live? IG live is probably one of the best ways to engage with your followers in the moment. You can respond to comments or discuss any topic important to you in real time. Viewers can get a glimpse into your life by seeing you discuss things in a live setting. Some other reasons to use IG live would be if you are launching a new product or making a big announcement, show behind-the-scenes looks at what happens at your office or your life at home, or could be as simple as doing a live Q&A with your audience to get to know them better.

Last Updated: May 3, 2019