Instagram Swipe Up: How to Use It & How to Get It Without 10K Followers

Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms in the world with more than 1 billion monthly active users. Plus, every day, more than 500 million daily active users are on the app to watch Instagram Stories. For brands and influencers, Instagram Stories provide an excellent way to create and share content, boost brand awareness, and get more sales and leads.

If you have the Swipe Up feature, that is.

The Swipe Up feature is available to Instagrammers with more than 10,000 followers and allows those users to add a link that their followers can get to by swiping up while watching their stories. This is a huge deal on a platform where you’re limited to a single clickable link in your Instagram bio.

With the Swipe Up feature, brands and influencers can promote specific products, content, or signup pages that followers can access right from Instagram Stories instead of going to the bio screen to click a link there. And, you can change the link from Story to Story, if you want.

The Swipe Up feature is a game-changer for brands and Instagram influencers. In this article, we’re going to tell you how to get the Instagram Swipe Up feature and use it effectively. We’re even going to share a trick you can use if you don’t already have 10,000 followers.

Using Instagram’s Swipe Up feature can boost your traffic, increase conversions, and build customer loyalty. Excited? Let’s get started!

Instagram Swipe Up: How to Use It & How to Get It Without 10K Followers:

How to Get the Instagram Swipe Up Feature

Instagram wants to keep the Swipe Up feature exclusive. As such, there are restrictions on who can get one. To get access to this coveted feature, you have to have an Instagram Business Profile and at least 10,000 followers or have a verified account. That means if you’re a public figure who has gone through the trouble of getting verified on Instagram you can get the Instagram Swipe Up feature even without 10K followers.

But once you have it, how do you use it?

How to Add a Swipe Up Link to Your Instagram Story

Adding a Swipe Up link to your Instagram Story is a simple, 3-step process.

Step 1. Start Your Instagram Story

Start your Instagram Story as you normally would, either uploading an image or video or doing it directly in the Instagram app.

Step 2. Click the Link Button

Tap on the link icon at the top of the screen.

Click the Link Button

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A new screen will come up so you can add your link.

Click the Link Button

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Type in the URL and tap Done (iOS) or the checkmark (Android). Now you should see that the image or video is linked and the hyperlink icon in the top right corner of the screen should be white.

For best results, make sure you’re using a specific link related to your post. Don’t just send your followers to your website and leave them wandering around. You want them to do something, right? You need to make it really easy for them.

Step 3. Add a Call-to-Action

Once you’ve added your link, it’s time to add a call-to-action. Most creators use a GIF or text that says “swipe up” to let viewers know they can swipe up and take action.

Add a Call-to-Action

Your call-to-action should be eye-catching. We love GIFs for this. If you haven’t started using GIFs in marketing, you’re missing out.

After adding your call-to-action, just post your story as usual.

Use This Trick If You Don’t Have 10K Followers

So, what if you don’t have 10,000 followers? You can use IGTV!

IGTV (Instagram TV) is an Instagram app that lets you share longer videos. The videos have to be at least one minute long and can be up to 15 minutes long if uploaded from a mobile device or up to 60 minutes long when uploading via web browser. Just download the IGTV app, click the settings icon in the right-hand corner, and click Create Channel.

Note: If you’re already logged in to Instagram, you can just click Continue as… and your channel will be created.

Next, create a video promoting whatever you want to drive Instagram traffic to. Be sure to add a call-to-action to get viewers to click on the title link in the top left corner.

Use This Trick If You Don’t Have 10K Followers

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Once you’ve created your video, upload it to IGTV by clicking on your channel and choosing the video you just created. You’ll be able to preview the video and add a cover photo before clicking Next to add a video title and description.

Keep your title short. It should be a call-to-action that will encourage viewers to click. Then, in your description, add the URL to whatever you want to drive traffic to and post your video to IGTV.

After you’ve posted your IGTV video, head back to Instagram and create an Instagram Story as a teaser linking to your IGTV video. On the Story, add a call-to-action that tells viewers to swipe up. Then, you’ll click the link icon at the top and add your video from IGTV as the call-to-action before clicking Done.

Use This Trick If You Don’t Have 10K Followers

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When your Story is posted, viewers will be able to swipe up for your IGTV video and click the link in the top left of the IGTV video, sending them to wherever you want them to go.

A little convoluted, to be sure, but if you don’t have a verified business account or 10,000 followers, you have to take special measures.

Instagram Swipe Up Best Practices


Now you have a couple of different ways to add the Swipe Up option to your Instagram Stories. Here are some Instagram Swipe Up best practices you can follow to improve your Instagram engagement.

Post a Teaser on Your Main Feed

Some people don’t pay attention to Instagram Stories. To make sure that your followers aren’t missing your Story, make a post about it and share it on your main feed. By posting a preview or teaser on your main feed you’ll generate interest and curiosity, not to mention building a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out) since Stories are only available for 24 hours unless you save them to a highlight.

Save Your Story as a Highlight

Highlights are great for driving traffic, too. Instead of disappearing after 24 hours, highlights stick around. That means your followers can continue to access your story and follow your calls-to-action to boost your engagement, conversions, and sales. Highlights show up on your profile just above your regular content:

Instagram Swipe Up Best Practices

You can get creative with your Highlight cover images, too. Here’s how to create custom Instagram Highlight covers.

Create Interactive Stories

Interactive content gets engagement. This could mean running a contest or Q&A on Instagram—anything that encourages your followers to participate and share your content. When you give your followers opportunities to engage and interact with your brand, they’re more likely to check out your Stories again and again for more ways to connect.

In this example from Abbi Jacobsen and Ilana Glazer, you can swipe up to make a donation to The Bail Project and enter to win a 30-minute Zoom call with Abbi and Ilana:

How to Use the Instagram Swipe Up Feature to Increase Engagement

Now that you know how to get more followers to engage with your Instagram Swipe Up content, let’s talk about the ways you can use this feature to promote your brand.

Promote Blog Posts and Other Content

To promote a recent blog post or article, create a graphic, and share it to Instagram Stories. Make sure you have the correct Instagram Story dimensions so you can create amazing visuals that are a perfect fit. Your visuals should be relevant to the blog post you’re promoting and you’ll want to use colors and fonts that match your brand to encourage brand recognition and increase brand awareness.

Here’s an example from @diversifyvanlife:

They’ve used an eye-catching screen grab of the article and a colorful “swipe up” GIF to direct their followers to an article they know will resonate with their target audience.

Promote Products

The Instagram Swipe Up feature is also great for promoting your products. Since Instagram is a visual platform, you’ll want to create eye-catching, high-quality images of your products and include direct links to specific product pages.

Here’s an example from @fatgirlflow:

The professional, high-quality image is of a single product and the post includes text that’s easy to read along with a GIF that says “lovelovelove.” When you use the Swipe Up link, you’re taken to the page specifically for that product.

Pro Tip: You could even use Instagram Shopping to link your products with your Instagram account, letting viewers of your Stories make purchases without leaving the app.

Promote Events

Are you hosting a virtual event and want a huge turnout? You can use the Swipe Up feature to get viewers to register. Just create an Instagram Story using your event graphics and add a link to the event registration page.

Here’s another example from @diversifyvanlife:

They shared a series of Stories about this event, including a “swipe up to register” CTA that takes viewers directly to the event registration page.

Promote Landing Pages

Regardless of where you’re linking to you want to get your message seen. Landing pages are particularly useful when you’re trying to get viewers to take action. Landing pages are largely transactional. This means that they exist to get users to convert, either through signing up for something or buying something.

Here’s an example of an Instagram Story from @techladies promoting a signup page:

This is a simple post, but it grabs attention with the color and emoji. Plus, the incredibly colorful and vibrant “swipe up” GIF is hard to miss.

Promote Videos

Have you recently published new video content on YouTube, IGTV, Facebook, or on your website? You can increase views on that content by sharing the links on your Instagram Stories.

Here’s an example from Northwestern University sharing their new video about the Northwestern Prison Education Program:

The Swipe Up link takes viewers directly to the NPEP website where they can watch the video right away.

Instagram’s Swipe Up feature makes it easy to cross-promote your content from other social media platforms and marketing channels to your Instagram Stories by simply creating a graphic or video on Instagram, adding a link, and publishing.

Promote Podcast Episodes

Everybody loves podcasts these days. If you’re a podcast creator, you should definitely start using your Instagram Stories to send viewers to your new podcast episodes.

Chalene Johnson is pretty much the master of this. She posts a new podcast every day (mostly business-related, but she covers wellness, too) and shares the link in her Instagram Stories:

Chalene normally uses video or audio to talk about the content of that day’s podcast, but sometimes she just adds in a picture and calls it good. This is one of the benefits of solid brand awareness—Chalene could post a black screen with a link included and a majority of her followers would swipe up without any context.

Promote Lead Magnets

When you’re trying to grow your email list, leads magnets are a great option to encourage people to sign up. You can promote your lead magnets by using a Swipe Up link on your Instagram Stories that take viewers to your lead magnet landing page or signup page.

Instagram also has Instagram Story ads that let you add a signup form right on the swipe instead of sending users to a landing page off the platform.

Use Instagram Swipe Up to Drive Traffic and Engagement

The Swipe Up feature is an incredibly useful and valuable tool for Instagram influencers who use it to share their own content, promote affiliate links, share promotional content, and more. For peak eCommerce conversions, you can even add Shoppable Stickers to your Instagram posts!

No matter what you’re trying to promote, Instagram Swipe Up is a feature you’ll love. And, with the IGTV trick we shared, you can still benefit from Instagram’s Swipe Up feature while you’re getting more Instagram followers to hit that magical 10K number.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Instagram Swipe Up feature?

Instagrammers with other 10,000 followers can access the Swipe Up feature. They can use it to add a link that their followers can get by simply swiping up while they are watching their stories. As Instagram allows you only one clickable link in your Instagram bio, this Instagram feature is a big benefit. You can use the Swipe Up feature to promote specific products, content or sign-up pages that your followers will be able to access right via Instagram Stories.

How can I get the Instagram Swipe Up feature?

Technically, the Swipe Up feature is only available to users with an Instagram Business Profile that has at least 10,000 followers or a verified account. The good news is that if you do not have that many followers, there is another way. You can also use the IGTV (Instagram TV) app. All you then have to do is upload your video to IGTV and create an Instagram Story as a teaser that links to your IGTV video.

How do I add a swipe up link to my Instagram Story?

To add a swipe up link to your Instagram Story, you need to complete only three steps. The first step is to begin your Instagram Story as you normally would. You can either upload an image or video or do it directly via the app. The second step is to tap on the link icon at the top of your screen. A new screen will pop up where you can then add your link. Lastly, add a call-to-action GIF or text that says “Swipe up”.

How can I improve my Instagram engagement?

As some people do not pay attention to Instagram Stories, you can create a post about it which you then share in your main feed. Content that works well includes something interactive such as running a competition or a Q&A session. Highlights are also very effective for creating traffic. What makes them great is that they do not disappear after 24 hours which means that your followers will still be able to access your story and calls-to-action prompts.

How can you use Instagram Swipe Up to increase your engagement?

To increase engagement, you can use Instagram Swipe Up to promote lead magnets, podcast episodes, videos, landing pages, events, products and blog posts or other content. You can, for example, create a graphic about a recent blog post and share it to Instagram Stories, or share high-quality images of your products with a direct link to that specific product page. If you will be holding an event, you can use the Swipe Up feature to add a link to the registration page.

About the Author
Jacinda Santora is a copywriter, marketing consultant, and owner of JMS Copy. She enjoys using her SEO expertise combined with experience in and a deep love for all things marketing to create high-quality marketing-related content