Susie working

A Beginner’s Guide to Instagram

HOW TO BRING ‘YOUR STORY’ TO LIFE ON INSTAGRAM

I have created this beginner’s guide to Instagram to help you make Instagram part of your social media and digital marketing strategy.

SIGNING UP FOR INSTAGRAM

Instagram is primarily a mobile-only application. While there is a website interface for Desk and Laptops, it contains extremely limited functionality, in that although you can view your feed and update your profile, you can’t post any content. When you launch the mobile app for the first time, it will take you through the account setup process.

I can show you a cheeky work-around to help you post from a PC or Laptop.

STEP 1: DOWNLOAD AND LAUNCH THE INSTAGRAM APP

Download the Instagram app by going to the App Store on Your Mobile Phone. Once it is installed, open it.

STEP 2: CONNECT THE APP TO FACEBOOK

Once the app is opened, click on the Sign-Up prompt. Enter your e-mail, and then connect your account to Facebook. This step will come in handy both for when you want to post directly to Facebook from Instagram, and for finding people to follow that you personally know.

STEP 3: SWITCH YOUR ACCOUNT TO BUSINESS

If you plan on using Instagram as a tool to market your business, then you’re going to want to switch your account from Personal to Business. Doing so will let you view insights and statistics relating to your engagement, will keep your profile set to “public”, as well as let you add a business address, phone number, and working hours.

To do so, open your Profile, click on the burger menu top right

At the bottom right side of the page find: Settings > Switch to Business Account.

STRATEGY

Instagram is a very visual medium, so you need to be creative in what you decide to share.

Content should be either engaging or valuable to your audience, aim to entertain, inspire and inform.

As with any social media platform, the more you interact and engage with your audience’s posts, the more they’ll interact and engage with yours. Consider staggering your best content over a few days to naturally build engagement and your brand’s story. Use a specific style of photography and colours that emulate the qualities of you and your brand and ensure you reflect your style and tone of voice. You need to try and project your personality and values through all your posts and build a wall that reflects what you feel is important and relevant to your perfect target audience. This will attract a loyal likeminded audience, real fans.

Start with one to three posts a week, but you should experiment with your content and see what better engages your audience: if it’s at a specific time of day or with a specific hashtag. It’s important to remember that the current Instagram algorithm likes it when you keep your posting regular and that if you post only sparsely, you could see your engagement drop. Consistency is king.

Despite its status as a visual medium, Instagram is incredibly versatile in the kind of content that you can post. To help educate and inform or position yourself as a thought leader, post images of inspirational thoughts about your business or sector. If you’re an interior designer, you could post a short video explaining what to look for when purchasing a new sofa.

Instagram may not be as robust in features as other social networks, but what it is capable of it does efficiently. It’s the perfect way to reinvent the traditional business/customer relationship by having the personality and culture of your company on full display.

INSTAGRAM BASICS

After signing up for an account, the next step is to follow some other users and look at their photos. Just like Facebook, Instagram uses an algorithm to determine what content to show you and when, so don’t panic if someone suddenly drops out of your timeline.

To see more of the accounts you care about, simply engage with their posts and, if you never want to miss someone’s post, turn on notifications. To do so, click on a post of theirs, and then choose Turn on Post Notifications from the menu.

FIND PEOPLE TO FOLLOW

Because you’ve already connected your Instagram account to Facebook, you should be automatically prompted to individually follow people in your friends list.

However, if you want to search for users not in your personal contacts, click on the magnifying glass icon at the bottom of your screen and Instagram will show you some videos, Stories (we’ll get into those in a minute), and photos by users they think you might like.

Other ways to find people to follow include searching for hashtags (#interiordesign or #practicalspaces if you’re looking for specific content, for example).

View your full guide here A BEGINNERS GUIDE TO INSTAGRAM.

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