Instagram is one of the major players in the social media stratosphere, and even though it’s simple to use, many aren’t sure just how it can help their business. Instagram for beginners will touch on some of the key factors that will help you get started successfully on IG.
A baby in the social media market, Instagram first got its start in 2010, and was then purchased by Facebook in 2012. Since then, IG has grown by leaps and bounds to where it’s at today with over 32% of online adults using Instagram.
What Is Instagram?
Instagram is a fun a quirky way to tell your story through pictures. Designed to be used from a mobile device, Instagram is similar to Facebook in that you have a profile and newsfeed. When you post a picture or video to your profile, your followers will see it in their newsfeed. Likewise, you’ll see posts from users you follow in your own newsfeed.
Just like other social networks, you can interact with other users by liking, commenting, following (and being followed by), tagging, private messaging and even saving photos.
Getting Started On Instagram
Getting started on Instagram is very easy. You have 2 options:
- Sign up with your Facebook account
- Sign up with an email address and password
All Instagram needs is a username and password. You may be asked if you’d like to connect with Facebook friends that also have an Instagram account. You can choose to do this now, or skip it and come back to it later.
From here, you’ll want to complete your profile by adding some basic information about your and/or your business. Make sure to include a relevant profile picture too!
Make sure you add a link to your website as this is prime real estate on your profile, and the ONLY place that you’ll be able to post a live link!
I would also STRONGLY suggest that you leave your business account set to PUBLIC so that everyone can find you. Instagram makes it easy to have more than 1 profile, so you can always create a private personal profile if you’d like. I myself have 2 profiles:
Upgrade To A Business Account
At this point I would strongly suggest upgrading to a business account, which is completely free and gives you the added benefit of data analytics on your posts. *Note, you must have a Facebook Page (or be an admin on a page) as you will have to connect a page to your IG account.*
- Go to your profile
- Click on Settings (the 3 dots in the upper right corner)
- Scroll down and click on Switch To Business Profile
- On the Connect Your Facebook Page screen, you’ll see all of the Facebook Pages you’re currently an admin on. Select the Page you’d like to associate with your Business Profile on Instagram
- On the Set Up Your Business Profile page, review your business’s contact information, make any changes and tap Done.
When you add contact information, a Contact button will appear near the top of your profile. When people click that button, they’ll see options like Get Directions, Call and Email, depending on the contact information you provided.
Additionally, when you convert to a Business Profile, you’ll get access to Instagram Insights. These insights will help you learn more about your followers and how much your audience engages with your content.
Have a look at the statistics for Instagram for 2016. In 2015, Pew Research Center reported that 28% of online adults use Instagram. You can see that IG usage is on the rise, and will continue to do so.
From these statistics we can tell that:
- 38% of users are women
- the highest % of users are 18-29 years old
- 37% of users have some college education
- 38% of users are currently making less than $30k/year
- 39% of users are urbanites
Pew Research Center continues on to say:
Roughly six-in-ten online adults ages 18-29 (59%) use Instagram, nearly double the share among 30- to 49-year-olds (33%) and more than seven times the share among those 65 and older (8%).
- Post interesting visuals, colorful photos & videos – This is a key step! You want to make sure that your images are of the highest quality possible as no one on Instagram wants to see a blurry or grainy picture.
- Create interesting captions – ask questions or request comments in order to gain user interaction
- Use relevant hashtags (#) – Hashtags are super important in Instagram, and you’ll want to include them on every post you make. You may even want to create several lists of business relevant hashtags that you can just copy and paste into your captions. *Note* – don’t post hashtags that have no relevance to either the image or your business. This is just considered spam.
- Post regularly – whether you post 3-4 times every day (like I do), or post 3-4 times per week, be consistent!
- Interact with your followers – make sure you always like and reply to comments and visit your followers pages to like and comment on some of their posts as well.
Do you have any more tips for beginners on Instagram? I’d love to hear them, so please post a comment below 🙂
— Wahm Dianne