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INSTAGRAM 101 – A GUIDE FOR BEGINNERS

May 22, 2020
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Ever wondered why Instagram is all the rage these days? That’s because it’s the most visual of all the social media platforms – and as we know, a picture is worth a thousand words. It’s also great for business, if you know how to use the platform. If you’d like to get in on the craze, the first step is ‘creating a profile’.

  • Download the app from the App Store (for iPhone users) or Google Play Store (for Android users)
  • Once the app is installed, tap the icon to open it
  • Sign up with Email or Phone Number (Android) or Create New Account (iPhone). Then enter your email address or phone number (which will require a confirmation code) and tap next. Alternatively, if you have a Facebook account, you can log in with those account details too.
  • Now, you need to choose a username (which will be your Instagram handle), create a password for your account and fill up your profile info. If you register with Facebook, you will need to log in to your account if you’re logged out.

Now, once you’ve got the easy part out of the way,

Here are a few essential tips on how to get the best out of Instagram:

  • Post colourful videos and photos that tell a story

    If you want more engagement from your followers, you have to be interesting. Your first post, especially, must pop with colour and hav a story behind it that evokes some emotion – happiness, humour, motivation etc. An Instagram post has a 2,200 character limit as well, so you can add a great story to the picture.

  • Filters are good… to an extent

    Often, once people discover filters, they tend to go overboard using them. The drawback is that your photo stops looking natural, and the over-usage of saturation and colour is a big turn-off. Use only the filter you need, or sometimes… just go with #NoFilter.

  • Use the right hashtags

    Hashtags – the perfect way to get more reach on Instagram. However, if your post has too many hashtags, some of them irrelevant, it could work adversely for you. Use the relevant keywords and keep your hashtag count to a minimum. Quality over quantity!

  • Want to find great content? Go ‘Explore’

    The ‘Explore’ tab on Instagram is a treasure trove of new and varied content. The best part is, this will show photos tailored to YOUR tastes – based on your past history of following accounts/liking photos etc. You can follow new users too. The Explore tab is represented by a small magnifying icon at the bottom of your Instagram page.

  • Post often. Post at the right times.

    Yes, you need to update your page often with new content to keep your followers interested. But by often, we don’t mean 20 posts a day. Once a day or even once every alternate day will do just fine. It also helps immensely if you have a goal in mind for your Instagram page, so your followers know EXACTLY what to expect from you. Don’t be predictable though – throw in a few surprises from time to time.

  • Use Instagram Direct Messaging

    Instagram DMs – you may have heard of this term. There is a feature on Instagram where you can contact specific users. You don’t HAVE to post everything publicly – maybe there’s a video/post you want to send to only one or two people. Instagram Direct is your best friend!

  • Have your website link ‘in bio’

    This makes perfect sense, especially if you’re a business. If you have your website link in your Instagram bio, you can keep referring to it in each post by just using the magic words ‘link in bio’. It’s a great way to drive traffic to your website if you’re trying to sell something.

  • Interact with your followers…

    A bit of Business 101 here – always talk to your followers. Especially the loyal ones. And not just that – sometimes, just go to their account and like some of their photos as well. There are a lot of third-party tools you can use to track user comments, and see who’s interacting the most.

  • … but don’t buy them!

    It’s tempting when you see an add that goes “BUY 10K FOLLOWERS FOR JUST 10 BUCKS” – but it’s like those spam emails – do NOT fall for this. Having a million followers but just 10-15 likes on your posts will not only look weird, it also looks suspicious to any potential followers.

  • Keep an eye out for trends

    Of course, hashtags and shoutouts are a great way to keep engagement going, but that’s just the surface. You’ll always find a new trend surfacing on a platform as huge as Instagram – remember to spot them quickly and follow them, so you can stay up with the times and show your followers that you know exactly what you’re doing. Using the Instagram grid – a sequence of 9 disjointed photos in a 3×3 tile format to make it look like one large photo – is one such trend that is still going strong since its inception. Posting to stories, using stickers etc. – there are tons of others.

These are some of the basics you need to keep in mind, to unlock the true power of Instagram. To learn more, join ADMC’s program on INSTAGRAM MARKETING FOR BUSINESS GROWTH on May 28th, 2020 from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM. Register here

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