Instagram is a popular photo-sharing platform that has quickly become a social media superstar. Instagram has 300 million active users with 70 million photos shared daily.
1. Create an Account
You must have an Instagram account to start using the website. You must download and install the Instagram application on your smartphone (iPhone or Android). The Instagram app is the only way to post photos to Instagram; you can’t make posts using the Instagram website.
By default, Instagram accounts are open to the public. As a business, you want as many eyes as possible on your profile, but if you do have the option of making your account private by editing your privacy settings.
2. Make Your Profile Interesting
You can edit your profile on your phone or log into the Instagram website.
Your profile should be a quick overview of who you are and what you do. You will need to enter your name, email address, website, and username.
For branding consistency, consider using your Twitter handle as your Instagram username, which will become your custom url (ex. http://instagram.com/rochellelinae). In your bio, which is limited to 150 characters or less, describe what you do and briefly explain your brand. Use keywords to summarize what you do. Show your personality by adding humor or by adding emojis. Emojis are defined as a small digital images or icons used to express an idea, emotion, etc., in electronic communication. You can copy and paste emojis into our profile to make it more interesting.
You can also add your phone number. This is open to the general public, so make sure you really want people calling you!
3. Post High-Resolution Photos
Put the camera on your smartphone to good use. iPhones have an HRD resolution that can help optimize your photos. Instagram’s default photo size is 640px wide X 640px high, so you may need to crop your photos. Once you’ve taken your photo – or selected one from the photo gallery on your phone – you can add filters or effects. Filters are fun ways to change the look of your picture by adding various exposure levels to lighten photos or give them a vintage feel.
Add a caption to your photo.
Your caption should be a creative, short description describing what’s in the photo. Add relevant hashtags (ex: shoes) to your caption related to your photo business or popular hashtags currently being used. You are limited to 30 tags per post.
Add photos of your product with links to your website.
Look at your competition to see how they are using Instagram. Can you incorporate any of their tactics without being a copycat?
4. Connect Your Social Accounts
Instagram is designed to be social. Connect your account to popular social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, and Foursquare. Using your mobile device, select Linked Accounts to connect your Instagram account with other social media profiles.
5. Comment and Follow Others
It’s not all about you. Instagram is about sharing and being social. Comment and love (double tap the heart icon) other people’s photos. Follow people who consistently offer interesting content or comment frequently your posts.
Check out Instagram’s business blog to learn more.