An Introduction to Instagram… and Why Businesses Need to Start Using it Now

How To, Instagram, Social Media Leave a Comment

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Article Guide

  1. Instagram Intro
  2. Valid Devices
  3. Register Your Account
  4. Using Instagram
  5. Editing and Filters
  6. Posts
  7. Stories
  8. IGTV
  9. Reels
  10. Guides

Millions of Businesses are Engaging a Vibrant Community on Instagram

For business and creative communities, Instagram is a place for inspiration and engagement. There are countless ways to engage with your favorite accounts, and this combination of accessibility and approachability fosters endless opportunities for collaboration. People are finding inspiration in fellow entrepreneurs, influencers, and brands. Together, they’re making the world a better place, one Instagram story at a time.

A few things to consider if you haven’t created a business account, or if you’ve already create a business account on Instagram but are unsure if it’s the right platform for you:

  • 90% of people on Instagram follow a business
  • 2 in 3 people surveyed say Instagram enables interactions with brands
  • 50% are more interested in a brand when they see ads for it on Instagram

Instagram Intro

Instagram is a fun, easy way to share photos and videos with your friends using your smartphone or computer. Just like Facebook or Twitter, users have an account and a feed with photos and videos from their friends and other users. As with other social networks, you can follow other users, let others follow you, comment on photos, like photos, tag people in photos, send private messages, and save photos that interest you.

Valid Devices

Instagram is available for download on iPhone and iPad, as well as Android phones and tablets from a variety of vendors. You can log into your account on the web at Instagram.com and access your photo and video library, but to upload new photos and videos, the mobile app is easier and much more suitable.

Register Your Account

First, you’ll need to create a free account. You can do that with your email address or with an existing Facebook account. Instagram will require you to input a username and password, which can be changed later on along with your email address. Once you get an idea of how Instagram works, it’s a good idea to customize your profile by adding your name, a photo, a short bio, and a website link if you have one. When you follow people, they will want to follow back, as to get a good idea of what you’re about.

Using Instagram

Within Instagram is a follower and following system, which represents the amount of users that a personal account happens to be following, and as well as how many users follow that same personal account.

If you want to share certain parts of your profile with the public, or just want to make your account discoverable for new friends, select a public profile. However, if you’d rather keep your account hidden from strangers or recent acquaintances, select a private profile. If you’re under 16 years of age, your profile will be set as private by default. Interacting with your followers on Instagram is easy. Just tap or double-tap on a post to like it, leave a comment, or message them privately.

When it comes to interacting with posts, there are three simple actions that follow a post, the heart icon which indicates that you liked the post, which can also be done by simply double tapping the post itself, a speech bubble, which is where comments can be made, and finally a paper airplane, which is used if you would like to share a post with another user using Instagram Direct. Facebook Messenger has been integrated into that of Instagram Direct, allowing you to message any Facebook friend from Instagram.

To access Search, tap the magnifying glass at any time. Then, with a single tap you can see who’s nearby, add new friends and interesting accounts by name or number, or search for that person, subject or hashtag.

Editing and Filters

Since its launch in 2010, Instagram has pushed the limits of smartphone cameras to become one of the top photography apps in the world. What started as a simple photo sharing app has now evolved into a powerful tool that allows users to not only share their photos seamlessly, but post professional quality content. Now, you can create, upload, save, and share videos of up to 60 seconds long with many options for filters and editing tools for your photos. Some filters include straightening an image, adjusting brightness and warmth, and as well as overlay color. Editing options include disabling audio, selecting a cover frame, trimming videos, stickers, and much more.

If you would like to post a picture, tap the plus sign, which is the New Post function. This will take you to a gallery, which will either let you pick a personal photo from your devices photo gallery, or take an all new photo, designated by the Camera icon.

Instagram has about 40 filters you can apply to photos and videos. For photos, additional options include adjusting the position of an image, changing the brightness and warmth, and as well as the overlay color. For videos, you are allowed to disable audio, select a cover frame, trim down certain parts of videos, add stickers, and so much more.

Posts

You hold the power. Once you’re ready to post your photo, apply an optional filter and make some edits. Once you’re happy, tag it with a caption, tag other users, tag it to a geographic location, and simultaneously post it to your other social networks. You can set up Instagram to automatically share photos on Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr. If sharing is active, you can choose photos you’ve shared to be shared to a specific social network by tapping that social network. If you only want certain networks to shared photos to, tap on the network to turn it gray, indicating it has now turned off.

Stories

Instagram now runs a stories feature that is now one of its most popular features. The intuitive layout, interactive design, and the added off-line option allow for a unique experience that acts like a second feed and can be easily used in a business capacity. It’s easy to share photos and videos with Instagram stories. You can post photos and videos directly to your story or add them later on. Just swipe right from the feed, or tap the Your Story icon to go to the stories camera page, and tap “add” to add it your story. Either select a photo or multiple photos from your gallery, or hold down the white button to make a video, the choice is yours!

If you would to to share a tweet within Instagram, the Twitter share extension for iOS allows you to share a tweet directly to your Instagram story. Open the tweet and tap the Share icon, then select the Instagram Story option.

IGTV

IGTV, a video app by Instagram, is the best way for viewers and creators alike to share long-form videos on mobile. Used both independently or in tandem with Instagram, IGTV makes it easy for brands and individuals to engage directly with their audience. With a focus on a quality video experience, IGTV has the ability to upload longer than 15 minutes. Uploaded videos can now be up to 60 minutes in length, or 15 minutes if the video is uploaded from a mobile device. With the advent of IGTV, marketers have a powerful new video-sharing tool to leverage in their marketing efforts.

Reels

At the bottom of your Instagram feed, you will find Reels. Choose the length of your video – 15, 30, or 60 seconds, and choose from a variety of tools to enhance your creativity. Use the multi-clip shutter button to record and stop recording. The reels can be recorded all at once or you can upload videos from your gallery. After recording, you can edit or delete any previous clips in your video. To get more exposure, choose a catchy image, add a short caption, and include the right hashtags. If you have a public account, your reel can be discovered by the wider Instagram community.

Guides

Guides give you more control over the flow of your feed. If you want to post a series of related posts, or share your tips and recommendations with new followers, a guide is the way to go. Create your first Guide by tapping the plus icon on the top-right of your profile page, from which you can choose from three different formats: places, products, and posts. From there, you are ready to start creating your very own Instagram guide.

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