How To Setup An Account
Currently, the only way to create an account on Instagram is by using their app on Android or iOS (iPhone) supported devices. Most supported phones today come with the app already available, but in case it is not, then you can easily download it from the App Store or Google Play. Once the download completes, click on the icon and tap register.
You will be prompted to fill in the details including a username and password, along with other profile information including your name, e-mail address etc. Tap Done when you have filled in the desired fields and your account will be created in less than 5 minutes. Make sure that you use a name that aptly describes your business as a brand, and that is catchy and easily identifiable.
Make sure that the details you provide are accurate and that you avoid giving out any personal information. Small business owners in particular at times make the mistake of promoting their business by creating personal accounts. This does very little for the credibility of your business and at the same time comes across as amateur and unprofessional. It is alright to promote and share the photos and other content of your business by linking it on your profile but not very beneficial for your friends and family to be constantly reminded of your business via a personal page. So make sure that you run a completely independent profile for your business on Instagram. Business and personal life should always be separated, especially when it comes to social media marketing.
Now that your business is officially on Instagram, it is time to play with it. The first thing you need to do is add a profile photo that reflects your business properly. The profile photo can be of your latest products, your company’s logo or simply a photo of your head office. Whatever works for you!
Next, add a link to your website so that those reaching out to you can easily reach out to your business too. Instagram offers biographies of up to 150 characters, which will eventually appear on your profile page. You can add a little info about the business, what you do and then add a link at the very end.
How To Edit Your Bio
- Tap on the Profile tab.
- Go to Edit your Profile. It will be at the top right corner of your screen.
- Simply enter the text and the link and click Submit.
- You can also change your profile picture, username or website in the same way. Simply tap the icon available at the lower right corner and tap Edit your profile.
- Make sure that you come up with an identifiable username early on, because changing it again and again will cause confusion among your followers.The next step should be to connect your profile to other social networking sites like Facebook and other third-party sites like Twitter, Foursquare, Hipstamatic etc. You can easily connect to these sites by going to Settings on your Android or iOS device and tapping Sharing Settings you can then easily connect all the third party networking sites you wish to integrate.It is essential that you connect the other networking sites in order to increase visibility and accessibility. You can also reach out to your Facebook friends on Instagram by tapping on Find Friends.
There are plenty of ways to connect through Instagram and numerous features to try out. The best way to do that is to keep on playing with it until you understand exactly how it functions and how you can make the most of it.
Features You Need to Know About
Instagram offers numerous features that are not only a lot of fun to try out, but also help you connect with your audience. The following are some of the most beneficial features of Instagram:
Your Web Profile
Your business profile is the window through which followers can get an idea of exactly what it is you are trying to promote. Your profile should be regularly updated with correct information.
This is the MTV USAs Instagram page. As you can see, it very briefly explains what the page is about along with a link to their website. The pictures reflect their business and give you a taste of what you can expect. Your page should also reflect your business so that those who land on your page can make a quick decision of whether the content you provide will be of any value to them.
Instagram hashtags work pretty much the same way as hashtags on Twitter. They enable users to get access to desired or similar content relatively easily. All you need to do is simply start clicking photos and hash-tagging them with relative tags. An example would be for a photo to celebrating 1000 followers on Instagram, you can simply take a picture of a celebratory cake, or a placard that says Thank you (or something even more creative!) and then place hashtags such as #Thankyou, #YoureAwesome, #celebrations and more.
You can also add hashtags in the comment section once the picture is taken. The following are a few rules for using hashtags:
- You can only tag your own pictures and videos and cannot tag others.
- You can use a maximum of 30 tags per photo or video. If you add more than that the comment will not be posted.
- You cannot use characters like % or ? in hashtags, however, you can use numbers.
- You can search for hashtags by tapping on Profile tab > Search Instagram > Tags.
- Make sure that your profile settings are set on public rather than private, otherwise your photos and videos will only be available to your followers and not the rest of the Instagram community.
- Just like Facebook’s subscribe option or Twitter and Pinterest’s Follow option, Instagram enables users to follow other profiles. It is important that you set your profile to public so that it is easier for others to find and follow you.
- However, don’t just wait for others to follow you. You should be following other relative users and businesses in order to get a good idea of what people are talking about and what is trending.
Make sure that you follow your competitors, news channels, celebrities and other prominent and relative users.
All you need to do is go to a profile of your choice and simply click on Follow to start following their posts.
Filters are easily the star component of Instagram. They add character and personality to each image or video by providing a variety of options to edit the photos. Here is the list of filters available on Instagram right now:
X-Pro II Sutro Walden Nashville
Sierra Willow Toaster Brannan Hudson Earlybird 1977 Kelvin
Lo-fi Inkwell Hefe
All these filters offer impressive post-editing options that can easily enhance the quality of your image. You can also use third-party photography or editing apps to take pictures and then upload them on Instagram.
Other Photo Editing Features
There are plenty of other photo editing features available on Instagram including Lux, which makes the picture more prominent and profound, High Dynamic Range, Light Bokeh, Auto Exposure, combining multiple images, straightening images and more.
The Web Feed
Instagram introduced the Web Feed in early 2013, which enables users to log in and check their news feed on a desktop or laptop computer the same way they do on their Smart phones. Instagram has been a mobile-based site for a very long time, and it still is. However, now you can access your newsfeed on any device.
Simply go to Instagram.com, log in with your details and browse through those you follow on the web in pretty much the same way you would on a smartphone. You cannot, however, post images through the website. According to the co-founder of Instagram, Kevin Systorm, Instagram is about producing photos on the goâ€ and so the only available way to post photos is through the mobile application
The web feed will make it very easy for your followers to check your photos and videos on the go at their own convenience. The larger screen undoubtedly increases the visibility of your products and enables them to move from the image to your website, leads to more brand buzz
Instagram began offering Photo Map in version 3.0. It allows you to easily add the time and location of the photos you take. This option makes it very easy for businesses to let their followers know where they can be found. For example, if you are attending a convention or trade fair then, by simply posting a picture with the location, it will be easy for others to find you. Photo Map also enables you to look at a broader picture of where your photos were mostly taken and the ability to organize photos according to their time and date.
Your followers will be able to see your photo map if you permit them to do so, allowing them to see a map of what your business has been up to at specific times. By default, photomaps are turned off. You will have to switch on the Add to your Photo Mapâ€ before posting a photo.
The New Instagram Video
Instagram introduced the video feature in June 2013. You can now record up to 15 seconds of video, choose from 13 different filters and share with millions of people across the globe. The new feature has seen a lot of positive feedback because of its ease of use and editing options. You can also choose a specific frame from the video to appear as the cover image to make it more visually appealing.
Video for Instagram also offers the Cinema feature with which you can stabilize the video once it has been made. From a business perspective you can use this function to encourage your customers to post videos when using your products or services, or post short videos of why you love them, ask for feedback or post your own behind- the-scene videos. The options are endless and so is the potential to communicate and connect with those who matter to you and your business.
How to Make Videos on Instagram
Making videos on Instagram is just as easy as taking pictures. Simply tap the
icon at the bottom and then tap icon to switch to video from camera. Press and hold the icon to record the video. Release the icon when you wish to stop recording. Tap Next to add filter to your video. You can experiment with different filters before choosing the one you like. Once you are satisfied with the outcome, tap Next to share the video with the world. These are some of the most prominent features of Instagram that have assisted many businesses in connecting with their potential customers and promoting their products/services. As with most new ventures, you will need to try out angles, filters, moments and stories to eventually start creating valuable, quality content.