The thought of starting an Instagram account and learning YET an other app was overwhelming. However, I just plowed through it and quickly learned that Instagram is a great app for promoting my items. It brought more sales to my Etsy shop! I wish someone had walked me through the steps to get started on Instagram. Below you will find all you need to get up and running and releatively quickly.
To date, Instagram has over 1 billion monthly active users and more than 500 million of them use the platform daily. With the power of the hashtag Instagram can help you connect directly to your target market and drive traffic to your website or online shop. The best part of all Instagram is not only fun to use but totally free. Read on and learn more……
Install The Instagram App
To get started let’s get the app! Install and open an Instagram account is pretty straightforward. Go ahead into the Play Store if you have an android or the App Store if your on an Apple device and install the Instagram app.
Once you have the app installed your ready to open your account.
Personal Account vs. Business Account
Currently there are over 25 million business profiles created in Instagram. Be mindful that there are two different kinds of accounts to setup with Instagram.
You can set up an individual personal account or a business account. I highly recommend the business account. Below you will see the difference between the two accounts. If your an Online Seller and looking to promote your business then the free business account is the way to go.
Advantages to an Instagram Business account:
There are a few great advantages to a business account. Here are my two favorite features.
Access to Instagram Insight
Free With business account: With a business account you will be granted permission to Instagram Insight. Instagram Insight will give you a great gage on how your Instagram posts and stories are performing. Be advised that Instagram tells us that Business Profiles on Instagram must have 100 or more followers in order to see demographic metrics like age and gender. You will be surprised to see how fast your account grows to 100 followers. You don’t need 100 followers to open a business account. Once your business account hits 100 followers you can then access Instagram Insight to view your stats.
Free with Business Account: Professional accounts include a Contact button near the top of their profile. This feature will allow you to post your contact information. You’ll be able to include directions, a phone number and/or an email address. If you entered a physical address, it will now appear below your profile’s description. You can also choose to display or hide your contact information on your public profile after setting up.
Setting up your account for the First time
Here is a walk-through on setting up your account for the first time. It’s quick and easy to get Instagram setup. We have included a few screen shots to step you through the process.
1.Open Instagram and click on Setup.
2. Create a login with a phone number, e-mail, or user name.
3. Create a password.
4. Click on Log in.
5. You will now be opened to a Welcome to Instagram page.
Create a DYNAMITE Instagram Profile
Now that you have installed Instagram and you have setup your account let’s get in there and customize it.
There are some key factors you want to make sure you update to get the best exposure to your posts.
To edit your bio simply click on the ( Face) icon on the bottom right. Then, click on the “edit profile” icon om the top middle of the page.
You want to edit 4 main fields:
~ A Great Easily Identifiable Username
Think of your username as a “hand-held” sign telling readers what what your account is all about. What is the vibe of your account? If your a company owner it’s important to make sure that your Instagram username includes your company name. One great advantage to this thinking is if you have a company website as a username the reader can easily input your IG handle into a google search. It’s a great way to brand your company.
~ A Fun Engaging Bio
Think of your Instagram Bio as a vehicle to show visitors who you are and what you have to offer them. Make sure you start your bio almost as if you’re meeting someone for the first time. It’s good to start your bio with an introduction. Tell the reader your name and company name. Give them a little history of what you have done and where you’re going in your business. Make it brief but fun to read.
~ Website Link/ A Relevant Landing Page
This is the only place that Instagram allows you to leave a clickable link. Add in your website URL to bring more traffic to your website.
~ A Profile Picture That Views Will Remember.
When taking your photo for your profile picture make it a memerable one. Smile and show your inner self. Choose a nice background and soft lighting and you can’t loose.
How To Add Your First Post
This is exciting! You are now ready to add your first post. Below are the steps to getting your photos viewed. Show off your company with product photography, photos of the creative process, or anything you want to show the world. I don’t know about you but I am a visual learner. I love screen shots.
Below are the written steps as well the screenshots walk though.
- Click on the PLUS icon on the bottom middle.
- Select your photo ( you can choose up to 10 photos) and click NEXT.
- Choose your filter ( optional) and click NEXT.
- Add your caption
- Add your tags
- Tag people ( optional)
- Post to other Social Media (optional)
- Click the SHARE icon in the top right
- Edit you post ( if needed)
- Click on the + icon. ( Bottom middle)
2. Select your photo(s).
3. Choose your filter.
4. Add your caption
5. Add your tags
6. Tag People
7. Post to other social media platforms
8. Share! Share the post with the world.
9. Edit your posts ( if needed)
I purposely made an error in this post to show you how to go back and edit. ( ok, not really but I’ll just go with that). If you notice in this post our hashtags that are separated by many + symbols. The goal is to leave a large space ( returns) after your description, add your line of “+” signs and your tags will be hidden from the feed. I’ll go in and do that now to this post.
- Click on the post image you wish to edit.
- Click on he three dots located at the top of the post.
- Choose edit.
- Make your changes and click on the blue check in the top right.
The Power of The Hashtag
What is a hashtag?
I was driving around and listening to a radio station and they were discussing social media. Someone called in and asked ” What IS a hashtag anyways?”. From the backseat of my car my 17 year old girl shouted out ” OK Boommer!”. Teens! She always make me laugh. So let’s pretend you’re new to the world of social media. Let’s get a definition.
As per Websters dictionary a HASHTAG is: A word or phrase preceded by a pound sign (#). I’m sure your thinking, who cares about that? Well, Instagram cares a lot about the hashtag. Hashtags is one of the main ways people find you.
Here’s a perfect example showing why we LOVE hashtags and why we need them.
The SEARCHER in Instagram:
You’re a mom and want to throw a big birthday party for your teen. You’re looking for ideas for hosting a cool party. You go to Instagram and type in the search ” teenpartyideas”. Here’s what pops up! 1000+posts.
BAM. Look at all these goodies that came up! We got ideas on a tables scapes, balloons, snacks, special lighting, and even outdoor tents. All clickable links to learn more.
You the SELLER on Instagram:
See those balloons in the screenshot above? Let’s say for example you sell those specialty balloons for parties. Those are you’re balloons in the photo that you sell. It’s your post! If someone sees that cool teen balloon display and clicks on it they now can find you on Instagram. Remember you can add a direct link to your website so if that searcher wanted those specific balloons you could make a sale. That is the POWER OF THE HASHTAG.
Hashtag rules in Instagram
Oh yes, there are always rules. Instagram’s limit on hashtags are 30 per post. That means you have 30 different words to shoot for to earn engagement and connection to your readers. Do you need all 30? No need for all 30 hashtags but why wouldn’t you use them all? You bet I use all 30 hashtag. Where do you add a hashtag? You can place your hashtag anywhere in your post.
Finding your 30 Hashtags
To find great hashtags go right into Instagram and do the following:
- Click on the little magnifying glass icon ( bottom of screen)
- At the top click into the search box
- Type in the word or words that relate to your business
- Click on Tags at the top of the screen
Do I choose the most popular tags for my posts?
As you can see each hashtag has listed below the number of posts for that tag. For example:
#etsygifts has 1.1M posts where #etsyfinds has 333K posts.
The hashtag with the higher posts ( etsygifts) with 1.1M posts clearly will get more viewers. However, if you were to add #etsygifts hashtag for YOUR post then you post image may just get lost in the 1.1 million other posts.
The smaller post (#etsyfinds) has less viewers but you get a higher chance at being seen. With the smaller posts you sacrifice a smaller audience.
What I have learned from many social media specialist is to create a mix of hashtags to get the most exposure. I use this formula when creating my hashtags.
|5 words 1 to 5 k||5 words5 to 10K||5 words10 to 50K|
|5 words50k to100K ||5 words100kto500k||5 words500k to |
The formula works well. Here I have added a link to this free printable I created. Simply print it out and fill in 5 hashtags for each category.
CLICK HERE to open and print the Hashtag Gram Formula.
Where do you place your hashtags?
Once you have your list of 30 hashtags written up go in in to your post. It’s a bit cleaner for the post if the hashtags are not seen. End a few returns after the description and end in your 30 has tags. When entering these tags make sure that the words/phases have the hashtag symbols in front of each hashtag word or phrase with no spaces.
Scheduling Your Post
It’s good to add at least one new post daily. You want to gain momentum and keep your views coming back for more. Sometimes this can be time consuming. I’ve discovered a new app called LATER. Later allows you to save time by scheduling your Instagram posts ahead of time. Imagine that! I like it because I can sit down and add all my posts for one week. You can also save a list of all your hashtags. Those 30 hashtags you just learned about? Now you have a place to save them all to reuse in a later post. I promise to create a whole article on using LATER on this blog. We have learned a lot just in this sitting. Check back with us often for this upcoming tutorial.
In this post you have learned how to install and setup Instagram, setup your IG profile, and we even walked YOU through adding your first post. We went over hashtags and the hashtag formula to set you up for success. Try to post daily. You will be surprised how much traffic Instagram can bring to your business.
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