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It’s no secret that Instagram has taken over the world by storm. Within a couple of years, the American photo and video sharing social media platform which was first launched in 2010 has completely transformed the way we think, communicate, interact, and do business. Instagram has demonstrated the sheer power of utilising visual media to drive interest, engagement, and sales. At present, it's one of the most popular social media networks worldwide. Demographics show that over 1 billion people use the platform every month, spending an average of 53 minutes per day posting, engaging, and double-tapping the like button confirming the pre-eminence of Instagram compared to other social media platforms.
Instagram is predominantly a mobile-based social media platform because a majority of its activity takes place within the mobile app. Therefore, first, you need to download the Instagram app from Google Play Store (Android) or the App Store (iPhone).
Once done, launch the app, and create an account in one of these two ways.
Click Sign Up with Email Address or Phone Number (Android) or Create a new account (iPhone). Afterwards, enter your email address or phone number (which will require a confirmation code) and tap Next.
Since Instagram and Facebook are owned by the same company, you can also choose to Log in with Facebook to sign up with your Facebook account. If you have registered with your email address or phone number, you are required to create a username address and tap Next. If you have registered using your Facebook account, you would be requested to log into your Facebook account if you're currently logged out of it.
If you already have an account, just sign in, and go straight to your profile page. You can have up to five different Instagram accounts, which you can switch between without logging out.
Once you sign up, you will have to select a username. The Instagram username is the official name you use on Instagram to define your profile address, meaning that it is one of the most crucial elements of your Instagram account. Its function is to make it easier for people to find you through Instagram’s search function. It’s also the very first thing along with your bio that comes across to users and a good name will help you captivate them. Ideally, your username should be original, easy to remember, simple, and creative. The character limit is 30 characters, and you cannot exceed the character limit. The better your username, the more likely people are to connect with you.
It might not sound fun, but writing a good Instagram bio makes all the difference to the growth of your account. Your bio gives your followers a solid first impression of who you are. So, be clever with your Instagram bio, and use it to attract new followers and potential customers.
The Instagram profile picture is like your official representative. It allows you to be easily recognized and has an effect on the first impression that you give to your followers. If it’s your personal Instagram account, add a headshot of yourself because people are hard-wired to pay attention to and connect with faces. If your Instagram account is a business profile, ensure you use your company logo as your profile picture. This would reflect on what kind of company you are and comply with Instagram's guidelines.
The perfect Instagram profile photo has to be 400 × 400 pixels. The minimum image size is 200 × 200 pixels. However, the size of your profile picture will vary depending on the end device used.
Once you are done uploading your profile picture, it's highly recommended that you do a little research about the kind of content you should be uploading into your feed. Having a good understanding of the type of pictures others are posting ensures your content does well – especially if your Instagram page is a business account.
Once you're done with your little research, you can finally post your first photo. There are several ways to upload a photo on Instagram. You can either take a photo by pressing the circle in the middle of the screen or click “library” on the bottom left to upload a photo you have snapped previously. You also have the option of uploading a video; the “video” option on the right enables you to take a video for up to a minute.
Instagram is full of content, which means your visuals need to be great to grab a user’s attention while they’re scrolling their feed. One of the best ways to spruce up your photos is by using filters. Instagram has a huge collection of filters that allows you to edit photos with special effects. Here's how to look up Instagram filters:
Writing a good Instagram caption can be quite a tricky task. But if done correctly, a good Instagram caption can add context to your posts, entertain your audience and compel people to take action. Here are a few tips that will help you come up with great Instagram captions:
Contrary to the popular notion "less is more", longer Instagram captions lead to more engagement compared to shorter captions. The length of Instagram captions has increased exponentially over the past five years. According to an Instagram caption experiment conducted by Hootsuite, captions between 400 and 705 characters received more engagement than similar posts with captions that had 65 characters or fewer.
At present, the length of the average Instagram caption is usually around 65 to 70 words. Try adding more words to your Instagram captions and see how your followers respond. If you experience an increased engagement rate, keep making them long.
Although it may seem like adding emojis may take away the seriousness of the post, research suggests that the more emojis you use, the higher your post’s engagement will be. Furthermore, data indicated that 92% of those using Instagram regularly uses emojis in their captions. You can experiment with adding a few emojis into your captions every time you post something.
Hashtags may seem like a trendy habit that only Gen Z's follow, but it's an important strategy for social media success. By continuously using hashtags, you can harness the power of the Instagram algorithm to boost your account growth. Make sure you hashtag what is relevant. This will make your posts appear on the explore page, opening up the potential of new followers each day. You can add up to 30 hashtags to each caption.
If you own a business account, incorporating call-to-actions (CTA's) is a guaranteed technique that would drive engagement and boost sales. Typically, they’re persuasive, emotion-evoking, and to the point. The right CTA can help you encourage users to move beyond Instagram engagement and to take a specific action.
Use words that people use in daily life. No one likes over-complicated language. Keep that in mind!
Use Instagram’s search function to find people who share your passion and interests, follow them, and make new connections. Afterwards, like and comment on their posts because a key component of building a network on Instagram is engaging with the people who follow you. Similarly, if someone comments on your posts, make sure you like the comment and respond.