Introduction to Instagram

Instagram is a free online photo-sharing and social networking service, that enables its users to take a picture, apply a digital filter to it, and share it on a variety of social networking services, including its own and other leading sites such as Facebook or Twitter.

Instagram was created by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger and launched in October 2010. Facebook bought Instagram In April 2012. The service rapidly gained popularity, with over 100 million active users as of September 2012. Several hundred million photos have been shared using Instagram.

Instagram Stats

    • 100 million registered users

 

    • 40 million new photos per day

 

    • 8500 new likes per second

 

    • 1000 new comments per second

 

 

Getting Familiar with Instagram

Sign-in Screen

The Sign-in Screen allows you to create a new account, or sign into an existing account. You can also recover your password if you are having trouble logging in.

Home Tab

The home tab shows a feed of photos posted by you and your friends. You can like and comment on photos in this feed.

Explore Tab

Use the Explore Tab to find new and interesting people to follow, search for other users, and explore hashtags.

Camera Tab

The Camera Tab allows you to take photos with the Instagram camera, or share photos from your device’s image library.

News Feed

The News Feed displays likes and comments on your own photos, and let you see photos that your friends are liking and commenting on.

Profile Tab

The Profile Tab shows your bio and Instagram photos. It’s also where you can edit your Profile information, and adjust your Account Settings.

Photo Maps

With an Instagram Photo Map you can showcase where you’ve taken your photos, or explore where others have taken photos on a map. Maps take you beyond recently posted photos, and let you rediscover previously Instagrammed memories. You can edit your map at any time and will always be able to opt into each and every photo you add to your map.

Web Profiles

Instagram profiles are now on the web! Share your photos, and view other Instagrammers’ photos by visiting instagram.com/[username].

Who can see my profile?

If your photos are set to public, anyone will be able to see your profile by visiting instagram.com/[your username] on the web.

If your photos are set to private, your photos will be visible only to logged-in Instagram users you’ve approved to follow you.

How to build a profile on Instagram

Get started – Create an Instagram Profile

At this time, it is not possible to sign up for an Instagram account on their website, so you have to start with the following steps:

  1. Download the Instagram app in the App Store on an iOS device (iPhone, iPod, iPad), or in Google Play for an Android device.
  2. After installing the app, open it on your device.
  3. Tap the ‘Registrer’ button to begin the account creation process.

Things to think of when you choose username

  • Your username will be the name that people use each time they want to refer to your account or tag your profile in pictures. Make sure this username is accurate and looks good in terms of marketing. Should look somthing like this: @YourBand / @YourBrand
  • In social media it is important to have a short and simple web address. As mentioned in the previous sections “The perfect web address is: ” easy to guess, easy to remember, easy to share “! The username you choose on Instagram will become a part of your Instagram URL: www.instagram.com/ YourName. Keep this in mind when you choose your username.
  • Make sure to choose a username that will be the same as the phrase people search for when they try to find you via the search engine . Unfortunately Instagram`s search engine is not the best so you have to try to make it easy for Instagram to find your profile when people are searching. Do not chose a username “TheKingsInstagram” if your band is called “The King”. If you you choose a name like that your profile might not be found and presented for those who search for TheKing. Your username should then be “TheKings” to so you get all the traffic that is meant for you.

Note: Instagram usernames are provided on a first-come, first-served basis and may not be reserved. This is why you should make sure to make an account and secure your username for future use.

Add a Profile Image

Your profile is the hub for all of your content on Instagram. At your profile, you can view all of the pictures you’ve shared, the people you are following and who is following you.

You should always use pictures as a part of your marketing. You can get a lot of inspiration just by looking at how the big artists and brands are using pictures on their profiles.

Make sure to select a good profile image that is representing you and your brand/band in a good way.

To add or change a profile picture:

  1. Tap the Profile tab
  2. Tap your profile picture.

You have the option of choosing a photo stored on your device, importing your profile photo from Facebook or Twitter, or simply taking a new photo from your device.

For Apple iOS users, you can also change your profile picture from your profile page by tapping the gear icon in the top right corner, then choosing “Change profile picture.”

 

Note: You can only add or change your profile picture from the Instagram app, not on the web.

Add a Bio and URL

You have the possibility to write a 150-character bio for you profile. This spot on a Profile gets a lot of attention from users so make sure to use this field wisely. Think about your conversions and try to use call to action if possible.

You can also use this space to lead followers towards other social media profiles like Facebook and Twitter.

To add or change a Bio and URL:

  1. Tap the Profile tab.
  2. Tap “Edit Your Profile” at the top right of your screen.
  3. Enter your text in the Bio and link section and tap “Submit”.

Connect your account to other profiles

Connect your account to Facebook, Twitter and any other third-party sharing sites where you have an account.
Start by hitting the little gear icon in the top right corner of your Profile. Edit sharing settings.


This will allow you to:

  • Share photos to those services, including your brand’s Facebook Page (if you are an Apple iOS user)
  • Let your Facebook friends find you easily when using our Find Friends tool (Profile > Find Friends > Twitter). It will also create a news story in Instagram for anyone who follows you on Twitter/Facebook and has connected their Twitter/Facebook account to Instagram.

Photo Maps” open=”true

With an Instagram Photo Map you can showcase where you’ve taken your photos, or explore where others have taken photos on a map.

Maps take you beyond recently posted photos and let you rediscover previously Instagrammed memories. You can edit your map at any time and will always be able to opt into each and every photo you add to your map.

When you take a photo while connected via Wi-Fi or 3G, your device logs the coordinates where the photo was taken. Utilizing that information, you now have the ability to add that photo to a Photo Map! It’s an easy way to add context to photos, document travels, and see pictures other Instagrammers have taken nearby.

By default, adding location, or adding to your Photo Map, is turned off for all photos you upload to Instagram. This means that no photos will appear on your Photo Map without your explicit permission.

How to build a fan base on Instagram

Before you get started building a fan base on Instagram you should make sure your Instagram Profile is ready and conversion optimized. If you have not done so already please take a moment and read the section covering Build a Profile and How to measure success.

Start posting pictures

Posting a few pictures on your Instagram Profile should be the very first step you do before you start any campaigns to get new followers. Having a few pictures visible will increase the conversion rate and give you a better return of investment.

What is a goog picture?

Behind-the-scenes:

Example: The rock band the Foo Fighters (@foofighters) gives their fans a glimpse into life on tour: http://instagr.am/p/GT3ks/

Sneak peeks:
Example: Newspapers posts photos related to news stories that will air later in the day.

HQ photos:
Example: @threadless takes followers into their workspace: http://instagr.am/p/DjgO2/

Unique to brand:
Example: @katespadeny snaps photos related to lifestyle and fashion: http://instagram.com/p/VCa56-AeMm/

Get started: Take or select a photo

 

Step 1: Tap the Camera button in the center of the application.

Step 2: Take or import a photo

  1. ‘Cancel’ will close the camera and bring you back to the last tab you were on.
  2. Tap the grid icon to switch the photo grid on/off.
  3. Tap the lightning bolt in order to choose between always using your phone’s flash, auto detecting flash, or never using flash.
  4. The camera rotate icon will switch between the front-facing and back-facing camera.
  5. Shutter button.
  6. Tap this to select a photo from your library.

Enhance & share an image


Step 1: Scale & Crop

Pinch and move the photo to adjust what content fits within the frame. Use the grid to aid in framing the photo.

  1. ‘Cancel’ will bring you back to the last tab you were on.
  2. Press ‘Crop’ to select the content within the frame, and to move on to the filter screen.
  3. If you’d like to select a different photo from your library, choose one from below. Drag the three lines upward to expand the number of images visibile in your library.


Step 2: Apply effects

  1. Select ‘Library’ to choose a different photo.
  2. Select ‘Next’ if you are satisfied with your image in order to continue to add a caption, location & share.
  3. Tap the arrow in order to rotate your image.
  4. The stamp/square toggles borders on and off.
  5. Tap the drop in order to choose between a liniar ( – ), radial ( o ), or no tilt shift.
  6. Tap the sun to turn Lux on or off. Read more about Lux here.
  7. If you’d like to apply a filter, select one from the tray. Swipe to the side to see additional filters.


Step 3: Add a caption, add a location and share

  1. If you would like to make adjustments to your image before publishing it, tap the Edit button to go back.
  2. Add a caption for your photo here. You can also mention another user or add hashtags here.
  3. Add the photo to your Photo Map by toggling the ON/OFF switch accordingly.
  4. Tap here to name the location where the photo was taken.
  5. Share your image to other social networks.
  6. Tap ‘Share’ when you are ready to share your photo to your Instagram followers!

Share across other social networks

A good way to get more followers on Instagram is to post your photos to other social media services. Instagram allows users to share your Instagram photos on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Tumblr, Posterous and Foursquare. If you have accounts on any of these services, hit “Connect.”


This will allow you to:

  • Share photos to those services, including your brand’s Facebook Page (if you are an Apple iOS user)
  • Let your Facebook friends find you easily when using our Find Friends tool (Profile > Find Friends ). It will also create a news story in Instagram for anyone who follows you on Twitter/Facebook and has connected their Twitter/Facebook account to Instagram.

Get your first followers / Add your friends

A good way to get your very first followers can be by adding some of the people you know in real life. A good tip could be to start with your friends, colleagues and people you do business with.

Instagram will help you locate all of your friends` Instagram accounts if you connect your Instagram account to your Facebook account.

How to find your Facebook friends on Instagram
Start by hitting the little gear icon in the top right corner of your Instagram Profile and hit the “Find and invite Friends” tab.

This will also allow you to let your Facebook friends find you easily when using Instagrams “Find Friends tool” and create a news story in Instagram for anyone who follows you on Twitter/Facebook and has connected their Twitter/Facebook account to Instagram.

Promote your Instagram @username

Announce to your Twitter/Facebook followers that you’re on Instagram. Let them know your Instagram username so they can find your Profile.

There are many ways to promote your Instagram @username online and offline: newsletter and mail signature, advertising, delivery vehicles, product packaging, storefronts, your website, on stage etc. Anywhere your customers/fans interact with your brand is an opportunity to encourage them to follow you on Instagram.

Note: You should link to your Instagram Profile from other social media profiles to and get your followers to follw you in more channels.

Use tags to connect with your audience

Adding tags to your photos is a great way to find new followers and share your photos with more people. #Hashtags make it easy for you to collect photos from your followers around a certain theme.
To use hashtags, simply add a hashtag (e.g. “#Choclate”) to your photo’s caption, and the photo will be tagged with “Choclate”. Then, users will be able to click on the hashtag as part of your caption and see the most recent photos tagged with “Choclate”, including your own.

How to use #hashtags

If your profile is set to public, you can add tags to your photos that will make them visible on public tag pages.

To tag a photo:
  1. Snap a photo and choose a filter
  2. On the screen you see after choosing a filter, type your #hashtag in the Caption field (example: #Choclate)
  3. If you want to tag a photo you’ve already uploaded, just include your #hashtag in a comment on your photo

After you tag your photo with a hashtag, you’ll be able to tap on the hashtag to see a page that shows all photos users have uploaded with that hashtag.

Note:
  • Private users’ tagged photos will not appear publicly on tag pages.
  • Numbers are allowed in hashtags. However, special characters, such as $ or %, will not work.
  • You can only tag your own photos, not other users’ photos.
  • The limit on the number of tags you can use on a photo is 30. If you include more than 30 tags on a single photo, your comment will fail to post.
  • Older versions of Apple iOS do not support tapping on hashtags. Instead, search hashtags by navigating to the Profile tab > Search Instagram > Tags.

Best practices for using hashtags on Instagram

Adding tags to your photos is a great way to find new followers and share your photos with more people. But hashtags can be tricky. To get the most out of them, you’ll want to keep a few things in mind. We’ll use this photo of a beautiful Volkswagen van as an example!

Be Specific

Choosing specific tags will help you connect with other like-minded people on Instagram. For this photo, instead of using the tag #van, we could use #vwvan. The photo will be added to that highly targeted tag page, where other Volkswagen lovers will be able to find the photo more easily (without sifting through photos of Toyota Siennas and Chevy Astros). It’s best to avoid using generalized tags, such as #instagram or #iphone, as these types of tags can be applied to most, if not all, photographs shared with Instagram.

Be Relevant

Make it easy for other like-minded Instagrammers to find you by making sure your tags describe your photo. Using very general tags like #photo might get you a few likes, but with over 700,000 photos tagged #photo, it isn’t the best way to make your photos stand out and connect with the people most like you. Relevant tags will help you attract new followers who will take a genuine interest in your photos and continue liking and commenting on your photos over time. For the photo above, in addition to #vwbus, we could use the tag #volkswagen.

Be Observant

Pay attention to the other hashtags used on photos that use the same tag as yours. You may discover a popular hashtag you hadn’t thought of on your own. For example, on photos tagged #volkswagen, we can see that many of those photos also use the tag #vw. When you do a search for those tags, you’ll find out that Instagrammers use #vw to describe their Volkswagen photos more than twice as often as they use #volkswagen!

 

After tagging the photo with relevant and specific tags, you may also find that people sharing photos similar to yours are using even more specialized tags that you hadn’t thought of originally. For our photo, we found that photos tagged #vw and #vwvan also use #vwbus.

Tag People

When you tag a user in a post, that user and all of their followers are notified of it, increasing the traffic to your post. To tag (or “mention”) someone simply precede their username with the @ symbol. This works in photo captions and comments.

Develop a Photo Series:

Similar to the draw of a television series – give your posts a sense of regularity and theme so that after people are compelled to become your follower, they will feel the curiosity and excitement of awaiting your next post.

Post frequently

Post consistently so that your followers can rely on the entertainment of your photos. Instagram feeds update live 24/7. If your photos are fresh in your followers’ feeds then your band is fresh in everyone’s mind.

Finding the best timing

Posting at the right time is important to get the best possible reach. Try to post pictures when your key audience/target group is using the service. This will differ depending on target group / location.

Learn by doing: Find the best timing by noting down the number of interactions your pictures is getting over a time period.

Liking Photos on Instagram

A “Like” is a way to give positive feedback or connect with things and people you care about on Instagram. You can like the photos that other Instagrammers post to let them know you like what they’ve shared. By doing this you will see that you will get new followers just by making people aware that you exists by liking their picture.

When you like a picture the owner of the picture will get notified that someone liked their picture. (With a link to the person who liked their pictures profile). A smart way to build an audience is to search for pictures that is relating to your brand and then like these pictures/connect with the users who post.

You can search by hashtag or username by tapping the Profile tab > Search Instagram.

Be creative / Make campaigns

Examples of creative campaign:

A fashion brand is incurring their customers to upload pictures of them self wearing what they have bought from their shop. The customers are asked to tag the brand on the picture if they want the picture to become a part of their website showing their products on real people. This is giving the girl next door the uppertunety to be a “model” for a brand and at the same time gives the brand a lot of extra traffic both tho their Instagram profile and to their web shop.

Sony Music in Norway made a Graffiti with a hashtag motivation people to take pictures of the grafitti and upload it with the same hashtag.
Time Magazine invites their followers to send in picture contributions via Instagram
Starbucks asked their followers to upload pictures the people associated the first sign of spring. Socalled “It is spring when”-pictures. Thousands of Instagram user uploaded pictures of Starbucks coffee together with positive signs of spring.