Instagram Basics in 2-Minutes


Instagram has delivered 58x more engagement per follower than Facebook and 120x more engagement per follower than Twitter.

Those stats are some of the reasons why brands are committing time, energy, and resources to developing strong followings on Instagram.

If you’re new to Instagram, I’d recommend reading Evan’s post and taking Garrick’s 101 level course. In the meantime, here’s a 2-minute breakdown of the basics that every small business needs to know about Instagram.

Strategy is key.

Just like your overall social media strategy, your individual strategy for Instagram will be what keeps your everyday activities on Instagram focused toward reaching your goals. Start with Evan’s suggestion of filling in the blanks on this sentence:

We will use Instagram for (purpose of this social network) in order to help (business goal).

Then, use your available time and resources to determine how often you should post, what content you should post, and how both of those help meet your business goal.

Pay attention to the rules.

Every social media platform has a set of spoken and unspoken rules. The spoken rules are things like how URLs aren’t hyperlinked in image captions on Instagram. Unspoken rules are things like it’s annoying to list 30 hashtags under every photo you post. Do some homework by reading Alanna’s basic Instagram definitions or watch the experts at Shopify share their tips in this video. Get your feet wet by creating a personal account and following some of your competitors or other businesses that you admire. Pay attention to the frequency of their posts, what their captions are like, how they’ve set-up their profiles, how people engage with their content, and the way they respond to that engagement.  

Download photo and video editing apps.

Do some exploring and find a few apps that help you step up your iPhone picture quality. I use Piclab HD, for photo editing and text overlay, and Legend, for creating kinetic typography videos.

Showcase your customers.

Hold contests that get your customers sharing creative photos of your products and show them off on your own feed. It’s a great way to empower your customers and brag on them.


Facebook is still perfecting their ad integration with Instagram, but don’t wait to invest your advertising dollars.

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