Building Your Instagram: The Basics

What was once a simple app to share over-filtered pictures with your friends is now the ultimate social media platform for promoting businesses through carefully curated photographs. With over 75 million daily users, your business simply can’t afford to not be in the Instagram game.

There are already tons of businesses using Instagram, but others don’t have the time, recourses or knowledge. Don’t worry though, for those of you who are just starting out - I’ve got you covered with 8 simple steps to getting started on Instagram.

1. Searchable, on-brand @username (a.k.a your handle) Make your username recognisable and easily searchable; for most businesses, this is their business name. It might be that your business name is already taken by another user; if so, try keeping your username as close to your business name as possible so that people searching for you can still find you. Make sure you add your business name to your profile in settings - this will show up under your username when people search for you.

2. On-brand profile picture Along with your business name, your profile picture is one of the first things that people will see when they visit your page; it’s important that it is on-brand with your other social media profiles and is easily recognisable to potential customers. For most companies, this will be your logo.

3. Bio – informative, attractive and actionable Use your “bio” (the description at the top of your profile) to provide friendly information about who you are. You have 150 characters max to let people know what you're about and give them a reason to follow you. Include who you are and what you do. Additionally, add your address, contact details or opening times. Whatever you decide, be sure to show your personality!

4. Insert a link Instagram gives you the option to put a link in your profile. You could put in a link to anything you wish; your website, another social media account, a blog, a landing page or perhaps an event. Whatever it is, update it regularly!

5. Settings: Public Public settings mean that anyone can view your Instagram profile. As a business, this is exactly what you want! Anyone will be able to view your account, engage with your posts and follow your account if they want to. If your settings are private, anyone who doesn’t follow you who visits your profile will not be able to see anything.

6. High Quality photos More often than not, the perceived value of your products often lies in the hands of your visual representation. Don’t worry though, you don’t need a fancy camera to achieve high quality photos. All you need to do is take some time to learn the best practices with shooting and editing your photos. Here’s a great guide to using your smartphone to take gram worthy pictures.

7. Consistent content

The only way to grow your Instagram account is by posting consistently. Unlike other social media platforms, you don't need to worry about posting to your Instagram account multiple times a day. Instead, focus on creating high quality pictures and then posting them at the right time to get your audiences attention. You might find this to be a good recourse to help you determine the best time.

It’s not all about the pictures though, great captions stop a scroller in their tracks and encourage likes, comments, followers and even visits to your website. Whether they are funny, informative or inspirational, a good Instagram caption is a great way to grab your audience’s attention.

8. Enable push notifications

Instagram is a brilliant way to engage with your target audience. By enabling push notifications, you will be able to see when people engage with your photos, including liking them and commenting on them. You’ll also be able to see when people share your stories and follow your account. This will ensure you stay connected and engage with your audience quickly.

Hopefully, by following these steps you’re on your way to creating a social media platform which allows you to connect and engage with your target audience, grow brand awareness and gain more leads. If you’d like some help or advice with Instagram or any other social media platform, you know where you can reach me!