Instagram has become a marketing essential. 24% of adults are
using it with 55% of young adults ages 18-29 on the service*.
The mobile-based photo- and video-sharing social network
powers the sharing of images and creation of community among
users around the world. At only six years old the platform grows
• *Demographics of Social Media Users, Pew Resarch Center, 8/19/15
Instagram is for posting photos and videos. Use either
your own camera app or the built in Instagram camera to
take a photo or record a 1 minute video. Choose a filter,
add a caption, and you’re good to go!
How It Works
How to Post
• Take a picture or video
• Select it on your Instagram Mobile application (the only way
• Crop and edit as desired
• Choose a filter from the available filters
• Write a post caption
• Use appropriate hashtags
• Share on Instagram
• Tick other Social Media you wish to share on (not
•Instagram is only available via mobile app and not desktop.
•Setting up Instagram is easy and can be done by linking to your
•The only place where you can put a clickable link on Instagram
is in your profile, below your bio description (and now in stories)
•You can use this link effectively and change it as often as you
Make sure profile
information is filled in.
There is space to add a
custom bio and a
Fill in your Profile
The most important setting on
the Options screen is “Linked
Accounts.” Use this to connect
your account to Facebook. After
linking your personal account,
you can choose where photos
are shared. This will default to
the Timeline of your personal
account, but can be switched to
post to a page instead.
You can now have multiple accounts
managed from one mobile app. You can
add more accounts by going to setting
and adding the accounts there.
You can post any images on
Instagram, although if boosting
through Facebook do not put
too much writing on them. You
no longer have to post a
square image, however these
often look best as they are
Video can now be 1 minute.
Types of Content
Photos and Videos
Including a location on your
photos adds them to the feed
for that spot, boosting
discovery and reach. If you can
add a location it is best practice
to do that.
Get found in a certain spot
People and other accounts can be
tagged on Instagram both in the
photo caption and on the image
itself, just like on Facebook.
Tagging in text doesn’t increase
reach, but it will notify the user of
the tag. If you’re going to engage
with fans in your photo
comments, always tag the person
you’re responding to so they
receive a notification.
Mentioning Other Accounts
Enhance your post and convey a clear
message to your audience.
The post caption, which is the first
comment immediately underneath each
Instagram post, is the comment you
include during the upload process. No
matter how many subsequent
comments are added, the original
caption will always remain complete and
visible beneath the post.
Utilise Post Captions
This valuable Instagram real estate should never be left blank
•Post Captions should be as descriptive as necessary to complete
the message. Don’t repeat what the picture says, just enhance it.
•Have keywords and hashtags to help if people search on a
•While you’re allowed up to 2,200 characters in your Instagram
caption, 200 to 300 characters is usually ideal.
•Include a clear call to action in your post caption so it will drive
traffic and results. If you want people to visit your website, ask
them to “Click on the link in the bio” or write some other
message requesting they navigate to your profile to access the
Instagram has a lesser known
feature called Instagram Direct. It’s
direct messaging, but with photos.
Try giving a big fan the surprise of a
lifetime by letting them be the first
person to see cover art or hear a
short clip of a song via video.
Find Instagram Direct at the top of
your share screen.
Direct messaging Photos
In March this year Instagram switched away from a chronological
feed to an algorithm based newsfeed.
“On average, people miss about 70% of the posts in their
Instagram feed. This change is about is making sure that the 30%
you see is the best 30% possible.”
What it means for marketers is again we accountable to create
good content in order to get reach.
• Hashtags will help increase your reach, engagement and
• Add hashtags that are related to your business, your post and
your target audience.
• Avoid popular hashtags if they are completely unrelated in an
attempt to get on a popular search.
• Try to use about 10 hashtags per post. Only use 5 hashtags if
that’s all that’s needed or more only if they are justified. You
can use up to 30 hashtags per post.
• Use a mix of highly popular hashtags (those with hundreds of
thousands or more images), moderately popular hashtags
(those with thousands of images), less popular (those with
fewer than 1,000 images)
Use Text in your Images
•Another way to add something extra to your Instagram photos
is to put a text overlay on your image. Whether you’re sharing
tips, promoting a sale or just branding a pic, this ensures people
won’t miss your message.
•Use a desktop tool like Photoshop or PowerPoint or a website
like Canva or PicMonkey to create text overlays on your
images before you upload them to Instagram.
User Generated Content
If your customers post photos with your products, share them as
user-generated content (UGC). A reposting app will allow you to
give the original user credit, while showing your audience how
others enjoy your product. This use of UGC on Instagram is very
powerful and rewarding.
• Understand your brand’s audience, even in Instagram. Amex
or Burberry followers will expect something different than
Starbucks or Red Bull
• Create a theme for your content and be consistent. Constant
product placement is not a theme.
• Take lots of photographs and make them aesthetically
pleasing and creative.
• Spread out posts like you would any other network. Post once
or more a day.
• Engage with your followers. Comment. Follow back. Like
things. Be human.
• Tell an interesting brand story through your images and
Hyperlapse: Create your own timelapse
Boomerang: Make gif-like video posts
turning small, short movements into
hypnotic repetitive images
Layout: Create photo collages and
Apps from Instagram
Instagram has introduced its own photo tool apps:
Use Repost to give fans a shout while
adding their own content to your feed.
The app will credit the original
photographer while generating a new
post for your own account.
Share other people’s content
Quickly add text to your photos with
Quick (formerly Overgram) for iOS and
Add Text on Photos
Need to schedule posts for later? If
you’re on the go and planning content
in advance, check out Latergramme or
schedulegr.am on desktop
Latergramme or schedulegr.am
Compile existing photos into a slideshow
video. Recap a tour or flip through an
album package. Flipagram is available for
both iOS and Android.
The essence of both the platforms is the same – users can post
pictures and videos which stay on friends’ timelines for 24 hours
Instagram Stories gives you the option of scribbling or texting on
pictures with a range of pens, colours and highlighters
The Similarities and Differences
• You can add emoji to your images - like Snapchat
• On the flipside, Instagram Stories doesn’t have filters
• A story you share on Instagram goes away in 24 hours, but
on Snapchat Stories, ‘Memories’ allows you to save the
pictures to a network that is private.
• You can save pictures to the camera roll and post on the
regular feed as a permanent picture on Instagram.
The Culture of Stories
The huge difference between the two platforms was in the culture and
behavioral patterns of users.
While Snapchat users are traditionally perceived as goofy, fun and
irreverent, Instagram is seen as appealing to users who take great care
and pay extra attention to composing and framing their photos.
The changes that Instagram may bring in the future needs to be
observed carefully to understand whether more users migrate to the
platform or whether Snapchat will continue to snap them up!
First Update to Stories
At the bottom of the image above you can
see a ‘See More’ prompt - click on that
link and you’ll be taken to whichever URL
the creator desires, which will open in
Instagram’s in-app browser.
The ability to add links within stories
There are some free/affordable tools that can help:
• Iconosquare (formerly Statigram) – Great for finding
hashtag usage for a contest
• Minter.io – free for 7 days – measures audience and
• PicStats – a new tool that analyzes account behaviors
to show what works best
Tracking Website Traffic
Google Analytics won’t recognize mobile traffic that comes from
Instagram. It has to do with the process of having to select a
browser when navigating away from Instagram. Therefore, when
someone clicks on the link in your Instagram bio, Google
Analytics records the traffic as direct, not a referral from
This can cause confusion when you check analytics.
The best fix is to use a trackable link in your Instagram profile.
Instead of listing the full URL, get a Bitly or goo.gl link that allows
you to track clicks.
Starbucks’ Instagram success has had much to do with its habit
of finding and re-sharing photos posted by its fans, earning them
goodwill. The Seattle-based retail chain also understands the
artsy aesthetic favored by users of the app, cleverly modeling the
photos on its account after shots shared by popular