Our Beginners & Basics series is a collection of blogs and tips that are designed to help beginners understand the basics of communications, social media, and marketing. Welcome to Instagram 101.

What is it?

Over the past decade, Instagram has grown into one of the most prominent social media platforms. The photo and video-sharing social media network heavily focuses on photos, videos, and visual communications, and boasts its own brand of “influencers.”

With over 1 billion monthly active users, Instagram is a place to check out what brands are doing next. Much like other social media channels, users create accounts with profiles and newsfeeds. The newsfeed, which allows people to interact with other users by liking (double tapping) photos, is super user-friendly.

Extra credit: Instagram is owned by Facebook!

Instagram Features:

  • Instagram Stories: temporary posts (photos or videos) that live on a user’s account for 24 hours and is accessed by clicking their profile photo
  • Instagram Highlights: categorized collections of stories on a user’s profile
  • Instagram Live: videos streamed in real time that disappear after they are ended
  • Instagram TV (IGTV): a special section of IG that allowing for hour-long video posts
  • Filters: allow for editing photos in the app
  • Location tagging on posts & stories: the ability to tag restaurants, shops, cities, or other locations in newsfeed posts or stories
  • Direct messaging: also known as “DMs,” allow you to chat via Instagram through the arrow in the top righthand section of your profile

Who uses it?

A lot of people! Of Instagram’s 1 billion users, 11% of users are located in the US. Brazil, India, Indonesia and Russia are among the top countries of Instagram users.

Unsurprisingly, Instagram typically appeals to younger generations — almost 70% of users are 18-29 years old. Among U.S. teens, Instagram is one of the most popular social networks. 

How can it help businesses?

Instagram is one of the best platforms for marketing because it’s easy (and entertaining) for users to follow favorite brands and discover new ones. When users have a business profile, Instagram also lets you use features like the “shop” feature, which tags products and transfers users to different sites.

Analytics (on Instagram Business accounts) allow you to analyze post performance to see what works best. If you want to use Instagram effectively, strong images are the key. To best connect with your audience, avoid using stock photos whenever possible and use high quality images.

You may be a business that doesn’t often have compelling images, and that’s okay! It just means that Instagram may not be the best social media platform for you. Check out our Beginners & Basics articles about Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to see what would be the best fit for you.

Brands that are killing the Insta game:

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