Did you know that Instagram now has over a billion active users? This is in large part thanks to the pandemic, which drove more individuals onto social media sites than ever before. If you’re curious about getting started on Instagram, then you might be intimidated by learning how to use it.
After all, the app has gone through many different updates and redesigns. If you fall in this category, then you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll give a crash course on how to use Instagram for beginners.
That way you can start using it and gaining followers today. Who knows? Maybe someday you’ll be the next big influencer. Let’s get started!
Getting Started: How to Make an Instagram Profile
Making an Instagram profile is fairly straightforward. The first thing that you need to do is download the app. Then, click the ‘sign up’ button. You can sign up for the platform using your Facebook profile.
Or, you can use your email or phone number. After that, you will need to choose a username and a password. Choose your username carefully.
This is how people will see you on the app. You will also need to decide whether this is a personal account or a business account. Business accounts allow you to do some things that you wouldn’t normally be able to with a personal account, like track certain metrics and sell things.
Next, you can begin making your profile. To do this fill out your bio. In it, you can include information like we’re currently based, or anything else you want. After you finish your bio, then you’re ready to start making your first post.
First Steps: Making a Post
Congrats! You now have an Instagram profile. Unfortunately, your profile is likely looking pretty bare right now. So, why not make an Instagram post? The most common types of posts are ones that include one to ten images.
In the past, these images had to be squared. However, these days you can add a variety of vertical and portrait aspect ratios. So, to make a post the first thing you need is some photos. You’re only limited by your imagination.
However, things like nature shots, selfies, and memes are always popular on the app. When you have an image you want to post, then click the plus (+) icon found in the top right corner of the screen. From there, you can either select an image from your phone gallery or take one in the app.
In addition to a single image, you also have two more options. One of them is to add a short video. Or, you can do what’s known as a carousel. This option allows you to select multiple images or videos that people can slide through. Once you have your image (or images) selected, then you have a couple more decisions left.
Filters are pre-set changes that are placed over your photos. These usually add a color hue or add clarity to your images. They’re great for adding a certain aesthetic to your photo.
In addition to filters, you can also edit your photos more closely using additional options. Play around with these filters and edits to get the exact look that you want. Also, keep in mind that you don’t need to add a filter. But, they can often enhance the quality of your picture. Plus, they’re easy to use.
Your caption is the description that your followers will be able to read underneath your photo. You don’t need to include a caption. However, many people like to provide additional photo context, jokes, or song lyrics in their captions.
In addition to this, you can also link other profiles and put in up to thirty hashtags. Hashtags are essentially searched keywords. When people look up these hashtags, then they’ll be able to see your post.
Keep in mind that you can’t put clickable URL links in your caption. Your followers will need to copy and paste them to use them.
Location, Tagging, and Additional Sharing Options
Finally, you can add the finishing touches to the post. This includes things like location tagging. This is usually the geographical location that you took the photo. You can also tag other people who are in the photo by tagging their profile.
This will allow people to click on their profiles. They will also be notified. Finally, you can choose to share on other platforms. There’s a button that allows your post to also be shared on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. This is ideal if you have multiple platforms that you want to share.
Utilizing Instagram Stories and Highlights
Instagram stories are another way that you can share photos and videos. However, unlike posts, stories are more temporary. They’re only available to look at for twenty-four hours. Then, they disappear.
You can add an Instagram story by clicking the ‘Your Story’ option in the top left corner. This will show you your stories that are currently on display, as well as give you the option to add more. But, what do you do if you want to keep an Instagram story? Well, all stories are archived, so you (but no one else) can access them later.
However, if you want everyone to see the stories, then you can add them to your highlights. This is a feature on your profile that allows people to click on groups of stories that you posted.
They’re ideal for categories, like vacation stories, or similar things. You can add your Instagram story to your highlights section by going to your profile and clicking the ‘Highlights’ options.
How to Follow Other People
Your feed is a part of Instagram where you can see other people’s posts. However, if you don’t follow anyone, then this section can seem pretty empty. You can follow other people to get more posts and stories available to see on your feed.
We recommend following people that you know. However, there is also plenty of celebrity, fan accounts, and other profiles of interest to check out. Follow whatever you want to see on your feed.
You can also direct message your follows to chat with them. Keep in mind that you don’t always need to be following someone to see their posts. If their profile is public, then you can simply search their profile and look at their posts.
Following is just a way of ensuring that you see their future posts. However, if their profile is private, then only people who are following them can see the posts. To be added to their follower’s list, then they must approve first.
Once you’re following someone, there are some ways that you can track what they’re doing (in terms of what they’re likely and positing. This article explores in more detail how to see someones Instagram likes.
How to Gain Followers
The more followers you have the more people will see your posts. This means that you will likely get more likes and interactions with your posts. If you’re new to Instagram, then you might notice that you are following a lot of people with few of them following back.
A low following/followed ratio is typically indicative of a new user. Ultimately, there’s nothing wrong with having a small number of followers. However, if you want more of them, then there are some ways that you can gain more of them.
The first way is to follow people that you know in real life. This is a good way to gain at least a small base of followers that know you and will interact with your posts. Luckily, Instagram allows you to sync up your contact list with the app.
This allows you to find people through their phone numbers or emails. From there, it’s time to gain new followers the old fashion way. One tried and true method is through the use of hashtags.
We’ve already explained how hashtags work. However, it’s important to remember that they’re a great way of putting you in touch with new, potential followers.
Make sure to use hashtags that are trending, in addition to ones that correspond with your photo. Finally, make sure you post good content. People aren’t going to want to follow you if they aren’t interested. Great content is the secret to combating this.
Enjoy Learning About How to Use Instagram? Keep Reading
We hope this guide helped you learn how to use Instagram. As you can see, we were only about to cover the basics of the photo app. The reality is that learning the ins and outs of Instagram will take some time.
However, as long as you follow the advice on this article, then you’ll be off to a great start already. So, take some pictures and start posting today! Did you enjoy this article? If the answer is yes, then you’re in the right place.
Keep exploring to find more topics that you’re sure to love.