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Instgram for Business: Getting Started

Instagram is a social network that allows users to share photos and videos and apply filters to make content more visually appealing before sharing them. Videos and photos can be shared to Instagram and a handful of other social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, simultaneously.

To get started on Instagram, you need a smartphone, tablet, or other web-enabled mobile device. You can view and comment on Instagram with a laptop or computer but you cannot post images. Download the Instagram application from the app store and install it. Register a username and then connect to your other social network accounts, such as Facebook and Twitter. This username will be your “handle”, so choose a recognizable name (like your business name). At this time, only iPhone and iPad users can post to both Facebook Pages and Facebook Timelines – all other devices can only post to Facebook Timelines. This can somewhat limit business use on Facebook for non-Mac users. Once the application has been connected, you’re ready to start creating and posting photos and videos.

Instagram allows the use of hashtags and tagging. You can tag other Instagram users using the “@” symbol and their Instagram handle, such as @hydrangeahippo. Hashtags can be added to post and comments to make it easier for other users to find your content. Please note that hashtags shared in the comments will not be shared to other social networks, even if the original post was shared to those other social networks. Posts over 140 characters will be truncated when shared to twitter.

How do you post to Instagram? As a creative business owner, your work is probably visual in nature. This means that the best way to sell your work is for people to see it. Instagram can help you share images of your work and products in a creative way.

You can use Instgram filters or make use of additional mobile applications to add text, white space, and photo editing actions and filters to the image before sharing via Instagram. Here are the main ways to share photos to Instagram:

  1. Take a photo or video and post with the Instagram app
  2. Take a photo or video, edit with other applications, and then share to Instagram
  3. Download a photo or video from email or the Internet and share to Instagram

The last method mentioned is wonderful for sharing watermarked photos or photos that were not taken with your mobile device.

For example, a fan might have emailed to you a photo of them wearing a scarf they bought from your Etsy shop. Ask the fan’s permission share it on Instagram! You can share the photo by saving it to your phone from your e-mail account and then add it to Instagram from your phone’s gallery. Videos may be up to 15 seconds in length and can be recorded directly to Instagram or downloaded from elsewhere and shared.

Instagram is a great way to connect with others and to promote your creative brand. Getting started is easy – just take a photo!

 

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By: Jennifer Priest from Hydrangea Hippo

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