How to Use Instagram: A Beginner's Guide

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Over nan past fewer years, Instagram has seen exponential maturation — from 1 cardinal users astatine its inception to over 1 cardinal successful 2022.

Discover really to usage Instagram. Image shows Instagram logo and a machine rodent clicking connected it.

If you're willing successful getting an Instagram account, aliases conscionable created 1 but aren't judge really to usage it, you're successful luck. Here, we're going to screen each nan basics, truthful you tin study why Instagram is nan apical societal media level for engagement today.

 Free Instagram for Business Kit + Templates

What is Instagram?

Instagram is simply a societal media level that emphasizes photograph and video sharing via its mobile app. You tin take, edit, and people ocular contented for some followers and non-followers, arsenic agelong arsenic your relationship is public. Users tin interact pinch your contented via likes, comments, shares, and saves.

It's difficult to retrieve a clip earlier Instagram. At 1 time, "Do it for nan 'gram" was a communal saying, which meant, essentially, "Do thing truthful we tin return a image and station it to Instagram."

Since then, Instagram has placed a larger and heavier accent connected video. So you nary longer perceive nan building “Do it for nan ‘gram.” I bet, though, that a 2nd type of nan building will soon follow. (Maybe “Do it for reel?”)

If you're not portion of nan 1 cardinal users connected Instagram, you mightiness want to reconsider. The app is simply a awesome chance to prosecute pinch apical brands and enactment a portion of friends' lives. When I want to spot really my assemblage friends are doing, I don't cheque Facebook, I cheque Instagram. Plus, you tin travel your favourite celebrities aliases governmental figures to spot candid photos of their mundane lives.

Additionally, it's a phenomenal level for investigating what different brands are doing — for instance, Nike uses nan Instagram Stories' characteristic to beforehand inspirational jock stories you won't find anyplace else.

How to Sign Up for Instagram

To motion up for Instagram, each you request to do is download nan Instagram app connected your telephone and click nan 'Sign up' button. You tin take to motion up done Facebook aliases usage your email aliases telephone number. After you take a username and password, you’re fresh to build your profile.

If you're fresh to motion up for Instagram, travel these steps below:

  1. Go to nan Instagram tract connected your desktop, aliases download nan Instagram app from nan App Store (iPhone) aliases Google Play Store (Android).
  2. If you're connected desktop, click "Log successful pinch Facebook", aliases capable successful nan shape pinch your mobile number aliases email, name, username, and password. Then click "Sign up".
  3. On Android, click "Sign Up With Email aliases Phone Number".
  4. On iPhone, prime "Sign Up".
  5. Enter your email reside aliases telephone number, past click "Next". Alternatively, you tin motion up pinch your Facebook account.
  6. Once you've filled retired your username and password, you will beryllium instructed to capable retired your floor plan info. Then, pat "Done".
  7. If you registry pinch Facebook, you'll request to log into your Facebook relationship if you're presently logged out.

How to Use Instagram

Instagram is simply a ocular societal media level and if you’re utilizing it for business, you’ll request to beryllium judge that you are consistently posting engaging content. So really do you usage Instagram? In nan simplest terms, you travel accounts that are absorbing to you, and likewise, others will travel you for nan same.

Instagram Feed example

Instagram users tin “like” a station by clicking nan bosom icon connected nan bottommost near area of nan station aliases remark by clicking nan remark icon.

Each clip you unfastened nan app, you’ll beryllium presented pinch a provender of contented from nan accounts you follow. On nan bottommost of your screen, you’ll find nan main paper bar. Here’s what each of nan icons mean and really to usage them.

Instagram main paper barroom example

Home: The location fastener takes you to your main feed. It’s located connected nan acold near and you tin click it nary matter wherever you are successful nan app.

Search: Pressing this magnifying solid fastener takes you to Instagram’s research page wherever you tin hunt accounts and hashtags. You tin besides browse contented from accounts you don’t follow, but person been suggested based connected your existent likes and akin contented you’ve viewed.

New Post: Pressing nan “ + “ awesome successful nan halfway of nan paper you tin create a caller post, story, reel, aliases spell live.

Reels: This clapperboard awesome is nan reels icon. When you click it, you’ll beryllium taken to nan reels page wherever you tin watch short-form content.

Profile: This icon connected nan acold correct should beryllium a mini circle pinch your floor plan photo. Hitting this fastener directs you to your main floor plan page wherever you tin spot each of your posts, follower accusation and reels.

Now that you person a amended knowing of nan app's interface, let's look astatine really to create an Instagram profile.

How to Create an Instagram Account

Once you’ve downloaded nan app and completed nan signup process, it’s clip to create a profile.

Instagram floor plan example

Your Instagram floor plan acts arsenic nan main hub for each posts, reels, stories, and videos. This is besides nan abstraction wherever you tin entree your settings and relationship accusation arsenic good arsenic support way of your followers and those you’re following.

Note: If you person an Android, these instructions whitethorn alteration slightly.

Add aliases Edit Your Profile Picture

  1. Tap your floor plan image connected nan apical near to spell to your profile.
  2. Tap "Edit Profile."
  3. Tap "Change floor plan photo."
  4. Click "Upload Photo," past prime your image to import.

Add a Bio

  1. Click your floor plan image connected nan near to spell to your profile.
  2. Click "Edit Profile" astatine nan apical of nan screen, past click nan matter container adjacent to "Bio."
  3. Write your bio.
  4. Click "Submit" to prevention your changes.

Add a Website

  1. Tap nan floor plan awesome aliases your floor plan image successful nan bottommost correct to spell to your profile.
  2. Tap "Edit Profile" astatine nan apical of nan screen.
  3. Tap "Links," past pat "Add outer link" to adhd nan URL for your website.
  4. Tap "Done." You tin besides region a nexus by tapping connected nan nexus and past tapping "Remove Link."
  5. Tap "Back" (<), past pat "Done" to prevention your changes.

If you scheme connected utilizing Instagram for business, you’ll decidedly want to make usage of nan bio and website sections to thief imaginable customers study much astir your brand.

How Do Instagram Notifications Work?

When your relationship is created, you'll want to set your notifications truthful you only person nan accusation you want. For instance, you tin take to person notifications erstwhile you get likes from everyone — but, alternatively, you mightiness determine to only person notifications erstwhile you get a for illustration from personification you follow. Or, you mightiness move disconnected notifications for likes altogether.

You tin set notifications to "Off", "From People I Follow", aliases "From Everyone", for nan pursuing categories — Comments, Comment Likes, Likes and Comments connected Photos of You, Follower Requests, Accepted Follow Requests, Friends connected Instagram, Instagram Direct, Photos of You, Reminders, First Posts and Stories, Product Announcements, View Counts, Support Requests, Live Videos, Mentions successful Bio, IGTV Video Updates, and Video Chats.

If you're overwhelmed by that list, I get it — I am, too. If you're unsure what notifications you want to receive, you mightiness commencement pinch your notifications connected "From Everyone", and if definite notifications statesman to annoy you, you tin move them disconnected later.

To customize which notifications you receive, travel these steps:

1. Open up nan Instagram app connected your phone.

First up, unfastened up nan Instagram app connected your mobile device. You tin besides entree Instagram connected desktop if you prefer. Then, caput to your floor plan by clicking nan image of your floor plan image connected nan bottommost right.

 entree profile

2. Access “Settings.”

After you get astatine your profile, click nan hamburger paper connected nan apical right-hand corner.

 entree settings

A popup paper will appear. Tap “Settings.”

 pat settings

3. Tap “Notifications.”

On nan adjacent screen, click "Notifications."

 participate notifications settings

There, you’ll beryllium capable to alteration nan notification settings depending connected category. These categories include:

  • Posts, Stories, and Comments
  • Following and Followers
  • Direct Messages and Calls
  • Live and Video
  • Fundraisers
  • From Instagram
  • Email and SMS
  • Shopping

 position each notification categories

You besides person nan expertise to region each notifications by toggling nan Pause All action up top.

4. Check disconnected nan notifications you want to receive.

Access each class individually and take nan notifications you want to receive. Here are nan options, for example, for “Posts, Stories, and Comments”:

 toggle notification settings

The options will alteration depending connected category.

And that's it! Next, let's research really to link your different societal media accounts to your Instagram, truthful erstwhile you station an image to Instagram, you tin stock it pinch your different online audiences, arsenic well.

Can you link to Instagram to different societal accounts?

Yes, you tin link Instagram to Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook, but it’s nary longer done done Settings, arsenic it utilized to be.

Now, you do it connected a per-post basis.

If you want to stock a station to different platforms, you navigate to nan existent station you want to cross-publish connected Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter, and past manually stock it that way.

Here’s how:

1. Open up nan Instagram app.

2. Navigate to your profile.

3. Tap connected nan station you’d for illustration to cross-post.

4. Click nan 3 dots connected nan apical right-hand area of nan post.

 entree station settings

5. On nan pop-up menu, click “Share.”

 pat stock connected nan station Note: Don’t click “Share to,” which will springiness you an action to AirDrop aliases stock nan station to your contacts.

6. Toggle nan accounts you’d for illustration to stock nan station to. If you’re not already signed in, you’ll request to do truthful correct wrong nan Instagram app.

 toggle nan societal accounts

Once you’ve connected your accounts for 1 post, you tin past toggle nan sharing options for immoderate caller posts without needing to motion successful again.

If you link Instagram to Facebook, you tin stock your Stories crossed some accounts. We talk much astir really to do that below.

How to Connect Instagram to Facebook

Since Instagram and Facebook are owned by nan aforesaid company, Meta, you tin link nan 2 accounts for a much seamless experience. Connecting your Instagram and Facebook accounts allows you to:

  • Share Stories crossed some Instagram and Facebook
  • Login pinch Facebook into Instagram
  • Sync your floor plan sanction and image crossed some profiles
  • Use Facebook Pay connected some platforms
  • Access your shopping activity connected some accounts

If you’re a predominant Facebook user, past connecting your relationship to your caller Instagram floor plan is highly recommended. Here’s how:

1. Open up your Instagram app.

2. Click connected your floor plan image connected nan bottommost right-hand corner.

3. Click nan hamburger paper connected nan apical right-hand corner.

4. Tap “Settings.”

5. Under nan Meta logo, pat “Accounts Center.”

 pat relationship halfway successful settings

6. Tap “Set up Accounts Center.”

 click group up accounts center

7. Follow nan prompts to log successful into Facebook.

Done! Your 2 accounts are now connected. Here's really it'll look for illustration erstwhile you're finished:

 last result

In nan adjacent section, I'll show you erstwhile a linked relationship comes successful handy.

Upload, Edit, and Post an Image

Now, for nan astir important portion of Instagram — how to upload and station an image.

Instagram is an wholly ocular platform. Unlike Facebook, which relies connected some matter and pictures, aliases Twitter, which relies connected matter alone, Instagram's sole intent is to alteration users to stock images aliases videos pinch their audience.

On Facebook, you mightiness take to station 100 photos connected an album. On Instagram, you request to beryllium choosier astir which photos you post. There are a fewer reasons for this — first, you don't want to station much than erstwhile a time (typically). And you don't want to station excessively galore akin photos.

For instance, it would beryllium overseas for you to station 50 photos from nan aforesaid formation picnic connected your Instagram profile. Instead, you mightiness take 5 aliases six, and spot them each wrong nan aforesaid post.

(These are called carousel posts, and they let you to stock aggregate photos successful 1 station only. Carousel posts are awesome for posting akin pictures successful 1 package while keeping your wide floor plan artistic diverse.)

Curious astir creating an aesthetic? To study much astir Instagram relationship themes and get inspiration, return a look astatine these Instagram themes. Additionally, if you want to embark connected a deep-dive, you tin return HubSpot's Instagram Marketing Course.

Now that we've covered that, let's research really to upload, edit, and station an image.

1. Click nan "+" icon astatine nan top-right manus corner.

When you pat nan “+” icon, you’ll beryllium prompted to take nan type of station you want to share. Since we want to people a station straight connected our floor plan feed, pat “Post.”

 click nan positive button

2. Choose your media file.

Here, you person 3 options. You tin look done your Photos room connected your phone, you tin return a caller image from correct wrong Instagram, aliases you tin return a caller video. For our purposes, I looked done my Photos room and recovered a image of Boston I wanted to use. Then, I clicked "Next" successful nan apical right.

 take media

3. Add filters if desired.

There are 2 categories you tin usage to edit your image — "Filter" and "Edit". Instagram automatically shows you filters first. You tin scroll done nan carousel and click immoderate of nan filters to use it to your image.

Additionally, if you want to usage a select but you want to reside it down, double pat nan select and move nan cursor to nan near to lessen nan strength of nan filter.

 adhd filters

4. Edit your image if desired.

Next, click "Edit". Here, you tin set contrast, brightness, structure, warmth, and more. When you're happy pinch your edited image, aliases if you don't want to edit it astatine all, click "Next" successful nan apical right.

 edit image

5. Write a caption and toggle sharing settings.

Now, you tin adhd a caption, tag group (you tin only tag personification if they besides person an Instagram account), and adhd a location. Additionally, click nan fastener beside Facebook aliases different linked societal media relationship to stock your image connected that platform, arsenic well. When you're fresh to publish, click "Share" successful nan apical right.

 adhd caption

If you don’t want to usage your app to station connected Instagram, you tin besides do truthful from your computer. Learn really to station to Instagram from a Mac aliases PC here.

Upload an Image aliases Video to Your Stories

Instagram Stories is simply a characteristic that allows you to station videos aliases images that vanish aft 24-hours. Instagram's Stories characteristic is akin to Snapchat successful position of contented — users often station much casual and candid videos and images, offering glimpses into their each time lives.

For instance, connected your normal feed, you mightiness station a heavily-edited image of yourself and friends astatine a shot game. But you mightiness station a much candid video to your Story of nan stadium singing "Sweet Caroline".

To learn really to upload an image aliases video to your Stories, travel these steps:

1. Tap your floor plan image successful nan precocious left-hand corner.

Alternatively, swipe correct connected your provender aliases pat nan “+” fastener successful nan apical navigation bar.

 entree nan communicative camera

2. Capture aliases adhd your media.

Once you're wrong nan Stories feature, you tin return a image aliases video correct from wrong nan app. Alternatively, if you person an image saved to your telephone that you'd for illustration to use, you tin take it from your media library.

 seizure media

3. Add stickers aliases filters.

On nan left-hand side, you person a fewer different editing features.

The “Create” fastener lets you adhd a location, hashtag, time, date, and different nosy images aliases emojis to your picture.

 adhd stickers and filters

The “Boomerang” action allows you to create a looping video. And nan "Aa" icon is your matter button. Once you click "Aa", you person nan action to alteration your font.

If you click nan smiley look icon, you'll spot nan pursuing screen. Simply click connected 1 of nan icons to adhd them to your image. If you don't for illustration it, resistance it to nan bottom, and a trash tin will look truthful you tin delete it.

 adhd poll

For instance, I clicked nan smiley look icon to adhd a canvass to my image. You tin besides swipe to nan near aliases correct to adhd filters to your photograph aliases video.

4. Publish your Story.

Once you're happy pinch your content, you tin either click nan achromatic arrow icon successful nan bottommost right, which allows you to stock your Story pinch everyone who follows you, aliases prime “Close Friends” first, truthful that only your adjacent friends spot it.

Then you’re done! Your Story is instantly live.

How to Follow connected Instagram

It's incredibly easy to find and travel users. Using Instagram's hunt feature, you tin find celebrities, brands, and friends. Additionally, you tin hunt "Tags" aliases "Places". "Tags" is peculiarly useful if you cognize what type of contented you want to find, but you're not judge who posts astir it.

For instance, you mightiness hunt "#familyrecipes" nether tags — your results will see immoderate images pinch that hashtag. As you peruse, you mightiness find personification who posts contented you really like, and you tin take to travel them truthful their contented appears connected your feed.

To travel someone, travel these 3 easy steps.

1. Click connected nan hunt icon astatine nan bottommost of your screen.

It looks for illustration a magnifying solid and will beryllium correct adjacent to nan “Home” button.

 click nan hunt icon

2. Next, type successful a person, topic, aliases brand.

For this example, I searched "architecture.”

 position results

Instagram allows you to either hunt each posts that incorporate nan connection “architecture,” aliases “See each results” and spot tags and places.

 browse done nan results

3. Tap nan relationship you’re willing successful following.

Once you're connected personification else's account, you'll spot a bluish "Follow" fastener astatine nan top. For nationalist profiles, you tin click and instantly statesman pursuing that account. However, if nan floor plan is private, you whitethorn request to hold for them to judge you first.

 travel an relationship you like

And that's it! You're connected your measurement to becoming a pro. To return your relationship to nan adjacent level, scheme retired your adjacent posts utilizing an array of contented ideas and templates.

Using Instagram is Key for Growing Your Personal Brand

If you want to turn some professionally and personally, past utilizing Instagram is much important than ever. You tin commencement by watching first and learning astir Instagram's algorithm, past statesman posting arsenic you study your measurement astir nan personification interface. With complete 1 cardinal users, Instagram is an highly worthwhile societal media level to subordinate — and it’s only group to support increasing arsenic clip goes on.

Editor's note: This station was primitively published successful November 2018 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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