For the longest time I just didn't get the thrill of using Instagram. It is just a stream of pictures and you can't link to anything really. I thought that it was just for fashion people and teenagers. Recently though, I heard a podcast episode about Instagram that really inspired me and I gave it another try.
As best as I can tell, there is not a smooth sailing social media process for Instagram. You can't use it from your computer. You must use it from your phone. Because of this, it has taken me a long time to jump on the bandwagon. But I decided to dive back in and give it another try and so far, I am glad that I did.
There are just a few things that I learned straight away and I thought that I would share them here.
One important Instagram Link
You can not add links except in your profile. This means that you need to choose your profile link carefully. As a result, you need to have a clear goal for your Instagram account. Currently, I have my profile linking directly to my iTunes. I am working hard to grow my podcast so that is my focus.
Hootsuite now works with Instagram
The process is complicated but it still is worth trying. In a nutshell, you create a post on your Hootsuite account (on your computer) and then you schedule it for Instagram. Then you make sure that Hootsuite is installed on your phone and all connected. You also need to make sure that you have Instagram installed on your phone.
When it is time for your post to hit Instagram, you will get a notification on your phone. Open the Hootsuite notification and Hootsuite will walk you thru the process.
This is only worth the effort if you hate typing on your phone and/or really want to create your images on your computer. If you are fine with doing everything on your phone then don't bother with this process.
WordSwag is a great meme tool
I have not had so much fun with an app since Candy Crush. This app makes creating images for social media super easy. It is a premium tool but you will not regret the few bucks that it costs.
This app comes with preloaded text ideas that you can cycle thru. Some of them are good but often times, I find my own. My tip to you is to decide on your main theme such as motivation, quotes, tips etc. Then Google related quotes or tips and then copy and paste them into the app.
Below are a couple examples of images that I have created.
Tips on how to best use Instagram:
Use Hashtags carefully
As they say on the Instagram blog, tags are great way to to find new followers and share your images but they can be tricky. Be specific with your tags, generic tags will just add to the noise.
However, specific tags such as #vwvan vs #van can yield completely different results. Check out their blog posts for more details on this topic.
Use Geotagging for local blogs or business
Instagram has a Geotagging feature and it can show all of your posts on a map. This may be a cool way to relate to folks if you run a hyper local business. If you run a hyper local business make sure that you post local events and happenings on your account. When you do this tag your local city or other local business to get a bit of traction.
I myself am still learning about Instagram and would love any tips that you may have. One of the recommendations that I keep reading is to show behind the scenes but as a blogger, I feel like that is a bit boring. Do you have any behind the scenes ideas for me as a blogger, anything that you would like to see?
Please share any thoughts or ideas that you have about Instagram, we are all looking for ideas for this platform.