Whether you’re an artist who wants to sell and display your art or you’re a business person who wants to showcase your products, Instagram is a great social media platform for you.
Don’t replace your email marketing with Instagram. You still want to notify subscribers by email of your upcoming events or new product offerings. But Instagram is a more immediate and consistent way to keep in touch with your customers, fans, friends and family.
Set Up an Instagram Account
- Download the Instagram app to your phone or tablet. Instagram is a mobile platform, you can’t post to it from your laptop.
- Signup for an Instagram Account using your personal Facebook account, phone or email. Follow the prompts on the screen to enter your name and create a password.
Tip: If you’re seeing the login screen, click at the bottom of the screen on “Don’t have an account? SignUp.”
- Enter Confirmation Code – Check your email
Confirming your email is an important step. If you’re ever locked out of your account, this will help get you back in. You’ll also be asked to enter your Birthday
- Set your Username
Instagram will automatically generate a username for you from your name. You can change this if you wish. Note: your username is public.
- Find Facebook Friends & Contacts
Instagram is owned by Facebook. You can connect the two platforms so you can find Facebook friends on Instagram . You can also post your Instagram post to Facebook at the same time.
- Add a profile photo
You can click the + symbol on your profile circle to edit or change this at any time.
- Add a Bio – Edit your Profile
Add a short bio and a link to your website. You can come back and edit these later.
- Set Your Account to Private or Public
We don’t recommend that you make your account private, after all this is about marketing your art business. If you want to post personal photos for friends to see, then create a second account and set that one to private.
Click the Three Stacked Lines Mobile Menu in the top right corner and Settings at the bottom of the screen. From Privacy and Security you can set your account to private.
How to Create Content for Instagram
Yay! You now have an account. It’s time to share your first photo. There are several different ways to add content to Instagram. You can
- Post photos
- Create stories
- Add highlights to your profile
- Interact with and comment on other Instagram accounts
- Add your first photo by clicking the + plus icon in the bottom of the screen to open the Photo Library on your phone.
- Scroll through your photos to find one you want to post.
- You can drag the image around the screen to reposition it. Use two fingers to zoom in or out
- Click Next in the top right corner.
- You can add a preset Filter option to enhance the image or Edit the image manually (bottom right). Here you will find tools to straighten and adjust your image. Click Done or Cancel. Then click Next.
Instagram is all about the moment. If an event is happening now, don’t wait to Photoshop images before posting. Edit photos on the fly with the Instagram app.
Add Captions to Your Photos/Posts
Adding a caption to your Instagram photo can be like blogging. Some Instagram users write lengthy captions that turn into a blog post. That’s ok. Just make sure that you are providing content that your Followers resonate with. Length of your captions/posts will depend on your audience. Some enjoy long posts—others won’t stay to read everything. Tailor your captions to your people.
- Write a caption to go with the image. Explain what the photo is about. Invite followers to take action, ask them a question or tell them where and when they can attend your art show, direct them to the link in your bio.
- Use hashtags (#wordsnospaces) in captions to link your photos with other photos on Instagram that use the same hashtag. If everyone posting about your art show uses the same hashtag, visitors to the show can see all of the event’s posts. TIP: create lists of hashtags and put them in the Notes section of your phone ready to copy and paste into your post.
- You can use the @ icon to mention and link to other Instagram accounts, such as the gallery where your show is taking place or other artists who are in the show. They will get a notification that you mentioned them.
- Use Emojis in your captions to add fun and draw attention to your posts.
- When you’re happy with your caption click Share (top right). If you want to discard or make changes to the image hit the back arrow < (top left).
Instagram stories are different from posts. You don’t add captions to them. You can add words, @mentions and hashtags on top of your pictures. They only display for 24 hours. Mix it up, share some photos as posts and other times post a story.
If you want to keep stories around longer, you can add them to your Highlights.
Instagram highlights are the circles below your profile. They can be a “collection” of stories that you have saved and want to share on an ongoing basis. For example, if you have a recipe blog, you might have a highlight of “low-carb” recipes and within it, you have saved several recipes for your followers to scroll through.
How to Create Highlights
- Go to your profile and in the top right corner click the +
- Under Create, Select “Story Highlight”
- Select the stories you want to add to your Highlight – you can go back a long way so take your time.
- Click next
- Name Your Highlight
- Choose a cover for the Highlight
- Click Done
Interactions on Instagram | Follow & Comment
Follow others, like and comment on their posts. When someone comments on your post, make sure you reply.
Follow accounts that interest and inspire you. There’s no obligation to follow someone back just because they followed you. If it looks like a spam account, ignore it or report it.
Emojis add fun to your captions and to your comments on Instagram 🙂
Link in Bio
It’s important to understand that on Instagram you can’t add links to your posts. You can now post two links in your bio (profile). When posting on Instagram, in your post description tell people “link in bio” so they know where to find the link.
You can either just change your profile link every time or you can set up a link page using a link in bio service or you can create a links page on your website. Here’s ours.
Adding Instagram to a WordPress Site
Add your new Instagram account to your social media follow buttons. We also recommend using the free Instagram Feed WordPress plugin to display your Instagram feed on your website.
There you have it, an introduction to Instagram. There’s more that you will discover as you play around with Instagram and become more familiar with the platform.