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  • Ciara Macpherson

Instagram 101: The Basics

You’ve decided to branch out your social media efforts to the hippest platform there is: Instagram! Congratulations, you’ve made it. Or have you? Instagram isn’t all just pretty pictures you know, it takes work. Let us walk you through the basics so that you establish a solid base to build on going forward in your social media strategy.

Opening Your Account

Depending on your needs, you may want to open a Business Instagram account or a ‘personal’ one might suit you just fine. It’s worth noting that a Business account does allow you to add valuable information such as:

  • Opening Hours

  • Business Address

  • Contact Information

With a Business Profile, you will also be privy to Instagram Insights which will be a very useful tool when assessing the performance of your content. You will also be able to promote posts with a Business profile which in today’s social media climate is pretty much essential to expand reach.

Read more on the topic of the Instagram Business Profile via Later

Creating Your Instagram Content

Which format will you choose to tell your story? There are many to choose from on Instagram and it’s important to identify which will work best for your particular business! Let us show you around…

Single Image

Be impactful with just one image. Beyonce’s twin announcement photo is the most liked Instagram post of the year with 11.1 million likes. You might not have a Beyhive-strong following but make your photo stand out, be a bit different and your efforts will pay off (can’t promise 11.1 million likes however).


Oreo are such a fun brand on social! They created a video that works both with and without sound – you should take note as many people love their mute button. Be eye-catching with your content whilst incorporating your product or brand ethos in some way.


No wonder Subway are all smiles! Their use of the carousel feature is perfect. They have used each image to tell a story – each time you swipe, you’re introduced to the next “chapter”. What story could you tell through a carousel?

Instagram Stories

Travel brands and Instagram are a match made in heaven. A previous client of ours, Club Med, utilise the feature very nicely by showcasing their all-inclusive resorts around the world and what they can offer you as a holidaymaker. In this case, it’s their delicious food! This feature can be used in many ways – do you have an idea for your brand?

Instagram Live

Reach out to your audience by going ‘Live’. Here we have ‘Riverdale’ actresses, Lili Reinhart and Camila Mendes, talking to their fans from set! Instagram Live is great for behind the scenes content, Q&As and events.

Getting It Right

Have you now identified the content types relevant to your market? If so, brilliant! Now we just need to make sure that you’re executing the content well and making sure that it resonates with the audience. You’re going to need two things: crisp, clear multimedia and engaging copy.

Blurry is a no-no! You don’t have to be a professional photographer to achieve Instagram greatness but put some effort in to it. Your mobile phone will suffice for professional-looking photos and videos but if you’re unhappy with the results, seek some help either through local photography classes, the internet or contacting an agency such as ourselves to help with your Instagram content.

It’s not all about the visuals. Your image or video will be met with a caption! The caption is very important as this is where you can give a voice to your visual content. How will you use this voice? Take your time, think about what you’re trying to say and action your audience. Include a call-to-action of some sort to drive them to your website or to answer a question.

Grow Your Audience

Once you have your content outlined, what it says about your business and how, you can think about growing your audience. Get eyes on your content! Some top tips for follower growth:

  • Follow and engage with accounts related to your business, industry or brand

  • Cross-promote on your other social media platforms

  • Create a unique hashtag that your audience can follow

  • Add relevant hashtags in the comments to boost discoverability

What next?

You’ve done it! After a few weeks of platform TLC, your Instagram should now be rockin’ and rollin’ with regular content and an established audience. You might be asking yourself…what now?

We talk you through creating your first Instagram campaign and how to make it a success!

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