Instagram For Business For Dummies book cover

Instagram For Business For Dummies

Published: January 20, 2021

Overview

Put your best brand story in front of 1+ billion users!

One of the most energetically social of the major social media platforms, Instagram has the highest brand engagement rate of them all. Throw in the app's more than 1 billion active monthly users and its powerful business tools—including shoppable posts, devoted business profiles, and advanced analytics—and you have an unmissable opportunity to tell a gripping story that bonds you with your customers and makes your business an integral part of their social media lives.

The latest edition of Instagram For Business For Dummies puts you in the picture on how to showcase your product, craft your narrative, and gather insight into how your customers experience and react to your business. Presented in straightforward, practical language by three Instagram and marketing gurus, you'll swiftly go from setting up your account and profile to applying strategies for writing winning captions and creating content that deliver super-engaged customers.

  • Set up your account, profile, and analytics
  • Upload content and get smart with IG Stories and live video
  • Build and target paid advertising
  • Master the art of the hashtag

Whatever your current Instagram skill-level, there's always somewhere new to take you're the story of your business—and there's no better way to begin a gripping new chapter in that story than with this book.

Put your best brand story in front of 1+ billion users!

One of the most energetically social of the major social media platforms, Instagram has the highest brand engagement rate of them all. Throw in the app's more than 1 billion active monthly users and its powerful business tools—including shoppable posts, devoted business profiles, and advanced analytics—and you have an unmissable opportunity to tell a gripping story that bonds you with your customers and makes your business an integral part of their social media lives.

The latest edition of Instagram For Business For Dummies puts you in the picture on how to showcase your product, craft your narrative, and gather insight into how your customers

experience and react to your business. Presented in straightforward, practical language by three Instagram and marketing gurus, you'll swiftly go from setting up your account and profile to applying strategies for writing winning captions and creating content that deliver super-engaged customers.

  • Set up your account, profile, and analytics
  • Upload content and get smart with IG Stories and live video
  • Build and target paid advertising
  • Master the art of the hashtag

Whatever your current Instagram skill-level, there's always somewhere new to take you're the story of your business—and there's no better way to begin a gripping new chapter in that story than with this book.

Instagram For Business For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Before you start using Instagram to promote your business, you may want to learn the lingo that Instagrammers use. Instagram doesn't like accounts that act spammy or over-engage in certain behaviors, so you need to become familiar with a number of restrictions as well as the appropriate image or video size to showcase your products and services. When you follow other Instagram profiles, you can share posts and even entire profiles in a direct message to another Instagram user. [caption id="attachment_275766" align="alignnone" width="556"] © karnoff / Shutterstock.com[/caption]

Articles From The Book

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Instagram Articles

How to Upload Multiple Photos to One Instagram Post

You don’t need to have one Instagram post for each photo. Instead, you can add as many as ten photos in your Camera Roll (or Gallery if you use an Android smartphone) to a single post.

Selecting multiple photos

To choose more than one photo to add to a post, do the following:
  1. In the main Instagram feed screen, tap the + icon.
  2. Tap Library, in the lower-left corner of the screen.The most recent photo in your Camera Roll (or Gallery) appears in the viewer.
  3. Swipe in the thumbnail photos, and then tap the first photo you want to add.
  4. Tap the select multiple icon.The selected thumbnail appears dimmed, with a blue number 1.
  5. Tap another thumbnail.The photo appears in the viewer, and a number 2 appears next to the thumbnail. That number shows you the order in which your followers will see the photos in your post.

    If you select a photo but then decide that you don’t want to include it, just tap the thumbnail photo. The order of your photos will change if you selected more than two photos. To deselect all photos, tap the blue select multiple icon in the lower-right corner of the viewer.

  6. Continue tapping thumbnails as needed.Here, three photos are chosen. The numbers reflect the order in which the photos were selected.
  7. When you have finished selecting photos, tap Next.The Edit screen appears.
Edit the photos by tapping Next in the upper-right corner of the screen.

To reorder the photos, you have to deselect them and then reselect them in the correct order. (Yes, this is something Instagram needs to work on.) For example, suppose you select five photos and want to move photos 3 and 4 to positions 4 and 5, respectively. First deselect photos 3 and 4. At this point, the former photo 5 becomes photo 3. Then select the former photo 3, which becomes photo 4, and then select the former photo 4, which becomes photo 5.

Applying filters and adding photos

After you have selected your photos and tapped Next, the Edit screen appears. The top of the screen displays the photo you’re editing. A row of filter types appears below the photo. Swipe from right to left in the row to view all the filters. To apply a filter to all photos in the group, tap the thumbnail image under the filter name. At the right side of the screen, you see part of the next photo in your photo group. To see the other photos, swipe left. To add another photo to your post, swipe to the end of the row, tap the + icon, and then select the photo from the Camera Roll screen.

Editing photos individually

To edit a photo, tap it in the row of photos. The selected photo appears in the center of your screen. Now you can do the following:
  • Add a filter: Swipe right to left in the filter row, and then tap the filter thumbnail image.
  • Change the exposure and brightness levels at once: Tap the Lux icon (half-light, half-dark sun) at the top of the screen.
  • Perform other editing tasks: Tap Edit to access the editing tools.
Tap Done in the upper-right corner when you're finished.

Adding information and sharing your photos

When your photos are the way you want them, tap Next in the upper-right corner of the Edit screen. In the New Post screen, you can write a caption, tag people, add a location, share your photo on other social networks, and turn commenting on and off.

You can't write a caption for each photo when you have multiple photos in your post. So when you write your description, the caption should describe all your photos, not just one.

When you've finished editing your photos, it's time to share them. Tap Share in the upper-right corner of the New Post screen.

Instagram Articles

How IGTV Works

So, what is IGTV? IGTV was introduced in 2018 as a standalone app that integrated with Instagram. Sound confusing? It is! IGTV was designed to be its own app for viewing and interactions, and yet it’s tied directly to your Instagram profile. It’s a video-only platform with some unique components. In this article, we show you the various aspects of IGTV, how you can use it, and what makes it different. We also explain why you’re seeing what you see in the feed.

Finding IGTV within Instagram

Even though IGTV is a singular component, it’s accessible from two places in the Instagram app:
  • On an account’s profile: If the account is using IGTV and has created videos, you’ll see the little IGTV icon just below the highlights on the user’s profile page. The left side of the figure shows you where to find IGTV from an account’s profile.
  • On the Explore page: On the Explore page (tap the magnifying glass icon in the bottom navigation bar to get there), an IGTV tab is at the top of the screen. The right side of the figure shows you where that’s located.
In addition to these two locations, you can also see IGTV videos recommended for you on the Explore page. The videos will appear in the list of suggested content, as shown. If someone you follow creates an IGTV video and shares a preview of that video to Instagram, you’ll also see that preview as a post when you’re scrolling through your feed (see the left side of the following figure). It will appear as a regular post, but you’ll see the IGTV icon in the lower-left corner of the video. If you tap that icon, you’ll be taken to the full IGTV video; if you watch the entire 1-minute preview, you’ll be prompted to watch the remainder of the video on IGTV (see the center of the following figure). Tapping that option will open the IGTV video and allow you to continue watching (see the right side of the following figure).

How to find IGTV in the IGTV app

As we already mentioned, IGTV is a standalone app. You can install it from the app store for your device by searching for IGTV. After you’ve installed the app on your device, you can log in as the same account you use on Instagram. All your profile information and followers will transfer to the IGTV app.

If you unfollow or follow someone on IGTV, that same interaction occurs on your Instagram account, and vice versa. The two are linked and you can’t follow different people on IGTV than you do on your Instagram account.

After you have your IGTV account set up and you’re in the app, you’ll be taken to the home feed (see the following figure). This is where the videos of the people you follow and those recommended for you will all appear. You can scroll vertically through the videos and tap any video to play it.

How IGTV videos are formatted

IGTV was originally designed to be used only with vertical videos. In addition, the video viewer would not rotate when the mobile device was turned to the horizontal position (as most other video players do). However, in 2019, Instagram announced that it would start allowing horizontal videos to be uploaded and that those videos would rotate with the screen.

IGTV videos can be from 1 minute to 1 hour in length. They encourage longer-form content that keeps viewers watching longer. In contrast to Instagram stories, IGTV videos are meant to share more in-depth content.

Videos from 1 to 15 minutes in length can be uploaded via your mobile device. Videos over 15 minutes in length can be uploaded only via a desktop computer.

Whose videos you’re seeing

Your IGTV home feed is full of the IGTV videos created by everyone you follow on Instagram. Whenever someone you follow adds another IGTV video, it will appear in your list of videos. To keep you interested, however, much like the Explore page on Instagram, the IGTV home feed will populate videos that it thinks you’ll be interested in. These are not accounts you’re following, but the video content or the account creators are similar in interest to other content you watch or accounts you follow.

If your IGTV Explore feed has a video that you don’t like or want to see, tap and hold down on the video preview in the feed. Then tap the option for notifying IGTV that you're not interested in that post. Or when viewing a video full-screen, tap the three-dot button at the bottom of the screen to access a menu that enables you to notify IGTV that you're not interested in that post, copy the link to the post, share the video, save the video, or report the video. Tapping the Not Interested menu option tells the algorithm to show you less of that type of content.

Instagram Articles

How to Use Instagram's Help

If you ever need help using Instagram, the app itself contains online help that you can refer to quickly. If you can’t run the Instagram app, you can find help on the Instagram website, on Instagram social media profiles, and on other social-networking and community websites.

Insta-Help is on the way

Help Center, shown below, should be the first place you look for a solution to your problem. Access Help Center on the
Instagram website.

How to access Help Center

If the Instagram app is installed on an iPhone, iPad, or an Android smartphone or tablet, and the app isn’t working, you can access Help Center not only on the website but also on the Windows Instagram app if that app is installed. If your smartphone or tablet app is working, you can also access Help Center from the app at any time.

How to access Help Center on the iPhone or iPad

Here’s how to view the Help Center screen if you are using an iPhone or an iPad:
  1. Tap the profile icon, in the lower-right corner of the screen.
  2. Tap the menu icon (three lines) in the upper-right corner of the screen.
  3. Tap Settings. The Settings screen appears.
  4. Tap Help and then tap Help Center. The Help Center screen shown here appears.
Swipe to view all the topics. Tap a topic title to view more information about that topic. When you’re finished viewing information in Help Center, return to the Help screen by tapping the X icon, in the upper-left corner. On the Help screen, tap the < icon to return to the Settings screen.

How to access Help Center on an Android smartphone or tablet

You can view Help Center in your web browser on your Android smartphone or tablet. Here’s how:
  1. Tap the profile icon, in the lower-right corner of the screen.
  2. Tap the menu icon (three lines) in the upper-right corner of the screen.
  3. Tap Settings. The Settings screen appears.
  4. Tap Help and then tap Help Center. The Help Center screen appears in your browser app, as shown.

If you already selected your default browser app in Instagram or another app, the Help Center web page will appear in your default browser automatically.

Swipe in the screen to view all the topics. Tap a topic title to view more information about that topic. When you’ve finished viewing information in Help Center, return to the Options screen in the Instagram app by opening the Recent Apps screen and then either closing your browser window or tapping the Instagram tile if you plan to return to the Help Center later. (The steps for opening the Recent Apps screen depend on the device, so we can't list them here.)

Instagram's Privacy and Safety Center

Review Instagram’s Privacy and Safety Center so you know how to use Instagram wisely and what to do if you think someone is using Instagram in the wrong way (which may or may not be affecting you directly). In the Help Center screen, open Privacy and Safety Center by selecting Privacy and Security Help. A list of topics appears, as shown.

Viewing Instagram Business web pages

The Instagram website has a dedicated business website that you can access. The website, shown in the following figure, contains information on setting up a new business account, promoting your posts, learning how to get the most from your business account, and more. If you can’t access the Instagram Business website or you prefer to work with the mother ship (Facebook), visit the Facebook Business website. The Facebook Business website contains much of the same information as the Instagram Business website, including details on advertising on Instagram, targeting ads for the best results, and Instagram Business Tools. You may want to look at both the Instagram Business and Facebook Business websites to ensure that you get the most complete information about promoting your business in Instagram effectively.

Tapping social media

Instagram doesn’t keep its communications limited to Instagram. It maintains close connections with Facebook and its Facebook Business website (two billion profiles and counting as of this writing). Instagram also posts regularly on its Twitter profile, which is no surprise because you can share your posts directly on Twitter from the Instagram app. What’s more, Instagram’s blogs for both personal and business users can help you learn more about using Instagram and become inspired to create a post or two.

Sending a message on Facebook

Instagram for Business has a Facebook profile, shown here. You can view posts from Instagram by scrolling down or swiping up. You can access the Instagram Business website by clicking or tapping the Learn More button. As of this writing, you can even call the number on the Instagram for Business Facebook page.

Tweeting and being tweeted

The Instagram Twitter feed gives you the latest information. You can also find photos, videos, and links to Instagram posts that Instagram thinks are interesting, as shown. Scroll in your web browser or swipe in the Twitter app screen to view recent posts. Click or tap links to view the Instagram post or linked article. You can also send a tweet to Instagram. There’s no telling if Instagram will respond, but you never know until you try…er, tweet.

Reading the Instagram and Instagram for Business blogs

Speaking of the Instagram blog, you can view the general Instagram blog on your web browser, as shown. Scroll down to view blog post summaries. Click a topic title to view more information about that topic.

If you have the Tumblr app, you can open the blog in Tumblr by tapping Open in App, at the top of the screen. (If you don’t have Tumblr installed, you can get the app from the Google Play Store by tapping Get the Tumblr App, at the bottom of the screen.)

Visiting the Instagram Business blog

Instagram Business also has a separate blog, but you can’t get to it from your Instagram app. Instead, you need to go to your web browser and type https://business.instagram.com/blog/. Or go to the Instagram Business website and tap the News link, in the upper-right corner. The blog appears, as shown. Swipe or scroll to view recent post summaries. To read a post, tap the summary title, photo, or description.

Joining an Instagram Community

Instagram makes it easy for you to join communities—and not just the ones on its Facebook and Twitter feeds. You can also scan Reddit and Quora, two popular discussion websites, to find an interesting discussion—or start one of your own.

Visiting Reddit and Quora

You can also join online communities to talk about Instagram. Two of the most popular (and busy) websites are Reddit and Quora.

Some of the messages you’ll find on these online communities are inappropriate or even NSFW (Not Suitable For Work). If you’re going to search for messages in these online communities, you may want to ensure that no one else can see your screen before you start reading.

Reddit

Visit the Reddit Instagram page (called a subreddit). As the About Community section says, this subreddit is unaffiliated with the Instagram company. Swipe or scroll to view the list of messages. If comments are included with the message, you’ll see the number of comments below the message title. You can also search for messages with one or more specific search terms. Here’s how:
  1. In the Search box in the upper-right corner of the web page, type your term(s).
  2. Tap or click the magnifying glass icon on the left side of the Search box or press Enter. A list of posts with titles that contain your search term(s) appears on the page. Scroll or swipe up and down to view all the posts.
When you find a post you want to read more about, tap or click the post title to open it. You can leave a comment as well as share the message on your Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr account.

Quora

Although Quora doesn’t have a general Instagram space, which is Quora’s name for a group, check out the Instagram for Marketers group. Swipe or scroll to view the list of recent messages, as shown. The number of upvotes, reposts, and comments appears below the message in the list. You can search Quora for one or more Instagram terms by tapping or clicking in the search box at the top of the page, typing your search term(s), and then pressing Enter or tapping Return on your smartphone or tablet keyboard. A new web page with a list of all message topics that contain your search term(s) appears. Tap or click the message title to read in a new browser tab the original question and any answers. To reply to a message or comment, tap or click in the Add a comment below the message or comment, type your message, and then click or tap Add Comment. Return to the list of messages by closing the browser tab.

If you have a Quora account and are logged in, you can write your own message for other users to read and comment on by tapping the red Add Question button in the upper-right corner of the screen.