Instagram For Business For Dummies book cover

Instagram For Business For Dummies

Authors:
,
Eric Butow ,
Corey Walker
Published: December 22, 2017

Overview

Instagram is the photo- and video-sharing app used by millions across the globe. More than just a social platform for users to share their experiences with family and friends, it's become a vital tool for business owners and marketers to create visual narratives about what makes them, and their products, different from everything else that's out there. Instagram For Business For Dummies shows you how to use the app to connect with your audience in a meaningful way as you showcase your products and offer a unique insider's view of your brand.
Instagram is the photo- and video-sharing app used by millions across the globe. More than just a social platform for users to share their experiences with family and friends, it's become a vital tool for business owners and marketers to create visual narratives about what
makes them, and their products, different from everything else that's out there. Instagram For Business For Dummies shows you how to use the app to connect with your audience in a meaningful way as you showcase your products and offer a unique insider's view of your brand.

Articles From The Book

43 results

Instagram Articles

How to Find Your Contacts on Instagram

If you're new to Instagram, you may be wondering where to start. Instagram (and its daddy, Facebook) is happy to help you make connections. You can find people in a few different ways.

Finding your Facebook friends

Facebook has a vested interest in making Instagram grow, so it tries to encourage you to round up your Facebook friends and bring them over to Instagram. It’s an easy way for you to find people. To find friends on Facebook, follow these steps:
  1. Go to your Instagram profile page by tapping your photo at the bottom right of your phone’s screen.
  2. Tap the person with a plus (and possibly a red number) at the top left.
  3. Tap the Facebook link at the top of your screen.
  4. Confirm your Facebook login by tapping OK. The screen displays how many Facebook friends you have on Instagram.
  5. Tap either Follow All or Follow. To follow every one of your Facebook friends on Instagram, tap Follow All. If you’d rather be more selective, especially because you'll likely be promoting your product or service, you may want to follow friends one by one. Simply tap Follow next to each friend you’d like to connect with, and keep scrolling and following!

Some of your friends may have set their accounts to private. In this case, you see Requested after you tap Follow. They need to approve you before you can view their profile and posts.

Syncing your contact list

Instagram can also connect you with the contacts stored on your phone or tablet. After you activate this feature, your contacts are periodically synced with Instagram’s servers. Instagram does not follow anyone on your behalf, and you can disconnect your contacts at any time so that Instagram cannot access them.

This feature may be best as a one-and-done in the beginning versus a constant connection for privacy purposes.

To connect your contacts, follow these steps:
  1. Go to your Instagram profile page by tapping your photo at the bottom right of your phone’s screen.
  2. Tap the small person with a plus (and possibly a red number) at the top left.
  3. Tap the Contacts link. The next screen tells you that Instagram will find people you know, and you're given the option to follow them.
  4. To proceed, tap Connect Contacts. Another pop-up asks whether Instagram can access your contacts.
  5. Tap Allow Access.
  6. A pop-up appears asking you to allow Instagram access to your Contacts. This is your last chance to cancel your decision to allow Instagram to access your contacts.
  7. Tap OK. The pop-up goes away, and the Contacts screen appears.
  8. Follow all your contacts on Instagram by tapping Follow All, or choose which contacts to follow by tapping Follow next to each one.
If you change your mind at some point and want to disallow Instagram’s access to your contacts, tap the wheel icon on your profile page, scroll down to Settings, and then tap Contacts. Tap the Connect Contacts toggle to return it to white, which terminates Instagram’s access.

Instagram Articles

Choosing an Instagram Name and Username for Your Business

Your name and username are two of the most important components of your Instagram profile because they are the only two searchable criteria of your profile. When users type a keyword or name in the search field on Instagram, the app looks at only the username and name fields of accounts to determine if an account is relevant to that search query.

The username is the string of characters at the top of profile. The name is the bold text below the profile photo. If you want your business to be found by a keyword or phrase, be sure to include it in either the name or username for your account.

Choosing the best Instagram username

You must select a username when you set up a new Instagram account. Your Instagram username is how you are recognized on Instagram. All activity, from the content you post to how you engage with others, is associated with your username. The username is at the top of the profile. Your username is the component of your Instagram URL that defines your account. It's delineated with the @ symbol when referring to you as a user. The URL for your Instagram account is

http://instagram.com/yourusername

When you interact on Instagram, the username appears as

yourusername

An Instagram username is limited to 30 characters and must contain only letters, numbers, periods, and underscores. You can't include symbols or other punctuation marks as a part of your username. Choose a username that represents your brand, is recognizable, and, if possible, distinguishes what you do. Your username might be simply your business name or an adapted version of your business name, such as @louboutinworld, instead of Christian Louboutin. Or you might also include a word or two that describes your business industry or niche to further define who you are, such as @yorkelee_prints.

Choosing a username that is different than your business name may confuse Instagram users as to whether or not your account is the official account for your business. It's best to keep variations as minimal as possible to avoid confusion.

During the registration portion of your Instagram account, you're prompted to select your username. If the username you selected is available, a check mark will appear. If someone is using that username, an X will appear in the username field. Keep selecting alternatives until you find an available username. Usernames are provided on a first-come basis. If you’re signing up for a new Instagram account using the web version, Instagram will populate an available username for you. Delete this username and type one that represents your brand. If the username you want to use is unavailable, you can use alternative options by adding periods or underscores to the username, by using abbreviations, or by adding another word. There is little you can do to have an existing username transferred to your account if it's in use or was previously used by another account. If another account is using your registered trademark as its username, visit
Instagram for information on how to file a claim of trademark violation.

It's good practice to read your username objectively before finalizing it. When you combine more than one word into a single username, without spacing, the arrangement of the letters may read differently or inappropriately to others. For example, @yourusername might be read as “You Ruse R Name” instead of “Your Username.” When this is the case, consider adding periods or underscores to separate the words within the username as follows: @your.username or @your_username.

After you select a username, all content linking to your profile is associated with the username's URL. If you want to change the username at some point, your URL would change and you would need to update all backlinks and links to that profile accordingly. This is why it's best to choose the right username when setting up your profile. If you do want to change your username, follow these easy steps:
  1. Go to your profile on Instagram on either your mobile device or your computer.
  2. Tap or click Edit Profile.
  3. In the Username field, type the new username.
  4. Save your changes.To do so, tap the check mark, Done, Save, or Submit button (depending on the device you're using).

Choosing the best name for Instagram

Your Instagram name is visible only when someone visits your profile directly. The name appears in bold below the profile photo. Your profile will perform better in searches and look more professional if the name and username are different. Having a name that's different from your username provides double the opportunity for keywords and searchable criteria in the Instagram app. Power users on Instagram take the time to craft good username and name components. Unlike your username, which is one word, your name should be in proper sentence structure with capital letters and spacing. Your name (like your username) is limited to 30 characters, including spaces. You can use your actual name or business name as your name on Instagram. Or you may choose to use an abbreviation or a commonly recognized description of your business. For example, if your business is a pizza restaurant called Farm Fresh Pizza, your username might be farm.fresh.pizza and your name might be Best Pizzeria in Boston.

You can be found in more searches on Instagram if you include a keyword or phrase in your name or username or both. If you didn't put a defining keyword in your username, you should include one in your name field, in addition to your actual name.

The name on your profile is not tied to your URL or other defining aspects of Instagram, so you can change it at any time. Consider adding or changing keywords, as necessary, to appeal to your target audience on Instagram. If you want to change your name, do the following:
  1. Go to your Instagram profile, and tap or click Edit Profile.
  2. In the Name field, type the new name.
  3. Save your changes.To do so, tap the check mark, Done, Save, or Submit button (depending on the device you're using).

Instagram Articles

How to Use Instagram’s Editing Tools

Instagram knows that looks are important, so they've gone ahead and built a photo editor right into their app. Now you can tweak pictures from your phone before posting them for the world to see. After all, nothing is worse than a dull, flat photo. The horror! View Instagram's editing tools by tapping Edit at the bottom of the screen. A row of editing tools appears below the viewer. Swipe from right to left in the row of editing tools to see all 13 tools. Tap a tool to open it below the viewer. What you see below the viewer depends on the tool you tapped. For example, when you tap the Brightness tool, a slider appears so you can increase or decrease the photo’s brightness. No matter what tool you use, the photo in the viewer reflects the changes you make. Here’s what you can do with each tool:

  • Adjust: You can adjust your photo in several ways by using the Adjust tool. A row of three icons and an associated slider bar appear below the photo so you can make the following changes:
    • Change the vertical or horizontal perspective of the photo by tapping the left or right icon, respectively, below the photo. After you tap the icon, it’s highlighted in black. The slider bar is a series of vertical lines. Swipe left and right in the slider bar to see the change reflected in the photo. As you slide, the highlighted icon above the slider bar is replaced with a box that shows you the change amount measured in degrees.
    • If the object in your photo appears tilted, tap the straighten icon in the middle of the icon row. Then swipe left and right in the slider bar to tilt the photo so that the object appears straight. As you swipe in the slider bar, a box appears in place of the straighten icon and shows you the number of degrees you’re tilting the photo.
    • Rotate the photo 90 degrees counterclockwise by tapping the rotate icon in the upper-right corner of the screen. Keep tapping the rotate icon to continue to rotate the photo in the viewer.
    • Crop the photo to a specific area by first zooming in (touch the photo and spread your thumb and index finger apart) in the viewer. Then hold down on the photo and drag it in the viewer until you see the part of the photo you want to post on your Instagram feed. If you decide you don’t want to crop the photo, zoom back out to the photo’s original size by pinching your thumb and index finger together in the viewer.
  • Brightness: In the slider bar below the viewer, slide the dot to the left to darken the photo or to the right to make the photo brighter. As you move the slider bar, the photo in the viewer darkens or brightens accordingly.
  • Contrast: In the slider bar, make the light areas of your photo even lighter by sliding the dot to the left. Make the dark areas even darker so the focus is on the lighter areas of your photo by sliding the dot to the right.
  • Lux tool: At the top center of the Filter and Edit screens is an icon that looks like a half-light, half-dark sun. Tap it to open the Lux tool, which you can use to quickly change the exposure level and brightness instead of using the separate Brightness and Contrast editing tools. Move the slider to change the exposure level and brightness. When you’re finished, tap Done to save your changes, or tap Cancel to discard them.

If you want to undo any edits you’ve made, tap the Lux icon and then move the slider to its default location, 50. (The default setting for the Brightness and Contrast editing tools, however, is 0.) When you’re done, tap Done. If you’ve undone any edits in tools other than Lux, you won’t see the gray dot below the tool button.

  • Structure: This tool enhances the details in the photo, such as adding color in an area that appears washed out in the original. In the slider bar, slide the dot to the right to see how the tool increases the details of the photo in the viewer. If you think the photo is too detailed, slide to the left to make the photo fuzzier.
  • Warmth: In the slider bar below the viewer, slide the dot to the right to make the colors warmer by adding orange tones or to the left to make the colors cooler by adding blue tones.
  • Saturation: In the slider bar, slide the dot to the right or left to increase or decrease, respectively, the intensity of all colors in your photo.
  • Color: You can change the color of your photo's shadows or highlights or both, as well as change the intensity of the tint. Eight colors are available: yellow, orange, red, pink, purple, blue, cyan, or green.
    • To change the color of shadows in your photo: Tap Shadows, if necessary (it's the default), and then tap one of the color dots.
    • To change the highlight color: Tap Highlights, and then tap one of the eight color dots, which are the same colors as those used for shadows.
    • To change the tint intensity for the shadow or highlight color: Tap the color dot twice. In the slider bar that appears below the viewer, slide the dot to the left or right to decrease or increase the intensity, respectively. When the intensity looks good to you, release your finger from the dot and then tap Done to return to the Color page.
  • Fade: Do you want your photo to look like it’s been sitting in a shoebox for years…or decades? In the slider bar, slide the dot to the right to fade the color from your photo or to the left to add color.
  • Highlights: In the slider bar, slide the dot to the right to increase the brightness in bright areas of the photo. Slide to the left to darken the bright areas in the photo.
  • Shadows: In the slider bar, slide the dot to the right to lighten the dark areas in your photo. Slide to the left to darken the dark areas.
  • Vignette: This tool allows you to darken the edges of the photo so people will focus on the center of the photo. In the slider bar, slide the dot to the right to darken the photo edges.
  • Tilt Shift: You can blur the outer edges of your photo and keep the center in clear focus so people will automatically look at the focused area. Tap Radial below the viewer to blur all four edges of the photo and keep the center focused. Tap Linear to blur just the top and bottom edges of the photo.

You can change the size of the “unblurred” area of the picture by tapping the center of the photo with your thumb and forefinger. Then spread them apart to make the area larger or together to make the area smaller. Tap Off if you don’t like the changes and want to keep your entire photo in focus.

  • Sharpen: This tool sharpens features that aren’t visible in the original photo, such as the texture on a wall. In the slider bar, slide the dot to the right and left to make the photo less and more fuzzy, respectively.
After you finish making changes to your photo, apply your effect by tapping Done. Or discard the effect by tapping Cancel.

After you apply an effect, a gray dot appears below the effect's icon as a reminder that your photo now sports that effect. Lookin' good!