How to Get Started with Your Social Media Marketing Campaign on Instagram - dummies

How to Get Started with Your Social Media Marketing Campaign on Instagram

By Shiv Singh, Stephanie Diamond

First and foremost, Instagram is a mobile application. You get your marketing campaign started by downloading the app to your mobile device. There is an app for iOS, Android, and the Windows phone. You can also view your pictures from your computer, but only after you have set up an account.

But before you do download Instagram, you want to determine whether Instagram users match your target demographic. So who uses Instagram? Statistics curated by Jen Herman of Jenn’s Trends reports the following facts as of July 2014:

  • Instagram has 200 million monthly active users.

  • The average user spends 257 minutes a month on the site.

  • Sixty-five percent of users are located outside the U.S.

  • Twenty-five percent of the Fortune 500 is on Instagram

In its report called “Social Media 2013 Update,” Pew Research says that

  • Fifty-seven percent of Instagram users visit the site at least once a day.

  • Twenty percent of female U.S. adults and 15 percent of male adults use Instagram.

  • The largest user age group is 18–29.

Does this sound like your audience? If so, you need to get on Instagram right along with 25 percent of the Fortune 500 who consider this user group valuable because of their high interaction with brands.

According to a study by L2-Intelligence, 93 percent of prestige brands such as Chanel, Estée Lauder, and Cartier can be found on Instagram. If you are wondering why, just look at an image from one of these brands. For example, Cartier gold jewelry requires no explanation. The images say it all.

Signing up

To sign up, first download the app from your device store — iTunes, Google Play, or the Windows Phone store. After you launch the app, you can register with either your email or Facebook account, add some profile information, and you’re in!


Sharing photos or videos for the first time

When you open Instagram on your mobile device, you see, aside from your feed, icons at the bottom of the screen.

Following are the icons from left to right:

  • Home: This is where you see your stream of the latest photos by the people you follow.

  • Explore: Here you can search for topics of interest and see a stream of photos that may be of interest to you.

  • Camera: When you click the camera icon, your camera comes up ready to take a photo.

  • Following: This is where you see your followers’ activity.

  • Your photos: Photos you have taken and uploaded to Instagram.


Don’t forget to put a location tag on your image so that viewers who search for that location will find you. For local brick-and-mortar merchants, this is critical.

You also want to make sure to use video on Instagram when appropriate — you have up to 15 seconds to record. It’s as easy as taking your photo. Here’s how:

  1. Choose the camera icon and tap again to change it to video.

  2. Hold down the red button to start recording and tap it again when you want to stop recording.

  3. Pick your filter if you want, add a caption and a tag, and send the video on its way.

You can like and comment on others’ videos (you can’t add a tag), just as you can with photos, so remember to do that to get in on the conversation.

Using filters

When you first post images, you may feel that you must use one of the filters that Instagram provides. That’s entirely up to you. Actually, 50 percent of users use the normal (no) filter on their photos. So snap some shots just to experience the process.

Currently the filters are as follows:

  • Normal

  • Amaro

  • Mayfair

  • Rise

  • Hudson

  • Valencia

  • X-Pro II

  • Sierra

  • Willow

  • Lo-Fi

  • EarlyBird

  • Sutro

  • Toaster

  • Brannan

  • Inkwell

  • Walden

  • Hefe

  • Nashville

  • 1977

  • Kelvin

When you select one of these filters, the image is given a specific effect; for example, Inkwell renders your photo in black and white.

Currently, the top five filters used on Instagram are Normal, EarlyBird, X-Pro II, Valencia, and Rise.

In its quest to enhance and upgrade its editing tools, Instagram provided several in June of 2014: For example:

  • Filters: The filters now have a slider switch that allows you to see how much of the effect you want to apply.

  • Vignette: In addition to the Tilt-Shift tool, you can now use the Vignette tool to create a black border around the photo, thus making it easier to see the way the photo is positioned.

  • Cropping and Straightening: These tools have been combined to make it easier for you to fix a photo that is out of square and then crop it.