It took me a lot of time to learn what I know today, it’s been a long journey and I made many mistakes along the way. Truth is, those same mistakes pushed me to develop a process and a strategy and helped me learn a few things about Instagram.
And honestly, there is only a few things you must know about Instagram in order to get the most out of it. But it’s essential that you put all of them into practice if you truly want to see the results and succeed.
To make things easier for you, I have put together the ultimate guide to Instagram with the key points that have made for me a huge difference when it came to growing.
The Ultimate Guide To Instagram
The guide is divided into three main chapters, #Understanding, #Learning and #Growing. Each chapter deals with different topics.
What is Instagram and how does it work?
According to their authors, Instagram is a “free photo and video sharing app. People can upload photos or videos and share them with their followers or with a select group of friends. They can also view, comment and like posts shared by their friends on Instagram.”
It’s a platform for sharing, buying, interacting. With over 1 billion monthly active users, Instagram is one of the most popular social networks worldwide. This means that if you want your work to be noticed on top of others, you need a plan. To start with the right foot, you must:
#1 DEFINE YOUR NICHE
#2 POST QUALITY CONTENT
#3 BE CONSISTENT
#4 ACTIVELY INTERACT
My guide to Instagram walks you through the importance of understanding how the platform works first and explains you how to do things right from the beginning.
What is aspect ratio and how to prepare the images specifically for Instagram?
Instagram allows different image proportions, but does it treat all dimensions in the same way? Unfortunately it doesn’t and it’s best to learn this the soonest. Let’s talk about aspect ratio.
In fact, the platform only supports posts with proportions in between 1.91 : 1 and 4 : 5. And as long as your image is in between these aspect ratios, Instagram will preserve the original proportions of the photo you upload.
But do all the supported proportions provide you with the same exposure? And what happens to different proportions? Also, what about the preview of your image?
In my guide to Instagram you can find all the answers to these questions and see, with practical examples, why is so crucial to “rethink” an image specifically for Instagram.
How to make sure your work gets noticed on Instagram?
It doesn’t happen overnight and it takes a lot of time and work from your side. Yes, your side (or whoever might be managing your account), because cheating and using programs to auto interact with other accounts, buying likes and followers doesn’t make you any good in the long term.
When you have the right quality material to share, a consistent routine that helps you building your audience and the properly resized image, you are ready to share and can make use of a few more tools within the platform to get noticed and grow:
#2 GEO TAGS
#4 PAGE TAGS
#5 INSTAGRAM WHP
These are all powerful tools, but you must know why and how to use them in order to take proper advantage.
I have also included a few useful resources to help you analyze your datas and plan your Instagram feed. And speaking of resources, did you know that you can use and post on Instagram directly from your laptop, without the need of third party services/plugins?
Modern browsers have a way to test how responsive a website design is and offer a function to see how the site would look like in different browsers. The method that makes it possible for you to post directly from your laptop is called user agent spoofing. You need to open your browser and log in to your Instagram account.
#1 POST TO INSTAGRAM IN CHROME
On Mac, open View > Developer > Developer Tools
On Windows press F12 or press Shift + CTRL + i
A window opens up. On the top left, press on the little phone and tablet icon. The browser window will now downsize to the dimension of a smartphone or tablet.
Once you do that, you should see the plus icon at the bottom and you should be able to add a new post! If you don’t see the plus icon, reload the page and it should appear.
#2 POST TO INSTAGRAM IN SAFARI
Log in into your Instagram account from Safari on your laptop. On the top bar, click on Develop > User Agent > Safari – iOS 12.1.3 – iPhone (or whatever version you see near iPhone). You should now see the plus icon at the bottom.
#3 POST TO INSTAGRAM IN FIREFOX
In Mozilla Firefox, open the Firefox Menu and click on Tools > Web Developer > Responsive Design Mode. If you don’t see the plus icon, reload the page and it should appear.
Please be aware that the ability to post on Instagram from your laptop comes with some limitations. Not all the features that are available on the app will be available. For example, you won’t be able to post galleries (multiple images in the same post). You won’t be able to use filters nor to tag pages/accounts on your image.