Instagram Basics 101 – 8 Getting Started Tips For Instagram

Do you know the Instagram basics?  They are ever-changing on Instagram. And more are coming next month.

Well, Instagram is that kind of site.

In this article, we run through some very simple Instagram basics that will help you come to a better understanding of the mechanics of Instagram.

Instagram basics

If you cover all the points in this article you be moving in the right direction to grow your Instagram following and build your engagement.

In this article, we run through some very simple Instagram basics that will help you come to a better understanding of the mechanics of #Instagram. Click To Tweet

Instagram Basics – 101

1/ Keep Your Bio Updated

Your Instagram bio is where you let everyone land on your profile what you are all about.

It is crucial to keep it updated. Your challenge with Instagram marketing is to get visitors to click your bio link and visit your site or product.

your bio

You don’t want your profile link linking to blog articles or content that is way out of date.

And you don’t want just to be linking to your site’s home page.

Refresh your bio link regularly to point to your cornerstone content or new content that you want to give a lift to.

If you set up a Bitly account then you can create keyword-based links that you can add in and at the same time take advantage of the analytics that is on offer to see how your bio link is performing for you.

2/ Have More Than One Account

It has been a long-time Instagram strategy of mine to market with multiple Instagram accounts. The reason for this is that you can use multiple accounts to give yourself clickable links on Instagram.

The big downside to marketing on Instagram is that you only have one link clickable URL that you can use on Instagram posts and that is your bio/profile link. And as mentioned your challenge is to get visitors to click through to your link and site. However, today you can use the stories feature to add the link button.

This is where multiple accounts come in handy because account usernames are clickable links. As long as you don’t make it a private account.

So if you set up a second account for a specific product and name it as that product you can then use that username as a link through to that account where you just promote that product and that account is basically just a capture page/splash page for your product

I have already written in great detail about this strategy. You can read the article here:

How To Add Clickable Links On Instagram

Clickable Links

There are various sites that offer you clickable links for a monthly fee but these offer no real advantage over my Instagram strategy because they require you to leave Instagram to go to the site where your images are syndicated to.

You have to add the 3rd part site link to your bio link.

And then you still have the same problem that you have to get visitors to click through to your Instagram bio link to then click through to the 3rd party site.

Creating multiple accounts with a good Instagram marketing strategy is a great fix for the problem of the clickable link found on Instagram.

view private accounts
View a private account with this tool.

3/ Instagram Basics – Don’t Play The Followers Game

Followers have equal engagement, links, and comments but only if they are interested in your content.

Following hundreds of random people is absolutely pointless on Instagram when 5 minutes later they unfollow you.

There are just so many apps that help you monitor your followers on Instagram that there is no hiding when you follow and then unfollow. Believe me, it is just a complete waste of time.

Here is what you do instead – an Instagram basic

It is a simple Instagram basic, you just create great content that Instagrammers in your niche will like and follow you for.

You need to visit members in your niche and engage with them, like and comment on their content, and get noticed.

This is old-school social media and it works but it is slow and that is why we have the followers game.

Playing the followers game will grow your following moderately faster than using an engagement strategy but the members who stick with you are more than likely just going to be not very active and so are just not going to give you the engagement that you are looking for to the content that you create.

engage with content
Engage with others’ content on Instagram.

4/ Brand Your Instagram Account And Set A Theme

The Instagram basics include branding. Brand yourself on Instagram and become known for what you do.

Set yourself to work to a content posting theme that adds to your branding, so if you add text to images then always use the same font. If colored text is your thing then be bold with it.

Therefore, use images that are similar in style. Giving your images and videos an appeal will help them to be recognized on Instagram.

If you are being recognized then you doing something right and that is when you are likely to pick up real Instagram followers.

Creating your own brand that works builds trust and this is incredibly important if you are selling a service or a product.

5/ Instagram Hashtags

Hashtags are your way of being seen and you should use plenty of them. But be careful they can look a bit spammy if you just add a big block of tags.

I recommend that you use between 5-10 tags. Try where possible to insert them in amongst a good call to action. Don’t just use hashtags on your own. (Do your research!)

Instagram Hashtags

6/ Set Your Call To Action

Another Instagram basic is a good call to action is around 130-150 characters. So get to the point and let people know what is happening.

Your call to action is very important if you are running multiple accounts and using accounts for specific products as demonstrated in my clickable links strategy. Be sure to also respond to comments on your Instagram account.

7/ Instagram Basics – Post Often

You need to post new content on a regular basis if you want to keep your Instagram followers engaged.

They follow you because they are interested in what you do. Therefore, if you are just not that active why would they continue to follow you?

  • That doesn’t mean you need to be posting 10 photos a day.
  • I would recommend posting stories 2 or 3 times a day.
  • Concentrate on creating quality content, less is more.
post often
Learn to post often with Instagram stories and on schedule with feed posts.

8/ Promote And Syndicate Your Content

Let your followers on other social channels know that you have an Instagram presence.

Add your Instagram followers to your blog posts from time to time. You can also embed some of their posts like the one below from our friend Ilka Flood for Send Out Cards.

Syndicate your content to other social channels using IFTTT recipes but just be mindful of how your content will look when displayed on another social channel.

Syndicating your content to Pinterest is a very worthwhile option for you if you have a Pinterest account
That is all for now, I hope you have found my Instagram basics article useful.

You can also schedule your Instagram posts and stories with Agorapulse.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Ilka Flood (@ilka_flood)

Instagram Changes

Instagram’s navigation changes have made it easier for people to share and connect with their friends and interests. The navigation bar at the bottom of the app has a shortcut for creating content in the center and Reels to the right.

As part of this change, the Instagram Shop tab has been removed. You will still be able to set up and run your shop on Instagram as they continue to invest in shopping experiences that provide the most value for people and businesses across feeds, stories, reels, ads, and more.

Lastly, you can now schedule your own Instagram posts right in their app and delete images from a carousel post. Don’t forget to add stories and use the highlight covers for your account too.

Some Quick Questions For You About Instagram Basics

Do you struggle with Instagram basics? Have you mastered a strategy that works for you on Instagram? Let us know in the comments section below so we can discuss and answer questions for you.

view private instagram account

Dexter Roona
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  • Paul Lamont says:

    This really helped me to understand Instagram. I have not used it but can see the potential!

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Paul, welcome to Inspire To Thrive. I’m glad this post helped to better understand Instagram. It does take time to get traction but so does most of the other social networks today. Have a great day.

  • Ileane Smith says:

    Hey Dexter! Instagram constantly rolls out updates and new features it can be a challenge to keep up so thanks for the updates. Have you ever used Instagram Live? I’m curious to learn if you think live streaming on Instagram is an effective tool for connecting with your followers. I’ve done it a few times recently now that I can go live from my desktop and got a positive reaction from my viewers.

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Ileane, I think Dexter is on vacation. However, I will have to look into this for you and test one on my account. I have used one but it was a long time ago. I like that you can do it from the desktop Ileane. I’ve been using Instagram more that way recently too. Thanks for coming by and I will let you know what I find. Have a great weekend.

  • Ilka Flood says:

    Thanks for these valuable tips and also thank you very much for the mention above! It’s truly appreciated.

    • Lisa says:

      You are most welcome Ilka and welcome to Inspire To Thrive. I hope you get a few new followers from it as well. Have a fabulous day.

  • kumar says:

    Instagram is the most powerful social media tool after facebook. Thanks for the awesome information.

  • Bob says:

    Quick question, is there a way to look at those you follow to see if they follow you back? I have been noticing a lot of people or business start following you and then once you follow them back they stop following you. Obviously just to boost their followers.

    • Dexterroona says:

      You have discovered the Instagram following game, I wrote about this on infobunny. You can see who follows and unfollows just go to your App Store and download one of the many instagram follower apps your be able to see everything that happens follower related.

  • Dexter Roona says:

    This article ranks no 27 for the term Instagram Basics, that is not a bad result.

  • Taka says:

    Hi Dexter,

    All the points you mentioned are great. I’ve been thinking about creating another account but also thinking it’s hard to commit to both. When you have plenty of ideas, it’s fine, but when you run out of it, it gets you frustrated. But I might do it after all, lol.

    What do you think about using a Facebook page as a link in the bio? Is this common? That way, you can direct them to more than one specific pages.

    Thanks for the nice article.

    • Dexter Roona says:

      I wouldn’t use a FB page. I think Facebook pages have had their day and there are way better options now to use than a Facebook page.

  • Anil Agarwal says:

    Hi Dexter, great post.

    Making your bio interesting (using icons and other stuff) to read is what attracts most people who randomly visit your insta profile.

    Just make sure to write compelling bio and use a link to your website’s most important page (it can be either homepage or any landing page where you use email optin forms) if you want to drive visitors from insta to your website.

    It’s also important to look at the bio and profiles of interesting people and influencers in your industry so you can replicate the same to get more attention.

    As you said, having more than 1 account is always useful. One, you can use for personal use, others for managing your business website accounts and content. Just make sure to regularly post interesting memes, content or quotes to attract more people to follow you.

    I personally tried and tested a lot with Insta tags (there are people I know who do keyword research even for using Insta tags). So it’s always better to use at least 5 to 10 insta tags for every post you publish on Instagram.

    Great tips as always Dexter. Keep up the great work.

  • Ricky says:

    I think with new algorithm changes, getting your content notice on Instagram is becoming harder and harder. What are some tactics you used that help drive more engagement on your posts? Is it really just as simple as asking questions to spark answers from your community?

    • Dexter Roona says:

      Your images have to be great, the post text has to be laid out well. You have to follow others in your niche and engage and build relationships.

  • Rajkumar says:

    It is a very interesting article to read. I am planning to make an Instagram account but I have few questions to ask. How many hash tags should we use in a post? Is it any way to publish text on Instagram instead of images? Please give me your suggestions.

  • Hii
    Instagram has become one of the top used social media platforms and their users are growing day by day. We need to make an effort to effectively use this platform. It is one of the best platforms to promote our brands and engage with the audience. You have covered many necessary tips about instagram and glad to know it.

    Thanks for sharing
    Praveen Verma

  • Well done Dexter. I hit Instagram pretty hard when I travel. Especially during the prior 5 months. I spent 2 months in Thailand and 3 months in New Zealand. Now I need to set aside a few minutes daily to post a few images and to engage other users. Engaging is always the key to my greatest IG growth. Comment on some updates. Like some updates.

  • Sajid Akhter says:

    Hi Lisa,
    Excellent post as usual. I have been long wondering about the usage of Instagram to promote my website. However, I couldn’t figure it out till I landed on your post.
    Very well written giving in-depth information about Instagram’s usage and its advantages.

    I will try to implement them and see how it goes.

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful post. Have a good day. 🙂

  • Cori Ramos says:

    Hi Dexter,

    It’s so nice to e-meet you! I’m so glad you wrote about Instagram. I have 2 blogs and have been debating whether to get a separate Instagram account for it. The Instagram account I have now is named after my blog but I was thinking about changing it to my name and update my bio.

    But after reading your post, I think it might be best to keep them separate. What would you suggest?

    I’ll have to try IFTTT recipes for Pinterest…thanks for that suggestion as well as the other tips you shared!


    • Dexter roona says:

      If you have one account per blog then you have 2 bio links, might be worth having a 3rd under you name then you can have the clickable links option.

  • Enstine Muki says:

    Hi Dexter,
    I’m excited about you sharing these tips with us here.
    I’m not active on this platform at all. I have been planning to get it going. So I needed some basics to begin with. This is good for me, really.

    Hey Lisa, thanks for bringing Dexter on board this time 😉

    • Dexter says:

      Thanks I’m happy to get the opportunity, so thanks to Lisa for that. Great hope these tips bring you some results.

  • Brad Lindsey says:

    Hi Dexter

    This is a great introduction for myself as I am one of the very few that has not set up an Instagram account…weird right? I appreciate what you said about the branding and keeping the same font size – color etc. I love creating image based content for quotes and my articles which I post on Twitter. This should translate well for Instagram.

    I will look into ‘syndicate your content’, and a Pinterest business account as well (which seems like a must for content marketing)! Your tips are great ones for helping me get started and inspired to finally jump into Instagram.

    Thanks for sharing my friend!

  • Dexter Roona says:

    Thanks for publishing Lisa … If anyone has any questions let me know.

    • Lisa says:

      Thank you Dexter for the great post on Instagram. I’ve already activated the IFTTT recipe for Pinterest, love it! I just went with a business account last week and learning the ins and outs with that vs. a personal Instagram account.

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