08 Jul Instagram: The Next Big Thing in Social Media
Empower Social Media Marketing with Instagram
Let me not start with the introduction of what is Instagram? Thank’s to everybody’s new obsession with mobile photography Instagram has been a rage across all the age groups. In simple terms, it is a social networking app for sharing photos & videos from a smartphone. Just like other social networks like Facebook & Twitter, you can interact with the other users by following them, being followed by them, commenting, linking, tagging & private messaging.
Many of our students who are pursuing digital marketing course in our institute are completely excited about this tool, so we gave a complete practical exposure on how Instagram play’s a pivotal role in the success of brand & conversion on a real time basis with one of our existing client.
Why is everybody flocking to Instagram?
If you’re not using Instagram, you’re missing on the phenomenal experience of personalizing the photographs you take. Since its inception 2010, the app has grown rapidly from the very beginning, & has not stopped since. Within one week had over 100,000 users & three months after launching, Instagram hit 1 million users. By Jan 2016, there are 400 million active monthly Instagram users, & 75 million daily users
How do Instagram works?
You can edit your photos & videos, throw creative touches & then add it to your photo album in Instagram. You can also share your creations on other social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, & Foursquare, where you can connect with other users. In Instagram, you can categorize your post so that to make them easier to find you & also helps to find the other people as well. It has undergone many changes in the past few months, we’d love to share the Instagram basics.
Instagram has a lot of features & its bit confusing to a new user how to navigate or how to get started. I’d love to point you in the right directions & show you everything you need to know, from how to set up your account & how to find right people, how to post a photo or a video, Instagram Direct, or even how to use Instagram on the web.
Easy to get started:
- Get a compatible mobile device to use it, either on ios or Andriod
- Download the official Instagram app either on Google Play or the App Store
- You can sign up with your email address by opting for ‘Register with email”, or choose “Register with Facebook” to sign up using your Facebook Account. If you register with an email address, the app will prompt you to create a username and password and fill out your profile information
- You can create your profile with your photo, your new name, username, website, or bio
How to navigate Instagram:
- Use all Icons at the bottom to navigate Instagram:
- Home (House Icon): This tab shows the feed of list of all the photos posted by you & by the other Instagram users whom you follow. You cam like & comment on the photos & videos in your feed.
- Search & Explore (Magnifying Glass Icon): This tab helps to find people to follow, search the specific user & explore #hashtags.
- Take a photo ( Camera icon): This tab helps you when you want to take the photo directly
- Activity (heart bubble icon): It shows you the tractions of the photos & videos which you have posted where it displays how many likes & comments on your post, & shows you the photos & videos that your friends are liking & commenting on.
- Profile (Person icon): Once you have set up your profile with your photo, username & bio, one can easily edit the profile if you want to make any changes by tapping the “Edit Your Profile’. You can write a bio of up to 150 characters on your profile, or add or change a profile photo to import from your phone’s library, Facebook, or Twitter.
How to find the other Instagram users to follow:
One of the easiest way to find new users on Instagram is through Facebook friends who are already on Instagram, go to your profile & tap the button with three vertical dots in the top right. Tap “Find Friends” and then choose to find friends from Facebook, or from your phone’s contact list. Tap “follow” next to users whose posts you’d like to see in your feed.
By tapping the magnifying glass icon which is known as Explore tab, one can find people whom you might like to follow. Tap “Photos” to see photos and videos that people whom you follow have liked or that a large number of Instagram users have liked. Tap “people” account which you might like, based on that you follow & whom you’re connected to.
Using the search bar at the top of Search & Explore is another way to connect more users is to search for more people or hashtags on Instagram.
How to take or post a photo on Instagram:
In Instagram, there are 2 options to share a photo either by taking a photo with Instagrams camera or uploading for the phone’s photo library. Tap the camera icon at the bottom of the screen to take a photo or select from your phone. Unlike the phone camera tool, it has the same interface like switch between the front-facing & back-facing camera, or choose whether or not use the flash. You can tap the shutter button to take a photo, or the hit the video icon to record video.
You can add effects to the photos which you have chosen to post from the editing tools at the top of the screen or select the filter at the bottom of the screen. Once you have chosen a particular effect to write a caption for the photo, along with the caption also use #hashtags & @ mentions. With hashtags in the caption will drive new users to the particular post & mentions will bring attention to that particular user, who will get a notification when you mention him or her in the post.
Another brilliant feature in Instagram is you can tag the photos with your loved ones. Start entering their name or username, and select the correct users from the drop-down menu that appears. The person whom you tag in the photo will get a notification if they’re following you
How to record or post a video on Instagram:
Tap the camera icon & switch to video icon to take a video with Instagram. Press and hold the video icon to start recording, and lift your finger off the button to stop recording. Tap “Next” to add a filter and then share your video, exactly as you would with a photo that you’ve taken with Instagram or selected from your phone’s photo library. To share a video that you’ve previously recorded with your phone, tap the camera icon and then tap the video icon to switch from photo mode to video mode. Tap the box in the bottom right to view your phone’s video album.
Once the video is been shortlisted, you can select a filter at the bottom of the screen, and then tap “Next” to continue to the share screen. Unlike other social platforms you can mention them with the @symbol in the caption but you can’t tag people in a video. When you mention someone, he or she will receive a notification. As with the photos you share, your video will appear on your profile and in your feed.
How to use Instagram Direct:
Instagram Direct allows users to share photos, videos or just plain text messages with just one specific user or multiple users as part of a group.
An Instagram Direct message can be sent to anyone you’re following. You can also send them to users you’re not following, and they’ll show up as a message request in their inbox that they have to approve first. Once approved, all your future messages will be sent to their inbox even if you’re not following them. You can reply back to an Instagram Direct message with photos, videos, or plain text just the way you would on any other private messaging app.
It is very useful when you have a lot of followers. Not everything necessarily needs to be shared with everybody, especially when you have the large audience. It’s also useful when you want to connect more privately with someone you connected recently on Instagram.
Instagram Direct gives an opportunity to connect with the user in the more personal way with specific individuals or groups so that you don’t end up spamming everyone else feed with photos or video’s that aren’t exactly relevant to them.
What is Instagram Stories?
Instagram has introduced its own Snapchat- inspired stories feature. This feature is placed at the top of the screen where you will see a new horizontal feed displaying profile photos as circled bubbles of users that you follow.
In April 2017, Instagram stories surpassed all Snapchat activity reason being Instagram has been relentless about bringing some of the Snapchat’s best of features & tools, & often making his own improvements along the way providing best of experience to the users. Also, it provides user another platform to make creative content which in result provides compelling stories to the users. Instagram gives an endless creative platform for users, it’s almost like a small TV channel for your brand where you can implement out of the box concepts.
They are 2 ways of creating the story: the first is by going to your profile page & clicking on your icon. The other option is from your main feed clicking on the camera icon on the top left corner. Once you are done adding text, drawings & stickers on your masterpiece, tap the “+your story” icon at the bottom right corner & it has officially added to your story.
If you want to see your follower’s stories, you can swipe left or right to scroll through them & tap to view a specific user’s story, which disappears 24 hours after they have been posted. Stories which you haven’t viewed will be circled in color.
Instagram live video:
- How to start?
Instagram stories have undergone many changes at the end of 2016, Stories was expanded to include a live video streaming feature that users could take advantage of connecting with their followers similar to Facebook.
The Instagram live video is hidden in the camera tab of the stories feature. If you want to go live, click on the camera tab which is on the normal setting at the bottom of the screen, to switch to a live video stream, swipe right to set it to live.
When someone is using Instagram live you are able to figure out by looking at the little bubbles in your stories feed, which sometimes have a pink “live” badge displayed directly beneath them.
- Engage with your viewers:
The moment you go live on Instagram, your followers will get notification’s to encourage them to tune in. The moment your followers start to tune in, you will observe few things appear on the screen.
Viewer count: This appears in the top right corner of the screen next to the eye icon, which represents the number of people who are currently watching you
Comments: Viewers can publish live comments on your video using the comment field, which appears at the bottom of the screen.
Likes: A heart button appears in the bottom right corner of the screen, which viewers can tap to express their approval of your live video. You’ll see a heart animation play out in real time as viewers like it.
- Pin a comment or turn off comments:
This is an amazing feature like Facebook, besides engaging with the followers who are watching your live video, you can leave a comment on your video & then pin it to the screen so that all your viewers can see.
Alternatively, you can turn comments off so nobody has the ability to comment. In order to do this, just tap the three dots in the bottom right corner of the screen & tap the turn of commenting option.
- End of the video:
You can broadcast your video for up to an hour. Unlike other live streaming video app like the periscope, you won’t get any replays of your video because Instagram currently does not save any live videos anywhere.
Once you’ve ended your video, you’ll be given a total viewer count to let you know how many people tuned in over the course of your live video. If your profile is set to public, anyone could tune into your live video, not just your followers. Since your live video may show up in the suggested live videos to watch on the Explore tab.
These are the basic steps which you can follow to kick start your activity on Instagram, so why don’t you take a pick & play around with the features & post your comments about your experience, that’s what we emphasize with our students who are pursuing digital marketing course, it’s all about the execution & not just consuming theory. I strongly feel every digital marketing institute should provide ample of exposure to the students in practicality than just theory.