A Beginners Guide To Social Platforms: Instagram

By Sally Rosen     |     September 27, 2013

Within the past few years social media platforms have blossomed out of the fertilizer that is the internet and digital age. Expectations of brands and individuals being active on so many different social media sites have risen and continue to do so as more platforms begin to develop.

Learning new things is always difficult, but doing so is even more intimidating when the progress or lack of progress of your learning is broadcasted to all of your friends online. This series of posts is designed to appeal to the average individual looking to learn the basics for the most common social media platforms and hopefully along the way gain some followers and digital savvy.

Before we continue, here is a loosely defined “Social Media Dictionary” for those of you who might already be a little confused to help you out and make you sound smart(er):

  • Platform: An application, website, or type of software that hosts user profiles and media marketing. Examples include: Facebook, Twitter, KickStarter, etc.
  • Followers: The group of people who choose to follow your personal page or profile. Examples include “Likes” on Facebook, “Followers” on Twitter and Instagram, etc.
  • Engagement: Any sort of interaction between users on a platform. Examples include: Receiving a “Like” on a Facebook photo, a user commenting on your Instagram photo, or someone Retweeting your Tweet.
  • Best Practices: Strategies that optimize your profile by attracting more viewers (on your profile) and therefore more engagement. Examples include: “Post 1-2 times every day,” “Use popular hashtags like #NoFilter,” etc.
  • Throwback Thursday: Throwback Thursday or “TBT” is a phrase dedicated to posting a photo, link, phrase, or really anything from the past to your current social media. Examples include: Baby photos on Instagram, high school photos on Facebook, Spice Girls song on Twitter, etc.
  • Stream: A flow or feed of some type of content. Some streams are centered around specific subjects or hashtags. Examples include: Newsfeed on Facebook, home page on Instagram, search on Twitter, etc.

Today we’ll be discussing the best practices for your Instagram account. Instagram is a fun and valuable way to share your pictures and videos through your own voice. If you’re reading this then you’re probably looking to get more likes on your photos or gain more followers. Here are some best practices for you to follow:

Post Consistently
If you usually post once a week, then keep that pace up. If you usually post a Throwback Thursday picture then continue to do that. Followers like to follow users because they like their photos so keep giving them what they want!

#Hashtags For Days
Hashtags are one of the most popular ways that users search for photos related to a specific subject on Instagram. When you post a photo, target using 3-5 different hashtags that relate to your photo. If you are looking to put your photo into a popular stream of photos to receive more likes then use the most popular hashtags on Instagram which include:
#Love, #Instagood, #Me, #Cute, #Follow, #PhotoOfTheDay, #Like, #TBT, #Girl, #Followme, and #PicOfTheDay

Keep The Text Short and Fun
When describing your photo either keep it very simple and short or caption it in a way that a user can draw some sort of connection to it. Give purpose to your caption.

Engage With Other Users
Social media has the word “Social” in it- so be social! When you see a photo that you like, actually “like” it. Comment on photos that you have an opinion, comment, or question about. Showing other users some love will bring the love back to you.

Hopefully you can take advantage of some of the tips above and improve your Instagram profile! If you see significant differences we’d love to hear so comment below or contact us. Check in next week for a best practices optimization for Twitter. Thanks!

About Sally Rosen

Interactive Associate at Room 214 working on social media strategy and best practices. Student, Middle Child, Hockey Fan, Fashion Follower, and Advertising Appreciator. East coast raised and Colorado living.


  • […] Within the past few years social media platforms have blossomed out of the fertilizer that is the internet and digital age. Expectations of brands and indi  […]

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