A Quick Guide to Instagram for Beginners

With billions of daily users across the world, it’s no wonder that Instagram is one of the fastest growing and most popular social media platforms. It’s unique being purely a photo and video-based sharing platform. Instagram is owned by Meta, who also owns Facebook. 

If you’re new to Instagram, or you’re thinking about joining, or perhaps you just want to find out a bit more about this popular app, this blog post is for you! In this post, I’ve listed a few facts along with tips for using Instagram, and a little beginners guide to get you started. 

I hope you enjoy this post and find it helpful for starting out on your Instagram journey. Instagram is one of my most favourite social media platforms to use. If you’re interested in viewing my profile, or would like to connect on there, you can find me here.

A Quick Guide to Instagram for Beginners
A Quick Guide to Instagram for Beginners

Here are some Instagram facts you need to know in 2023!

  • According to research on Hootsuite, Instagram is the 8th most-visited site in the world. That’s pretty amazing if you ask me! Not only can you have the Instagram app on your phone and tablet, but you can also log into Instagram on desktop.
  • Instagram is the 4th most-used social media platform. Apparently Instagram has an incredible 1.3 billion+ daily global active users. It currently has more users than TikTok, Twitter and Pinterest.
  • The Instagram app has been around since 2010, and is the most-downloaded app in the world, with TikTok coming in second place.
  • Apparently, internet users aged 16-24 prefer Instagram to all other social media platforms, even TikTok!
  • Hootsuite shares that users spend an average of 11.7 hours per month on Instagram.
  • Instagram reels get reshared by people a whopping 1 billion times a day!

Are you a Christian Church, community, business or individual and are wanting to create an effective online presence? I have a free download just for you. When you sign up to my mailing list you’ll receive my 7 Quick Steps For Reviewing Your Social Media Channels download, to help and inspire you in your online and social media journey. You’ll also receive my monthly Little Notes of Light newsletter too! Click here to sign up.

If you’re already on Facebook and Twitter, and wondering if you should join Instagram or not, as I mentioned above, it’s unique in that it’s purely visual-based. It opens up a whole new social media experience for you and your followers.

Instagram can be used for personal use, or you can use it for your business, church, community, blog and more. You can also combine these into one account because after all, people do like to see some personal touches from the human behind the account. Mine is mainly for personal use and to share my love for photography, but I also share my blog posts, newsletter and sometimes business promo posts, but in a more visually creative way than I do on Facebook and Twitter. 

I’ve met lots of wonderful people on Instagram who are not necessarily on Facebook and Twitter. It opens up a whole new audience and lots of new opportunities for us all.

Another great thing about Instagram, is that when you write your captions, you can write way more in one single post than on Twitter. So although it’s a photo and video-based sharing platform, you still have the option to add lots of writing to your posts.

It’s important to remember that you don’t need to be a photographer, or an expert in taking photos to use Instagram. You can share your day-to-day life, your business, church or community and more through photos. Plus, you have the potential to reach so many people all over the world.

A Quick Guide to Instagram for Beginners

How do I download the app and sign up?

To download the app, simply pop over to the Apple App store if you have an iPhone, or Google Play store if you have an Android phone. The app is free to download and it’s free to create an account. You can also have Instagram on your desktop by visiting the website here. You can also create an account on the desktop version as well as on the app. 

Once you’ve downloaded the app, you can automatically sign up, create your account, and you’re on Instagram!

How do I find people on Instagram?

On both the app and desktop versions on Instagram, you have the option to search for people by clicking or tapping on the magnifying glass. You can either type in their name, or use their Instagram username if you know it. For example, my username on Instagram is @clementineroseb 

I find it easier to find people if I already have a link to their Instagram page, or if I know their username, as you wouldn’t believe how many people have the same name on there, even me, and I’ve only ever met one other person called Clementine in real life!

If you’re looking for someone who is quite famous and well-known, chances are they may have a blue verified sticker next to their name, along with a large online following. This helps to find the person’s official Instagram page, rather than a fan page or a fake account. This is something which is worth remembering, especially if you’re new to Instagram.

How do I post to Instagram?

To post on Instagram, all you need to do is have your image ready, tap the + sign in the menu, and this will direct you to your photos. Once you’ve chosen your photo, simply click ‘next’ which will then give you the option to edit your photo if you would like to, along with applying some ready-made filters. If you don’t want to make any edits to your image, click ‘next’ again, and then this will take you to the final page where you can write your caption, add a location to your post to let your followers know where the photo was taken, tag people and other accounts, and if you want add music to your post. 

There are some other options too on this page, but a quick search on Google will help you to understand more about them. Usually, when I’m creating a post, all I do is add a location, write a little something for my caption, and then share it.  

The desktop version of Instagram also lets you post direct from there.

A Quick Guide to Instagram for Beginners
A Quick Guide to Instagram for Beginners

What are Instagram Stories?

At the top of your main page on the app or on your desktop, you may see lots of little circles. These are Instagram Stories that people you follow have created. You can also create your very own Instagram Stories too. Stories are fun little snippets that you can add throughout your day to let your followers know what you’re up to, or if you have a business, it’s a great way to keep your followers up-to-date, and to add promo stories. You can basically create a story for anything you like, including sharing your own posts and those of others. Each Instagram Story lasts for just 24 hours. 

By going to the + sign again you have the option to create a Story. You can also swipe right on the main homepage of Instagram in the app to create a Story. Here you can add photos, text, music and lots more. There’s lots of different things you can add to your Stories. I recommend having a little play with the app so you get accustomed to all that it offers. Again a quick search on Google can help you find out more about particular features and how to use them. Remember too that the app is constantly evolving and updating, so features come and go over time.

What else can I do on Instagram?

Along with posting to your grid and creating Stories, you can also create reels which are short videos that stay on your profile for people to watch. You can also do an Instagram live, where you go live to your followers. I’ve used this feature a few times myself. 

Instagram also has an ‘explore’ button which brings up recommended posts and where you can find new people to follow. You can also private message people on Instagram, along with being able to leave a comment on other people’s Instagram posts. They can also leave a comment on yours too. You can like posts as well and as I said above, share them to your Stories.

It’s worth remembering that Instagram is quite different to Facebook and Twitter. On both these platforms, it’s easy to share and ‘Retweet’ other people’s content. You can do this on Instagram too, but not quite in the same way. Similarly, it’s easy to share links on Facebook and Twitter. Although you can’t share links in your grid captions, you can now add them to your Stories. These are subtle, but important differences, especially if you’re familiar with other social media platforms. Nevertheless, Instagram has lots and lots to offer, and as you explore the platform further, you’ll find and discover what works best and which parts you enjoy most.

If you want to read a bit more about how other people have used Instagram, these two books are both worth a look:

As you get to know Instagram and its features more, there really is so much that you can do on it and use it for. I find that it’s really easy to navigate and to use. It’s helped me to make new friends, meet new people, provide new business and work opportunities, and join online communities. It’s helped me greatly in my journey of faith and to connect with other Christians all over the world.

My husband and I have found that there is an amazing (huge) narrowboat community on Instagram. We started our very own Instagram page for our boating adventures (which you can find here), and have connected with so many other narrowboat owners and people who love the canal. 

You’d be surprised at just how many different communities there are on there!

If you would like some extra support on your social media journey, over on my services page I offer a social media audit, which is a great starting place for creating an effective online presence. I also offer a social media setup package, plus a social media graphics bundle, and a 12 week online support package too. To find out more and how I can help you, click here. I look forward to hearing from you. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me here.

If you have enjoyed this post and any of my other content, you can support my work and future content by buying me a virtual coffee. For as little as £2, this helps to support all that I do, and so I can keep creating content on my website, social media channels, newsletter and more. Your support means so much to me.

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