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Written by Alex McCann


If you’ve grown up with Social Media over the years from the days of Myspace you may get confused as to which platform to market your business on in 2017

For many of our Tonebar readers you might consider Instagram as something the kids use, and that is partly true. Most Instagram users are between 18-29 years old.

But Instagram is big and it would be foolish to ignore it as part of your marketing strategy

It’s part of what we call the Facebook family – which incorparates Facebook, Messenger, Whatsapp and Instagram – there isn’t a place in modern life that you can avoid the reach of Mark Zuckberg

Instagram has doubled its user base, to 700 million monthly actives in two years

To put that in comparison – Twitter’s monthly active users are less than half of that at 313m, whilst Facebook has 1.94 billion monthly active users

On our Introduction to Instagram let’s take a look at the core features



Like most platforms the Instagram newsfeed has changed over recent years – much to the dismay of it’s userbase

Previously chronological users were used to seeing the most recent posts at the top of the feed

In recent month a new algorithm-based Instagram feed has rolled out where engagement plays a part in where your posts will rank on the newsfeed

So like Facebook – the focus needs to be on quality content that your audience will respond to and therefore put you at the top of the feed

Instagram is seen as being the happy social network – so users will spend large amounts of time scrolling through their feed

Instagram news feed



Instagram allows you to search People, Tags (Hashtags) and Places

This is where you go to find potential customers

For instance there are nearly 50,000 images tagged with #guitarmaker and #customguitar and 367,000 images tagged with #luthier

Instagram Search

It’s also on this tab on the app that you will see posts you may like

Like Facebook, instagram wants to show you more of what you engage with so it’s important to engage with content specific to your business – if you move from music and start following and engaging with football posts for example and the search bar will start suggesting more football posts



We’ll be going more indepth into the specifics of how to create engaging instagram posts in the next issue

But the emphasis on Instagram images is Quality Quality Quality

Instagram as we’ve said is a happy social network where people will scroll for hours each day

It’s also one where image quality is paramount

It’s like flicking through a glossy magazine where every image is perfect

That doesn’t mean you have to take images with a professional camera – you can get great quality images with a smart phone. You just need to take time to think about the lighting, the angle and the quality of what you post



If you’re posting quality content on a daily basis you will be receiving lots of notifications

Instagram posts generally get higher engagement than Facebook or Twitter

Often it’s light touch engagement such as likes, but it’s engagement all the same

The big secret of the notifications tab though is to look at the options at the top of this tab

The “Following” option gives you updates on the activity of those you’re following and that’s a goldmine to discovering interesting new people to follow


Your base for checking your Instagram Insights, who you’re following, who is following you and the repository of photos you have posted

It’s also where you’ll see your Instagram bio

This is what your potential audience see, so it’s important to have an engaging biog that grabs your audiences attention and helps them along the journey from non follower, to follower to customer

One of the biggest stars on Instagram is Joe Wicks (The Body Coach) and in terms of instagram conversion he believes it takes him between six and 12 weeks to convert followers into customers

That’s an impressive conversion rate

Instagram Biog


That is the basic walkaround of the Instagram app to give you a flavour of what to expect

Set up your account. Have a play. Get used to the app

And next issue we’ll be looking at some Advance Instagram tips such as Instagram Stories, Instagram Insights, Engagement and Photography Tips to help you increase business

About the author

Alex McCann

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