So, unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you know what Instagram is. Or at least you’ve heard of it, right? Of course.. the reason you’re reading this is to learn how to set up Instagram…
If not, in a nutshell, Instagram is an app where you take a photo, edit it, throw some filters on it and share it with your followers. You use hashtags to attract the right people and you can follow other people and like their posts too. Sounds easy right?
So now you want to learn how to set it up and how to get the most out of it? Well you’re in the right place.
Whether you’re a newbie setting up Instagram for the first time or someone who has dabbled in Instagram before but needs a refresher, I will take you through everything you need to know from downloading the app, to posting, following and planning your content.
So, let’s get started!#
How To Set Up Instagram
Creating An Account
You can download the Instagram app on IOS or Android or you can visit www.instagram.com from your desktop.
Before you start you need to make sure you have an email address and have a password in mind to use.
So firstly I’ll talk you through creating an account using the app.
How To Set Up Instagram Using The App
Whether you download on IOS or Android you follow the same steps. It’s pretty straightforward and you can do it in a couple of minutes… (Unless you’re like me and take ages thinking of a username, only to decide on your first choice 30 minutes later! )
- Download the Instagram app from the App Store or Google Play Store (or equivalent).
- Once it has downloaded, open the app by clicking the icon.
- Click Sign Up. This will prompt you to enter an email address and a password. Remember to use a strong password! Mixing upper and lowercase and numbers is always a good idea.
- Choose a username, enter your name and you’re done!
Your profile now exists and is ready for you to personalise!
Instagram also gives you the option to sign up using Facebook so if you have a Facebook account and want to make signing up even quicker, choose this option when it asks for your email address.
The app will suggest a few people to follow to start you off (these are usually celebrities), so either give a few people a follow or skip this stage and find people to follow later on.
You can make an Instagram account from a computer if you want, but bare in mind that you can only share photos and videos from the app, so you won’t be able to post on your Instagram feed from your computer.
How To Create Instagram Account On PC
To make your account:
- Go to instagram.com
- Fill in your email address and choose a password (or log in with Facebook)
- Choose your username and enter your name.
- Click ‘Sign Up’.
Whichever way you set up your account you will need to log into your email account (the one associated with the email address you used to sign up) and verify your email.
What if the username I want is already taken?
Sorry guys and girls, there’s not much you can do about this unfortunately… If someone has already taken your name then it’s theirs.
It’s annoying as hell thinking of the perfect username and finding another account has already taken it and they have… wait for it… ZERO posts.
I know… What a waste.
All you can do is message the account and ask if they would consider changing their username so you can take theirs.
Most of the time they won’t even reply. Especially if they’re an inactive account – the user won’t even check the app, so they probably won’t see your message.
Buuuuut on the off chance that they do check, they might see you message and say yes – so it’s worth a try.
If not, try putting a number or dot on the end of your name and see if that’s free instead.
Eventually after a verrryyyy long time of inactivity, Instagram might remove the user with the name you want, so keep checking back if you’re desperate for it.
Now, let’s move on.
Choosing The Right Username
Your username is what people will know you by on Instagram, it’s also known as your ‘handle’ (basically the name after the @ sign). So my handle is @ktf_xo
Try and make sure that the username you choose is recognisable, so if it’s a personal account, it’s linked to your name. If it’s a brand or business, try and use your brand or business name or something which people will see and recognise as being your business.
You can also enter your full name on your profile, just underneath your profile picture. You do this when you edit your profile which we will come on to shortly, but first…
What Makes Up Your Profile?
There are a number of different parts to your profile and they all work together to give your profile an overall look, starting with your…
Like your profile name, your profile picture should be easily recognisable. So if your Instagram is personal, use a picture of you. If it is business or branding, either use a picture of your logo or use your face. Everyone loves faces, not only do they help put a face to the brand, but they also show that you’re human and not just a selling machine here to force products on them.
But don’t go overboard with pictures of your face though. People want to know who you are but they don’t want your face popping up left right and centre. (It kinda looks a little big headed too…). A nice, welcoming cheesy grin as your profile picture should do the trick though.
If you’re editing your profile on a mobile device, you can upload a photo from your gallery or choose one to import from Facebook. It’s not possible to update your profile picture on desktop.
If you don’t have any pictures on your phone or tablet or even on your Facebook that aren’t suitable for a profile picture (If you’re anything like me your camera roll is full of selfies, so you’ll easily find the perfect profile pic…), then you can also take a photo there and then in the app to use.
This is the section underneath your profile picture where you can write a little bit about yourself or your business.
Your bio is your chance to give people a little insight into who you are or what your business is about.
Now, this needs to be something interesting. The more out-there it is, the better – that way people are gonna think… ‘ooo he sounds cool, I’ll follow him’ and they’re more likely to remember you.
If you’re writing something about your business, make it worth reading. Give people an idea of what your business does, or use the bio to tell people when you’re launching a new product or when your new blog post is up.
Let’s take a look at my bio:
Mine gives you an idea of the type of stuff I post – Beauty, travel and fashion, tells you where I am based – UK (But not too specific) and says ‘DM for collabs’ which tells any brands who view my profile, that I collaborate with brands and they should message me if they’re interested in working with me.
If you put any hashtags in your bio, it can make it easier to find your account when people are searching using those hashtags.
There is a space on your profile to include one link, so use it wisely…
If you’re a brand or business then the obvious link to use is your website. The link is clickable so people can visit your website directly in just one click.
Your bio is also the only place you can include a clickable link on your page so make sure you choose the right one.
This is simply your business name or real name if your username isn’t either of those and it appears just under your profile picture.
I’d recommend including this because, again, this makes you more likely to show up when people search for similar terms.
Edit Your Profile
Okay, so to edit any of these sections, simply tap the icon in the bottom right hand corner of your screen to visit your profile and at the top click ‘Edit Profile’.
From here, you can firstly upload a profile picture by tapping ‘Change Profile Picture’ at the top of the page.
Instagram crop all profile pictures into circles, so the best size to upload is 110×110…because this is the size which they show.
Buuuut just to be doubly sure that your picture looks awesome and isn’t grainy or blurry, it’s recommended that the photo you upload is actually 180×180. This way, when you view your profile picture on the desktop version of Instagram, the image is still crisp and clear.
Next up is where you can enter your name or business name.
Underneath this you’ll see your username. So remember when you made your Instagram account and you chose a username? Well, if you’ve decided that the one you picked maaaybe wasn’t the best choice, this is your chance to change it.
I wouldn’t recommend changing your username very often, or at all if you can help it. Changing it will mean that fans/followers/customers won’t be able to find you if they’re searching for your username. But if you’ve just made your account and don’t have any followers yet then go ahead.
Then add your website or whatever link you want to in the space for a URL, and write a kick ass bio and you’re all set.
But what about…
Your Private Information
When you click ‘Edit Profile’ you’ll see at the bottom of the screen, a section of your private information. Now before you panic… only you can see this information… Phew!
But it’s here so it’s super easy to find if you need to change your email address or phone number without having to go trawling through loads of account settings like on other websites.
When you’ve made all your changes to your profile, click ‘Done’ and you’ll save all of your changes!
Great… so you know how to set up Instagram …but what’s next?
Well, you can’t just post anything as your first post. So, check out The Small Ways To Get A Big Start With Your First Post.