Monday, April 24, 2017

Intro to Instagram, Part 2

by Bethany Jett @BetJett

Intro to Instagram, Part 2
Last month we opened our social media talk with an Introduction to Instagram. We covered usernames, how to create a stellar bio, privacy settings, how to pick a color scheme, tips on filters and so much more. 

Phew! We don’t mess around! Be sure to check out that article here, because today we’re jumping into content: what to post, how to post it, and why the Stories feature is actually a beautiful time investment instead of a time-waster.

What to Post
What you post on Instagram is directly tied to your bio. What did you promise your followers? Lisa Bevere (@LisaBevere) is a great example. In her bio, she shares who she is “Wife-Mom4Men-Gmama-Lover of God-cancer survivor-NYT Bestselling Author.” We can expect to see pictures of her family, quotes from her books (which she hashtags to make up the rest of the bio) and photos of her on stage. That’s exactly what we get.

Hilary Rushford (@HilaryRushford) has a beautiful Instagram feed and over 101,000 people following her. In her bio, Hilary tells us what to expect from her feed: “Personal stylist, biz coach. More joy, less overwhelm. Home sweet Bklyn [Brooklyn].”

If Hilary starts a fashion challenge for the month of May, it completely fits with her brand. If she suddenly switches her feed to focus on health, pumping iron, and muscle shots in the mirror, some of her followers may stay with her, but it goes completely against the brand she’s built.


It can help to think of three things that you love and want to intentionally focus on for your feed. Don’t be afraid to show some personality and personal insights. If your feed is only quotes, it may look pretty but there’s no emotion there. Your readers want to connect with you.

How to Post
With Instagram, your “Top Nine” photos are important. This refers to the top nine photos of your feed, which are your first impression to the IG world. This is where a potential follower decides to follow you…or not. There are lots of ways to play with your top nine. In my Top Nine, I like to have at least one selfie or headshot and one-to-two quotes so people can see my face and quickly get a feel for who I am.

Your “line of three” are the three photos in each row. Some IG’ers will post 3x a day (recommended for serious players here) and use the same formula for each row. For many health and fitness people, someone may take a picture of their healthy breakfast as photo one, a selfie at the gym as photo two, and a motivating quote as photo three. This gives their feed a cohesive look, because as you scroll down, everything lines up. Instagram recently released a new feature that allows you to bundle photos together, so instead of five posts in your Top Nine featuring your son’s birthday party, you can put them into one post and your followers can swipe to see them all.

If you want to have more quotes in your feed, you can choose to post every third photo as a quote, which gives a pretty look as you add photos, and doesn’t lock you in to posting three times per day. You can also choose to post every other photo as a quote or specific type of image. The importance is to capture the feel of who you are and something to entertain, edify, or encourage your audience.

Introducing Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories are photos that have a “shelf life” of about twenty-four hours before they disappear. Instead of being included in your feed, they are found in the round headshots at the top of your IG screen.

Why would I use “Stories” instead of just posting pictures into my Instagram feed?

My friend Ryan Bilello, founder of Succeed with Social suggests using Stories to correspond to the posts you’re uploading on your feed. For instance, if you post an image relating to your blog post for the day, you can use Stories to snap some behind-the-scenes images or photos relating to your post’s topics.

Example: If you post a picture of your dewy garden in the morning, you can use Stories to capture pictures of the individual plants or capture a quick video of you weeding the garden while sharing tips on pesticides and bug control.

How do I add photos to Instagram Stories?

  • Step One: Open Instagram
  • Step Two: Click the “Home” button on the bottom left.
  • Step Three: Click the Camera button at the top left of the screen.
  • Step Four: Take your photo!
  • Step Five: Swipe left to change the filters OR use the buttons in the top right corner to add text or stickers.
  • Step Six (optional): In the bottom left of the screen, you can save the photo to your camera roll.
Now you have two options: save the photo to your story OR send it to directly to a friend.
  • To save it to your story: Click “Your Story” in the bottom left of the screen.
  • To send it to a friend: Click the arrow in the bottom right of the screen. You still have the option to add it to your story here and choose a friend (or friends!) to send it to.
Next month, we’ll dive into part three of this Instagram series and talk about hashtags, micro-blogging, and how to build a following.

Kick up #Instagram with more tips & strategies from #SocialMedia expert @BetJett (Click to Tweet)

Intro to #Instagram for Authors - @BetJett on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Bethany Jett is an award-winning author of The Cinderella Rule, speaker, ghostwriter, founder of JETTsetter Ink, a consulting and editing company, and was recently accepted into a Master of Arts in Marketing program.

Bethany is a military wife and all-boys-mama who is addicted to suspense novels and all things girly. She writes on being the CEO of your life at

Additional Posts in this series:
Intro to Instagram, part 1
Intro to Instagram, part 3

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