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There are currently more than 1 billion monthly active users* on Instagram. What does that tell us as business owners who market online? That Instagram is a place that we should definitely be sharing about our products and services!

So how do you get started? That’s where we come in! Here are our simple tips to help you get set up and know what to post, when to post and how to post on Instagram:

1. Make sure your account is set to PUBLIC

To get started using Instagram for business, the first thing you need to do is make sure your account is public. Instagram is a hashtag platform and people will not be able to find you or view your posts, even if you use hashtags, if your account is private.

Make sure your profile is a Business Profile. Posting for your business on a personal profile can be considered spam and give your brand a negative reputation. You’ll want to create an entirely new feed for your business or switch your personal profile to a business one in your settings if you’re going to use it for business.

2. Setting Up Your Instagram Business Account

Choose a clear Profile Picture of yourself smiling and representing your brand. You can strategically place an item you sell in the picture or wear your favorite item, but the focus should be on you. Customers buy from people, so they want to see who you are.

We suggest that you include a link in your bio to your Facebook business page. When followers see something they like, they’ll go to your bio to learn more. If you can get them to your Facebook business page, they’ll have access to a lot of content in one place and they can LIKE your page to stay connected with you. From there, you can get them to your ordering website and other social media platforms.

3. Discover Your Friends on Instagram

Looking for more Instagram followers quickly?
Did you realize there’s an easy way to find your Facebook friends and followers that are also on Instagram? Simply click the Discover People button in your Instagram account and you will see where you can follow your Facebook friends. Follow them on Instagram and they’ll likely follow you back since they’re already a fan!

4. Connect Up to 5 Instagram Accounts

Now that you have set up your Instagram business account, did you know that Instagram allows you to connect and toggle between 5 different accounts?

This means if you’d like to keep 1 profile private, you totally can! You could also have Instagram accounts for a second business, different hobbies, groups and passions that are important to you. The possibilities are endless!

5. When & How Often to Post to Instagram

How often should you post on Instagram? For beginners, we recommend striving for being consistent first, posting at least once every weekday, Monday through Friday. We also recommend you post at a time when you may have a few extra minutes to engage natively on Instagram with other accounts after you post to give your account more visibility.

6. Use those #Hashtags!

Instagram is a hashtag platform. Using hashtags in your posts on Instagram is how to make your content discoverable and increase your chances of engagement. Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags and we recommend using all that you can! Create a hashtag for your brand that your customers can get excited to be a part of. Hashtag the brand you represent so people interested in that brand see the content you post. Hashtag emotions associated with the quote or story you’re sharing.

7. Keep Your Look Cohesive & On-Brand

Instagram is a very visual platform, so knowing what your feed will look like as a whole is an important piece of the puzzle. Whether you’re taking your own photographs, creating your own graphics, using stock photography, or borrowing a post from other Instagrammer’s account, you want to make your feed look cohesive and on-brand.

8. Make those Posts Engaging

Whether you are a beginner or seasoned Instagram user, remember that it’s important to keep your posts consistent, fun, humorous, motivational and educational and people will look forward to your posts and interacting with you!

Tell a story with your profile. Customers want to see you in real-life situations. Share what your day looks like and how the products you sell improve your daily life. If you’re relatable, your customers will think of you when they’re in similar situations and see the need that your product provides the solution for.

Share fun and engaging content with your followers. Ask them questions on an image and have them comment below with their answers. Or, share inspiring quotes that you come across. Remember, people don’t go to Instagram with the intention of purchasing something, they come for inspiration and to feel connected. Add value to their day!

Only promote your brand 20% of the time. Of course you want to talk about a big sale you have coming up or a party you’re excited to host, but only do so 20% of the time. If you’re posting personal and engaging content the other 80%, people will want to know more about your brand and follow the link in your bio when you ask them to.

Now that you have all these awesome tips, how do you keep your posts consistent and maintain a beautiful grid? That’s where we come in! CinchShare has pretty nifty Instagram features that will not only make managing your Instagram account(s) easier for you but also shave off hours of time from posting!

Connect your CinchShare account to Instagram

Since you can connect up to 5 Instagram accounts on Instagram, we made it so you can connect up to 5 Instagram accounts on CinchShare too! Check out these two videos that share how to connect to Instagram from your computer and from your mobile device.

How to Connect to Instagram in CinchShare from Your Desktop

How to Connect to Instagram on your mobile device

Download the CinchShare App

As with all of our platform partners, CinchShare abides by Instagram’s policies 100% to ensure the safety of our app and our customers. You will simply need to download our FREE CinchShare App from your Apple Store (iOS) or Play Store (Android), in order to receive the notification to post.

If you’re not yet a CinchShare user, you are welcome to check us out with a 37 day free trial! First go to www.cinchshare.com and enter the promo code CinchFree when creating your account, then you can download the app!

Scheduling and Posting to Instagram

After you download the CinchShare app it’ll be time for you to get busy scheduling your Instagram posts! You can easily plan and prepare your Instagram posts on your computer or mobile device, the choice is yours!

When your scheduled Instagram post is ready, you’ll receive a notification on your mobile device. You must manually move the saved content by clicking “Post Now” for your post to show up on Instagram. Then press and hold in the caption on Instagram to paste your pre-scheduled post message.

You can even choose to have it post to Instagram Stories when you open up the post notification! WOOHOO!

Here is a video tutorial about the notification you will receive to post to Instagram

Unlimited Scheduling

CinchShare offers completely Unlimited Scheduling to Instagram as well as other platforms! Schedule 5 posts a week or 25 posts a week, depending on how many accounts you manage. We made it super easy to schedule posts to your Facebook profile, groups, business pages, Twitter & Instagram all from one central place, your CinchShare account.

Create Hashtag Bundles!

Did you know that you can create and save hashtag bundles right inside CinchShare and insert them – in one simple click – into your Instagram post messages when scheduling?!

Storing ALL your pre-made hashtag bundles using our TextClips feature is going to be such a serious time saver for you! You can save as many hashtag bundles as you’d like – one for motivational type posts, another for mompreneur life, you get the idea!

And remember how we said you can have up to 30 hashtags on an IG post? Be sure to watch the video to see our cool hashtag counter that keeps track of how many hashtags you have used in a post so you know how many you have left! No more counting hashtags, CinchShare does it for you!

Grid View

Want to see what your Instagram feed will look like before your posts are published on Instagram? With CinchShare you can! First, you batch the posts you’d like to use, then click on the grid icon to view them in the order you selected! This is a fantastic tool to help you visually if you’re following a grid theme or simply want to look professional.

Drag and Drop

Not really sure if you like the way your grid looks now that you’ve see what you scheduled using the Grid View? You can fix it in seconds! When you have your grid view selected, you can drag and drop your post images to change the order so they are exactly how you want them to appear on Instagram! You even have the option to flip the sequence. With this tool you can make sure that your pattern is set and looks good with the surrounding images before you post, which is so powerful, and absolutely key in creating consistency and growth on Instagram!

REPOST content from Instagram (no need for taking screenshots!)

Creating lots of content can be time consuming, but luckily there’s no need to create everything yourself! As we mentioned earlier, leveraging borrowed content aka “User Generated Content” is a welcome and effective way to keep your feed looking sharp! Once you find the perfect post, grab the URL link of the post you want to repost on Instagram, and paste it into CinchShare, and there you’ll have the option to edit the post message and add your hashtags.

Photo Attribution (giving credit)

When you borrow content, it’s proper etiquette to give credit to the original poster. When you repost curated content from Instagram, the photo attribution, which gives credit to the original poster, is automatically done for you by our app! Yep, that means you no longer need to keep toggling back and forth or try to memorize specific Instagram handles when giving proper credit!

We hope you have a blast on Instagram using all the great tips and features we shared today. Be sure to let us see how you’re doing by using #CinchedThis when you schedule a post with us and we also check out #cinchlove and #cinchchallenge. Create a hashtag bundle with TextClips to make it a no-brainer! We can’t wait to view your posts, engage with your brand and cheer you on!

*updated stat on 2/28/19

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