How To Use Instagram: Part 1

Are you a complete Instagram newbie? Don’t worry, Plann is creating (and updating) a series of easy-to-follow blogs that will take you through the basics.

6 minutes read
women with phone

Instagram 101

Instagram is the fastest growing social networking platform in the world.

Whether you’re on there to simply scroll, selfie or sell your services to the world, the Instagram app is accessible every time you touch your phone so we thought we’d take you on a tour, a little deeper into the heart of Instagram with a look at some of the things we love that you can do with it. Here is our list of Instagram basics for people who are completely new to the platform – and those who want a refresh.


1. User Profiles

We’ve all done that thing where we get a new follower and then take a look at our own user profile to see how it looks to others. And why not? Every Instagram user has their very own profile space. Some have multiple. This is your space to shine. It’s the highlight reel for your photos or a dedicated space to market your product and services. You can update your bio and check your followers. (Don’t forget that with Plann you can make sure you have a glorious profile by planning in advance what to post there. Epic.)

2. Stories Feature

With over 400 Million daily active users and 800 Million daily viewers, there’s no denying: Instagram Stories rock! As an instant platform to grab your followers attention right at the top of the feed, this is a platform of its own accord, that allows you to share those important announcements or must-see moments and improve your overall engagement

3. Live Video Streaming

Instagram Live allows you to share videos and engage with your followers in real-time. If you’ve ever seen a ring around a users profile pic it’s because they’ve uploaded a live video! Great for behind the scenes, live streaming an event or even doing a Q & A with your audience. Plus you can see comments in real-time. It’s a great way to interact and an even better way to track your analytics. Plus you can save and repost as content! 

4. Text & Drawing Tools

Drawing on your stories not only personalizes them but adds a human element to what you want to share. Once your photo or video has been uploaded, tap the pen icon and choose your brush and the width and color of your brush. You can literally use your finger the way you would use a stylus! Fun fact, you can also choose a color with the pen tool then tap and hold your finger on the screen for 3 seconds to auto-fill the whole screen. Then, use the ERASER tool to reverse type. We love that! 

5. Video Editing Tools

There are countless apps available online that you can edit your Instagram videos with, but one we will always love (that conveniently comes standard inside your Instagram) is Boomerang! With a simple swipe right from your profile, you can access Boomerang and heaps of other photo and video filters. Add text, ask questions, give mentions, tag locations, hide hashtags and more. Editing your videos or stories can be done in-app. Just save & upload;

How To Plan A Week Of Posts In 20 Minutes
How To Plan A Week Of Posts In 20 Minutes

Your speedy instagram cheat sheet to plan out all your content

6. Disappearing Photos & Videos

Just like on Snapchat, Instagram allows you to send disappearing photos and videos. But while you can SEND them, you won’t be able to see them again. You can always choose to set the send option to ‘view once’, ‘allow replay’ or ‘keep in chat’. Oh, and you will be notified if the user replayed or screenshotted what you sent. 

7. Search Functionality

You can search for anything on Instagram be it a person or any other thing, simply type what you are looking for into the magnifying glass. You can then choose whether to search for a username or a hashtag. What you discover will be affected by the users you follow as well as what you’ve liked previously on Instagram. You can also be discovered in other peoples searches by clever use of hashtags, tags, geotags and so on (see 8). 

8. User Tagging

Tagging on Instagram works in a myriad of ways. Sure you can tag yourself and your friends, or even the place you’re at, or the clothes you’re wearing, which are all excellent things to do for cross-promotion and visibility online, but did you know you that as an influencer with collabs you can also tag business partners in your stories allowing them to turn your posts into adds! Simply shoot your photo or video and then tap the link icon to permit your business partner to share your content. Cha-ching!

9. Public & Private Profiles

Instagram is essentially your place to share and view what you want; which is why it’s great to know that at any time you can make your profile public or change the settings to private so that only your approved followers can see your stuff. If you do choose to have a public profile however, you will still be able to peruse as you would on a public account. It’s really up to you, what you feel comfortable sharing online. 

Have fun with it! 

There’s no denying how far it has evolved into a user and consumer-friendly marketplace. Not bad considering that Instagram was primarily a photo-sharing tool huh?

We hope you have enjoyed some of the features that we think make Instagram so much more than just a place to post your pics. 

Happy Plann’ing!



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