Recently I have signed up for online courses on lynda.com, simply because I always wanted to embed some courses that I was taking part online into my Linkedin profile to first upgrade my CV, and second to upgrade my knowledge in the field of social media and the alike. The first course that I signed on and took was called Instagram for business, which I thought it had to do with how to use instagram for business purposes.
However it is connected to Instagram Business, which I did not think it exists or did not think there is.
Why would you sign up for a business instagram account? Obviously because you own a business and wish to connect with your clients on social media, and what better way than through the most used social media tool nowadays right? well, yes, the lovely, Instagram, because, don’t we have too little of that, do we?
What I have learned from this course: the existence of instagram business, and before you jump at me, saying that where have I lived so far that I did not notice the difference between instagram business and personal, well, yes, I have SEEN there were different things in the profile of an account, but never made the connection.
The author of the course mentioned that to sign up for a business instagram account, you are required to actually have a facebook business account, as instagram was bought by facebook, and in order to actually achieve a business insta account, you are forced to have one with facebook too. If you do not have one, you would need to simply create a basic one after which sign up for the business instagram. Apparently, with the business instagram you can run polls, have your contact details (such as email, phone and directions) to show on the profile page of the account and you could pay for ads for your account to show (or your photos rather) in the search for users. Now, I do not have a business account, but pretty much as far as I have used the instagram account for now, you can do polls anyway in stories, you could still pay for instagram to run ads on your account and profile photos etc and you can put your email address in the description of the profile. Sure, it looks professional and all that on the profile to have a special button that says EMAIL or CALL or DIRECTIONS, but I do not find it a must.
The course explores content ideas and strategies for instagram feed and it gives some insights into what you could photograph to enrich your profile such as a list of products and or services, list the benefits of the products or services offered, show how the products or services you have can be used, maybe show different ways than regular known ones and ask yourself When are people most happy using your products/services? and that’s the type of photo you should post. To also get ideas for content, you are advised to stay up with competitors as they might inspire you a lot and give ideas that you maybe did not think of exploring.
All nice so far, it’s just that it all seems to be things that I already kind of knew and maybe even explored. While I was listening in the first sessions (as this is a 1h long course) I was thinking to myself that it’s mostly like a recap of how you actually use now your personal instagram account. Nothing fancy. nothing new. Just a long talk helping you organising your chaotic insta feed.
Maybe I should recap those things that I know with you too. So you won’t take that course thinking you will learn something brand new. I also find that these tips work well on a personal insta account so… here it is:
- make sure to add personal descriptive content for your photos (don’t just start typing hashtags for everything you write or only hashtags – which is something I most of the time do – well it does seem I will start doing something new off that)
- you can put hashtags in caption, but if you want your photo to show clean and neat and professional, you can add the hashtags in the first comment you post, and in a business instagram account you can actually have up to 30 hashtags for each comment, but not more than 60)
- develop a schedule posting because if your photos are inspiring and something that your audience will enjoy seeing, they are more likely to click on your profile and check if there is any new photo if they know when you are expected to post something, than if you did not have a schedule; as in the latest they would just wait for your photo to show up in your feed, which decreases the chances for you to be seen in the first place.
- this posting schedule increases user engagement and makes it much easier for the creator to plan content with Schedugr.am which I actually wanted to download, but as it turns out it is not a free app, as the business instagram account. And I certainly was not prepared to pay a monthly fee for it. I would if I had the money for it, but my budget is not at the moment. It is a great app, if you consider this option because you can prepare ahead, have the photos, the caption, the hashtags everything worked out weeks ahead maybe and just schedule the feed to post itself whenever you want it. That way, you do not need to worry about your next post, and keeping the engagement on your profile.
- Use or try popular hashtags for specific days of the week (#mondayvibes #tuesdaymotivation #wedsndayfun etc) as they are popular hashtags and people do search for that for inspiration and different businesses they could connect with) This is something I will try!
- Have a short description in your BIO profile so that your users will know who you are and can understand there is a human behind your profile.
- search for popular hashtags in your specific industry on google. (never had I thought of that – jokes – Of course I did , everyone does!)
- Interact with your community, especially if you get feedback on your photos, comments etc, always reply back and try to take a look at their profile to make sure it was not a bot.
The course consisted of other tips and tricks and how to fine tune your insta contact with stories, how to use stories, use location for some people search that.
Also, have been made aware of thepreview app, as far as I remember from the course it previews your feed so you can grid your insta content and another app, the Lightwidget app that helps you embed your instagram feed into a post. I find this one is something new to me and this is how it looks, this is me learning something NEW (finally!!!) out of this course.
However, if you want the widget to just pop up in your blog, well, surprise, surprise, it won’t do that. What I have learned so far, is that everything comes at a cost. So this is no exception, there is a requirement for an upgraded feature which has a fee if you do not wish to click on it, or your users to click on it to see what it means. Just click on it:
BUT HEY, another surprise, it’s not working!!
SO here’s a print screen on how it looks in the widget, and you can try it yourself, to see it’s not working.
But, that’s about all. I believe the course is intended for beginners and maybe new business owners, although I find it very hard to believe that any new business owners would lack the basic knowledge of instagram and how to use it. I learned most of its features intuitively because Instagram is extremely intuitive (head up for the UX designers) and far from difficult to understand it and use it. You kind of learn how you use it. The only people that I think might find the course useful would be maybe our parents who are not accustomed with technology as much as we are, and if they had a small biz that they would like to make it appear more to younger people or try to find new clients in a different walk of life.
I have of course, not covered the obvious rules of posting good quality photos, scrolling through filters or editing your photos to look more than just presentable, or making sure to maintain your feed active, in the sense, that you do not post today 100 photos, and the next time, will be next year. I was mainly taking this course thinking I will be learning new things and upgrade something in relation to me using Instagram. I was not all in vain, as there were lots of hashtags that were presented that I am thinking of making use. The author of the course is https://ansonalex.com or @ansonalex.c0m.
However it may be, if you want to get a recap of what you can do with or how to use Instagram, then, this is the course for you. If you are using instagram on a daily basis, you know what Stories mean, you understand why you need hashtags and you post edited nice pictures, you like connecting with the people that comment on your photos, than you might just waste 1h and 50 minutes of your life.
I am still signed on a multitude of courses as I have decided I need to embark on this new journey with these techy jobs that are all around me and in which I want my own spot. So you will be discovering more reviews like this from lynda.com in the following months.
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