#KnowYourGrowth Social Media 101: Instagram



The #KnowYourGrowth: Summer of Social Media workshop was a 4-workshop series that provided a deep dive into today’s biggest social media platforms: Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and TikTok. As a follow-up to that series, we’ve created these Social Media 101 guides for each platform to help you grow your brand and expand online. 

What is Instagram?

Over the past decade, Instagram has become a visual wonderland of flawless photos. From the perfect travel post without any tourists in the background to showing off everyday little luxuries, Instagram is the go-to social media app for capturing and showcasing the highlights of your life in all its glamor through (filtered) pictures, videos, and stories.

Instagram Key Best Practices 

Instagram Grid Posts
  • Build relationships with your audience: People follow you to get an inside look into you and your life. As your online audience grows, it’s important to interact with your followers, celebrate your biggest milestones with them and make sure that you let them feel like they’re on the journey with you.
  • Write strong captions: When it comes to getting higher engagement, writing captions that share a story, encourage interaction, and share news that your followers would appreciate is key. Think of your posts as a journal that’s available for the world to see, but also a way for your followers to connect with you on a human level.
  • Post when your followers are most active: In your analytics, you can see when your followers are the most active week after week and this can be a good way to determine when to post.
Instagram Stories
  • Be casual & relatable: When people watch your IG Stories, they’re looking for a peak into your everyday life. This is a good space to show your behind-the-scenes process, previews of what you’re working on, and any cool updates or personal stories you want to share. IG Stories are an extra tool to casually share parts of your life that your followers wouldn’t normally see.
  • Add location and hashtags: By adding hashtags and/or locations to your stories, you add an extra level of discovery to your content so it can be seen in a specific geographic area or hashtag.
  • Allow stories to be shareable: Allowing your stories to be shareable gives your followers a chance to share your content to their own audiences, exposing you to more viewers.
  • Post daily: Since IG stories only last 24hrs, it’s important to post 1-2 times daily to keep your stories active.
Instagram Reels
  • Keep it inspiring and entertaining: When creating a Reel, consider whether the video makes people want to laugh, grabs their attention, or inspires them to replicate your content to help it trend.
  • Use trending songs: Like TikTok, music is a big part of Reels. Users can search for specific songs within the library to jump on trends fast and have their videos sorted under the sound’s tag.
  • Upload high-quality, vertical videos: Reels was intended to be a full-screen vertical platform and high resolution videos appeal to the algorithm.
  • Avoid posting videos with watermarks/logos: Videos that appear to be directly shared from other apps won’t be recommended to people by the algorithm.
Instagram Live
  • Build hype leading up to your Lives: Make an announcement across your social platforms promoting your Live, share what you’ll be talking about to increase interest. and include the date & time so people know exactly when to join.
  • Encourage fans to engage and interact: Encourage fans to submit questions in the comment section and answer them live.
  • Don’t sound scripted: Although it’s good to come prepared with what you’ll talk about, it’s also ok to be comfortable with letting the discussion shift to new, un-planned topics that encourage more viewers to stay and listen.
  • Add a friend: Instagram allows you to add up to three additional guests to your live. What’s cool about this is that your audience and your guests’ audiences will all be alerted to join the live show, giving everyone exposure to each other’s fans.
  • Save your live to re-share: After your live has ended, you have the option to download your video. This can be great content to share on your feed for anyone who wasn’t able to join.

Patreon Growth Tips for Instagram 

Share Patron-Only Experiences: To avoid sounding like you’re “selling something”, you can create content that specifically highlights experiences that only your Patrons receive. This video can act as a highlight montage (typically around 1min) that quickly shows all that you offer in your tiers.

Provide Casual Updates Via Stories & Posts: When you reach a certain Patreon milestone, announce a new tier, special or anything that you’re celebrating, it’s a good idea to share on Instagram what they are and why you’re excited about it.


A Note on Instagram Account Types 

Personal: Best for those who only use Instagram for personal use.
Creator: Best for influencers, public or notable figures etc. This account type makes it easier for creators to be more transparent with branded and influencer-based partnerships.
Business: Closely related to creator accounts, but more focused on helping with brand management, conversions, and marketing. This account type is focused on brands and business owners


Instagram Features at a Glance:

Instagram Best Practices Chart, split by IG Feed Post, IG Story, IG Reels, and IG Live


Additional Resources for Editing 


For additional resources, please check out our other social media guides on TikTokYouTube, and Twitter to improve your social strategy.