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How to Set Up An Instagram Account

Instagram is an app designed for social networking on smartphones. After you create a profile you can upload photos that will show up on your followers' news feed. You can choose to either keep your profile private – for your followers only – or open for everyone to see.

Feel like joining Instagram? The following step-by-step guide will help you get started.

Create Your Instagram Account

To create a profile all you need to do is to pick a name and sign up for a free account. You can do through through your Facebook profile or via E-mail. If you sign up through Facebook your details and some of your existing friends will automatically show up as people you may know – this could save you time. In addition, you can also share your Instagram uploads directly to your Facebook profile.

Work On Your Profile

An Instagram profile without a profile photo will look bland and empty. Choose a photo of yourself that you like for everyone to see. If you're running a business, use your logo as the profile picture to market your company. Write a short bio about yourself that specifies what you do, where you work and/or something you're passionate about. If you're running a company, add in a link to your website and tell us a little bit about what you do.

Use Instagram as a Social Network

At the top of your Instagram profile you will see a “Followers” tab which states how many people follow your profile. In addition, there will be another count that reads “Following”, which shows you amount of people that YOU are following. As mentioned previously, you can choose to keep your profile private. Take this approach and people will have to “request” to follow you. If you don't have your profile set to “Private” anyone can find and share your photos and videos.

Find the “Right” People to Follow

Instagram has something for everyone. Perhaps you just want to follow and share experiences and your day to day life with friends and family, or maybe you're looking for business partnerships or inspiration. Use the search tab to browse accounts – Instagram will soon start recognizing what you search for and will automatically recommend accounts for you. You can also search for hashtags, which will take you directly to accounts that have been using that particular text in their post.

Edit Your Instagram Posts

When uploading a photo or video you'll be given the choice to choose an existing photo or to take a brand new one using your Instagram camera (your mobile camera). Instagam has 23 filters and a number of simple edit options where you can make adjustments, such as the brightness, contrast and the general look. Other than filters, you also have the option to adjust the shadows, highlights, warmth, saturation and sharpness.

Share Your Instagram Profile and Posts

Before you upload new photos, you can boost your chances of gaining followers by adding hashtags. Choose keywords that people would most likely type into the browse bar. To geo-target people within your area, tag the location. Once shared your photos and videos will show up on your follower feed and every other social media account you've connected to your Instagram profile.

When you've got your profile up an running and uploaded a few photos start interacting with your followers and try to spark a conversation. If you really want to boost your following, buy Instagram likes – unfortunately, many Instagram users don't engage with accounts that don't get much activity.

Setting up an Instagram account is easy – anyone can do it! Maintaining an account, however, can be tricky. You need to be dedicated and enthusiastic about making it a success. While taking pictures and uploading them may seem tedious, when you find a flow and have a base to build upon, organic exposure will soon follow.