The Mysteries of Instagram: Most Common IG Questions Answered
“Insta-famous” twins, Julie & Jodie @thedesigntwinsblog openly share their Instagram experience to take the mystery out of IG. Confused about hashtags? Curious what really makes an account valuable? Wondering about collaborations and how to make money? Read the answers in this post.
Every day on Instagram we receive questions from people. We take it as a kind compliment that people feel comfortable enough with us to ask. Whether you have just moved into a new home in a new neighborhood or are just dipping your toes into the water on Instagram the early kindness, or lack thereof, is crucial. It is our goal that everyone feels welcome. I’ll never forget when I bravely direct messaged someone asking meekly, “How do I take a screenshot?” Their kindness meant so much, and it is our desire to do the same for people when they seek help.
We are continuing our Instagram help series by answering some commonly asked questions we receive. Jodie and I hope this will be an interactive series. Ask your questions in the comments and we’ll be sure to answer them.
Can Anyone Start a Hashtag on Instagram?
- Yes, anyone can start a hashtag.
- We recommend starting a hashtag as soon as you begin your account. You are building a brand, and the sooner you are intentional with creating your brand the better.
- List your hashtag on your bio.
- Having and using your own brand hashtag lends credibility to your brand.
- Using your hashtag is a great additional way to spread brand awareness.
- Use your hashtag on every one of your posts and encourage others to use it.
- Your hashtag should be your Instagram handle or a related version of it.
- For example, Jodie and I have #thedesigntwins that we use on all our posts.
- Then we also have our seasonal hashtags #thedesigntwinslovefall #thedesigntwinslovechristmas #thedesigntwinslove etc.
- Encourage others to use your hashtag. You can reward your favorite shared posts by featuring on your stories. You can also choose to feature them on your feed if desired.
How Do People Make Money on Instagram?
There are many ways people earn money on Instagram. People like to say it’s not about the numbers but when it comes to turning your account into a money-making venture, it actually is about the numbers. But it’s not just about the numbers. When companies look to work with influencers they are able to see what isn’t visible by just looking at an account’s number of followers and how much engagement they receive. They can see behind the numbers and analyze interaction and the quality of interaction.
An account’s growth rate is another important factor. Today’s technology reveals an account’s pattern of growth, the consistency and the rate of growth. It is very clear to companies if artificial growth tricks are used, such as pods or giveaways, etc. Companies are looking for authentic, consistent, reliable growth.
All these factors contribute to an influencer’s real market value. Generally speaking, it is common understanding that the value of a post is worth roughly $100 per 10,000 followers, more with higher engagement.
Before an account gets to the big company endorsements there are many ways to start earning. Here are a couple examples:
1. Become a Brand Rep.
Small companies and makers will hire influencers to represent them on IG by sending them free product in exchange for styling, photographing, posting, and giving an endorsement. Sometimes companies search for brand reps on IG. Sometimes they simply go straight to who they want via DM.
Each company is different. This is often just product, not actually cash, but it is still fun, especially when they are items you want and need. They are a great training ground and way to show prospective companies how well you collaborate.
The Instagram side of RewardStyle is called Like to Know it. This is an automated system where commissions are earned by followers signing up and receiving emails linked directly to items featured in Instagram posts. Commissions are based on actual purchases.
You must apply and be accepted. We don’t know what their current requirements are, but it doesn’t hurt to apply. The downside is that it is very time consuming and requires consistent effort to reap benefits. We’ve never worked so hard for a dollar in our lives. Just keeping it real.
To read our more complete guide to the earning potential of Instagram you might want to read our other posts, Turn Your Instagram Into a Money-Making Business: Part 1 and Instagram Benefits: Part 2,
How Do You Take a Screen Shot for Instagram?
Depending on your phone there are different formulas, but for an iPhone you do the following. You can capture the screen using the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons. Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button on the top or side of your device. Immediately press and release the Home button.
How Do You Play Along with a “Hashtag” or Design Challenge on Instagram?
The answer to this depends on the group organizing the hashtag. Hosts create rules in order to be featured. Anyone can slap a hashtag on their post, but to be considered by the hosts for winning and being featured follow their rules. First, go to one of their original posts, which are usually identified by the hashtag appearing on the photo. This is where they list their requirements.
This is a standard formula:
- Follow all the hosts.
- Comply with their theme.
- Post during the set time frame.
- Use their hashtag.
- To get brownie points you can also tag the hosts in the photo (some require this). This helps make sure they all see your post.
How Do I Choose the Best Hashtags for My Posts?
- Keep them very relevant to your photo and your post.
- Now that people can follow hashtags this is event more important. If your photo appears and followers of the hashtag don’t think it belong there they can report it.
- Also, Instagram states clearly in their guidelines that hashtags need to be relevant. If they aren’t they view your use of irrelevant hashtags as spam.
- Choose a variety of sizes of hashtags. You may want to use hashtags below 1 million. Very large hashtags hold less chance of being seen.
- To understand more about hashtag use we cover it in a lot more detail with a full blog post dedicated to all things hashtag related.
Instagram as a Resource
Also, there is an Instagram Help Center that actually is a wealth of knowledge. Who knew? Well now you do. They cover such topics as: direct messaging, sharing stories, sharing videos, signing up & getting started, and your profile. Each of these sections has helpful guidelines that can clarify the technical side of Instagram use.
For more helpful Instagram tips, read our related blog post, “How To Succeed on The New Instagram.”
Jodie and I hope we have been helpful here. Please feel free to comment and let us know if we helped and if you have any other specific questions for us. We hope you will subscribe so you don’t miss our continuing series on Instagram and all the other fun we have planned.
Matt Lancaster says
It’s quite easy to make money on Instagram. You can start your own business easily. Just create an account. You’ll have access to the entire web and unlimited selling potential.
The risk and investment is so minimal, and the earning potential is huge. You can outsource freelancers for cheap to do all the technical parts.
Just find your niche, you don’t need any previous knowledge or skills. All you need is the perfect idea!
Matt, Thank you for reading and for sharing your Instagram views/experience. We would agree. Instagram provides so much potential, all for the taking. Time is money, so we wouldn’t say it’s “free”, but definitely we feel our time is well spent. We hope you will continue to read and share with us. With gratitude, your friends, Julie & Jodie
Kathleen Cheers says
Happy Saturday to YOU:
I wanted to share something with you – I get so excited when I see you have a video. Please know your generous nature of sharing your expertise is more appreciated than you realize. I am as committed to watching your videos as I am watching Dr. Phil – chuckle.
Kathleen! You are TOO darling and you have me chuckling now! We appreciate your kind encouragement more than you know. The videos are new, but they are a lot of fun. Yesterday I was worried I wouldn’t have as much to say, but there were so many questions I could barely keep up. We will keep those videos coming. I’m not sure if you are referring to the “stories” or the “live video”, but we will continue to provide both. Thank you so much for your sweet support. It truly means so much to us both. With love and gratitude, Julie & Jodie
Christi @faithfulinteriors says
First of all…you two are SO classy! And so generous to share your knowledge. I have been reading and re-reading your blog series all day since you shared about it on IG. This insight was truly an answer to my prayers last night. #idontknowwhatimdoing!!
Thank you for your support.
Aw Christi, You know you just made our day, right? As you are grateful for us, we are truly grateful for YOU! Thank you so much for reading, for your kind support, and for sharing such positive feedback. Without it we really don’t know how people feel or if we are being helpful! So thank you. We hope you will come back often. Feel free to reach out if you ever have questions…we are here to help you on your journey. Your friends, Julie & Jodie
Hi…I had no idea about how the hashtags worked. I’m fairly new to IG. I’ve only browsed for ideas but I better check out their rules. Thanks for all the info. I’ve got more reading to do on your blog. Thanks again! ?
Good Morning Christi! Thank you for your feedback. We are thrilled you found our Instagram post(s) helpful. If you are new to Instagram there is a lot of information we’ve shared so yes, when you have time we hope you will read through the various posts we have. They should all prove helpful. We learned all of this over time through much effort and wish we had had resources when we were new. Always keep in mind, though, that IG is a very fluid medium. We will continue to share updates here as well. Thank you again for reading and your kind reply. With gratitude, Julie & Jodie
Buford Wilansky says
This blog was… how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something that helped me. Many thanks!
Buford, That makes us very happy that our information helped you! We certainly try to add valuable content. We will be continually adding posts regarding Instagram to update you on all the latest. Thanks for stopping by our blog…we hope you will visit us again! With gratitude, Julie & Jodie
Sorry this response is rather late but thank you so much for your blog posts on the topic of IG. They are so helpful to someone like me that has many questions about the do’s and don’t’ s of this community and unsure who to ask. (I have a lot of work to do).
Looking forward to reading your other posts as well.
Pamela, How wonderful to hear from you today. You are so cute…no need to apologize for being “late”. This came to us when it was meant to 🙂 We are so grateful that our posts are helpful to you. We couldn’t ask for more! We often wish we had had resources like this when we started, so that motivates us to share! If we can help you use your valuable time we are thrilled to be able to offer our hard-earned insights and research on this topic. We sincerely wish you great success and look forward to sharing our continued journey with you. With gratitude, Julie & Jodie
So I really can just ask someone for advice? Even if it is decor advice? Or is that a no no?
Elizma, See my previous reply for my long explanation of my opinion on the subject of asking people on IG for decor advice. Thanks for reading. We are so happy that you are taking full advantage of our blog posts. We hope they are enlightening you. We also hope you will come back often and visit us, as we have so much more to share! With gratitude, Julie & Jodie
Stacey Sapp says
Happy Tuesday! I am so glad that I read this blog post! The information you shared is so helpful and I appreciate you sharing it. March Madness motivated me to explore your other blog posts and I am happy I did.
Stacey, That makes us truly happy to read this! It makes it all worthwhile when people enjoy our posts. We hope you will continue to enjoy our blog. With gratitude, Julie & Jodie
Your blogs are always so enlightening and cheerful. Thank you for being you and being such a ray of sunshine in so many other’s lives.
Patti Aparicio says
Hi there I alway wondered how the hashtags were circulated, I guess the idea is to get together with friends and post away. Instagram is so much fun! Especially “MARCH MADDNESS” it forces to read and learn. Thank you, Patti Aparicio
Patti Aparicio says
Without Instagram I wouldn’t have met you two ????????
March madness ???? Patti
Sandra Hooper says
Love your blog! March madness
Julie Spear says
This IG series is really packed full of great helpful information, thank you for sharing! Some if it is how i sort of thought things worked on IG, but its good to know for sure, and you have taught me many new things as well! Its a full time job on there, isnt it?!?! But what a fun way to work! It really IS intimidating to try and start a ‘brand’, etc, on such an awkward platform as the internet – where sometimes it feels like you are speaking into thin air!! – but your series is going to help a lot of people find the courage to put themselves out there, for sure! So thank you, ladies!
Julie, What a heartfelt and insightful reply! We certainly hope we give others courage. When we truly feel that the world is our family and all our followers are extended family it doesn’t feel awkward at all. We feel like we are holding hands with the world, as it should be! Many blessings, Julie & Jodie