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.