[intro] Before you begin this guide, you need to ensure that you have installed the Social Plugins feature on your EKM online shop and installed the Instagram app on your mobile phone. [/intro]



[tips] Before you begin to open your Instagram account, install the Google Photos app on your phone. This will allow you to upload any images from your computer to Google Photos, where they can then be downloaded onto your phone as and when they're needed - useful for creating branded images and a logo to be used as your Profile Image.  [/tips]

Instagram is a little different to the other social media platforms, owing to the fact it's technically an app. You can log into the app on your desktop or laptop however, you cannot upload images that way. Downloading the Instagram app to your tablet or mobile device will allow you to upload images, as well as create Stories and upload small video clips.

Using Hashtags

Hashtags - # - are a way of organising tweets about a specific topic. Like X, you can use hashtags on Instagram, but to a much greater degree - you can add up to 30 hashtags per post. There is some debate as to whether you should add these to the description of your image or whether you should comment beneath your image and add the hashtags there.

Currently, it's recommended that you add the hashtags to the image description - as long as the hashtags are all relevant to the images, you should have no issues. However, ensure that you don't use the same hashtags for every single post, as this can see the reach of your posts decrease; you should aim to constantly use different groups of hashtags on your posts for the best possible impact.

What to post

Once you become used to Instagram, you'll discover more about the culture on the platform; some users like to have a central theme on their Instagram feed, where every image has a specific theme and colour filter applied to it. Remember though that kind of curation of your images is not necessary and does limit the kind of images you can upload (as everything would need to be set up beforehand).

It's a good idea to create images specifically for your Instagram account as well as using standard photos. When you create images, ensure that the images are 1000 x 1000 pixels square, and ensure that any text used on the images is not too small as the images will automatically be resized once they're uploaded.

Create images to represent new blog posts, new product lines, offers and discounts and any upcoming events that pertain to you and your EKM online shop.

Instagram is useful for running competitions too - encourage customers to follow you by uploading a photo of themselves with your product, and offer a prize for the best photo. This is a great way to organically increase your followers.

[tips] Spruce up your Instagram feed by using apps such as Layout from Instagram and Later. These will give your Instagram profile some variety! [/tips]

Who to follow

Once you have uploaded a few images of your own, it's worth running a search for your hometown to look for businesses in your physical locality to follow and interact with. This will raise awareness of your brand and products locally.

Look for companies whose products would work well with your own; if you sell gym clothing, follow Protein Works, and if you sell ladies' shoes, follow Pretty Polly. Also, run a search for companies and interests that your target customers would be interested in, and follow those too.

For every profile that you follow, ensure you take the time to like and comment on at least one image - this will encourage them to do the same for you and further raise your reach and your profile.

How to connect your Instagram to your EKM online shop

1. Firstly you need to copy your username from your Instagram Profile:

2. Then log into your EKM online shop, click the Features tab and open the Social Plugins feature. Drag the Instagram from the top field into the lower field:

3. Then add your username into the Username field before clicking the green Update button:

You have now linked your Instagram profile to your EKM online shop! Be sure to read Creating Your Social Media Strategy for further advice on creating content for your target market. 



[contact] If you need our help with your EKM online shop, contact your Account Manager or Customer Support, who will be able to point you in the right direction. We're open from 8am-6pm weekdays and 9am-5.30pm on the weekends. If you'd like to suggest a feature or an upgrade on any of the EKM platforms, please let us know on the EKM Suggestions board. If you have a non-account specific question ask the EKM Team, join us in EKM Community.  [/contact]