Key Terms to Know When Mastering Instagram Basics

Sep 22, 2021 | Asked + Answered, Learn + Launch, Social + Strategic

With Instagram’s ever-changing algorithm and new features, it can be hard to keep up with how to use the app effectively. What’s the difference between a real and IGTV? How do you create an engaging story? We’re here to break down Instagram terminology, dive into the basics of using the app, and show you popular tools to grow your presence organically.

Why Instagram?

If you’re new to Instagram, you could be wondering if the effort to learn the app is even worth it. ultimately, you should be where your target audience is. And if they’re on Instagram, there’s an opportunity for you to connect with them and offer another touchpoint for your business. According to Pew Research, 63% of Americans say they check Instagram daily and spend E Marketer reports that users spend an average 30 minutes a day on Instagram. That’s a good chunk of the population who spend a solid block of time scrolling and exploring the app.  

So let’s jump in with some basic terminology for you to master the basics of the app. You can also find our a deeper explanation from the free webinar below and get the latest free webinar details here.

Instagram Lingo

Post – A photo or video that shows up in your followers feed (home) and can show up on the explore page to be seen by people who don’t follow you.

Story – Another way to connect with your followers through photos, videos, or other engagement tools like polls, quizzes, and more. Stories are available for 24 hours and are then disappear unless you save them to your highlights. 

Reels – A new features added in 2020, Reels are short videos that you can share with followers and, if you have a public account, will populate in the “Reels” tab on the app. They can be up to 60 seconds and are a creative way to engage with your audience. You can add music and stickers to make it fun. Videos can be created within IG or uploaded from your phone. 

IGTV – When people talk about “going live” on instagram, they’re talking about Instagram TV (IGTV). When you want to share a video that’s longer than 60 seconds, you can create an IGTV. When you create IGTV, you’re able to provide a description, link to another website, and you can choose to automatically share a snippet of your video as a post (which will show up to your followers). IGTV also shows up in the “highlights” section of the homepage. 

Carousels – When you’re asked to “swipe” you’re looking at a carousel. It’s a series of photos or video (up to 10) on the same topic. It’s good for telling a story, sharing multiple tips, or showcasing a collection of similar photos / video.

DM – Direct message, when someone sends you a private message through the app. 

Hashtag – used by the # sign, it’s one way to increase the number of people who see your posts. You can search for, and follow, hashtags to see specific types of content. Hashtags help you show up on the explore page, too.

Engagement (likes, comments, shares, saves) – Engagement means the number of people who have interacted with your post through a like, comment, share, or save. You can calculate your engagement rate by adding up these types of engagement and dividing by the number of followers you have.  

UGC (user generated content) – Content with your business or brand shared by someone else. Ideally, you’re tagged in photos and videos when someone shares your brand. When you share content that someone else made about you, it’s similar to a testimonial or review for your business and shows your followers someone who supports you.

Questions or want more info? Drop us a note and we’ll be in touch!

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