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Card Creator & Photographer at EileenDreams
Eileen is making the world a kinder place one card at a time. She studies graphic design and languages of the web but mainly she practices making people feel better with old school snail mail cards that feature photos of this beautiful world and kind and inspiring messages.
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Instagram for Newbieseileenbeach

Even if you don’t understand or wish to use Instagram at least set up an account with your branding name to reserve the name for when you see the light 😉 My company name is EileenDreams and I missed out on Twitter and got EileenDreamsD – pretty lame. While you are at it, do the same for SnapChat etc….

The easiest way to use Instagram is to use it how it was originally meant to be used:

  1. Take a photo,
  2. Post it,
  3. Add a relevant comment and a couple hashtags.

To Get Started:

1. Download the Instagram app on your smartphone and sign up for an Instagram account.

2. Add your profile photo and information. If you are better with a keyboard than a smart phone you can fill in your bio, profile, links, and upload your profile photo on your computer at Instagram.com

3. Link your new Instagram account to Facebook, Twitter and all your social media platforms and invite your friends to follow you.

There are enough features to edit photos within Instagram itself. There are photo editing tools, filters, tools to level out your horizons, and there is even a rule of thirds grid. Instagram is known for their filters so have fun experimenting with them.

Insanely Simple Photo Editing Sites To Create Memes:
 http://www.canva.com/   http://www.picmonkey.com/

I only ever use my own photos (but I am a photographer). If you need photos, try these free sites:
 https://unsplash.com/   http://deathtothestockphoto.com/   https://picjumbo.com/   https://www.morguefile.com/

As an alternative you can also use the big sites that give you seven days free with a credit card but just be aware that for the most part, (IMHO) they come across as cheesy:
Flickr, Istock, graphicstock

My 2 favourite graphics sites for images and fonts are:
 www.Creativemarket.com   www.inkydeals.com/

Take it up a Notch

First, decide what your goal for this Instagram account is and then have a vision of what you want it to look like. Always remember your own personality, voice, and look. While you should stay true to the look and feel of your brand, some Instagram accounts stay so rigid to their brand that they have become boring.  When I started I just wanted to learn how to do it and jumped right in. If you post photos that are not in line with your branding image you can always delete them later while you are still learning.
If you want to get fancy with your photo, add text and filters, I use an app that I downloaded to my smartphone called “TextGram”. I have tried others but I prefer TextGram because it is simple and it doesn’t load a bunch of advertising crap onto my phone. With TextGram you can add text, frames, filters and fancy effects.

Have Fun

 Turn on your phone’s location. Look at other people’s posts and start interacting with them. It is good etiquette to always reply to comments.

When I post a meme I always think of Johnathan Christian’s advice: 

  • “Is it t-shirt worthy?” Sometimes it is just relevant or newsworthy but it helps keep the quality of my posts.
  • Speak to your Uncle (or ideal customer). Instagram is all about connecting with real people.

Keep your posts positive. You have to be authentic but people turn to Instagram for an instant feel good feeling and appreciate a little smile.
When desperate for an idea; Cat photos always work. This is a fact.

Try https://ifttt.com/ to save time if you wish to cross post to your other social media platforms.

Ideas To Increase Engagement

Using the search option is a great way to find like-minded connections. If you view someone’s profile and honestly like their photos, they will notice and start looking at your posts and may even become a follower.
Take advantage of your profile section with a photo of you, what you do, and the link you want to share.
Participate in a weekend hashtag project hosted by Instagram. These are fun and always provide an unexpected perspective.
Use #hashtags.
March 15 of this year Instagram changed the way it feeds. People were in a big panic and posted all sorts of things to get to be front in feed. Honestly, unless you have gazillion followers it really didn’t change much. It became more similar to Facebook where you see who you interact with most first. Just continue to keep engaged and authentic, and have fun!

Link to my Instagram: Instagram.com/EileenDreamsEileenDreams