The Really Long List of Instagram FAQs By Kat Boogaard Posted June 27, 2018 Share on Pinterest Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Let’s face it—Instagram can be confusing. While it’s not tough to figure out how to simply post a photo, there’s a lot of information you need to absorb if you want to leverage Instagram as part of your marketing strategy. Should you be using Instagram stories? Do you need a business profile? What hashtags should you be using? Wait… how many hashtags can you even use with one post? tag locIs your head spinning? We certainly can’t blame you. When it comes to Instagram, you have plenty of questions swirling around in that brain of yours. But, here’s the good news: We have answers. We’ve pulled together all of your burning Instagram FAQs and provided our very best responses—along with links to other resources where you can dive in deeper and get even more of the information you need. General Instagram Usage Optimising Your Instagram Bio Managing Instagram Hashtags Utilising Instagram Stories Scheduling Instagram Posts Ready to get started? Here we go. Instagram for Business 101 Grab our ebook Instagram for Business to take your Instagram game up a notch! General Instagram FAQs 1. How do you post on Instagram from a desktop? Since Instagram was designed to be used primarily with your phone, it’s not tough to figure out how to post to Instagram from the mobile app. But, things are nearly impossible on your desktop. There used to be a sneaky workaround to post directly to Instagram while on the Instagram site, but it doesn’t work reliably anymore. Now, your best bet is to use some sort of online tool that allows you to plan and schedule Instagram content while on your desktop. Using Sked (formerly Schedugram), you can bulk upload and then schedule Instagram posts, comments, and even Instagram stories from your desktop. It’s an easy way to remove a lot of hassle from the process! To get started, sign up for a free trial of Sked and then click the “Go” button on “Upload Posts” as in the image below. 2. How do you set up a business profile on Instagram? Making the switch is simple and free! Navigate to your Instagram bio and then click the gear icon that appears next to “Edit Profile.” Scroll down until you see “Account” and then select the option for “Switch to Business Profile.” You’ll be walked through a few prompts you need to answer before the switch is complete. Want more information on making the switch? This Instagram video will walk you through it! 3. Is an Instagram business profile worth it? There are plenty of perks involved with switching to an Instagram business profile—including options for followers to contact you directly from your bio, the option to run ads, and access to analytics about your followers. That being said, some people have noticed a decrease in engagement after making the switch (albeit, nothing major!). It’s worth weighing the pros and cons before deciding what’s best for your account. 4. How do you get Instagram verified? Instagram grants verified badges to various celebrities, public figures, and brands. The platform also says that it’s not currently possible to request or even purchase a badge for your own profile. There’s really no one tried and true way to get verified. Some assert that all it takes is having a ton of followers. But, as this Forbes article points out, even that isn’t guaranteed to get you that coveted blue checkmark. At this point, it’s just sort of a gamble. 5. How many times should I post to Instagram per day? How often you should post on Instagram can vary greatly depending on your unique goals and your audience. But, if you’re just looking for some sort of digit to wrap your arms around, we think that aiming for at least three posts per week is a good place to start. 6. How do I take better photos for Instagram? The great thing about Instagram is that you don’t need to be a professional photographer to take amazing photos! Even some simple steps like understanding some photography basics, planning out an aesthetic for your account, and using some other editing tools can help take your photos to the next level. We have some more tips for killer photos right here. 7. How does the Instagram algorithm work? Instagram recently peeled back the curtain on its algorithm and—according to the information the platform shared with journalists, the algorithm factors in three key things: Recency: How recently the post was shared. Instagram will prioritize newer posts over older ones. Interest: How interested a follower will be in that post, based on Instagram’s learnings about that specific person. Relationship: How close a follower is to that account, with a higher ranking for accounts that followers have interacted with frequently in the past. We dive in even further on the Instagram algorithm in this helpful post. 8. What is the Instagram shadowban? When people witness a perceived lack of engagement with their accounts, they were quick to point the finger at Instagram for what was named a shadowban. People believed Instagram was hiding their posts from followers’ feeds as punishment for posting too frequently and a whole other slew of supposed faux pas. Since that time, Instagram has confirmed that there’s no such thing as shadowbanning. 9. Do I need an Instagram marketing strategy? If you aren’t just using Instagram personally and are aiming to achieve a broader goal for your brand or business, then absolutely, we recommend developing a strategy for your Instagram efforts. Here’s what you need to know. 10. How do I develop an Instagram aesthetic? First things first, you need to understand your brand in order to land on a visual aesthetic that makes sense. After that, check out brands you admire and create a style guide to maintain some cohesiveness through all of your posts. Here’s an in-depth guide to hone your perfect Instagram aesthetic. Instagram Bio FAQs 11. How do you add a link in your Instagram bio? If you only need one link in your Instagram bio, it couldn’t be simpler. Visit your profile on Instagram, click “Edit Profile,” and then add your URL in the website field. That link will now appear in your bio. 12. How can I have more than one link in my Instagram bio? Upgrading to a business account will give you the option to add links for followers to take specific actions—like call you, email you, or get directions to your location. But, if you want to be able to use another link and control the destination? That presents a challenge, because there’s only space for one clickable link in your Instagram bio. Fortunately, there are some solutions (Linktree is a great one!) that allows you to send your followers to multiple different pages using just one link. 13. How do you add a new line on your Instagram bio? There are a couple of different ways that you can add line breaks to your bio or your Instagram captions. From using a tool like Sked, to inserting symbols and emojis, to copying and pasting from your notes app, this post has all of the instructions you need. 14. How do you center your Instagram bio? Centering your bio might seem tricky, but it really just involves copying and pasting a certain number of spaces before and after each line of your bio (it’s much easier on your desktop!). This article from TechJunkie will walk you through it. 15. How do you write a creative Instagram bio? From using emojis to leveraging keywords to creating a branded hashtag, there are plenty of ways to make your Instagram bio stand out. Here are some tips to write your own top-notch bio (and this post has inspiration from some awesome brands who are doing it right!). 16. How long can an Instagram bio be? Your Instagram bio can be a maximum of 150 characters. 17. Is my Instagram bio important? We certainly think so! Think of your Instagram bio as the first impression or elevator pitch of your entire feed. It’s where you tell people who you are, what you do, and why they should care. If you ask us, that’s pretty important. 18. What font is the Instagram bio? Your Instagram bio font can vary depending on what sort of device you’re viewing it on. Quora user San Abhignu breaks down the following: iOS Instagram app: Freight Sans for large type (usually centered headlines) and the system’s Neue Helvetica for everything else. Android Instagram app: The system’s Roboto is used along with Freight. Instagram website: Proxima Nova for all text with Neue Helvetica as a fallback. 19. Can you use emojis in the Instagram bio? Yes! You can use emojis in your Instagram bio, provided you can fit them within the 150-character limit. 20. Should I include hashtags in my Instagram bio? You definitely don’t have to include hashtags in your bio. But, doing so can be a great way to get your account discovered by people who are interested in the type of content you frequently post. If you have a branded hashtag unique to your company, it’s also wise to include that in your bio so your followers know to use it on their own posts. Instagram Hashtag FAQs 21. How many hashtags does Instagram allow per post? You can use up to 30 hashtags per Instagram post. 22. Should I put Instagram hashtags in comments or the caption? That’s up to you! The great thing about including them in the caption is that they’re posted at the exact same time at your photo (although, Sked allows you to schedule a comment at the same time as your post!). Posting hashtags in a comment means they aren’t cluttering or distracting from your caption. Like many things on Instagram, there isn’t one right way to approach where to place your hashtags. It’s up to you! 23. What are the best Instagram hashtags to use? The best Instagram hashtags to use are the ones that are relevant to your brand and your content—they aren’t a one-size-fits-all sort of thing. That being said, if your goal is to use hashtags to get more eyeballs on your posts, use a mix of keywords (terms that people might search to find your sort of content) and any branded or popular hashtags that fit (think something like #tbt for “Throwback Thursday” for example). 24. How can I find relevant hashtags for my Instagram account? While a simple Google search will turn up hashtags that typically get a lot of views, not all of those will be relevant to your unique account. When it comes to finding hashtags that are a fit for your content, there are two great places to check out: influencers in your niche and your competitors. See what hashtags they’re using on their own posts. Chances are, those terms could be used on your photos as well. 25. How effective are Instagram hashtags? If your goal is increased engagement? Then they’re super effective! One study found that Instagram posts that use at least 11 hashtags get the best engagement. So, hashtag away! 26. Should I have a branded hashtag? A branded hashtag is a hashtag that is unique to your brand. For example, outdoor outfitter, L.L. Bean, uses the hashtag #BeanOutsider. Whether or not you want to create one is up to you. However, doing so can be a great way to: Generate loyalty and excitement around your brand. Get user-generated content to re-post to your own account. You’ll be able to easily find the photos that your followers tag with your branded hashtag. 27. How do you hide Instagram hashtags in a caption? If you want to use a bunch of hashtags but don’t want them to clutter up your caption, it’s best to add plenty of space between your caption and where your hashtags appear. You can do this by entering new lines (see our previous question about line breaks!) where you can add emojis or even a simple symbol like a dot. This will put your hashtags further down in your caption, which means people won’t see them unless they click the “see more” link. Placing your hashtags in a comment on your post is another great way to ensure they don’t make your caption look messy. With Sked, you can schedule a comment to post at the same time as your photo—so, your hashtags will be posted right away. 28. Which Instagram hashtags are banned? There are thousands (some say upwards of 100,000!) hashtags that are banned on Instagram, so it’s impossible for us to pull them all together here. While there are a few random ones thrown into the mix, if you want to avoid banned hashtags on your Instagram posts, you should refrain from using any tags that could be construed as offensive or vulgar. 29. Can Instagram hashtags have spaces? The short answer: no. Hashtags need to appear as one continuous term. So, you’d need to post #snowday instead of #snow day. If you went with that latter option, your hashtag term is only “snow.” 30. Can Instagram hashtags have symbols? Instagram hashtags can include numbers, but they can’t use any special characters. Instagram Stories FAQs 31. How long is a story on Instagram? A brief 15 seconds is the maximum time for a single Instagram story. 32. How do you tag accounts on an Instagram story? Start by creating your story. To do so, tap the camera icon in the top left of your screen or swipe right at any time. Take your photo or video and then tap the text icon to add text to your story. Start with the “@” symbol and type the username of whoever you want to mention. That person will receive a notification that they’ve been mentioned in your story. Need more help? Here are the detailed instructions from Instagram. 33. How do you add links to an Instagram story? Instagram does have a feature that allows you to add links to your Instagram story. But, here’s the catch: You need to have a business account and you need to have over 10,000 followers. If that’s the case, it’s as simple as creating your story photo or video and then clicking the chain icon to add your destination URL. Sked also offers an option for you to schedule Instagram stories and add a link at that time. However, you should note that you still do need to have a business account and the feature enabled for that to work. 34. How do you create Instagram story highlights covers? If you’re jealous of those beautiful and branded icons people have for their Instagram story highlights, you can easily create them yourself. To start, create a design for your cover using a program of your choice (like Canva, for example). The dimensions of an Instagram story are 1080 x 1920 pixels, so make sure you size it accordingly and then place your icon in the middle of that canvas. Download that image so you have it ready to upload to Instagram. Next, you’ll need to turn on the stories archive to ensure your highlights will work. Navigate to your Instagram settings, select “Story Settings,” and then hit the toggle for “Save to Archive.” In order for you to use your highlight cover, it needs to appear as an Instagram story and then stay in your archive. It’s slightly annoying, but it’s the way things work. Post your design to your Instagram story and then hit “Highlight” at the bottom right of that story. At that point, you can add that cover to an existing Instagram highlight or create a totally new Instagram stories highlight. 35. How do you see who viewed your Instagram story? Open your Instagram story and then swipe up on the screen. That will display the total number of people who have viewed your story, as well as their usernames. 36. How long can people view an Instagram story? Unless you save an Instagram story as a highlight (at which point it will be displayed on your profile until you remove it), Instagram stories disappear after only 24 hours. 37. Is there a way to save an Instagram story? Yes! As mentioned above, you can save a story as a highlight by viewing your story and then tapping the “Highlight” button in the bottom right corner. You can either use that story as a new highlight or add it to an existing one. 38. How do you zoom on Instagram stories? While you’re filming an Instagram story video, make sure to keep one finger on the record button (otherwise your recording will stop!) and use your other finger to slide up or down on the screen. That’s how you control zooming in or out on Instagram stories. 39. What are the dimensions of an Instagram story? Instagram stories are 1080 pixels wide and 1920 pixels high. 40. How do you screenshot an Instagram story? You can screenshot a story simply by using whatever screenshot function your phone has. For example, on an iPhone, that involves hitting the power button and the home button simultaneously. Worried that someone will know when you take that sneaky screenshot? While Instagram used to notify users when their story had been screenshotted, the platform appears to have put that feature to an end. Instagram Scheduling FAQs 41. Should you schedule Instagram posts? We certainly think so! When it comes to building an audience and increasing engagement on Instagram, consistency is key. But, life gets busy, and it can be tough to stick to that content calendar you mapped out for yourself. Using an Instagram scheduler like Sked allows you to post content consistently, without having to worry about it every single day. Just get your posts queued up ahead of time! 42. How does scheduling Instagram posts help? Like we mentioned above, the biggest help is in terms of consistency. By scheduling your posts, you can share content on a predictable basis—without having to get something uploaded at the same time each day. There are numerous other benefits as well, including the ability to plan out your feed and create a more cohesive aesthetic, spend more of your time engaging as opposed to posting, and save precious time by creating numerous posts at once—rather than one at a time. 43. What is a good Instagram scheduling tool? We’re slightly biased, but we think Sked is the cream of the crop. You can bulk upload and then schedule Instagram posts, meaning you won’t have to worry about what to post the day of. Additionally, Sked is packed with all sorts of other features—including a visual planner, a photo editor, and a regram app—that make managing your Instagram account a total breeze. Meet Sked - The most powerful Instagram scheduling platform A place to plan & schedule your Instagram posts, Stories, videos and more. Tag locations, users and products and manage all your hashtags in one place to save 5+ hours every week. 44. What kind of posts can I schedule via Sked? Through Sked, you can schedule Instagram photos, videos, and even Instagram stories to be posted to your account. 45. Can I visually plan my Instagram feed with Sked? You bet you can! Sked has a visual planner feature that you can use to drag and drop your posts, which means you can plot and rearrange them into the perfect, aesthetically-pleasing order. 46. What is the best time of day to post on Instagram? If you’ve looked into answers to this question before, you’ve probably been met with tons of conflicting advice. Certain places assert mornings are best, while others stand firm that evenings are when you should be posting. Of course, this can vary based on your own audience. The best thing to do is to keep an eye on your analytics and then do some trial and error to figure out when your followers are most engaged. Your best time to post could be different from someone else’s. 47. Can a scheduling tool post directly to Instagram? Yes! Instagram’s API used to restrict third-party apps from posting directly to Instagram. They’ve recently removed that restriction, which means that some Instagram scheduling tools can now do so. Although, Sked was always able to post directly. 48. Can you schedule Instagram stories? Absolutely. With Sked, you can not only schedule photos and videos to be posted to your feed, you can also schedule your Instagram stories. 49. What kind of reports will be available to me? With Sked, you can easily see how many people are clicking through from your bio to your website. Additionally, you can export your chosen data within Sked (anything from the first comment to the asset URLs) to either a PDF or CSV file—making it easy to share with the rest of your team or organization. You may also like: The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Planning and Scheduling How to Become an Instagram Influencer the Right Way 50. Should I use Sked? We certainly think so. Want to give it a try? Go ahead and sign up. Become an Instagram Master There you have it—the answers to all of your burning Instagram questions. Now all that’s left for you to do? Leverage this information to your advantage and prepare to take your Instagram presence to the next level. If you’re looking to carve out hours in your social media workflow, sign up for Sked’s 7-day trial. Our all-in-one Instagram scheduler allows you to automatically post images, carousels, Stories, videos and more. Tag locations, users and products and manage all your hashtags in one place to save 5+ hours every week.