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Tips and How-To

Instagram Tips From a Pro

Do’s and don’ts for using Instagram to boost your business.




  • Make sure your photos are of good quality. Pay attention to lighting, cropping, etc. Everyone knows someone who posts to Instagram or Facebook using an old phone with super grainy photos. Don’t be that person!
  • Find as many hashtags that are relevant to your business as you can. Be sure to do a trial run and see how many followers a particular hashtag has before you decide which ones are the best fit. You want the ones that are in the 100,000 to 800,000 range. This is where you get that jump you want in followers and views. People are searching specific hashtags to find the content that interests them. If you don’t use those hashtags, they will not be able to find you. The max is 30 hashtags per post, but you should narrow it down to around 10 or so that are the most effective. Also make sure you change them up from time to time, or add one or two that are specific to that photo.
  • A little “hack” to help keep your posts clean is to post your hashtags as the first comment instead of on your actual post. It provides the same benefits.
  • When you get a direct message, drive customers to your email or website. It helps keep things organized, and it builds traffic to your website.
  • When you post to Instagram, check the options to post your image to other social sites such as Facebook or Twitter. Go back and edit text to make it appropriate for other platforms. This is a huge time saver.
  • Use Facebook or Instagram Ads. When you spend $1000+ on a billboard ad, only the select few driving by might get a glimpse of that ad. Instead, you can spend $20 on Instagram and reach your specific target audience.
  • Don’t buy followers or use bots! And the most important of all, follow me on Instagram @upstatemerch.

Dylan Gilligan is the owner of Upstate Merch, Custom Apparel Printing and Merchandising in Whitney Point, NY.

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