A Beginner’s Guide to Instagram and LIKEtoKNOW.it
I learned from my Reader Survey a few weeks ago that a lot of you are confused about Instagram and LIKEtoKNOW.it. While over 50% of you follow me on Instagram (THANK YOU!) many expressed that it is new to you or confusing.
It also seems that many of you would like to shop my looks from Instagram but aren’t sure how to use LIKEtoKNOW.it or simply don’t want more emails coming to your inbox.
I actually have a post all about LIKEtoKNOW.it and how to use it, so I will refer you to that for the nitty gritty details, but I want to explain why I use it and how it is the best way (and the only way until recently — more on that in a sec) to shop my looks from Instagram.
But first, let’s back up a bit.
What is Instagram All About?
Instagram describes itself as “a fun and quirky way to share your life with friends through a series of pictures.”
Wikipedia is a bit more detailed:
Instagram is an online mobile photo-sharing, video-sharing, and social networking service that enables its users to take pictures and videos, and share them either publicly or privately on the app, as well as through a variety of other social networking platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Flickr.
I see Instagram as snapshots of life. Everyone uses Instagram a little bit differently, but I like my Instagram feed to be pretty, inspirational, and free of drama. I follow tons of fashion and lifestyle bloggers for inspiration as well as select close friends and family to keep up with what they’re doing.
Instagram is a fairly simple platform to use. You just take a picture, pretty it up with a filter or some basic editing, type in a caption, and publish!
Finding People to Follow on Instagram
When you sign up for Instagram, they give you the opportunity to follow people from your email address book and Facebook. They also give you random suggested people to follow, especially early on when you’re not following many.
Those aren’t usually very relevant, however, when you follow someone new, Instagram gives you several similar suggestions of Instagrammers to follow.
You can also click on the little magnifying glass icon at the bottom of your screen and search for hashtags that relate to your interests.
See my example below. I searched fashionover40 under Tags.
Then I can click on the #fashionover40 in the search results and see every picture that has been posted with that hashtag recently. I can click through on any of the pictures that interest me and find new people to follow that way.
Your Instagram Feed
Once you are following a few other Instagram accounts, the pictures from those accounts will show up in your Instagram feed. Click the little house icon in the bottom left corner to see your feed.
Scroll through to see what your friends have been posting. Click the heart icon beneath a picture to “like” that Instagram post and show your support to the person who posted (as well as to indicate to Instagram the type of post you enjoy.)
If you want to leave a comment, just click the little conversation bubble that is beside the heart, and type in what it is you want to say. Everyone loves a little comment love, just sayin’!
Instagram used to show you the posts of the people you follow in reverse chronological order (newest first), but they have recently adopted Facebook’s infamous algorithm so that they are showing you a curated feed of what they think you want to see based on your usage. Everyone hates it, but what can you do?
Well, you CAN do something — make sure you “like” and comment on the posts you enjoy, so the gods of Instagram show you more of the types of posts you like (or so you hope.)
And if you ever think, Oh hey, I don’t think I’ve seen one of Jo-Lynne’s posts in a while . . . then click that little magnifying glass icon and search for me under the People tab. Give me a few “likes” and comments and hopefully I’ll start showing up in your feed again. (Obviously you can do this for anyone you think you aren’t seeing as often as you should.)
Posting to Your Feed
If you want to post a picture to your Instagram feed, simply click the little camera icon in the middle of the menu bar at the bottom of your screen. You can either take a Photo or Video right then and there, or upload one from your Library.
Once you select the picture or take a photo, click NEXT. Here you can play around with the filters and editing features, or just post straight out of the camera.
When you have selected the filter you want and finished editing your picture, click NEXT to get to the screen where you type in your description. Add a few hashtags if you want your post to be discovered by other like-minded Instagrammers, but they aren’t necessary for the average user.
Here you can also tag people or brands that are in your picture, or add your location.
You can also choose to share your Instagram photo to Facebook, Twitter, etc. FYI, I never do this. When I go to Facebook, I don’t want to see the same stuff I just saw on Instagram, but that’s my personal preference. I realize a lot of people do that because many of their Facebook friends aren’t on Instagram.
Click SHARE and publish your post! It’s as easy as that.
Shopping from Instagram
Many people are on Instagram to connect with friends and family and enjoy the pretty pictures. Some get inspiration for fitness or food or travel. And some of us like Instagram for the fashion inspiration found there. (I prefer it to Pinterest, frankly.)
Of course, often we want to know where the products are from and how we can purchase them.
A few people said in the survey that they wish I would just link directly to the products I’m wearing on Instagram, like I do on the blog. I agree, that would be fantastic! But Instagram doesn’t allow us to do that.
There is only one clickable link available, and that is in your profile. Instagram doesn’t allow ANY clickable links in Instagram post descriptions or comments.
And that, my friends, is why rewardStyle created LIKEtoKNOW.it.
What the heck is LIKEtoKNOW.it?
One of the main ways I make money from fashion blogging is through affiliate links. I use affiliate links when I link to the products I’m wearing or talking about, and when people shop through those links, I get a small commission. (It doesn’t cost you anything extra to shop through those links, but it enables me to do this for a living and continue to provide all the information I do for free. Pretty cool, right!?!)
There are a myriad of affiliate networks that connect brands and bloggers and provide those links for us to use. One of the more prominent companies doing that is rewardStyle, and it is the one that focuses mainly on fashion.
rewardStyle created the LIKEtoKNOW.it app so bloggers have a way to link to the products we are wearing on Instagram, and so you can easily shop our looks straight from the Instagram app. It’s quite brilliant, actually.
But here I do want to address the biggest stumbling block people seem to have with it.
But I don’t want more email . . .
I get that, and so does rewardStyle. They have made it so that you can set your email preferences to receive them ‘ASAP’ or ‘Daily’ or ‘Weekly’ or ‘Not At All.’ This way you can manage how often you get their emails.
If you absolutely do not want any LIKEtoKNOW.it emails, but you want to shop my Instagram looks, rewardStyle has recently updated their Shop the Feed widget so you can see and shop my LIKEtoKNOW.it content without signing up or leaving my site!
All you have to do is go to the Shop My Feed page on my blog (it is buried up there under the LIKEtoKNOW.it link) or over to the Shop the Feed widget on my sidebar. You can click through that as well. When you click a look you want to shop, it brings up a page that looks like this. Just click on the item you want information on, and it will take you to that retailer’s website to shop.
I have also linked to my Shop the Feed page from my Instagram profile. If you are on Instagram and you see an outfit you want information on, the easiest way is to go to my profile and click through from there.
I often posts outfits to Instagram before I put them on the blog, and sometimes sizes get depleted before I get around to creating a blog post, so if you’re one who likes to shop my exact outfits, and you get frustrated when items sell out, definitely keep an eye on my Instagram.
Random and Sundry
A few closing comments . . .
I am trying to remember to tag the brands I’m wearing in my fashion posts on Instagram. Quite a few of you requested that in the survey. For those who don’t want the exact link, but just want to know where my clothing is from, just tap the picture and you will see the brands I tagged (when I remember to tag them. Ha!)
A few people expressed frustration that they can’t save Instagram posts for future reference, as they can with Pinterest. I screenshot the outfits I want to remember and favorite them on my phone so I an find them easily. So that’s a suggestion for you.
As far as my overall Instagram content, I am trying to post more variety and more real-life pictures, as some of you have asked for. It’s always more interesting when I’m on vacation! My day to day life is pretty mundane, so I got in the habit of posting mostly fashion related content, but I will definitely keep that in mind.
I think that about covers it!
Phew! This was a long one, but I hope it answers all your burning questions about Instagram and LIKEtoKNOW.it.
Feel free to ask me anything in the comments, and I’ll answer when I get a sec.
And now, I’m off to enjoy the lake!