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Instagram: How to not suck at it

A crappy Instagram account for your small business is worse than not having one at all.

Let’s get right into the tips so you don’t suck and can create an Instagram account you and your customers can be proud of … and increase sales from.

    The easiest way to create a profile that gains fans and followers is to post consistently. Give yourself a schedule that you can stand by – make posting a part of your schedule. You don’t have to post every day but – you can not post every few weeks or months and expect for your Instagram profile to be a success. I believe in posting daily, and maybe twice per day if you really have something interesting to post about. With the options of creating live videos and stories on Instagram, you now have more options of giving your posting schedule creative flexible.

The golden rule is… you can post business stuff on your personal account, but don’t get too personal on your business account. What this means is… if your Insta account is about your restaurant – you don’t post about your kids at their soccer game (unless you’ve provided the food or sponsorship) keep

There is a lot of discrepancy between short captions and long captions. It depends on the context and the image. If it’s a meme and you are trying to be funny – keep it short, if you are a building a brand then you want to tell your story and create a deeper relationship with your followers.

Unless you have 30k followers and you don’t want to expand your reach – you need to use hashtags. Hashtags are your link to expanding your audience and developing a relationship with your community. The keys to great hashtag usage is in a blog post coming soon.

Now that you can like ♥ a comment on Instagram, you can easily engage with your followers. Beyond the simple like of a comment on your posts, you need to seek potential fans and followers in your community by following your customers and local businesses – after that, you need to comment and engage with other photos. Nothing is worse than consistently posting and never responding to comments or following back enthusiastic people who follow you.

bonus tip: A lot of people say the quality of photos is the most important – it’s true the better the clarity and composition of a photo the more it’s appreciated. But even a lame photo taken with your smartphone at a bad angle with poor lighting can still tell the story of your brand and provide interest in your business.

It’s better to post imperfection than not post at all. Instagram is not about the numbers it’s about the quality of followers and commenters.

👋🏻  If you enjoy my blog posts, please help me spread the word and share them with your small business owner friends. I would greatly appreciate it! -Jen Lew

Instagram Business Profiles

Instagram announced new business profiles, the new set of business tools were announced back in may, and I received it on @northforkmarketing a few weeks ago and now have it on all client accounts as well on mobile.

The new business profiles are inspired by Facebook’s business Pages. My favorite new feature is the ‘contact’ button, allowing customers to text, call or email a business.


The new business profiles also include a set of analytics with audience behaviors and demographics, as well as a ‘promote’ feature for boosting well-performing images to use as advertising to reach more customers. Businesses can choose to target a particular demographic, or let Instagram’s algorithms work their magic.


The one magical feature that seems to be missing is directly communicating with users via messenger, I also find it difficult to use the Stories option as it is a completely different profile option. I’m curious to see where Instagram goes next.


Instagram Business Profiles New

You’ll know if your Instagram account has access to the business profile by opening the app and clicking on your profile icon on the bottom right of the screen to access your profile. If you see this message on the top of the screen, you’re eligible to switch to a business profile:



Click the Learn More button to start the process and learn about the business profile features:

North Fork Marketing Instagram
Instagram Business Profiles

Coming Soon: New Instagram Business Profile Tools

Business profiles

Instagram business profiles are a free feature for accounts wanting to be recognized as a business on Instagram. With a business profile, businesses can choose how they want their customers to get in touch with them: call, text or email with a tap of the contact button as well as get directions. Business profiles also unlock access to insights and the ability to promote.

Instagram Business Profiles

Insights on Instagram give businesses actionable information about who their followers are and which posts resonate better than others—all from within the mobile app. By learning more about the behavior and demographics of your audience, you can create more relevant and timely content.

Instagram Business Profiles

The ability to promote on Instagram lets you turn well-performing posts into ads right within the app—helping you connect with even more customers. Simply pick a post you’ve already shared on Instagram and add a button encouraging people to take action. You can select a target audience or allow Instagram to suggest targeting for you. After that, your post will be promoted as an ad for any length of time you choose.

Instagram Business Profiles
With these new Instagram business profile tools, the furniture store in San Francisco can receive emails from customers saving valuable time responding. The retailer in Austin can better understand its audience, tailor its content and refine its marketing strategy—even beyond digital. And the do-it-yourself craft shop in New York City can quickly fill a seat, move a product or get people into its store with ads on mobile.

These Instagram business tools are just some of the ways we hope to make growing a business on Instagram that much easier. Business profiles, insights and the ability to promote will be rolling out in the US, Australia, and New Zealand in the coming months, and will be available in all regions globally by the end of the year.

Instagram for Business

If You Could Express Your Business Visually, What Would You Create?

Instagram is a community built on the power of visual storytelling.
Screen Shot 2016-06-01 at 4.39.53 PM

Businesses have been a part of the community since the beginning, using the platform as a way to showcase their products and services in a rich, visual context.

Content Strategy Tips

Businesses do best on Instagram when they share well-crafted content that’s on-brand and driven by a clear objective. Tell your story through captivating images, videos and captions.

 Start with a clear goal and creative concept

Compelling ads on Instagram have a strong concept tied to a clear objective. Whether you’re driving brand awareness, website clicks or app installs, create concepts that align to your campaign goal.

Celebrate your brand look & feel

Make your ads branded, and keep strong brand consistency across campaigns. Establish connective elements across your images and videos — like an identifiable color palette, composition or photographic style — to make your business recognizable.

 Focus on craft

Use well-crafted ads to enhance the equity of your business on Instagram. Ads do best when they’re well shot, interesting to look at and artistic. What you create should draw people in and keep them wanting more.


Account name

Choose an account name that’s easily tied to your business. A company name works great.

Profile photo

Simple is best. We recommend using your brand’s logo or a graphic symbol. Keep in mind it will be cropped into a circle and appear as a 150 x 150 pixel image (that’s pretty small) on most phones.


Different caption lengths work well for different audiences. Test and learn from trying out various caption lengths with your followers. Incorporate hashtags to categorize your content and make it easier for non-followers to discover you. We recommend up to three hashtags so they don’t detract from the simplicity of the post. Ask questions to engage people.

Commenting & liking

Play an active role with your community. Engage with comments and questions on your own posts and use hashtags, location tags and Photos of You to discover and join the conversation on other community members’ posts about your brand.


Include the location of your photo or video when it helps tell the story of the image. Use the Add People feature to tag accounts in your image when they will help you reach a broader audience.

Image tools

Edit your images and videos with filters and other creative tools (like Hyperlapse, Layoutand Boomerang) available in the Instagram app. These effects give images that unmistakable “Instagram” look that people respond to.

Image subjects

Post photos and videos of beautiful and unexpected moments that also feel authentic and immediate. Whether your subject is a person or an object, capture it in a context that gives a sense of your brand’s identity or point of view.

Search & Explore

Use Search & Explore on mobile or desktop to discover people, locations and posts that may be relevant to your brand. You can also explore trending hashtags and top accounts.

north fork marketing instagram
How To Schedule Instagram Posts

Onlypult is the answer to your prayers!

If you are a blogger, business owner or manage multiple brands – You know the struggle!
Thankfully Instagram has finally updated and helped with managing multiple accounts (Read more here) but there’s still one more challenge and that’s scheduling Instagram posts and managing comments, hashtags and geotagging.

Onlypult is the most effective and affordable option when scheduling posts.

After spending years trying different apps and tools for scheduling – Latergramme, Schedugram and Crowdfires TakeOff — (I love Crowdfire – more on that later) some of the apps are free of charge, but you still have to manually post when you receive a post notification on your phone. The $12 a month is well worth the cost in saving time and capabilities to work with additional admins. Onlypult posts on your behalf, and you can set a pre-schedule, which I have found invaluable. There is also no white border on the images, which there is on Latergramme.schedule-instagram-jen-lew-north-fork

You have complete control managing multiple Instagram accounts and the ability to invite other administrators to post. In addition, to uploading single images you can apply filters and hashtags directly within the app. Schedule your posts months, weeks, days in advance and they are automatically sent to your Instagram profile.

From my experience there are no negative impacts to scheduling with Onlypult, there have been studies that using external apps for scheduling reduces likes and shares on other social media networks. We use Hootesuite to manage Twitter and Linkedin posts, but by far Onlypult is our most effective choice for Instagram.

What are the best Instagram scheduling apps in your opinion? What was your experience like? Share your opinions in the comment section below.

Instagram Adds Multiple Accounts Yippeeee!

Instagram shines down upon us to give multiple account switching.

One of Instagram’s most-requested features could currently reside on your iOS device without you even


Starting this week, you can quickly and easily switch between multiple accounts on Instagram!
Go to your Instagram profile settings to add an additional account. From there, tap your username at the top of your profile to switch between accounts. Once you have multiple accounts added, you’ll see your profile photo appear in places throughout the app so you can always tell which one you’re using at the moment.

How to Add Multiple Instagram Accounts on iOS

To see if you have access to this feature, navigate to your Instagram profile page and click on “Settings.” Near the bottom, you will have the option to “Add Account.”

how to add instagram account

After adding an account, you’ll easily be able to switch between multiple Instagram accounts, accessing separate photo feeds, comments, and messages without logging out of the Instagram iOS app. When you receive likes or comments, your push notifications notify you of which account you’re receiving them on.

After adding an account, you’ll easily be able to switch between multiple Instagram accounts, accessing separate photo feeds, comments, and messages without logging out of the Instagram iOS app. When you receive likes or comments, your push notifications notify you of which account you’re receiving them on.

managing multiple instagram accounts

As anyone who manages more than one Instagram account is aware of, logging in and out of Instagram accounts is a major pain point; not only for posting regularly, but also for keeping up with different communities, commenting on photos, and messaging with users.

Instagram Landscape and Portrait Updates
New Instagram update 2015 – You can now post full-size landscape and portrait photos. It’s no longer hip to be square!
You are not constricted to square photos. Instagram now supports any size images.

From the Instagram Blog
Today, we’re excited to announce that — in addition to square posts — you can now share photos and videos in both portrait and landscape orientation on Instagram. Square format has been and always will be part of who we are. That said, the visual story you’re trying to tell should always come first, and we want to make it simple and fun for you to share moments just the way you want to. It turns out that nearly one in five photos or videos people post aren’t in the square format, and we know that it hasn’t been easy to share this type of content on Instagram: friends get cut out of group shots, the subject of your video feels cramped and you can’t capture the Golden Gate Bridge from end to end. Now, when choosing a photo or video, you can tap the format icon to adjust the orientation to portrait or landscape instead of square. Once you share the photo, the full-sized version of it will appear to all of your followers in feed in a beautiful, natural way. To keep the clean feel of your profile grid, your post will appear there as a center-cropped square.

We’re especially excited about what this update means for video on Instagram, which in widescreen can be more cinematic than ever. While we’ve historically had separate filters for photos and for videos, all filters will now work on all types of moments. You can also adjust the intensity of filters on videos, too.

We continue to be inspired by the creativity and diversity of the Instagram community, and we can’t wait to see what you create next.

More updates and new features.
Jen Lew Instagram
  1. New direct message features.
    You can now directly send images right from any post privately to other Instagram users. You can then carry on the conversation with text only similarly to a normal text message.
  2. Instagram ads release September 30th.
    We are preparing to learn, use, and teach you what you need to know.

  3. Unified photo and video filters.
    Now any filter can be applied to your Instagram post regardless of its format (photo or video).


How do I upload a photo as a portrait or landscape?

Once you’ve selected a photo or video from your phone or tablet’s photo library, you can choose to share it as a portrait or landscape instead of a square:

  1. Tap to switch the photo from a square to a portrait or landscape.
  2. You can touch the screen to move the photo and adjust how it fits within the frame. Use the grid to help you frame the photo.
  3. Tap Next to apply effects or a filter.

Once you share it, the photo or video will appear as a portrait or landscape in Feed. You can share photos and videos with aspect ratios between 1.91:1 and 4:5.

Note: In grid view on your profile, photos shared as a portrait or landscape will appear as a center-cropped square.

Instagram image size used to be 612px by 612px but then switched to 640px by 640pxand on July 2015 switched to 1080px by1080px to keep up with Retina and other high resolution displays available on smartphones, tablets and laptops. Current image size is1080px in width X 1080px in height.
Hashtag Meaning and Popular Slang Terms for Instagram & Twitter

Hashtag-Slang-GlossaryHashtag slang meanings and the top slang terms defined for use with Twitter and Instagram. Hashtag terms and acronyms used in social media.

Photo of the Day

Throw Back Thursday

Flash Back Friday

Cracking the Fuck Up

To Be Honest

Blowing My Shit – that is blowing my mind

The Fuck – why the fuck did you say that

Da Fuck – what the fuck are you doing

Outfit of the Day

Outfit of the Month

You’ve lost a ton of weight or redecorated your house.

Gram of the Day – an instagram photo that you think is just amazing and winning the day.

Women Crush Wednesday

Man Crush Monday

girlfriend or boyfriend – because saying those words became far too laborious

Today I Fucked Up

Today I Learned

In My Opinion

Follow for Follow – you follow me i’ll follow you back

Shoutout to Shoutout – follow @jenlew she’s awesome!

Like for Like

figuratively i can’t even comprehend this situation.

Retweet – retweeting someone else’s tweet on Twitter only

Modified Tweet – on Twitter only

share another persons photo on Instagram Only

Dogs of instagram

still your pet but maybe a bit cuter

a good post on instagram

Laugh My Ass Off

see above and… just add fuck.

Laugh Out Loud

Get the Fuck Out of Here

You Only Live Once

Be Right Back

Real Life


Real Life Tweet – something overheard in real life

Hat Tip – a compliment

a pic of you

ooh look the family is out for a bike ride.

your pet

a pic of you on sunday

a nicer way of saying your being a total bitch.

i want everyone to see the shitty picture of my awesome food

uhm… really do i have to explain this. Fried Chicken is sexy as hell. Take a pic, post it and use this hashtag.

you aint usin’ no filter that sunset really is this beautiful.

Instagram Users


your status

Person to person

Business to business

Shaking My Head

Follow Friday

There are tons more slang terms and acronyms …this is just the beginning. If you think I’ve missed a few please write them in the comments below or tweet me @jenlew

How to Edit Instagram Captions

From the Instagram Blog:
In addition to the updates to Explore, we’ve added the ability to go back and edit captions on your posts. When you share a moment to Instagram, a typo shouldn’t get in the way. This has been one of the top requests that we’ve heard from the community, and we’re excited to finally bring it to you today. You’ll find a new “Edit” option in the menu beneath your image. Tap it to edit your caption.

How to Edit Instagram


Facebook Year In Review

Facebook analyzed the past year’s worth of posts to reveal the top global trends 2013 Year in Review

Top Life Events
Check out the life events people added to their Timeline most frequently in 2013.

1. Added a relationship, got engaged or got married
2. Traveled
3. Moved
4. Ended a relationship
5. First met a friend
6. Added a family member, expecting a baby or had a baby
7. Got a pet
8. Lost a loved one
9. Got a piercing
10. Quit a habit

Top Check-Ins Around The World
Explore the places around the world with the most check-ins (excluding transportation hubs).

Argentina: Puerto Madero, Buenos Aires
Australia: Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), East Melbourne, Victoria
Brazil: Parque Ibirapuera, São Paulo
Canada: Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia
Egypt: Sharm el-Sheikh, South Sinai Governorate, Egypt
France: Disneyland Paris, Marne La Vallée
Germany: Reeperbahn, Hamburg
Hong Kong: 香港迪士尼樂園 | Hong Kong Disneyland
Iceland: Blue Lagoon, Reykjavík, Iceland
India: Harmandir Sahib (The Golden Temple)
Italy: Piazza San Marco, Venice
Japan: 東京ディズニーランド (Tokyo Disneyland), Tokyo
Mexico: Auditorio Nacional, Mexico City
Nigeria: Ikeja City Mall, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria
Poland: Temat Rzeka, Warsaw
Russia: Центральный парк культуры и отдыха им. Горького | Gorky Park of Culture and Leisure
Singapore: Marina Bay Sands
South Africa: Victoria & Alfred Waterfront
South Korea: Myungdong Street, Seoul
Spain: Las Ramblas, Barcelona, Catalonia
Sweden: Friends Arena, Solna
Taiwan: 花園夜市Tainan Flower Night Market, Tainan City
Turkey: Taksim Square, Istanbul
United Kingdom: The 02, London
United States: Disneyland, Anaheim, California

Most Talked About Topics
Take a look at the most mentioned people and events of 2013, which point to some of the most popular topics around the world.

1. Pope Francis
2. Election
3. Royal Baby
4. Typhoon
5. Margaret Thatcher
6. Harlem Shake
7. Miley Cyrus
8. Boston Marathon
9. Tour de France
10. Nelson Mandela

Most Talked About By Topic in the U.S.
Sports – Super Bowl
Movies – The Conjuring
TV Shows – Scandal
Music – Get Lucky by Daft Punk*
Books – “Happy, Happy, Happy: My Life and Legacy as the Duck Commander” by Phil Robertson
Games – Criminal Case by Pretty Simple Games
Public Figures – Peyton Manning
Politics – Government Shutdown
Technology – Instagram
Viral Moments – Harlem Shake
Internet Memes – Giraffe
*Most Played on Facebook via Spotify

Top Check-Ins in the U.S.
1. Disneyland & Disney California Adventure (Anaheim, CA)
2. Times Square (New York, NY)
3. Epcot – Walt Disney World (Lake Buena Vista, FL)
4. Dodger Stadium (Los Angeles, CA)
5. AT&T Park (San Francisco, CA)
6. Rangers Ballpark (Arlington, TX)
7. Universal Studios Hollywood (Universal City, CA)
8. Fenway Park (Boston, MA)
9. MGM Grand Hotel & Casino (Las Vegas, NV)
10. Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo (Houston, TX)

Top Life Events in the U.S.
1. Added a Relationship
2. Got Married
3. Got Engaged
4. Traveled
5. Moved
6. Ended a Relationship
7. Had a Baby
8. Expecting a Baby
9. First Met
10. Lost a Loved One
facebook trends 2013
These lists are available on Facebook Stories at, or you can download them.

Instagram Fruity Hack
Instagram Hack photoIt’s time to Change your Passwords!!

Make them complex and make them full of letters, numbers and symbols!!
There’s a Instagram hack slowly going around with a fruit theme. It’s unclear so far how the hackers have gotten into over 130 million accounts… but they have and it’s annoying.
Om Malik posted a photo of what the spammers are posting.

This is the one (ugly as heck) photo that was posted to my Instagram, and a good friend had a at least 5 photos in her feed posted to her account.

But, in addition to the mad posting my profile details were changed, including my name, email, website and description. Immediately I deleted the erroneous information and changed my password to something more complex that includes capital and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. This may or may not secure my accounts but it certainly will provide against the hacker bots that try to penetrate my accounts. I suggest you do the same.

Facebook has notified users of this massive hack…but has not provided more details …yet.

Earlier today a small portion of our users experienced a spam incident where unwanted photos were posted from their accounts. Our security and spam team quickly took actions to secure the accounts involved, and the posted photos are being deleted.

In my opinion, the moral of the story is.. change your passwords to something complex, it’s your only defense at this point. Not saying it will work but it won’t hurt. 

For more information and updates check out PC Mag and Gigaom or TNW

Instagram Launched Video

★Instagram now has Video★ Facebook_Instagram Video
You now have the ability to: 
– record video up to 15 seconds long (one clip or multiple)
– remove clips you’ve recorded
– select a cover image for the video
– use 13 new filters specific to video
-It also includes Cinema – cinematic video stabilization to make your video look professional.

Video – YouTube & Vimeo for your business

Social Media Statistics 2013 from Video

  • Over 50% of the world’s population is under 30-years-old
  • Each day 20% of Google searches have never been searched before
  • In 10 years over 40% of the Fortune 500 will no longer be here
  • Ford Explorer launch on Facebook more effective than a Super Bowl Ad
  • Social Gamers to buy 6 billion in virtual goods by 2013; movie goers only buy 2.5 million in concessions
  • New Yorkers received tweets about an east coast earthquake 30 seconds before they felt it
  • YouTube Success: How to Create a Successful YouTube Channel

    YouTube Success: How to Create a Successful YouTube Channel


    The 2013 YouTube Marketing Guide

    The 2013 YouTube Marketing Guide

    YouTube Specs

    post with pictures!

    In the time it takes for you to be reading this post, you could have glanced at a photo understood what it was all about and gone back to work, and thinking about how you should have posted a video to promote your product.Jen Lew Sweet Tweets

    Here are 21 awesome reasons why you should be posting visual content on behalf of your business across a varied number of social sites. 

    1. 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual.
    2. Out of 100 people, 40% will respond better to visual information than plain text.
    3. a website’s design is the number one criterion for discerning the credibility of the company say’s a whopping 46.1% of people.
    4. Publishers who use infographics grow in traffic an average of 12% more than those who don’t.
    5. Posts with videos attract 3 times more inbound links than plain text posts.
    6. Visual content drives engagement. In fact, just one month after the introduction of Facebook timeline for brands, visual content — photos and videos — saw a 65% increase in engagement.
    7. On Facebook, photos perform best for likes, comments, and shares as compared to text, video, and links.
    8. 37% of Pinterest account holders log in a few times every week; Pinterest is an all visual site, that has rapidly become the third largest social media site, based on its number of site visits March 2012.
    9. 98% of people surveyed with a Pinterest account said they also have a Facebook and/or Twitter account. side note: those accounts should be linked.
    10. Pinterest generated more referral traffic for businesses than Google+, YouTube, and LinkedIn combined.
    11. Pinterest drives sales directly from its website — of people with Pinterest accounts, 21% have purchased an item after seeing it on Pinterest.
    12. 85% of the US internet audience watches videos online. The 25-34 age group watches the most online videos, and adult males spend 40% more time watching videos on the internet than females.
    13. “I’d rather watch a video, than read” – that’s what he said. Over 60 hours of videos are uploaded each minute on
    14. 700 YouTube videos are shared on Twitter every minute.
    15. Viewers spend 100% more time on pages with videos on them.
    16. Mobile video viewing increased 35% from 2010 to 2011.
    17. 25 million smartphone users stream 4 hours of mobile video per month. 75% of smartphone users watch videos on their phones, 26% of whom use video at least once a day.
    18. Mobile video subscription is expected to hit $16 billion in revenue by 2014, with over 500 million subscribers.
    19. Viewers are 85% more likely to purchase a product after watching a product video. 
    20. Mobile photo sharing sites like Instagram are now a part of our future and is one of the fastest growing social media trends of the last few years.
    21. Instagram has accumulated 15 million users who have uploaded more than 400 million photos in less than two years.


    list adapted from: Hub Spot, Forbes, Price Grabber, SEOMoz and more…