For this post I’ve called in support from the wonderful Kirstin of Taste and See. I adore Kirstin’s beautifully empathic but straight-talking blog posts + her Instagram account is just an absolute delight!
Kirstin is a qualified nutritionist + blogger who shares evidence-based nutritional information, recipes and other posts related to Intuitive Eating and women’s health over on Taste and See + her Instagram page.
Kirstin and I actually originally met through following each other and chatting on Instagram and then, after bumping into each other at a few different nutrition events, we exchanged numbers and now we’re friends IRL! The ability to connect with other like-minded students/professionals/really cool peeps is probably one of my favourite aspects of Instagram.
Instagram is one of my favourite tools to use alongside my blog. For those who are not quite ready to set up a website or blog, Instagram makes for the perfect ‘micro-blogging’ platform. It’s a great place to connect with other nutrition students, nutrition professionals, and even those that don’t have anything to do with nutrition at all. I have had such great opportunities to meet ‘Insta-friends’ in real life who have now become good friends and professional allies.
Instagram has loads of great features, one of which is Instagram Stories. This feature is really fun to play around with, and is definitely worth experimenting with if you are trying to grow your following, connect with existing followers, and just want to get your message out there (adding things like hashtags and mentions in your Instagram Stories can increase your profile visibility).
How to repost an Instagram post in your stories
This is probably one of the coolest tricks that I learnt recently (to be completely transparent, I actually JUST learnt how to do this). When you share a new Instagram post, it will appear on the newsfeed of those who follow you. With the way that Instagram currently works, posts don’t seem to show in chronological order (i.e. from newest at the top to oldest at the bottom) and sometimes your new post may be completely missed by many of your followers. A great way to make your post more visible and redirect followers to what you have shared is to directly share or ‘repost’ your Instagram post straight into your stories. To do this, all you need to do is:
> Go to your Instagram post
> Click on the paper plane icon below the post
> Click on “Add post to Story”
From there, you can play around with things like the style of the post, background colour, size and positioning of the post in your story, and more (read more about this here).
How to make space in an Instagram caption
We won’t go into too much detail about how to write a good Instagram post (here is a great post you can read for that information), but I will share some easy tips to help you figure out how to achieve that elusive line break in your Instagram captions. If you’ve ever scrolled through your newsfeed and noticed a post with lots of text, no lines or spaces, and no emojis, chances are that you scrolled right past it because it was so long and difficult to read. There are many different ways that you can add line breaks to a caption, but one of the easiest is to just type your whole Instagram caption into your phone’s notepad, then copy and paste it over to Instagram when you’re ready to share the post. All line breaks should appear in the caption.
How to make story highlights
When you start to share Instagram Stories more regularly to share your own content and thoughts, and the work that others are doing, another great feature that you can play around with is saving them to your ‘Highlights’. By doing this, your stories will be visible to your followers for longer than just 24 hours. You can easily categorise the content that you share to enhance the reader experience and to make things easier to find.
The first step to creating great highlights is to create or find highlight covers (these are basically the pictures that will show up in the highlight thumbnail on your profile) and share them on your Instagram Stories so that you can use them at a later stage. Canva is a great tool that you can use to create these (here is a nice tutorial that will show you exactly how you can use Canva to create the covers you want).
Next, you can either go into your Instagram Stories, click through to the cover you want to save, and click on the ‘Highlight’ option (the little heart in the bottom right corner of each page). Create a new highlight, give it a name, and hit the add button to save. Once you’ve done that it’s really easy to add new content to the highlight.
You can also add old content to a highlight. All you need to do is:
> Go to your profile
> Click on the highlight you want to add to, or click on ‘New’ to create a new highlight
> Click on the ‘…more’ button in the bottom right hand corner of the page
> Click on ‘Edit Highlight’
> And then select old content from your Archive
Cool apps and other features that can make Instagram really fun to use:
> Unfold app – This app allows you to create really clean, modern, and really beautiful Instagram Stories pages that you can save to your phone and upload straight to Instagram. You can read more about the app here.
> Instagram stickers – These are just great. When creating a new Instagram Story page, just upload your picture or video and then click on the smiley face sticker in the top right hand corner of the page. Here you can choose to add things like your location, mention other Instagram profiles, add a relevant hashtag, conduct an Instagram poll, or have fun with GIFs. The possibilities here are really endless, so instead of sharing tips on how to use each one of these I’d love to encourage you to just play around with them and see how they work for yourself!
> Scheduling apps – Buffer, Sprout Social, and Hootsuite are just a few examples of good apps that you can use to help make planning and posting Instagram content a bit more effortless. Most of them also have great analytics features too, which can help you figure out what kind of content is best received by your audience.
Click here for some other great Instagram tips.