How to Create a Facebook Business Page

create facebook page

Having a Facebook Page as a business or a brand can connect you with your target market. It allows them to discover and engage with UrOnlineBrand.

How to Setup a Facebook Page for Your Business or Brand

Let's Get Started

Get started by clicking on the button above while logged into your Facebook profile. The “Start Facebook Page” button will take you to which is where we will start.

create facebook page

Based on what you are building this Facebook page for, select either “Business or Brand” or “Community or Public Figure” by clicking on the “Get Started” button.

Most pages will fit best under “Business or Brand”.  Use your judgement when selecting the best type of Facebook page to start.

For this example, we are going to build a “Business or Brand” Facebook page.

Once you click “Get Started” you will see the box turn into a form to put in your information to continue setting up your business’ or brand’s Facebook page.

Enter in your brand/business name for the “Page Name”.

Select the most relevant “Category” for your page.

Once you have done that, click on “Continue”.

create facebook page enter brand information

The next step is to upload your profile picture. The recommended upload size that I use is one of two settings.  The low end is 400px X 400px and the high end is 512px X 512px.  I have found these sizes work not only on Facebook but also on all the other social media platforms. Be sure to checkout the “Download Vault” for a FREE profile picture photoshop template.

After you upload your Profile Picture you need to upload a cover photo.  The overall size of the cover photo should be 820px X 462px. The top 75px and bottom 75px are cropped when in desktop view.  

You can download the free photoshop template in the “Download Vault“.

Now that you have done that you now have a page!

Follow along with the on screen prompts to finish creating your Facebook page

What You Need To Create Social Media Profiles (Image Sizes, Bios & More)

social media

The first thing that you need to have is your handle and your domain. (@uronlinebrand

If you don’t have a uniform name you can go through this tutorial to get everything to be the same on all platforms. Click Here

Once you have your handle you will also need to put your full name in. This may be different than your handle. If you are “John Smith” you might not have @johnsmith but you might be @iamjohnsmith as your handle so your “name” would be “John Smith”.

If you are a business and your name is “Professional Business Brand” and your handle is “@pbbrand” that’s how you would enter it.

After that, the next thing you need to focus on is your Tagline. You may or may not use your tagline in your profiles but it is important to have.

Your “Brand” online is focused around your “profile pic”.

The “recommended” size for the profile picture are different across the different platforms.

I have found a default image at 1500px X 1500px will work across all platforms.

View the SproutSocial guide to “Social Media Image Size Cheat Sheet

Once you have a picture in mind for your profile pictures you need to make sure that it is centered within the “circle” the images crop to within the different platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin & Instagram.

The other image needed for social media profiles is the “Header” or “Cover” photo.

The next thing you need to focus on is your “Bios”

This needs to be different for each of the platforms. You can keep the same basic concept but it needs to be written for the right platform.

With your Facebook bio it can be basic and doesn’t need to focus on a specific thing.

Instagram’s bio changes because of the use of emojis. I found that using emojis helps you say more with less characters. It also is more native to the vibe of the platform.

Inside of LinkedIn you will want to have your bio written geared more towards the business professional which is the average user on LinkedIn

You can be a lot more playful on twitter with your bio.

***Blitz Challenge Note***

The goal of this step is to create the pages/profiles so you can have the links to them to use in your website.

Social Media Football | The Sport of Customer Satisfaction

social media football

So with College Football starting, I thought now would be a good time to cover the comparison between football and marketing on social media. Yeah, I said that!

Defense wins games …

The old saying, defense wins games, is true. But with social media, it gets a little deeper.

Social Media Defense

Let’s say you just opened a restaurant and getting ready for your grand opening. You don’t think social will bring any visitors so you put all your budget in flyers. After taking a few hours going through the mall, grocery stores and window shopping handing out flyers, you build a solid buzz.

The Grand opening is here and you have a slammed dining room.  With a 30 minute wait at the door, you couldn’t be happier. Now the kitchen is running slow and one of your customers happens to be very active on social media.  A single post on Twitter about a burnt steak now has you in Defense.

Reply back and offer to comp the meal. But he still had a burnt steak.

Yes, in football, if you have no defense and your opposition runs the score up, you lose.  But, if you never score you can never win!

Social Media Offense

This is where the social media game is won.

Using the free tools to truly get to know your customers more on a personal level is what gets you … Fanatics. Talking about your business all day will get you fair weather fans. Fair weather fans will occasionally like a post or even share one when you are running one of those mega sales offering 50% off or free dessert on Tuesdays.  Fanatics will support you and shop at your establishment … FOR LIFE!!!

Social Media Fields

Just like football, you need to train a bit different depending on what field you are playing on.  Turf requires different cleats than natural grass.

The different platforms have different things that perform better.

Facebook – While just about everything works on this platform the biggest thing to know (this goes for other platforms as well) WATERMARK ALL IMAGES!!! There are a lot of brands online who are just posting pics and when someone saves it and re-posts it they lose out on who knows how much traffic. The only thing for Facebook that you need to know when marketing is …

Have Fun, and keep all videos posted (that you upload and own rights to) needs to be below 2 minutes … the shorter the better.

Instagram – Yes, it is still technically Facebook but, we have different rules for the kind of posts. While you still need to watermark all of the images you post, the type of pictures that work is a little different.  All pictures will work but images with 30% of the image being in the foreground and the remaining 70% being faded out in the background are the highest converting images (from my research, it may be different for you) Read the Ultimate Instagram Guide here.

Pinterest – This gets complicated because you are not making but 1 pitch on here for every 15-20 pins.  I am not saying don’t pin your blog.  Simply put, if you are pinning an image/video that has a CTA (Call to Action) you need to have 15-20 content pins in between these. People will not follow you or your boards if all you do is post pins that are no more than … “We are running a HUGE SALE!”.  On this platform, 90% of successful images pinned are short and long-form infographics.

Twitter – Images do work on this platform but the text is #1.  Do not use this platform just to pitch (like other platforms). This platform is used to listen.  Go to and search for your keywords.  See if anyone is asking questions about what you do and answer them.  It’s that simple! Let’s say you are a plumber and the tweet you find is “Putting in a new sink in the bathroom and I can’t stop the leak from the pipe that connects to sink underneath” … What you would do is follow up with a solution for them to fix it.  Ask what they used to connect it and truly try to help them fix the problem.  Don’t say here is a video that might help and shoot them a link to your blog.  Walk them through it and if, after a few messages back and forth, they are having issues understanding then send the post. “Obviously I’m not good at explaining via text enough for you to understand, I did a video on this a few weeks back that might help you, here:” or seriously over deliver and record them a personalized video if you can.

Yes, there are many more platforms you can use but for time consideration I’m going to stop here and just give you a list of some other platforms.

Other platforms you may want to look into depending on your target market…

  • YouTube
  • Medium
  • LinkedIn
  • Anchor (this one is exclusively audio)

Social Media Plays

In football, you can only do 3 things … Run, Pass, or Kick. In social media, there are only 3 things you can share … Text, Images & Video. I know you can use podcasts and other audio but those normally aren’t on social. (I will be doing a podcast post here in the next few weeks.)

Text – There are many different ways to use text on these platforms.  Here are some examples…

  • Status Update / Micro-Blogging – This is normally a shorter text post around 100-140 characters.  Thank a customer, share a positive thought/tip, give updates on products/services etc.
  • Blog Post – This is what you are reading.  Long form text.  Some platforms offer blog capabilities other don’t.  On Facebook, it is called “Notes”. Blog Posts are used to go into detail about a thought. Normally at least 300 words and sky is the limit.  While I wouldn’t recommend going over 1,400 words if you feel it is necessary then write away!

Images – Using images for marketing is easy if you understand the different types of images. (REMEMBER – ALWAYS WATERMARK)

  • VSP – (Visual Status Post) this is a simple square image used on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.
  • BPC – (Blog Post Cover) This image is used as the “Cover” for your blog posts.  Normally they look close to the same, sometimes created from a template. You can see an example at the top of this page.  These grab social media users attention to make them want to click and visit your site.
  • Tipgraphic – Normally a small square image used to share a single thought or quote – Similar to what you may know as a “meme”.  A nice background and text sharing a tip 🙂
  • Infographic – This is normally only used on Facebook and Pinterest.  This works as the image’s version of a blog post.  Normally it is a long image with a bunch of information on it.

Video – Like images, you want to watermark your images but more important is the title and description.  Keep it detailed and informative.

  • MicroVideo – This is like Twitter for video.  Normally 6-15 seconds long. short fun videos.
  • Video Blog – This is when you get behind a camera and share thoughts within your niche. These can be from 1 minute to 30 minutes.  Just remember that the longer the video the lower the chances of people watching the entire thing.
  • Promo Video – This is normally a 20-45 second video highlighting the services and/or products you offer.  Very similar to TV Commercials but just shared on platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.

I hope this information was useful to you.

I enjoyed putting this together for you but if you have any questions feel free to message me on Twitter or Instagram @cjhallock. you can also email me at

Feel free to comment below and let me know what you think.

Convert Facebook Profile to a Page

how to convert a facebook profile into a page
In this blog post, I’m going to help you convert your Facebook profile into a Facebook Page.
Let’s start with where you are. If you are an individual like myself, you may want to use your friends to help you grow your business.  A lot of people will do one of two things.
Market To Your Facebook Friends Via Your Profile – This method is against the rules.  You may see a lot of people doing this. That does not mean it is what you are suppose to do. The main reason you would want to follow the rules here is you may wake up one morning and not have your Facebook profile again.
Create A Custom Facebook Page & Invite ALL of Your Friends To Like It – This is another method that a lot of people use.  Now, if you are needing a page for your business then I recommend creating a page for it.  But, if you are needing a Facebook Page for yourself (author, music, freelancer, etc) then you don’t need to do this in order to use all your current connections (friends) to get started.
Facebook has made public statements telling the business community to stop using the profile feature of Facebook for business. Unfortunately, sometimes we entrepreneurs, build a following on our profile with friends and others before we realize we want or need to have a page.
It is because of that, that Facebook has given the option to convert your profile into a page.
I did this a few months ago and honestly, I am ticked that I am just now doing this.
If you didn’t know you could do this and started building a page for your personal brand but only have a small following, you can still do this and “Merge” both of your Facebook pages but only if they are for the same brand/name.
Here is some more info from Facebook’s Help Center:
Converting your personal account to a Page creates a new Facebook Page that’s based on your personal account. You can only convert your profile to a Page once.
When you convert your personal account to a Page:
    • You’ll have a personal account and a Page after conversion
    • We’ll transfer your profile picture and cover photo to the Page
    • The name on your personal account will become the Page’s name
    • Tools to help you move info from your profile to the Page will be available for 14 days after conversion
    • You can choose friends from your profile to automatically like your new Page, but posts on your profile won’t be carried over to your new Page
  • You can manage the Page from your personal account
To convert your personal account to a Facebook Page:
    1. Go to Create a Facebook Page Based on Your Profile
  1. Click Get Started and follow the on-screen instructions

I hope this helped you! If you convert your profile into a page shoot me a message on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and I’d love to take a look. 🙂

Talk Soon

What Social Media Sites Should You Use?

what social media to use

If you are getting started online you may be asking yourself “What social media sites should I use?”

Don’t worry, that question is one that everyone should be asking. You are not alone!

In our “Naming A Brand” blog post we used to find the best username & domain.

Now that we have a name that is available on all platforms, we are going to be using KnowEm to go over the social media platforms that we are going to use for our brand.

what social media to use

If you are not sure where we are at or what we’re using, you’ll want to take a look at the Naming a Brand post so you can catch up with where we are at in the training.

View the brief video now or scroll to the bottom of the post.

Now I’m going to go through each of the platforms and help you make your decision…(we are going in alphabetical order)

[Descriptions of platforms come from their platform page on]

All Recommended Platform Titles Will Be In Green

Blogger – Blogger is a free blog publishing tool from Google for easily sharing your thoughts with the world. Blogger is one of the most prominent blogging sites, and one of the easiest blogs to create and use. Good for amateurs and professionals alike, Blogger’s elegant layout and design have kept it at the top of the blogging world for years.

**While this is a great platform, if you are going to be blogging on a platform that is not your website, I believe there are some better options** /Not Recommended

BuzzFeed – BuzzFeed is a global media and technology company that covers news and feature stories on topics ranging from breaking political coverage to snarky humorous polls. They are well known for creating viral content on social media in the form of lists (for example, a story title might be 15 people who need to retire from the movies) and quizzes (Which movie character are you?). As a Social Network, BuzzFeed allows users who create accounts to post their own stories covering the same wide-ranging topics. Community users can then comment on other’s content, share them vote on them, and more.

**For brand building I don’t believe this is a needed platform** /Not Recommended

CNET – CNET is the leader in electronic, digital and software reviews on the Internet. People all over the world use CNET to find out about new products, gizmos and computer programs, amonst many other topics that are being covered and review on CNET. It is a collective of technologically minded folks who live and breath all things computer, science and electronic. CNET is the best place to find out what the pros say about the new stuff you’re thinking of buying. Go to CNET before you buy!

**For brand building I don’t believe this is a needed platform** /Not Recommended

Dailymotion – Dailymotion is about finding new ways to see, share and engage your world through the power of online video. Upload your personal videos to share with the community and watch interesting and entertaining online videos until your eyes hurt. Dailymotion is one of the top social video networks in the world for a reason. You’ll find outstanding video content from all corners of the world.

**For brand building I don’t believe this is a needed platform** /Not Recommended

Etsy – Etsy is one of the largest and best online marketplaces where users buy and sell handmade items, art, crafts, and supplies. It’s simple to start up a shop and begin selling your goods in minutes. Etsy is the world’s most vibrant handmade marketplace. Find great gifts, favors, invitations, clothes, toys and more in this wonderful online market community.

**If you are in the handmade arts & crafts niche, this is going to be one of your main sites** /Recommended Based On Niche

Facebook – Facebook is the #1 Social Network on the web and the #2 most traveled site on the internet. Facebook was founded in February 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg. Facebook is a social media platform connecting people all over the world with their friends, families, co-workers, and classmates. Facebook also allows you to interact with your favorite bands, brands, and local shops by sharing photos, comments and questions.

**Keep in mind there is a difference between a profile and a page.  For brands, individuals and everything inbetween, Facebook Pages Are A Must!** /Recommended

Flickr – Show off your favorite photos and videos to the world with Flickr. The Yahoo! hosted,, is the top photo sharing community in the world. They make it so easy and fun to share your best photos with your friends or the entire world. You can create a digital photo gallery in a minutes and choose how to display them, add captions and write short descriptions. Flickr is more than just a photo album it’s a photo blog and social community rolled into one.

**If you are in a niche that is focused around images or are a photographer … go for it!** /Recommended Based On Niche

Imagur – Imgur is a photo sharing site a lot like Reddit. Users can vote up or vote down user generated photos. The highest ranked photos will show at the top of the imgur stream. Users can also comment on each photo. The community is able to vote up or vote down users comments. Comments can be sorted by newest, oldest or highest ranking.

**If you are in a niche that is focused around images or are a photographer … go for it!** /Recommended Based On Niche

Instagram – Instagram is a fast, beautiful and fun way to share your life with friends and family. Take a picture or video, choose a filter to transform its look and feel, then post to Instagram – it’s that easy. Instagram is a fun and quirky way to share your life with friends through a series of pictures. Snap a photo with your mobile phone, then choose a filter to transform the image into a memory to keep around forever.

**At this moment I have not come across a niche or type of business/brand that couldn’t benefit from an Instagram Account** /Recommended

View The Instagram Guide Here

Issuu – Explore a world of publications by people and publishers alike. Collect, share and publish your thoughts and ideas in a format designed to make your documents look their very best. Issuu not only helps you post your writing, but it helps make you a better writer. Issuu’s writing community is very helpful, and makes it simple to interact with fellow writers, bloggers and networkers.

**For brand building I don’t believe this is a needed platform** /Not Recommended

LinkedIn – LinkedIn is the ultimate business social network. allows users to create an online resume listing your past and current jobs, accomplishments and future goals. LinkedIn strengthens and extends your existing network of trusted contacts by connecting to friends of friends and contacts of contacts. If you purchase the LinkedIn pro service you can get more tools and connections helping to extend your business reach and ultimately network away without ever leaving the office.

**Not every business needs to be on LinkedIn.  If you are in a Business to Business niche then I’d recommend it** /Recommended Based On Niche

LiveJournal – is a free service for all your journaling and blogging needs. LiveJournal offers a full blogging platform with privacy controls, photo storage, publishing tools, style templates and more. Join LiveJournal today and watch your writing take off.

**For brand building I don’t believe this is a needed platform** /Not Recommended

My_____ (Myspace) – MySpace is the original social network. MySpace allows you to build a personal profile with all of your likes and interests. You can update your status so all of your connections know what you are doing and how you are feeling. Users can easily find friends and classmates, meet new people, listen to free music and build playlists, share photos, research their favorite bands, watch videos and much much more. MySpace has a huge user base and tons of music and video for you to explore forever.

**For brand building I don’t believe this is a needed platform** /Not Recommended

Pinterest – is one of the hottest new sites in social media. It is a place to pin images of everything and anything you find on the web. Pinterest provides a nifty web browser tool that allows you to pin pictures and video from anywhere on the web. If you see a cool wrist watch on your favorite shopping site just pin it! If you watch a great trailer to your favorite new movie, then pin it! Users can then share their boards with all of their friends, family and followers. It is a photo feed, but also a bookmarking site. Once you pin something you can always go back and find it. Come see what everybody is talking about at

**The strategy may very per niche but I strongly recommend Pinterest for all niches!** /Recommended

Quora – Quora’s mission is to share and grow the world’s knowledge. We want to democratize access to knowledge of all kinds from politics to painting, cooking to coding, etymology to experiences so if someone out there knows something, anyone else can learn it. Quora makes it easy to get your questions answered, share your own knowledge, and browse the most interesting information people across the world want to share.

**For brand building I don’t believe this is a needed platform** /Not Recommended

Reddit – is the original social network. Reddit collects user-generated news links from all over the web. Users then vote to promote stories to the front page or knock them down out of the spotlight. You can also read hilarious and disturbing commentary on all the top stories of the day from reddit users just like you. The reddit community is large, educated, and loves its online news!

**For brand building I don’t believe this is a needed platform** /Not Recommended

SlideShare – Join SlideShare, the world’s largest presentation sharing community. Share publicly, privately. Add audio for webinar.

**Similar to LinkedIn, this can be good for B2B type of companies or brands** /Recommended Based On Niche

Soundcloud – SoundCloud is a large community of musicians, fans, producers, record labels, and journalists who all come together to hear new music, demo tracks, and experimental works in progress. User-generated content is key at Soundcloud.

**If you are in an “audio” niche, musician, voiceover artist, podcaster, or anything else like that, SoundCloud is a biggie!** /Recommended Based On Niche

Tumblr – Tumblr is one of the biggest and best blogging platforms on the web. Tumblr makes it effortless to share text, photos, quotes, links, music, and videos, and write down all of your ideas, while following all of your favorite tumblrs from all over the world. Tumblr is based out of New York and uses that high end fashion to design great looking themes and easy to use blogging platforms. You can get published in minutes and famous over night by using Tumblr.

**For brand building I don’t believe this is a needed platform** /Not Recommended

Twitch – Twitch TV was created for gamers that want to be able to stream their live play or watch others play live. Playstation, Xbox and computer games are all supported. It is easy to create a channel and start broadcasting or comment on someones current game as he tries to frag noobs! Twitch TV was created by one of the co-founders of Justin.TV and was acquired by Google in 2014.

**For brand building I don’t believe this is a needed platform** /Not Recommended

Twitter – Twitter is a free social network that allows messaging, or “tweets” of up to 140 characters. Twitter is all about real-time events and updates. Jokes, news, photos, quotes and inspirational messages can be found every second on Twitter. Aside from connecting with and following your friends on Twitter, users can explore tweets from artists, celebrities, brands, athletes, and musicians.

**If you do it right, Twitter Is A Must!** /Recommended

Vimeo – Vimeo is a respectful community of creative people who are passionate about sharing the videos they make. Vimeo is more professionally oriented than youtube. The videos you find on Vimeo are artistic, creative pieces made by real filmmakers or budding film amateurs. Vimeo is ever-growing and is one of the top video social networks in the web.

**For brand building I don’t believe this is a needed platform** /Not Recommended

Weebly – Create a free website or blog in minutes by using a simple drag and drop interface. No ads. One of Time’s 50 best websites of the year

**For brand building I don’t believe this is a needed platform** /Not Recommended

WordPress – The most popular blogging platform on the planet, WordPress is a personal publishing platform with a focus on aesthetics, web standards, and usability. Users can create a free account and blog their hearts out, or developers can use wordpress to build customized websites for companies and professionals of all shapes and sizes.

**We Will Be Using More On That In A Bit!** /Recommended

YouTube – Youtube is a place where people come to watch videos with friends, share your own videos, comment on videos, watch television shows, movies, create playlist and even create your own Youtube channel. Founded in February 2005, YouTube allows billions of people to discover, watch and share originally-created videos. YouTube provides a forum for people to connect, inform, and inspire others across the globe. Youtube also acts as a distribution platform for original content. You can even make money from Youtube by allowing advertisements to run on your Youtube videos.

**The type of videos DOES NOT MATTER! Your Brand Needs YouTube!** /Recommended


Of course, there are a lot of other platforms that you can check by clicking on “Social Networks” in the orange section on KnowEm.

social media check platforms

With a quick look, you’ll see that there are a lot of other platforms and a good chance you may see quite a bit that you didn’t even know about.  That is perfectly normal! Not all of these will be for every business.

I’m not going to go into these platforms like I did the Most Popular.  But, I am going to cover some very important platforms you need to know about. There may be more listed as time goes by

Anchor – The easiest way to start a podcast. Create, distribute and host your podcast, 100% free.

**Having a podcast is a great marketing arm for your brand, it doesn’t have to be expensive.  Anchor Is A Must** /Recommended



Stay tuned with this post as I continue to add content and links to other content for each of the different platforms when I publish the “Ultimate Guides” for them.






I hope this has been helpful! If you have any questions you can either comment below or send me a message on Twitter or Instagram @digitoolbag or @cjhallock

Ultimate Guide to Instagram (Always Up To Date)

Ultimate Instagram Guide

***Last Updated December 3, 2018***

Welcome to My Ultimate Guide to Instagram but before we start, I need to go into a few disclaimers …

Disclaimer – I wanted to reverse engineer or “hack” Instagram.  So I spent over 200 hours going “All In” between 7 different accounts and so many videos and blogs in order to find how to grow my following.  The following blog post is the result of my research. Because everyone is different and our followings are no different, I need you to understand that there are no guarantees for success on Instagram.  

***Results are not typical & No Guarantees Promised***  This blog post is for educational purposes only. Also, keep in mind this is an always growing guide.  So be sure to check back as I will be updating this frequently.


How to Start an Instagram Account

Before we get started I want to let you in on a secret… Instagram is a “MOBILE” platform! So, the steps in creating an Instagram account is going to be on mobile.

Grab your phone and follow along if you do not have an account yet. (Screenshots are taken from iPhone) It will ask you if you want to allow notifications, I’d recommend it.


how to create an instagram account

Obviously, you will need to download the app onto your device. To make this uniform we are going to use “SignUp with phone or email”. Next screen you’ll enter your email address and click next.

Then you will enter your name and desired password.  After you hit next, the next screen is where you select your username.

Once you have your account created you will need to click on the small person icon in the bottom right of the screen to get to your profile and click on “Edit Profile”

Now, we are going to go through…

The different parts of your Instagram profile.

First thing’s first, your profile picture.  Please feel free to use the free Photoshop Instagram template I have put together for you to make sure your profile picture shows properly. You want to make sure your picture is centered and looks clear.  Don’t hide your face if you are building a personal brand.



instagram circle profile photo template


Get the Instagram Profile Photo Photoshop Template Here –> Dropbox Download

The first field is for your name.  But, hold on!!

Remember that with Instagram being a primarily mobile platform, Emoji’s work here! You may want to change it every week or so and test the feedback and/or engagement. Another thing to consider if you are building a business is to use not just your “name” but also what you do. For Example “Eli Hayder | Instagram Coach”

Now, the next field is for your username. (Once again you’ll benefit from the username guide)

The “username” and “name” fields are the only thing that Instagram pulls from for the search feature.

Last small field is for your “Website” hold off on that for a second and let’s do the Bio for Instagram next…

What Should I Put In My Instagram Bio?

The first thing you need to do is to understand that you are limited to 150 characters. Be creative and get to the point. Remember, this is not searchable on Instagram so you don’t have to think about keywords for SEO purposes.

You need to optimize this for humans.  So, think about what the average person would want to see.  Take you out of it and think about your target market.  What is their problem? Use that info

Also, you cannot use @tags or #hashtags in your bio and have them linkable.  So don’t waste the space.

I recommend you write your bio in “Notes” so that you can use “Linebreaks” then be sure to test these 3 things. You may find all of them helpful or only 1 or 2 of them.

  1. Use emoji’s – Don’t forget that people are playful by nature. Use emoji’s and feed into their inner kid.
  2. Add a CTA (Call to Action) to turn on notifications. – If they turn on notifications they are your target market and you will see fast interaction with them. These are what I like to call “Brand Ambassadors” They will help you grow your business.
  3. Use the last line for CTA (Click On Link).  Have fun with this and use your creative side.

Here are some examples of good bios on Instagram.


examples of Instagram bios

The Best Way to Use Link in Instagram Bio

When you are growing your business with Instagram, you will want to have a live link. There is a trick here. USE IT!

Some experts debate back and forth on the use of the “bio link” on Instagram.  Some will say to only use a domain with a redirect or link shorteners so that you can track the traffic exclusively through Instagram. If you are wanting to track that then by all means … go for it.  I personally would say to put together something exclusive for your followers on Instagram.  Currently, as I write this, mine is this Ultimate Guide to Instagram.

Note: While it sounds like a good idea to put Hashtags (We’ll cover them below) in your bio.  They are not clickable or searchable so save those characters.


cjh instagram bioThe link can lead to a blog post, a landing page, a video or anything really.  Some people will change the link randomly as they publish new content on their blog or somewhere else. The main thing to understand is that you cannot link out from the individual posts on Instagram.  So, this is the one and only link you get. Make It Count! This is my own Ultimate Guide to Instagram, so I feel obligated to tell you that this may be the most important thing when you make an Instagram account.

Instagram Business Tools

It is simple … TURN IT ON!!! This will give you analytics that will help you understand what is working and what your followers want.

In order to turn on the Instagram Business Tools, you will need to pair your Instagram account with your Facebook profile and then to your Facebook page.

If you do not have a Facebook Page for this then you will need to create one and if you are building this for you the person “John Doe” then I’d recommend converting your Facebook profile into a Facebook page.  (This is different than “posting” on Facebook via Instagram)

Note: I have heard of some issues with pairing your Instagram to FB  while on Android.  If you don’t see your page while trying to sync it, you may want to try on an Apple device. (sorry, I didn’t make the apps)

From the information you get, you can post when your followers are online and active the most.

Analytics on Instagram

The insights on Instagram will show you:

  • How many impressions you are getting – The total number of times all of your posts have been seen.
  • How large is your Reach – The number of unique accounts that have seen any of your posts.
  • How many profile views you had – The number of times your profile was viewed
  • Top posts shared by you
  • Insights on your “Instagram Stories”
  • Followers Activity (+ 218 from last week) This will show how many new followers you have
  • Followers Gender – Men or Women
  • Followers Age Range – How old are your followers
  • Followers Locations – Where your followers are
  • Followers Hours – Average times your followers are on Instagram on a typical day.
  • Followers Days – The days of the week when your followers are most active.

Instagram InsightsThe next section is your Business Info

Facebook Page – This is the Facebook Page that is paired with this account. (Will show up once you have activated Instagram Business Tools)

Category – If you want to change the category on Instagram you will need to make the changes on your Facebook Page.

Contact Information – The information you list here will allow people to email, call, or get directions, by pressing a button on your profile.

Private Information – This info is “public” exclusively for your account. This allows people to contact you via the method of your choice. (email, phone, text)


text email buttons instagram

I’ve Created an Instagram Profile Now  What?

Well, the easy answer is just to get started using it. But I am not going to count that as an answer.

Let’s look at the things you need to know before you post to Instagram.

First thing’s first, what is your Instagram account for? Are you wanting to build a personal brand? Want to build awareness around a non-profit?

You need to decide on …

Ultimate Guide to Instagram Themes

There are a few ways to look at “Themes for Instagram” 

Honestly, I was big on WordPress and when I heard about “themes” on Insta I was thinking the wrong thing.  Basically, a theme is just the general look of the pictures and videos that you post.

I don’t want to go super long on this so I’m going to share some awesome profiles I’ve found for themes


Instagram Themes


What do I post on Instagram?

Well, you can post pictures and video.  What kind of pictures and video should you post?

When it comes to posting pictures on Instagram you want to be sure that you are sharing quality content.  You are not limited to selfies! You can use many different types of posts or pictures on Instagram.

Here are some ideas for what to post on Instagram.

  • Selfie

    – A selfie is a picture that you take of yourself that is typically taken with your smartphone. Some people use what is called a “selfie stick” which will extend the distance between you and the phone/camera while still allowing you to capture the photo.

  • Behind the scenes

    – using behind the scenes shots will allow you to make your brand move beyond just being a logo and humanizes it.

  • Re-posts from customers & followers

    – if your customers and followers are posting pictures of you or your brand you can repost them and show that you care and want to listen to your following.

  • Product Spotlight – 

    This can be a picture of your product by itself or it can be a picture of a customer using it.  If you are lucky enough this could be an “Influencer” or a person with a big following online.

  • Quotes

    – This is one of my personal favorites.  But, that is because I’ve been obsessed with quotes since 2003.  These will get decent interaction but you need to find a way to stand out.  A lot of people posts quotes on Instagram.

  • Timelapse of a Job Site 

    – If you are in construction, set up a tripod with your phone and post a time-lapse video of your crew completing a task.  Or record your screen and time-lapse your work.  There are a lot of different uses for Timelapse video.

  • Contest Giveaways

    – There are a lot of different ways to do contests on Instagram.  Don’t follow everyone else.  Make it easy to join & worth sharing. Remember that if you are going to give something away, it needs to be big enough that people will want to talk to people about “I NEED TO WIN THIS – Go Vote!” (If they lose you can give them a discount on the product and maybe make a sale.)


There are a lot of different things you can post to Instagram.  The thing you need to realize is that you need to post quality content.  When I say quality I don’t mean you have to have a fancy camera.  You can use an iPhone or any other smartphone camera and get some almost professional quality shots. Not to mention if you are doing things like quote cards, you can use some stock photos.  (BTW: there are a ton of free stock photo sites)

Learn how stock photos work and some other cool stuff here.

What are Hashtags Used for?

The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Hashtags

instagram hashtagshashtag – (hash·tag): A single word or phrase preceded by a hash mark or for us un-hip people the pound sign (#), used within a caption or comment inside of Instagram, to identify a keyword or topic of interest and then you can do a search for it.

NOTE: hashtags are linked to the date and time the image post was originally posted on Instagram.

So whenever a user adds a hashtag to their post, it is immediately “indexed” by Instagram and then becomes searchable by other users. Once someone clicks on that hashtag, they’ll be brought to a page that aggregates all of the posts with the same hashtagged keyword in real-time. Once a keyword picks up enough momentum it becomes known as “trending.” Trending is more than simply a matter of becoming the most popular hashtag on Instagram. Each users’ trending topics is different based on their location and social connections.

When you are searching or looking through the “Explore tab” for specific “hashtags” it will be broken into 2 different sections (If the hashtag has enough posts under it) & those are “Top Posts” & “Most Recent”. Before we go into the “Explore Page” I thought I’d cover some of the Top Hashtags for Instagram.

Top Hashtags for Instagram

Before I get deep into some of the top hashtags I want to let you know that you shouldn’t always use a hashtag just because it is popular or trending.  Using a trending hashtag without an understanding of what the hashtag is for you may find yourself with a PR nightmare.

For Example: Easily one of the funniest #hashtagfails in the history of Twitter. Mostly because as a vast multinational brand with a questionable outlook, it’s easy to laugh when McDonald’s gets it wrong. In January 2012, the fast food leviathan tried to make itself a little more likable by sharing and encouraging #McDStories. Unfortunately, the Twittersphere was not playing ball. Seeing an opportunity for comedy, the web launched thousands of less-than-flattering #McDStories at the brand, generating some incredibly bad publicity. ***See more at

The following are some of the top hashtags for Instagram.

  1. #love
  2. #instagood
  3. #photooftheday
  4. #fashion
  5. #beautiful
  6. #happy
  7. #cute
  8. #tbt
  9. #like4like
  10. #followme
  11. #picoftheday
  12. #follow
  13. #me
  14. #selfie
  15. #summer
  16. #art
  17. #instadaily
  18. #friends
  19. #repost
  20. #nature
  21. #girl
  22. #fun
  23. #style
  24. #smile
  25. #food
  26. #instalike
  27. #likeforlike
  28. #family
  29. #travel
  30. #fitness
  31. #igers
  32. #tagsforlikes
  33. #follow4follow
  34. #nofilter
  35. #life
  36. #beauty
  37. #amazing
  38. #instamood
  39. #instagram
  40. #photography
  41. #vscocam
  42. #sun
  43. #photo
  44. #music
  45. #beach
  46. #followforfollow
  47. #bestoftheday
  48. #sky
  49. #ootd
  50. #sunset
  51. #dog
  52. #vsco
  53. #l4l
  54. #makeup
  55. #f4f
  56. #foodporn
  57. #hair
  58. #pretty
  59. #swag
  60. #cat
  61. #model
  62. #motivation
  63. #girls
  64. #baby
  65. #party
  66. #cool
  67. #lol
  68. #gym
  69. #design
  70. #instapic
  71. #funny
  72. #healthy
  73. #night
  74. #tflers
  75. #yummy
  76. #flowers
  77. #lifestyle
  78. #hot
  79. #instafood
  80. #wedding
  81. #fit
  82. #handmade
  83. #black
  84. #pink
  85. #일상
  86. #blue
  87. #work
  88. #workout
  89. #blackandwhite
  90. #drawing
  91. #inspiration
  92. #home
  93. #holiday
  94. #christmas
  95. #nyc
  96. #london
  97. #sea
  98. #instacool
  99. #goodmorning
  100. #iphoneonly

While I have listed the top 100 hashtags for getting likes on Instagram, please keep in mind that you may need to look deeper into hashtags that are relevant to your brand.

Please keep in mind that I can’t list all hashtags but here are some examples of hashtags for specific niches. (via Stuff.TV)


#instagood #photooftheday #picoftheday #instamood #agameoftones #liveauthentic #flashesofdelight #darlingmovement #thatsdarling #fromwhereistand #makemoments #nothingisordinary #thehappynow #pursuepretty #livethelittlethings #moodygrams #abmhappylife #justgoshoot #ohwowyes


#postthepeople #friendsandwalls #bravogreatphoto #bravoportraits #aovportraits #aov #artofvisuals #portraitpage #portraitgames #quietthechaos #of2humans #discoverportrait #pursuitofportraits #portraitmood #theportraitcentral #moodyports #777luckyfish #portraitphotography #portrait_vision #earth_portraits #photohunted #portraitsociety #ftmedd #featuremeofh


#quote #quotes #inspiration #quoteoftheday #instagood #motivation #goodvibes #inspirationalquotes #quotestoliveby #lifequotes #instadaily #success #wordporn #instaquote #motivationalquotes #instaquotes #quotestagram


#foodporn #beautifulcuisines #foodstyling #tastemade #foodphotography #feedfeed #eatpretty #f52grams #dailycortado #sweettoothforever #onthetable #onmytable #cntravelereats #huffposttaste #eeeeeats


#passionpassport #doyoutravel #mytinyatlas #openmyworld #createexplore #visualsofearth #welltravelled #dametraveler #lonelyplanet #bestvacations #keepitwild


#motivation #lifestyle #happy #inspiration #instagood #life #progress #goals #happiness #positivevibes #instamood #mindset #grateful #dreams #dedication #determination


#fashion #ootd #outfitoftheday #wiwt #wiw #whatiwore #style #instastyle #madewell #lookbook #aboutalook #fashioninsta


#livecolorfully #abmlifeiscolorful #acolorstory #ihavethisthingwithcolor #myunicornlife #candyminimal

Now that we’ve covered some of the top Instagram Hashtags I’m going to cover the explore page.

Top Posts on Instagram

This is the 9 most active posts using that hashtag.  This is similar to the front page of a “Google Search”.  Get your post on the Top Posts of the Explore Tab and you can watch a post that normally would’ve received 0 comments and 26 likes on a solid piece of content that now gets 1,239 likes and 24 comments.

Most Recent Posts on Instagram

All posts show up here, ALL! So keep in mind if you’re using a trending #hashtag then it may not show up if a million people just posted using the same hashtag.

Top Posts & Most Recent - Explore Page



Now that you have an understanding of the platform, let’s cover the process of posting and choosing filters.


how to manage inatagram filtersWhat filter should I use on Instagram?

Well, the thing to understand is that there are 19 filters but you have to find your favorite!


Next thing for you to do, take a bit of time to play with the different filters and find your favorites.  Once you do that, “manage” your filters and re-order them in order of importance and/or use for YOU… 😛

If I were to give you an answer, personally, I would say … None of them!

Yes, I said NONE!

I recommend everyone play with the “Edit” settings within Instagram and have a basic list of settings that you can do on all of your photos so that you don’t blend in.  Basically, if you tap on “Edit” under the filters you will see 13 different settings and you can get most of your edits done here the way you want them.

how to edit photos on instagram without filters

If you have photoshop and the time to edit via Photoshop or Lightroom before you post I’d recommend it! I do some edits via Photoshop and honestly I see more engagement on those than the quick posts I use sometimes that is a mix between using different apps to create quote cards and I also use a gig on Fiverr where I was able to pay about $20 to get over 1,000 high-resolution quote cards with my watermark on it. Just follow the link and search for “stepanadrian” (Note: This link for Fiverr is an affiliate link and I may get money if you sign up. So, if you are going to sign up please support the site and use my link)

Bonus Tip #1: Always use a watermark.  I personally can tell you from experience, there is no more pain than putting time into creating an image that someone steals and goes viral (yes, viral, as in 1.2million likes & 300k shares.) then you realize you didn’t watermark it and the person who re-posted it did not give credit to you … USE A WATERMARK!

You can also use one of many FREE apps to edit your Instagram posts.

If you are needing apps to edit pictures for Instagram … check out this blog post by iPhone Photography School!

best instagram post photo sizeSo I have done hours and hours of research and split testing to ensure I know the right size of picture/ image or video to post to Instagram.  Honestly, I found Instagram recommends and automatically makes most pictures 1080 x 1080. That works!

But, what I found is you can hit the “expand” button while choosing your content to make it taller and if you do that, 1080 x 1350 is a perfect size! This will allow you to take up more “Real Estate” inside of your followers feeds and will crop to 1080 x 1080 for your profile.

If you are working in Photoshop, please use this…

FREE Instagram Post Template I made for you.

Posting to Instagram and What You Need to Know

We’ve covered what do post as far as your image and/or video is concerned. Now we are going to cover the question…

“What do I put in my Instagram caption?”

The answer: Words! 😛

NOTE: Within Instagram, you are limited to 30 hashtags that are “Linked” to that hashtag’s explore page.

Yes, you want to include hashtags but you need to decide if you want to use all of your hashtags here or just 2-5 and then posting the rest in the comment section. I use both of these methods & have been split testing this across all of my accounts, researched many others and have found it to vary a lot, depending on the market.  Some accounts post all their hashtags in the caption and never post them in comments.  Others post 2-5 in the caption and another 15 or so in the comments.  I’ve also seen some not post one hashtag in their captions but putting 28-30 in a comment directly after posting the content.

Some accounts post all their hashtags in the caption and never post them in comments.  Others post 2-5 in the caption and another 15 or so in the comments.  I’ve also seen some not post one hashtag in their captions but putting 28-30 in a comment directly after posting the content. The reason for this is that it makes the hashtags not visible until someone clicks on “view comments” so it looks “less spammy” according to some users.

The next thing I recommend and have found to be a useful tip for Instagram is to tag yourself within the caption. For example, I use a CTA (Call To Action) to follow me.

It looks something like this:

For more like this, follow me here –> @cjhallock

This will do 2 things.

The first thing is for the people who may see this in their Explore tab, it will give them a reminder to follow you. The second thing is that it will give you the capability to have another link back to your profile for them to follow you 🙂

The second thing is that it will give you the capability to have another link that points back to your profile for them to follow you 🙂

Next thing you may want to consider when it comes to your caption. How to add “line breaks” or just get the return button to show up on Instagram so you can keep it looking clean and not like one 5,000 character mess.

You do this by simply hitting the “123” button on the bottom left of your keyboard and when it changes to show the numbers and symbols you will see the return button show up.


get return button instagramAnother thing you can do is to tag people in your description.  If you are going to do this you will want to make sure you only tag people for a GOOD reason.  Not just to get a few likes.  For example, if you are posting a picture of you and Gary Vaynerchuk.  Then, by all means, @Tag him in your description.  Or if you want to share a Quote Card, all good.

An Instagram Tip I’ve Used: If you post quote cards (By the way if you want to learn how to make quote cards Check Out This Tutorial) I would recommend finding the accounts that are associated with the quote and/or the person who said it.  For example, I recently shared a quote by Oprah Winfrey and @Tagged her and within the first 20 minutes I posted it I got 6 new followers and that post was easily over 1,000 likes.

You may also find it helpful to @Tag any relevant brands to your posts as well. For example, if you are wearing a Lion’s Order motivational tee shirt … feel free to tag us 🙂 and the same goes for the other awesome brands out there. (Shirts are coming soon)

Call to Actions in Instagram Captions

When posting your captions keep in mind you cannot post URLs inside of your caption.  That does not mean you cannot have a “Call to Action” inside of your caption.  There are a lot of different ways to include a CTA or call to action.

  • Tag a Friend – Depending on what your niche & target market is, you may want to ask your followers to tag a friend. Daymond John gets a decent amount of people tagging their friends by doing this.  Many others do as well.  The process looks like this: Tag a friend who would like this. It is very simple
  • The Link in Bio – If you are posting a picture of a product or to spotlight a blog post you can include a CTA by saying something like: Get our one of a kind fidget spinner – Link in Bio.  Of course, you would want to make sure if you are talking about a new blog post that you put the actual link you want people to visit from your bio. Not just the primary domain.
  • Follow Me – Like I mentioned above you can also ask for people to follow you like this: For more posts like this you can follow me here –> @cjhallock


GeoTag’s (Checking In on Instagram)

When it comes to “checking in” there are a few things to look into.

The first thing you should think about is if you want to “post” or “check-in” while you are on location.  Or if you want to post later.  When it comes to the thought of “If you check in people will know where you are”, thought process, taking the picture and posting it later allows you to not give your location away. You can ask 10 people if you should post or not while you are at the coffee shop and you will get 10 different answers.  Use your own judgment when it comes to posting and “checking in” on Instagram.

The next thing you should look at is where do you check in.  A lot of people will only check in when the picture was taken at a specific location.  I, on the other hand, always “check in”. But, I don’t always check in where I am.

What I mean by that is sometimes I check into my town/city or sometimes I’ll check into my state.  The thing to think about is the popularity of the location you are checking into. If you check-in to a location that gets one or two check-ins per week then you will remain in the current photos for that location for a while.  That means you will be able to be discovered if your images are sharp.  So you may get a few followers this way.  Where, if you check-in the state of TN you may have thousands of photos geotagged per day so the chances of getting discovered that way are slim to none.

Depending on what your target market is, you may find that geotagging will get you, high engaged followers.  If you are looking at building a national brand you may find you don’t need to check-in to the local coffee shop.

Once again, I cannot say it enough, the only way to completely do everything right (for your account) is to split test everything you do.

how often should i post to instagramHow Often Should I Post To Instagram

Ok, this is a touchy subject.  Because I don’t believe there is a magic number.  Some experts will tell you to post 2-3 times per day others will say 1 per day is perfect.  I have found, yet again, split testing with your followers is the best way to find this number.

More important than how often you post is the consistency that you do post. If you plan to build a successful Instagram account, you will find that it is easiest when you are consistent.  So if you plan on posting throughout your day and documenting a lot, I’d say just post as you document.

But if you are wanting a “Content Calendar” or “Posting Calendar” and a precise number, I’d say it would be best to find what works for you and your followers.

Once you find something that you can do … stick with it!!!

What I mean by that is decide on a round number.  Let’s say you decide to post to Instagram 6 times per day.  If that is the case, you need to be sure that you post 6 times per day.  Instagram accounts that post counts vary can see a drop in followers.

If your followers follow you and you’re posting three times a day for a few weeks and you get on a roll and post 23 times in one day they may unfollow you for clogging up their feed.  Remember your posts are for your followers, not for you.  So keep that in mind as you decide how many times you post on Instagram.

Should I “Repost” Other People’s Posts On Instagram

This is another, somewhat, touchy subject.  Some people say under no circumstance should you repost other people’s posts.  Honestly, if you ask me I say you can as long as you credit the author/original content.

How Do I Repost Instagram Posts?

I’m going to be blunt … download the app!

If you are going to use “re-posting” as part of your strategy to grow your account, you should download the “Repost App”

It is really easy to use.  Simply put, you go to the image you want to post and click on the 3 dots in the top right-hand corner and copy the URL.  Then open the Repost App and it should read the link you copied and it will automatically add a watermark with the original account information.

Then it will copy the original caption with the users handle and everything so you can open it in Instagram and then repost.

Disclaimer: if you plan on using the “Repost” strategy please use original content as well and don’t make your entire account about reposting what other people post.  Eventually, you could lose what you have to the original accounts you are re-posting and see your follower count & engagement drop.

posting video to instagramPosting Video on Instagram

Now that we are getting into the video side of Instagram, you need to know there are 3 different places you can use video.

Instagram Video Post

The first type of videos is a regular post.  Posting this way is limited to only 60-second videos. There is no regulation or requirement for the resolution size or the orientation of the camera. But, that being said, I want you to understand that people view Instagram almost exclusively on mobile.  So you will want to make the video for mobile.

You can do this by either recording the video natively with the app or you can use a professional editing software like Adobe Premiere Pro.  I have recently found the “Taking Photos” that allows me to add an image and do a voice-over to it.  So using this method you can use the Instagram Post Photoshop Template listed above to create the image and that way it will take up most of their screen as they go through their feed.  Just keep your eye on the timer and be sure not to go over 60 seconds.

Instagram Stories

I’m not going to get too deep into this because I’ll be doing “Instagram Stories” later on in this post. But you can use Stories about the same as a regular video post but you can add text, emojis and other awesome features to your Story. It also has a limit of 10 seconds. (More on this later)

Instagram Live

This is a fairly new feature and still has beginners scared.  Don’t be.  Instagram live is just that.  Live video on Instagram.  Keep in mind that this is exclusively live. What I mean by that is once you turn the live feed off, the video is GONE! So

So, as you prep for your lives keep in mind if you are talking you are only talking to the people who are watching live. That means as you are getting started you need to remember that it will take a while till you build a following that will be tuning in with large audience numbers.

It takes time. Don’t stress the viewers. One is better than None!!!



Instagram Top Stories & LiveInstagram Stories & Live

The screenshot above is of the Instagram Stories and the Instagram Live section of the Instagram App.  I needed to include live here but if you are wanting the Instagram Live Tips you should check above.

There are many different things that you can do with Instagram stories.  Before I get too deep into what all you can do with it I want to let you know the fundamentals of Instagram Stories.

  • Stories are Only Live for 24 Hours – Your story is more of a “Behind the Scenes” feature so you can post a lot more of throughout the day type of posts without clogging up your followers feed.  Keep in mind they only see this by clicking your story from their home screen
  • Stories that are “Video” are Limited to 10 Seconds – Keep this in mind so you don’t plan a 60-second post.
  • Add to Your Instagram Story – While a picture or video can be great, Instagram has a feature that lets you add to it.  With tools like Text, Pens, and Stickers you can do a lot of things.  If your story has something to do with another Instagram user, you can use the text feature and @Tag them and the Text with their name will become a link that points to their profile.
  • Filter Your Story – Instagram started the “Filter” game within social media and it is only right that they added the filters to the story feature.  In order to see the filters, simply swipe from left to right once you have taken your photo within the Instagram app.

In order to share a story, simply swipe from left to right from the home tab or tap on the camera in the upper left-hand corner of your screen.  If you want to get back to the home page from the camera, just swipe right to left.

Within the camera part of the app, you can tap on the screen to focus the picture. Then when you are ready to take the photograph you can simply tap the shutter button. Once you take your chosen picture you want to post to your story you then can add drawings, text, emojis, stickers, or even @Tag someone.

When you are ready to share your story, you will have 3 options … the first is to “save story” which saves the picture with your text and everything else you added if you did.  The second option is to post to “Your Story”. This does just that … it posts the story.  The last option is a “Next” button.  If you click on this you will be able to either post your pic to your story or send it as a DM (Direct Message, we will cover more on this in a second.) to a friend.

If you are wanting to do some custom stories, here is a PSD Instagram story template.


instagram storiesUltimate Guide to Instagram’s “DM” Direct Message Platform

Let’s start with the basics of the DM.

“Instagram Direct lets you send messages to one or more people.” – Instagram Help Website

This is a way to not only “text” back and forth privately on Instagram.  It is also a way to share images you took and/or found, hashtags and a lot more inside of the Instagram App.

There are basically 4 ways to send a DM on Instagram.

  1. Send via “Posting” platform via “Direct”. So, you took a picture and now that you have it looking amazing as always you can choose to post normally, or you can select “Direct” at the top of the screen and this will send the image and caption as a Direct Message to who you choose.
  2. Share via “Send To” If you see a post you would like to share with a friend you can click on the paper plane directly under the Instagram post and chose who you want to send the image to via DM
  3. Send via inbox – This is one of my favorite ways to message because it is just messaging because not all of my conversations are around images. There are two ways to send DM’s without “sharing” if you will, and that is by clicking on the paper plane in the top right-hand corner of the screen. This is your Direct Message Inbox on Instagram.  From here you can tap the + sign and select who you want to message and go from there.  The other way is to simply go to the person’s profile you wish to message and click on “message”.
  4. Sharing area or hashtags with Direct Message – if you have done a search within the Explore tab on Instagram for an area or hashtag, and want to share what you found you can do that.  All you have to do is tap on the paper plane in the right-hand corner of the search page and then choose who you wish to send it to.

Now, there are a lot of things you could do with Instagram’s Direct Message feature. You are basically limited by your imagination.  But, there are some great ways to network within the DM. I’m not going to bore you much with this.  Instead, I thought I’d just share this video from Gary Vaynerchuk.

Please pay attention to this video and especially the tip to “Give Value”. This is very powerful and could grow your business very fast.

Another awesome thing that you can do is to send a personalized video inside of the DM simply saying thank you to your new followers. I’ve done this on Twitter here and there over the last few years especially once they opened video up.  I started doing this randomly on Instagram about six months ago and without putting in much work I was able to build some solid relationships, that eventually either already has or will convert to business, in one way or another.

What to do AFTER you post to Instagram?

Engage! There are a lot of different things I can say but I’ll start with what I believe is most important.  Engage! What I mean by that, as it pertains to after the post, is to engage with EVERYONE who comments and/or likes your post.  Even if someone puts up a lion emoji, reply and thank them for the engagement.

I like putting some of my Instagram posts onto a board on Pinterest to showcase my posts – Pin to share your link!

If you aren’t sharing your hashtags in your caption … go post them as a comment, NOW!!!

Now that we have covered most of the basics, I’m going to be sharing some of my favorite Instagram Hacks.

List of Instagram Hacks

Put your most-used hashtags into your keyboard shortcuts

This is a massive trick if you have a few hashtags that you use on a regular basis.  If this is the case, it is very easy to do.

How to add shortcuts to your keyboard on an iPhone.

If you are on an iPhone you can do it like this. From your “Settings” app you need to tap on “General”. Then you will need to scroll down and click on “Keyboard”. Then you will click on “Text Replacement” … Tap + to add new shortcuts.

Ask Questions and Start a Dialogue 

Over the last few months, as I’ve done all this crazy research into Instagram, I have seen countless accounts that will let great opportunities to start a dialogue slip through the cracks. The sad thing is, they do that because they reply with a single emoji.

Thank people for engagement and ask them a question or two and start a conversation within the comment sections. For example, if you post a quote and someone comments “Thanks for sharing this I needed it today” you can follow that with “@Username You are more than welcome! Glad I could help! What’s going on?” or “@Username You are more than welcome! Can I help with anything?” … The things you can do within the Instagram Comments is only limited to your imagination.

How to Clear Your Search History on Instagram

You can clear your search history on Instagram by going to your profile and click on the gear in the upper right-hand corner to get to your Account Settings.

Once you are in your Instagram Account Settings you can clear your search history by scrolling down and clicking on “Clear Search History” Then you will get a pop-up that asks “Are you sure?” … Click “Yes, I’m sure” and there you have it! 🙂

How to View Posts You’ve Liked

If you are wanting to see the posts you’ve liked, you can do that by clicking on the gear in the upper right-hand corner of your profile.  Once you are there just go down and tap into “Posts You’ve Liked” 🙂


Cross Promote Instagram Accounts

So you are new on Instagram and need a quick push. You can reach out to your friends and/or influencers (using DM and offering value) and find ways to get other accounts that have a similar following to your target market, and get shoutouts.

This tactic is a bit of a “Hail Mary”. I say that because most people value the power of their word. If I do a shout out I have to know the person is 100% an awesome person and truly knows what they’re talking about.

Even with some of the bigger brands that sell shout outs, you will find they want to see what you post about and how you engage with your followers before they will even consider it.

That being said, if you do grow a decent following (even as small as 100 followers) don’t do shout-outs or recommend anyone to follow unless you are willing to put your reputation on the line for that person.

Essentially, that is what you are asking for when you want a bigger brand to tag you in a post and tell people to follow you.

So this is a decent tactic but you will need to be active for a while and have some good content on your profile before anyone will give you a solid yes.


How to manage multiple Instagram accounts without having to log out

This is an important change that Instagram has made. For years if you were wanting to build multiple brands on Instagram, you had to either get multiple devices or log out and back in every time, you wanted to post or engage.

Luckily, Instagram has added a multiple account feature.

Simply go to your account options by clicking on the gear on the upper right of your profile. Under the “Options” page if you scroll down to the last set of options you can click “Add Account” and just like that, you can manage multiple accounts at one time.

All you need to do is tap on your name from your profile at the top of the page. You will see a small arrow next to your name. This is where you can change your accounts easily.

How to post to Instagram from a PC or Mac?

Here we go, the question most people have for Instagram.

If you are one of the people who want to post from your computer, I have good news. You can do it and you can do it without having to buy any type of software!

You will, however, need to use a free software.


Disclaimer: I do not have any affiliation to Gramblr and cannot promise it will always work. So please do your own due diligence.

Before you jump straight to using the Gramblr software I need you to understand that there is a strong chance that you may not get the most impressions possible.

Using a secondary app to post to social media sites has been rumored to cause a drop in impressions within the platforms.

Now that we’ve covered that, let’s continue.

There are a few things that you will need to know when it comes to Gramblr.

• You can only manage one account at a time. If you wish to manage multiple accounts you will need to log out and back in.

• You can post & crop both images and video with Gramblr

• You can choose to have your image featured on their “featured posts” tab which can get you at least 75 likes for every image. Keep in mind this isn’t targeted traffic so you may not want to do that

• It also offers a way to “buy” followers/likes … DO NOT DO THAT! It isn’t real and won’t help you grow. It will make it look like you’re growing but your true engagement will show drastically.



How to Find Out What Music You Can Use In YouTube Videos

how to find music you can use legally on youtube

So I’ve used social media for years and YouTube is no different.  While I had my main account and all videos associated with it deleted in 2009, I run 5 different YouTube channels and collectively from my top 2 accounts I have over 1 million views.  Not trying to brag just want to let you know you can do it too! Seriously, I’m not right upstairs and if I can do it … your 6 year old can crush it!

But, we content creators on YouTube have some big issues.  I need background music for my video or intro music.  It isn’t a hard problem to fix.  Just find some public domain music.  Right?


If you plan on keeping anyone’s attention you need some good sounding music and not something recorded in 1942. That is why I’m writing this blog post.

So, just in case if you didn’t know, YouTube has compiled everything you need to know on if you can use a specific song for your YouTube videos.

Just start off by going to the YouTube Music Policies page. Once you are there you can search songs by name and see what their policies are on that specific song.

It will tell you if it is allowed, where it will be viewable, and if you can monetize your video.

If you are planning on monetizing your videos on YouTube then I’d recommend using something from their audio library if you haven’t had any luck finding a stock audio clip or you may even want to try reaching out to some local musicians and asking for rights to use their music.  Hey, reach out to your favorite artist on Instagram or Twitter.  You may get a yes from him or her directly 🙂 Cool to talk to your favorite musician huh?

Don’t want to take up any more of your time but thought I’d share this.

I hope this helps!

If you have any questions, please comment below or shoot me a DM on Instagram or shoot it over to me on Twitter … Handle is @cjhallock

Talk Soon!

How to Create Custom Facebook Frames

create a facebook frame for pages

Ever wonder how to create a custom Facebook frame? Facebook has hooked us up with a new awesome tool! But, more on that later…

Custom Facebook Frames

You’ve seen them and there is a good chance that you have used them. It may have been putting up a Texas flag over your profile picture in support of people suffering from “Hurricane Harvey”, or maybe using a purple ribbon frame on your Facebook story in support of Alzheimer’s Association.

The awesome “Facebook Camera Effects” tool that Facebook launched is awesome! You can use software like Photoshop to design your frame. But if you want it to work as a camera effect you need to realize that it is made for both landscape and portrait mode.  So you will want to make sure it is not a complete overlay or it won’t look right when it gets to anything outside of the “Facebook Profile” which is the only square use for the tool.

If you decide to use Photoshop I’d also recommend keeping a 100% transparent background (.png) for the main use.  You can do frames with your logo, taglines, quotes, and a bunch of other stuff.  Your limitations are your imagination and Facebook guidelines for the “Camera Effects Tool“.

Now, let’s look over the

Facebook Camera Effects Platform Policies

(These are copied from the main policy page for the camera effects and frame platform.)

{**Only edits in 16 policies for custom Facebook frames was for grammar.**}

  1. Complies with our Community Standards, and all applicable laws, statutes, and regulations.
  2. Complies with our guidelines in the Facebook Brand Resource and Permissions Center.
  3. Is suitable for consumption by the Facebook general user base (i.e., thirteen and above).
  4. Does not promote illegal products, services or activities, or content that is inappropriate, misleading, deceptive, or unsafe.
  5. Does not promote prescription or recreational drugs, tobacco products and related paraphernalia, unsafe supplements, weapons, ammunition or explosives.
  6. Does not promote online gambling, online real money games of skill, or online lotteries.
  7. Does not infringe upon or violate the rights of any third party, including copyright, trademark, privacy, publicity, or other personal or proprietary rights.
  8. Does not promote adult products or services (ex: nudity, depictions of people in explicit or suggestive positions, or activities that are overly suggestive or sexually provocative).
  9. Is not shocking, sensational, disrespectful, or excessively violent.
  10. Does not contain low-resolution elements, such as illegible text.
  11. Does not discriminate against, harass, provoke, or disparage people.
  12. Does not exploit controversial political or social issues for commercial purposes.
  13. Does not include effects that block or cover most of the image.
  14. Does not portray nonexistent functionality, such as a play button.
  15. Does not include any links off Facebook, such as scannable codes or QR codes.
  16. Does not include any commercial or ad-like content, including but not limited to promotions, sweepstakes, banner ads, product placement that includes branding, and sales offers.


Now that we have covered that it is time to create a custom Facebook frame …

How to Make a Custom Facebook Frame 

Before we start making the frame let’s look at the “Creative Specs” & “Recommendations” for the frames & camera effects. (Specs & Recommendations from Facebook Help.)

Creative Spects

  • Use an image editor to create the elements of your frame. Each element must have a transparent background.
  • Upload your elements as separate PNG files.
  • The max file size is 1mb.
  • Art should be 100% original.


  • Keep it simple. Position your art around the edges to frame the photograph.
  • Place text or graphics at the bottom and/or top of the page, rather than in the middle.


How to Create a Custom Facebook Frame in 5 Steps

  1. Research
  2. Create
  3. Design
  4. Submit
  5. Promote Use & Enjoy


Research – When you are starting out you need to do some research.

Do the research, especially if you are putting this frame together for your business. The first thing you need to look at is the frames your friends/followers are using.  If what you design isn’t something people would use, you’re wasting your time.  Look into colors, layouts, interests and things like that. When you move forward you should have an idea as to what you are wanting to create.

Create – This is where you will create the different elements of your frame.

You can do this with Photoshop or whatever other software you wish.  You can create a full piece or many pieces. Keep in mind that you will have the designer/studio for your frame in the next step. So all you will be doing is focusing on creating the elements you want to use in your facebook frame. Don’t forget that each element needs to be a .png file with a 100% transparent background.

Design – Designing your custom Facebook frame with the “Facebook Frame Studio“.

This is the fun part! Actually laying out the design for your frame! Once you are logged into the Facebook Frame Studio you will be able to upload your elements.

Submit – Submitting your Facebook frame for use by users of Facebook Camera.

Submitting your custom Facebook frame is easy as clicking “Submit” once you finish designing your frame inside the “Facebook Frame Studio”.

Promote, Use & Enjoy – Once your frame has been approved you need to promote, use and enjoy!

It’s not easy to grow a brand when you create something for marketing and never use it.  It’s like spending hours building a successful Instagram account & not using the account.  So if you are the face of your business … use the frame for your own personal profile.  Use your custom frame on your Facebook page.

Create a Custom Facebook Frame Video Tutorial

I am working on some things to get a tutorial together in video form.  I plan to have the video up within the next week or so.  Please check back to see the video and any other updates here.


Last Updated: September 17, 2017