Is your business on Instagram?

Are you curious about what to post?

To discover how to use images on Instagram, I interview Peg Fitzpatrick.

More About This Show

The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It’s designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing.

In this episode I interview Peg Fitzpatrick, the co-author of The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users, which she wrote with Guy Kawasaki. She is also a social media strategist and an expert in visual marketing. Her clients include Motorola, Audi, Google, Virgin and others.

Peg will explore Instagram marketing ideas that are easy to put to use right away.

You’ll discover tools to use for your Instagram images.

podcast 164 peg fitzpatrick instagram images

Listen as Peg Fitzpatrick shares what marketers need to know about standing out on Instagram.

Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below.

Listen Now

You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, Stitcher, SoundCloud or Blackberry.

Here are some of the things you’ll discover in this show:

Instagram Images

How Peg got started on Instagram

Peg first discovered Instagram when looking for apps for her iPad. This was shortly after the iPad first came out. She loaded Instagram and loved it, but no one she knew was on it.

Then, when Pinterest came out, Peg, like a lot of people, thought Pinterest and Instagram were the same, because they were both about images. Although she initially chose to focus on Pinterest, after she learned more about both platforms, Peg discovered how different the two were.

When Peg went back to Instagram, she saw it was a great place for people to have conversations.

Peg Fitzpatrick on Instagram

Peg was an early adopter of Instagram.

Even if you know lots of people on Facebook, Peg believes Instagram is where you can build a community. As a blogger or entrepreneur, it’s the kind of place you want to go to meet new people.

Listen to the show to learn about why more people didn’t get on Instagram immediately.

Instagram challenges for marketers

Peg believes social media is challenging for marketers because they want to look at things in a more traditional way: how to get people to do x, y and z. The newer platforms, like Snapchat and Instagram, are even more challenging. It’s not easy to write a viral blog post or post a YouTube video that goes viral.

Instagram is limited, Peg says, because you just get that one link in your bio and there are no links in the comments.

While a blogger might not see the value in Instagram (“Why should my blog be on Instagram if there’s no link for people to click every day?”), brands are getting more engagement on Instagram than any other social platform. It creates brand awareness that leads more people to your business, events and products.

instagram image shutter stock 275052920

Instagram creates brand awareness. Image: Shutterstock.

The biggest mistake marketers make, Peg says, is they aren’t posting enough. On a recent panel, Peg heard Instagram people who have 500,000+ followers say they post multiple times per day. One of them posts 8 or 10 times per day. And they post excellent content.

It takes more time to create an Instagram post. Although you can share a blog post immediately, with Instagram you have to create the image, write the text and figure out all of the things that go with it.

On Facebook, people don’t post enough either. On Martha Stewart’s Facebook page they post every hour. Of course she probably has the biggest backlog of content of any person ever, Peg adds.

Listen to the show to discover why Social Media Examiner doesn’t do much on Instagram.

Ideas for what to post

Peg says there are basic things to post on Instagram, such as pictures of what you’re doing or where you are. If you’re at an event, it’s fun to post pictures of people you meet or do selfies. You can post a day in the life at your blog or business, pictures of your team or behind the scenes at your company.

Show pictures of wherever you happen to be to give more of a human connection with your company.

Instagram at events

Post Instagram images at events.

For example, Peg explains how she uses Instagram to promote a webinar before it starts to give people one more chance to click and join. She’ll share a photo of her computer monitor with something related to the webinar on it.

Before a Google+ hangout, she’ll take pictures in the green room to share. She’ll either take a photo with her phone or do a picture of the screen. For example, if she’s about to do a Google hangout with Guy Kawasaki and Gary Vaynerchuk, she’ll take a behind-the-scenes photo that’s interesting and funny, and also chronicles what they’re doing.

It’s part of creating and sharing your journey, as well as celebrating the things that go on.

Listen to the show to hear what picture Peg posted when she was a guest at the first Social Media Marketing World.

What to put in an Instagram post

Peg explains her method for creating Instagram posts for her blog content.

She creates a square image and then treats the description as a mini blog post, rather than a quick update. It’s important to give enough information in the post that people will get a sense of it and start a conversation.

Start with a good image. While 640 x 640 pixels is the official Instagram biggest size, they will scale it down. You never want to have them scale images up, because that’s when they get blurry. Peg does a 735 x 735 image.

Next, write an intro in the text. Peg will ask a question, add a couple of sentences and then ask a closing question. She also writes “click the link in my bio” in the description, as well as in the “location” for the photo.

Instagram sample post

When sharing a blog post image on Instagram, Peg includes tips from the article in the description.

Instagram allows you to add a location. If you’re somewhere else, that’s one thing. However, if you’re at home or in your office, you can put a call to action in the location section manually. It will save to your phone too, so you can pull it up again.

Another option is to put the link as text in the comments. This is especially easy, given the way Instagram looks on desktop. Rather than say “cut and paste this,” write it as a call to action that reads, “If you’re on desktop or mobile, just cut and paste this.”

When you add that in your comments, it stays on your Instagram post. So next week when you switch your main link to a different blog post, someone who’s looking back through your old content will be able to cut and paste the exact link.

Listen to the show to discover what kinds of behind-the-scenes photos we took while getting ready for Social Media Marketing World.

Instagram marketing strategy

Peg says you don’t want to build your entire Instagram marketing plan on quotes, but they really are popular. She tries to put her own spin on everything, so if she does a quote, she asks a question with it. Just make sure the content you’re sharing relates to your business goals somehow. There needs to be a reason to share it, other than to post a quote.

Infographics and anything with bullet points or lists are also good. For example, on list posts, share a few tips and tell your audience to click through to read the rest.

Another idea is to put multiple pictures together using a tool like Canva. If you take a bunch of photos at an event, just make a collage to share, rather than overwhelm your audience (and yourself) with tons of photos.

Peg suggests branding your Instagram images. Unless you do this, when people repost your images, their audience won’t know they came from you. Include a watermark with your URL or a line at the bottom with your logo or website.

Listen to the show to learn about Iconosquare and the Facebook Mentions app.

Instagram tools

Peg doesn’t take photos in the Instagram app, because they don’t save on your phone. If you take a few pictures and only share one, the others could get lost.

Instead, she takes pictures in SmugMug’s Camera Awesome app for iOS and Android. It has a grid, plus you can crop and edit photos in the app. Peg doesn’t spend a lot of time editing. She’ll just take the photo and use one filter in Instagram.

Peg also likes the Over app, also for iOS and Android. It takes photos and adds different fonts and overlays. For example, if you’re a coffee fan, they have coffee art. They also do seasonal updates for things like back to school or holidays.

Word Swag, a popular iOS app, allows you to add your logo to photos. Word Swag looks templated because there are tons of things you can do with it, and Over looks more personalized and customized.

word swag

Add text to images using Over or Word Swag (pictured).

Peg also mentions a video tool called Phhhoto, which makes animated GIF videos that are perfect for Instagram.

As far as scheduling is concerned, Hootsuite came out with a brand-new Instagram integration. Now, you can load images for your Instagram account into Hootsuite ahead of time.

Although Hootsuite calls it “scheduling,” what it actually does is send a message to your phone telling you to post. Then you go into the app, and manually post the image to Instagram. This is great for brands that have several people posting for them.

Listen to the show to discover how to find people to follow on Instagram.

Discovery of the Week is for all the diehard Meerkat and Periscope users who want more functionality from those apps, and are frustrated with some of their limitations. For example, you can’t have replays after 24 hours on certain apps and there isn’t a quick way to easily share. Katch offers solutions.

word swag

Katch records your Meerkat and Periscope broadcasts and makes it easy to share them.

Sign in to Katch, connect it to your Meerkat or Periscope account or both, and it will collect your broadcasts in one place with cloud storage and instant replays.

It works automatically, as long as the account is hooked up. Shortly after you finish your broadcast, Katch sends out a tweet to watch the replay.

Katch is a free app.

Listen to the show to learn more and let us know how Katch works for you.

Other Show Mentions

social media success summitToday’s show is sponsored by Social Media Success Summit 2015.

Want to improve your social media marketing? Need to prove your efforts are working? Join 4,000 fellow marketers at the online mega-conference, designed to inspire and empower you.

Discover the best and newest ways to market your business on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest. Find new ways to improve your content and measure your results all from the comfort of your home or office.

You’ll be led by dozens of top social media pros, including Mark Schaefer, Mari Smith, Christopher Penn, Amy Porterfield, Neal Schaffer, Ian Cleary, Viveka von Rosen, Jon Loomer, Andrea Vahl, Steve Dotto, Amy Schmittauer, Peg Fitzpatrick, Brian Fanzo, Sue Zimmerman, Kim Garst, Andy Crestodina, Pam Moore, Martin Shervington, Donna Moritz, Ron Nash, Michael Stelzner and more. We have selectively recruited the top experts on every major social network to share tactical, step-by-step, hands-on information.

Peg Fitzpatrick is the only person speaking twice at the Social Media Success Summit. She will be doing the Instagram productivity tips panel on how to create a workflow that flows. Since there isn’t a way to schedule, you need to find a great process to create content, manage it and get it all out on Instagram. The second session is how to create a visual style for social media images. It’s on how to create brand guidelines for your blog, so when people go to your blog and see your social media, you look as professional as possible.

Plus, Vincent Ng of MCNG Marketing will be presenting on how to use Pinterest analytics to grow your Pinterest reach.

One exciting area we will be covering is video. Tim Schmoyer is talking about how to optimize your YouTube videos for search
, Brian Fanzo is talking about how to create Periscope and Meerkat live mobile broadcasts
, Steve Dotto is talking about how to use YouTube to grow your email list and Amy Schmittauer is talking about how to create video content marketing plans with YouTube.

We’re not just covering video and visual marketing, we also get into every major social network.

Social Media Success Summit is an online conference. It’s 36 different sessions spread across 4 weeks. There are three sessions per day, three times per week, over four weeks. And it’s on every conceivable social media platform you can imagine. Check it out. Visit for significant early bird discounts.

Listen to the show!

Key takeaways mentioned in this episode:

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Social Media Marketing Podcast w/ Michael Stelzner

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What do you think? What are your thoughts on Instagram? Please leave your comments below.

Instagram logo photo from Shutterstock.
social media marketing podcast 164 peg fitzpatrich

Peg Fitzpatrick talks with Michael Stelzner about how to stand out on Instagram.

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  • Benjamin

    Thanks for sharing this Michael,

    I might get into Instagram and see how I go with it. I’m currently using Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Reddit in terms as social media reach. But I think utilizing Instagram is another avenue into how to can spread my reach out to people about my blog. Thanks again for the tips Michael, will make sure to take this on board! Take care. 🙂

  • Thank you so much for the interview, Michael and Social Media Examiner! I’ll be around the comments for questions about Instagram if you have any. 🙂

  • kazeminy

    I just wanted to thank you for the informative post Peg. I’ve been learning so much from you every since that first guest lecture you gave in Professor Quinn’s class. Thank you for the continued education!

  • Hi @kazeminy:disqus – that’s awesome! Are you still in school? Are you an Instagram fan?

  • Elizabeth Rosselle

    Hi Peg and Michael! Love you both (Peg — I just discovered you but loving the podcast. Excellent tips. Will continue to follow you. Michael — I tune in every time a new podcast goes up. SME is my favorite social media resource.) 😉

    Question for Peg — for the past several weeks, if not the past month, I haven’t been able to add a custom location in order to add the words “Link in Bio” to my location section. It used to be that when I would type in a location that Instagram didn’t recognize, I would have the option to create a custom location below. Now I can’t — I can only choose from the list that populates and can’t save otherwise. You bring this little trick up in the podcast, so I’m wondering if you’ve experienced the same recently?

  • Michael, thank you so much for the great interview with Peg, and thanks Peg for helping me get up to speed. I was just exploring how to use Instagram when your interview appeared. Perfect timing! I had already created my image in Canva and was about to send it on Hootsuite, but your tips on the image size, what to put in the caption, branding, and how to manually add a CTA in location were all spot on. I got that just from the highlights. Wow! Now I’m off to listen to the whole show. Thanks again.

  • Hi @florabrown:disqus – Yay! You’re off to the races. Have fun on Instagram. 🙂

  • Thanks for being a loyal listener Elizabeth!

  • Thanks Peg!

  • My pleasure. Instagram just announced 400 million active users making it bigger than Twitter

  • Hi Elizabeth Rosselle!

    You have great taste – SME is one of my favorite resources too! Nice to meet you.

    I answered this with a link to an article so it may have been filtered. Unfortunately, now you can’t edit the location section like I talked about here. We recorded this podcast you could do that but it doesn’t work anymore.

    Thanks for listening and asking your question.

  • Elizabeth Rosselle

    Thank YOU for always providing awesome content, Michael!

  • Elizabeth Rosselle

    Hi Peg!

    Nice to meet you as well! No, there’s no link to an article here but I’d assumed that was the case. Thank you for confirming. Oh well…in with the rest of the copy it goes. 🙂

    It also speaks to what you and Michael talked about re: the importance of having a blog (our own unaltered real estate!). Great podcast — thanks again!


  • Tiffany Russo

    Ciao Peg-

    Thank you for the great interview Peg and Michael! After the latest update (which allowed for landscape photos, wahoo!), it won’t allow me to change the name of the location to “Click the link in my bio” any longer 🙁 I’ve spoken to other users and they have the same problem. Some accounts seem to still use this trick, though. Have you found a way around that? Thank you for the help!

  • Akshat Gandhi

    one thing that I would like to point out, that the speaker was incorrect about, is on Instagram, the videos run with the “AUTO PLAY” feature but the sound has to be manually tapped. Once you reach a video post on the instagram by scrolling down your instagram feed, the video will autoplay and of course once the video ends, then a “Play” button will appear to replay the video.

  • It was a fun thing while it lasted but I guess they wanted to keep it strictly for locations.

    I really feel having your own real estate on the internet is key. Do you have a blog, Elizabeth?

  • Hi Akshat – Instagram has a made a few changes since we recorded this podcast. I did say on the podcast that I wasn’t sure if videos auto-played. Sometimes when you’re live on a podcast or video, you answer the best you can.

    I love the little button they’ve added to videos to prompt for sound. It looks like they’ve updated it again because now I’m seeing a sound muted button with a scroll bar and I used to have a button that said push for sound or something similar.

    Thanks for listening and commenting!

  • Akshat Gandhi

    Thanks a lot Ms. Fitzpatrick for acknowledgement and yes you are right, I did miss out on the point that this podcast must have been recorded earlier. You’re also right about the updates that the instagram has undergone recently – earlier the button used to be “Tap video for sound” and now it has been upgraded to just a small ticker with a speaker symbol on the video. Another upgradation that the instagram has gone is regarding the “Buffering of the videos”, earlier the video used to buffer fully and then play itself but now the buffering is done in sections just like on youtube which is quite annoying to be honest ( in my view).

    I would like to know your views on the same and looking forward to your words of wisdom at the summit.

    It’d be great if you talk in-depth about the “INSTAGRAM ADS” at the summit.

  • Elizabeth Rosselle

    I do keep a blog for my small business, right on my business’s website. I’m in the midst of a rebrand so I haven’t posted/promoted recently. I will when the new site is live.

    I’m also the head of creative media for a commercial print company. I write our copy (which includes the blogging), produce videos for our Youtube channel, etc. I’m also in the videos. 🙂 It’s a fun gig but I’m a bit zapped creatively when I get home. I keep my business alive on weekends. My goal when I launch the new is to post daily even if it’s just a couple of sentences. And this time, I hope to use instagram to drive more traffic. It’s a relatively new tool for me. I’ll order your book w/Guy.

    And speaking of real estate, I’m hijacking Michael’s! You’re awesome, Peg. I’m following you on IG so I will reach out. Hope to keep the dialog going…

    Thank you again, Michael and Peg!


  • You go, girl! Sounds like you’re rocking it!

    Why do you want to post everyday on your blog? What was your previous blog schedule? Daily blogs would be super hard! You might just post once a week and then spend time promoting that one piece of content throughout the week in different ways.

  • @akshatgandhi:disqus I like the changes on Instagram for video – I’ve just created a few of them. It seems like they’re catching up to the other visual platforms and people love video.

    I’m glad you’re excited about the Summit – I am too! My presentation is on how to create a workflow for Instagram so I won’t be covering ads. There are three sessions on Instagram so maybe it will be in another session.

    Thanks for your comments!

  • treb072410

    Another great post Michael.. So lucky I have read this.. Very informative and very useful.. Thanks for sharing..

  • If you included a link it is in the moderation queue

  • Thanks Treb

  • I discovered Peg through Instagram and LOVE her advice; it’s one of the best how-to feeds on Instagram out there. One thing not mentioned here that I think is extremely important to success with Instagram is to have a visually striking, coordinated set of photos that will WOW a new viewer when they take the time to see what you have posted. I manage two accounts for my employer and have found the best way to do this is to create a template in Photoshop and place the photos in the order that they will go to see how they sit side by side. It’s takes a bit more time but makes a bigger impact, and I only post once every two days on each account. Also, I have to say I am not a fan of the ‘back of studio’ pics advice–they don’t often look good and they don’t add value to a new viewer. But they can be done well when they are visually striking! Most of Pegs pics look great together; but sometimes she’s gone overboard with the group pics from the events she attends! (sorry, Peg!) 🙂

  • Benjamin

    It’s because a lot of people are going mobile to browse the internet and are using their smartphones. It would be good to capitalize on this ‘mobilegeddon’ as people are calling it.

  • treb072410

    Your certainly most welcome!!

  • Elizabeth Rosselle


    It was once per week but I wasn’t very active on other platforms, including instagram. And I didn’t take the time to learn how to optimize my content. I’ll try once per week and follow your tips, too. Thank you so much, Peg. You’re awesome.

  • No worries @mikestelzner:disqus – I commented again. 😀

  • Hi @ingamescoreboy:disqus! Are you using hashtags at all? That’s a great way to connect with other gamers on Instagram.

  • @hexotica:disqus I’m still trying to figure out what I want my main jam to be on my personal Instagram – I’m not a brand (well a personal brand but you know what I mean), I’m an author and speaker. Since speaking at conferences is a big part of what I do, I do share a lot of photos from events. This could help me get more speaking engagements and make more connections. There is a strategy behind that.

    What client account are you managing? I’d love to go see your grid layout for photos. Michelle Kwan makes beautiful designs using the six images in the grid. I’ll probably try the grid on a feature account – I like posting on the fly on my Instagram and sharing what I’m doing and thinking about.

    There’s a lot of ways to have a great Instagram account. I do love the super minimalistic shots or one-themed accounts. Lots of ways to shine! Thanks for your thoughts. 😀

  • Hey @PegFitzpatrick:disqus, i dont even own an instagramm account, i usually use only FB and Twitter 😉 Thanks for the great idea, i will set up one later this evening.

  • Thanks for pointing out the new image size. I’ve had a tough time getting the word out!

  • I have to admit. I’ve never really gotten Instagram. I’ve got a couple of accounts, and I’ve uploaded a few pictures / followed a few accounts. It’s cool and all, but I rarely open the app, and I’ve never even considered using it for marketing.

    I appreciated the podcast though. I’m still not sure if someone like me (smaller affiliate marketer) has a use for it, but I can definitely see now where the value is — especially for bigger for bigger brands.

    Great podcast as usual though!

  • Zoraida Lemos

    I also Use the app typic Pro to upload an image with a logo. But, you know a good app for android?

  • Thanks for listening! Just curious @badijones:disqus, why do you have several accounts if you don’t use Instagram>

  • Hi @zoraidalemos:disqus You can add logos to images in WordSwag and the Over app. Hope this helps! 🙂

  • One for myself (badijones), and a couple for different websites I have. I suppose for whenever I figure it out 🙂

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  • Roselaine Kudarat

    Thank you for sharing this Peg. I’m excited to work on my Instagram too.