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Primer: Instagram usage and posting 101

I am an admitted social media idiot. I hate using these things for personal life, but have gotten into them for the blog.

The one I enjoy the most is Instagram @saverspender because I’m visual. Twitter is nice but overwhelming. I like videos and pictures.

When I first started I knew nothing about it. I’m still learning and they keep bloody updating everything / changing things, but here is what I’ve learned so far, and I hope it will be helpful to you as a quick guide because it would have been great if I had read this before I started. :-\

Instagram doesn’t allow direct links / hyper linking or clicking on links

This is the most annoying feature that I see something or want to put a link and I cannot. It shows up as text and only if I painstakingly copy the text into a browser can I go see the link.

The only way I have gotten around this, is being on Instagram on my desktop browser, and THEN you can copy and paste text easily, like so:

You need 10K followers for Swipe Up feature

This is the bane of my existence. I want to post something and have people just Swipe Up on the bottom to go to the post directly in a browser but you need a lot of followers to get to this Swipe Up feature.

It just makes life so much easier and I feel like Instagram is missing out on a chance to charge people for this feature, because I can tell you I’d absolutely pay it if it was reasonably priced. Not something like $1000 a year, or anything like that.

Instagram Dimensions for Posts

Instagram Dimensions for Stories

You can pause and skip or rewind in Stories

(Stories are the real-time updates that appear in your feed at the top, and disappear after 24 hours, I post THE MOST often there and glean the most information from others’ Stories like traveling pictures or just knowing about their life a bit more.)

For the longest time I’d read stories and wonder why people were posting novellas.


Then I realized you had options or controls in watching the Stories, and here they are:

  • Putting a thumb on the Story pauses it so you can read it
  • Tapping on the left goes back to the previous Story
  • Tapping on the right goes to the next to skip it

Sometimes when posts are “sent” to stories with this little paper airplane icon on the post (you can do this with ANYONE’s post):

You can tap on the post in the Story and click on the easy “See Post” and go right to it without having to figure out where it is, kind of like a hyperlink.

Here’s an example in Stories (anyone’s stories), and you can see if you tap in the middle of the post, you can click on the See Post link and it goes right to the post!

Doing more with Your Stories

You can do more with the 3 dots menu on the bottom right to save your Story from your profile only (doesn’t work on others’ Stories), delete it, or post it as a Post in your feed.

And you can see options like this pop up – Save, to save the Story as an image or a video on your Camera Roll, or Share as Post to share it .. as a post into your feed!

Sharing others’ Stories

To post others’ stories, you can’t do it as easily, you need to screenshot it on your phone first. There is no magic Paper Airplane/Send Icon unfortunately.

To do this, you hold down on the Story with your thumb, pause it, then wait for all the header and footer junk to disappear… and THEN do a screenshot so it is clean, like this:

And see how clear it is now?

Screen shot this and then post it as your Story, and don’t forget to tag the original poster (OP).

Story Highlights

You can add your Stories to Highlights on your page which show up here:

If you want a highlight to disappear, just remove all the Stories from the highlight and it will disappear automatically once there are no more Stories left in the Highlight — you don’t need to delete the Highlight at all.

You can add Covers to your Story Highlights without posting them

I just learned this recently but you can simply scroll to the left after you click on Edit Cover and select from your Camera Roll.

To do this, let’s say you want to edit the Highlight, you can do this easily by tapping on the Highlight first:

Then tap on the three dots on the bottom right-hand corner to get the menu:

And the menu shows up like this, so you tap Edit Highlight:

Then tap on Edit Cover

And then click on the Image / Picture icon on the bottom left to select a picture from the Camera Roll to use as your cover and you can move it around to adjust it.

If you have a lot of highlights, you need to scroll all the way to the left ….. ALL THE WAY TO THE LEFT to see it show up.

You can add old Story Highlights from the past with Archives

See? I have old Stories from 4 weeks ago and longer, that I can save / pin to my profile for review later.

And you can also add Archived Stories from the past by selecting them.

You can hashtag up to 30 tags

In a post, the max is 30. Hashtag to your heart’s delight.

The key is to mix it up and don’t use the same 30 too often.

You can take Screen Recordings on your phone for videos

This makes for a cool video if you open up Notes and start a Screen Recording and then type out your notes, then edit/clip it and upload it.

Example posts I’ve done are here:

Three Things Every Woman should own

And Nothing changes if nothing changes


Hope this helped!

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