Photos are an important visual tool when it comes to generating interest in a business, a property, or even one’s personal life. Founded in 2010, Instagram is the most popular photo-sharing social media platform in the country, with over 170 million active users in the U.S. alone. Instagram allows its users to upload photos or pictures, edit their pictures with a variety of filter tools, tag their friends or the locations the photos were taken, and organize their photos by date, ‘hashtags’, or other sorting methods. The app also gives its users the ability to browse other accounts that they choose to follow - whether they be friends, businesses, celebrities, or other accounts of note - and add them to their constantly-updating personal ‘newsfeed’. Signing up and navigating Instagram is easy. Here’s how to handle some of the more basic tasks when learning how to use this massively popular platform.

How to create your Instagram account

To begin, follow this link (1) on your computer to create your account. Instagram will ask you for your full name, the username you wish to be known by on the network, a password of your choosing, and your mobile phone # or email address. If you would like to be able to use Instagram on your smartphone, you just need to download the free Instagram app from either the Apple Store or the Android Store (depending on your brand of phone). Using the app will allow you to access Instagram while you’re on the go - you can browse profiles, take and add photos, and edit or update your profile all from your phone. Once you have entered the necessary information, click the ‘Sign Up’ button and your profile will be created!

How to regain access to your account

Instagram was acquired by Facebook in 2012 and - if you have a Facebook account - your Facebook and Instagram profiles can be linked in order to give you an extra layer of security and another way to access your accounts should you be locked out for whatever reason. If you lose access to the email or phone number you used to sign up for Instagram, you can update your profile with new account information. This is necessary in order to access Instagram and to ensure someone else can't gain access to your Instagram account with an email or phone number you may no longer use. To do this, simply visit your profile, click ‘Edit Profile’, and then update your information with a current email or phone number (2). If you cannot access the email or phone number that you used to sign up, and cannot log in to Instagram, you will not be able to access your account. However, if your Facebook and Instagram accounts are linked, you can update your email/phone information in Facebook, which will be shared to your Instagram account info. You may then log in to Instagram with your new credentials.

How to edit your account

So you’ve created your account - now what? Instagram is a photo sharing site/app, so get ready to add some photos! Building and editing your account in Instagram is a piece of cake. The first step is to save a profile photo, which is the first thing people will see when they visit your account or come across you while searching the platform. To add a profile photo, simply click on the ‘person’ logo in the bottom right corner of the page, click ‘Edit Profile’, and then ‘Change Profile Photo’ (3). You can either take a new photo in the app or choose an existing photo in your camera roll. Once you’ve chosen your preferred picture, click ‘Done’. To add pictures or videos to your profile, click the ‘+’ sign. Just like your profile pic, you can take a new one or add an existing one from your camera roll or computer. You can also write captions for your photos & videos, tag friends and locations, and also tag them with ‘hashtags’ that will allow your content to be listed anytime someone searches by that particular hashtag. While editing, you can also update your personal info, add a brief bio or ‘about you’ to your page, and even leave a link to your website.

How to temporarily disable your account

If you temporarily disable your account, your profile, photos, comments and likes will be hidden until you reactivate it by logging back in. You can only disable your Instagram account from a computer or mobile browser. To temporarily disable your account log into from a computer. You can't temporarily disable your account from within the Instagram app. Click your profile picture in the top right and click Profile, then click Edit Profile. Scroll down, then click Temporarily disable my account in the bottom right. Select an option from the drop-down menu next to Why are you disabling your account? and re-enter your password. The option to disable your account will only appear after you've selected a reason from the menu and entered your password. Click Temporarily Disable Account (4).

How to delete your account

Like Facebook, Instagram gives you two options when it comes to shutting down your account: disabling and deleting. Temporarily disabling your account will ‘hide’ your profile - including all photos, comments, and ‘likes’ - from the platform until you decide to reactivate it. If you decide to just ‘take a break’ from Instagram and wish to disable your account for the time being, click your profile picture and then ‘Edit Profile’. Next, scroll all the way to the bottom and click ‘Temporarily Disable My Account’. Follow the easy instructions from there. (4) Deleting your account will permanently remove all activity and content from your profile as well as the profile itself. All photos and videos will be erased and unrecoverable. If you wish to delete your account, follow this link (5). The site will prompt you to log in using your usual credentials and then ask you why you are deleting your account. Once you have chosen an option from the list of choices and re-enter your password, the system will delete your account.

Instagram can be a very powerful tool for loan officers in today’s electronic age. Through the power of visual storytelling, you can create a professional profile containing photos and videos that help you engage with your local market, share stories with potential customers, and run fun polls or contests that attract followers. The old saying goes that a picture is worth a thousand words and Instagram is proof of that in today’s hard-fought lender market. Why simply tell potential leads about what you can offer and the happy customers you have cultivated when you can show them in living color?

  1. Login • Instagram

  2. What can I do if I've lost access to the email or phone number I signed up with on Instagram? | Instagram Help Center

  3. Editing Your Profile | Instagram Help Center

  4. How do I temporarily disable my Instagram account?

  5. Delete Your Account | Instagram Help Center


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