Instagram is a very tricky medium for bloggers to master at the best of times. Often people have trouble understanding how to use visual social media to maximum effect. Learning how to integrate Instagram into your WordPress account can help you boost your site views as well as Instagram followers.
Step One: Adding the WordPress Built in Instagram Widgets
The first step to integrating Instagram into your WordPress blog site is to start with what you have access to. Word press comes with numerous social media plug-ins, including an Instagram follow button and an Instagram feed. Both of these are simple, yet effective measures when starting out on your blog.
To add a widget, go to your dashboard and take a look under “Appearance”. It will show you a long list of widgets on the left and your available widget areas on the right. Go through this list and drag any of these widgets you want into an appropriate widget area.
Find the “Instagram” widget in the list and drag it to where you want it (on the main side bar or the bottom of your page). This will allow you to show your last few Instagram posts to your blog followers.
The last thing you should do with the built-in widgets in regards to Instagram is to find the “Social Media Icons” widget. This has follow buttons for any of the following social media. Go and put in your Instagram account username and a follow button will appear in the area where you decided to put your widget.
Step Two: Incorporating An Instagram Follow Button With Follower Count Visible
The next step to help you integrate an Instagram account into your blog is to get a follow button or Instagram badge that also displays the amount of followers you have. This will encourage more people to follow, as they will get the idea how many other people are supporting you. The higher amount of followers you have, the more likely people are to click ‘follow’ – however this does not mean that content that doesn’t impart any value to the viewer will get follows.
WordPress does not come equipped with a follow button that displays this. There are two ways you can do this. One is to find the HTML coding for an icon that does this, simply copy the code into a widget or directly into the HTML of a WordPress page. This can be unreliable as the HTML coding that works for your site may not be available, especially if you know little about how HTML works and it looks like funny squiggles on a page to you.
The other way to go about this is far more convenient. Download a WordPress plug-in that allows you to place customized social media badges on the page, including a following count. An example that you could try if you don’t know where to look is Social Count Plus, which can be found here: https://wordpress.org/plugins/social-count-plus/screenshots/ . The main website is a good place to look for other useful tools to place in your blog!
Step Three: Installing a Customisable Instagram Plug-in to Complement Your Site
As stated above, WordPress.org is a really useful site to help you find the right plug-ins to install. The standardized Instagram plug-in that comes built into WordPress is a good place to start until you find a better plug-in for your blog. Browse on WordPress.org for the best Instagram plug-ins that are customisable and tailor your site to look absolutely gorgeous with your pictures featuring how you want them.
When you upgrade your site to include feeds like this in a way that complements it, you will look more professional. This also stands a chance of increasing your following, especially if the content matches the site quality.
Step Four: Add an Instagram Badge to your Home Page
Go to the Instagram site and get your own Instagram badge. They allow you to choose different sizes. The reason you should have an Instagram Badge on top of a follow button is because the badge links the viewer to your Instagram portfolio. It’s actually different to the follow button and allows followers to decide if they want to follow you on Instagram or not first.
To get the badge, click on this link: https://www.instagram.com/accounts/badges/# . This should take you to the Instagram page after you log into your profile. Select the shape and size you want and then copy the code. You need to paste it into a widget or into the direct HTML coding of a page or two in your blog site. It’s better to use it inside a widget, which will appear no matter if the user is inside a post or a page.
Step Five: Embedding Instagram Image/Video into Appropriate Posts
One last tip that you can do to connect Instagram to your blog on WordPress is to embed photos or videos into your post that are appropriate. This can be achieved by clicking on the photo options inside Instagram (the button that looks like an ellipsis ‘…’) and choosing ‘embed’. A little block will popup with some HTML coding inside it.
Inside your dashboard, go to where the relevant post is and click edit. Alternatively, you can also perform this whilst writing a new post – there should be a tab that says HTML in the top right corner. Click on that and it will show you what your post looks like with all the unseen HTML coding. Between each paragraph, the HTML code for a big space should appear as ‘nbsp;’. Paste the code from Instagram next to a space like that and the photo should appear in a nice space under the appropriate paragraph section.
This ensures that anybody who finds your blog can just click the photo to be taken to your Instagram account and follow you there too! It’s important to understand that while Instagram is a great way to connect with people and keep them engaged in your blog too.
Author: Vicky Etherington
Vicky Etherington is a WordPress Happiness Specialist on a mission to empower 100 small businesses this year to take control of their own website and online marketing. She has been working to help small businesses and entrepreneurs improve their websites and online visibility since 2003.