Instagram Rules: The Essential Guide to Building Brands, Business and Community

Instagram Rules: The Essential Guide to Building Brands, Business and Community 2

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small amount of money if you make a purchase from any of the Amazon links included.

As with most areas of social media, I was seemingly behind the rest of the world in realising the power of Instagram as a marketing tool. I’ve actually had an Instagram account since 2015, back in the days when (at least, from my perspective) the platform was primarily a place to share some nice photos, add a snazzy filter and throw in a few hashtags. I’ve had moments over the years where I have made attempts to do something with my Instagram, but it was easy to become disheartened when I didn’t see immediate results. If I’m honest, after a while I paid it little attention.

With the introduction of business accounts, advertising, stories, IGTV and reels and numerous functionality and algorithm updates, Instagram has transformed into a business and marketing powerhouse that now boasts 1 billion active monthly users worldwide. Think about it: nearly 13% of the entire global population uses Instagram every month.

A few months ago I witnessed first-hand the power of Instagram during an influencer marketing campaign and I realised that I had to step up my own Instagram game. It became rather evident that I had less knowledge than I thought – I understood the functionality of posting, sharing stories and videos and using analytics, but was unsure as to where to start. What sort of content should I post and when? How do I really find my audience? Are hashtags still relevant? How do I grow my audience authentically?

Instagram Rules: The Essential Guide to Building Brands, Business and Community by Jodie Cook is the perfect resource for anyone who wants to start taking their Instagram account seriously.

Instagram Rules is a snappy, no-nonsense guide to using Instagram effectively, whether your hopes are to boost your business, grow an online community or promote a side-hustle… Learn the do’s and don’t of post planning, developing a voice, identifying trends, driving campaigns, responding to engagement and scaling your site, and apply expert digital marketing knowledge to your account.

Instagram Rules: The Essential Guide to Building Brands, Business and Community

Image credit: Jodie Cook

The founder of award-winning JC Social Media agency, one of Forbes Europe 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneurs and author of numerous books, Jodie Cook shares her own experience of working with national and international brands and shares first-hand interviews and insights from successful Instagram users and influencers including Ben & Jerry’s, Papier, Female Entrepreneur Association, Frenchiestore and more.

With 125 rules broken down into easy-to-follow ideas, Instagram Rules takes you through the important aspects of developing your account in a way that works for you and your business, explaining each strategy from a straightforward social media marketing perspective and providing useful insight regardless of where you may be in your Instagram journey.

Strategic Approach: optimising your account for long-term success and building an effective strategy

Content: planning and creating great content, finding new ideas and using hashtags

Community: understanding and building a community, encouraging interaction and responding to engagement

Growth: achieving growth, advertising and measuring results

Health: finding a balance and taking care of your mental health. I actually found this super useful and really relevant to how I had been feeling recently – this year in particular has been a challenging one for all of us, and I had found myself becoming quite deeply affected by comparisonitis. This section really puts lots of things into perspective.

I love it. I love the no-nonsense writing style, how easy it is to follow and how aesthetically pleasing it is.

Just look at it – how beautiful are these pages?

It’s a great read from cover to cover, but what I find most useful about the book is that it allows me to dip into it when it suits me – if I have identified a specific area of focus I can look at that particular section, create a plan, experiment and try out some ideas and analyse the results.

And it works. 

After being the owner of a fairly dormant, lacklustre Instagram account for years, I am now starting to see results in just a few weeks. My following, which had grown by less than 100 people between the months of January and September 2020 has seen the same amount of growth in just a month and my number of engagements and impressions have increased. Of course, this is partly due to the fact that I have actively taken an interest in my account, but being able to sit down and plan in advance with the guidance from this book has been instrumental in keeping me on track. What I have found even more surprising is that I have been able to achieve this without spending hours each day dedicated to the platform – 15-20 minutes every few days has been sufficient enough to see a difference.

Want to start taking your own Instagram seriously? Purchase your very own copy of Instagram Rules: The Essential Guide to Building Brands, Business and Community from Amazon here.

Want to know more about Jodie Cook?

Follow Jodie on Instagram here

Follow Jodie on Twitter here

Follow Jodie on LinkedIn here

Visit Jodie’s website here

Are we following each other on Instagram? Find my Instagram account here.

Disclaimer: I was provided with a complimentary copy of Instagram Rules: The Essential Guide to Building Brands, Business and Community, but was under no obligation to provide a positive review. I was also under no obligation to try any ideas out on my own account, nor take any photographs.

Suzie Speaks is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

6 thoughts on “Instagram Rules: The Essential Guide to Building Brands, Business and Community

  1. Hi Suzie, I don’t mean to be negative here but Facebook purchasing Instagram was its downfall. I remember the platform before the ludicrous number of ads took over Instagram.

    Today, things are constantly changing, many of the changes make no sense to me, the average user but the ads will eventually run me off of the platform, it’s so out of control.

    • I’m totally with you on so much of this John – I refuse to pay for advertising and absolutely hate it when updates happen and I can’t figure out the functionality. I think the reason why this appealed to me so much was because there are so many things that I found useful that didn’t involve paying for ads

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