How to create a private community with Instagram

A private community is a great way to facilitate communication with and among your members.

Hosting your community on Instagram can be a convenient option for members who are already active on the Instagram social media platform. This can also be a simpler or more cost-effective alternative to building a forum on your website.

Setting up Instagram access

First, you'll set up and grant access to your private Instagram profile via the steps below:

  1. Create an Instagram account and be sure to make the account private. This ensures non-members don't have access to your content.
  2. In your MemberSpace account, click Member Plans > Create Member Plans.



    If you'll simply be granting community access to members on existing plans, skip steps 2-5.

  3. Next, decide how you'd like to charge members for access to your community.



  4. Then, give the plan a name, decide how much you'd like to charge (if applicable), and configure the remaining settings for the plan.
  5. Click Create this plan at the bottom.

Inviting members to your private Instagram profile

Once you've created the private Instagram account and have a plan for members to join, there are a few ways to share your profile link with your members:

While each option requires a small amount of manual work, the first two are a bit more automated.

Include the Instagram profile link in your Welcome Email

Follow the steps below to add your Instagram profile link to your members' Welcome Email:

  1. In your MemberSpace account click Customize > Notification Emails.


  2. If all of your plans should grant access to your Instagram account, simply scroll to the bottom > click Welcome Email (default for all plans) > add the Instagram profile link to the email body > click Save Now.



    If only certain plans should grant access to your Instagram profile, click Add Welcome Email per Plan at the top > select a plan from the dropdown > add the Instagram profile link to the email body > click Save NowRepeat this for additional plans, as needed.



Now, when someone signs up for a plan that grants access to your private community, they'll receive a Welcome Email that contains the link to follow your private Instagram profile. From there, you will approve their request on Instagram to officially permit them to access your Instagram page.

When someone cancels their MemberSpace plan, you'll need to manually remove them as a follower.

Add the Instagram profile link to a members-only page

Follow the steps below to add your community link to a members-only page:

  1. Add the link to your Instagram profile to a secret members-only page on your website. This can be any existing page (e.g. member dashboard), or it can be a new page specific to your community.
  2. In your MemberSpace account, click Member Pages. If you added the Instagram profile link to a new (public) page, click Protect Member Pages.



    If you added your Instagram account link to an existing members-only page, simply click Edit next to that page.

  3. Enter the page URL (if protecting a new page).
  4. Then, select the plan(s) that should grant access to your private Instagram account.


  5. Finally, configure any remaining settings and click Add Now (if protecting a new page) or Update Now (if editing an existing page) at the bottom.

Now, when someone signs up for a plan that grants access to the private members-only page, they'll be able to visit that page, click the Instagram link, and request to follow your private account. From there, you will approve their request on Instagram to officially permit them to access your Instagram page.

When someone cancels their MemberSpace plan, you'll need to manually remove them as a follower.

Manually invite new members to your Instagram profile

Your final option is to manually invite new members to follow your private Instagram account. 

When someone signs up for a plan that grants access to your community, you will send them the link to your Instagram profile — this can be done via email, text, or any other method you prefer. Once they request to follow your account, you will approve their request on Instagram to officially permit them to access your Instagram page.

When someone cancels their MemberSpace plan, you'll need to manually remove them as a follower.

MemberSpace also offers a single sign-on integration with Circle, a popular community platform for discussions, live streams, and chats. The single sign-on integration means your logged-in members will be automatically logged into your Circle community and not have to create a new account of any kind.

For additional resources on running a successful community with MemberSpace, check out MemberSpace University, your one-stop resource hub full of step-by-step guides, educational videos, helpful tips and tricks, and more.

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