A Guide to Using Instagram for Business
Are you looking to strengthen your business strategy with social media marketing? Then Instagram might be the best platform for you. It has over 2 billion monthly active users, and 90% of them follow at least one Instagram business account. This makes it one of the top platforms for marketers and business owners to target potential customers. But how do you get started? And what can you do on this platform to help you reach new customers and increase sales? This article will cover some basic tips and tricks for using Instagram for business.
How to Set Up an Instagram for Business Account
Learning how to use Instagram for business can seem overwhelming, especially if social media is just one part of your job, but that’s what we’re here for! From setting up the account to measuring for success, we’ve got your back.
Create a New Instagram Account
You can start a new account from scratch or switch your personal account to a business one. Start by following these steps:
- Download the Instagram App for Android, iOS, or Windows.
- After it’s done installing, open the app and select “sign up.”
- Enter your email address.
Note: If your Instagram will have multiple users or you will post to your Facebook business page, use an admin email address or select “Login with Facebook.”
- Decide your username and password and fill out all the profile information. If you select the Facebook option, it may ask you to sign in.
- Select “next.”
Yay! You now have a personal Instagram account. Now, it’s time to switch to an Instagram business profile.
Convert Your Personal Instagram Profile to a Business Profile
To switch your personal Instagram account to a business account, follow the steps below:
- Go to your Instagram profile and select the hamburger menu (the three bars) in the upper-right-hand corner.
- Select “settings.”
- If you see “Switch to Professional Account,” select it. Otherwise, go to the next step.
- Select “account.”
- Select “business.” You’ll also see an option for “Creator.” Select this if it applies to you (i.e., influencers, artists, content producers).
- Follow the steps to connect your new business account to your Facebook business account.
- Choose your business category and input your contact details.
- Select “done.”
Business Account vs. Creator Account
If you’re stuck on whether you need a business or a creator account, not to worry! Instagram has many features available, and it’s easy to get lost in all of them. Luckily, you have us to help you.
Business accounts allow you to customize your profile, drawing attention to your business and letting your followers know what you do. Unlike personal accounts, an Instagram business account allows you to add different elements to your bio, such as:
- CTA button
- Contact information
- Industry label (i.e., “Clothing Brand”)
In addition, you can schedule posts, set up an Instagram shop, access advertising, and get access to Instagram insights. Overall, your profile will have more gravitas, so to speak.
A creator account, on the other, is better for the individual rather than, let’s say, a corporation. For example, a creator account allows you to be more specific about who you are. So, instead of just “Clothing Brand,” you can say “Designer.” This allows you to get more in tune with your niche and find your community.
That being said, individual creators can still benefit from a business account! So, go with a business one and see if it works for you when in doubt. You can always change it.
How to Use Instagram for Business
Suppose you are looking for ways to increase brand awareness or build relationships with potential customers. In that case, Instagram marketing can be a good way. However, if you want to get more out of your efforts, there are some things you should know before jumping right in. Below are some essential business tools on Instagram you should familiarize yourself with before posting.
Get Professional Photos Taken
A quality photo for your profile pic will undoubtedly draw the attention of other Instagram users and potential followers. A unique profile picture shows that you care about your brand and put a lot of care and time into it – which doesn’t go unrecognized.
Furthermore, your posts should include high-quality images. An attractive Instagram feed with beautiful pictures is a surefire way to increase follower count.
Look at this example from Pura Vida. All their pictures are high-quality and show off their products.
An Instagram business account gives you more tools for your Instagram stories, and you should utilize them! Unlike a personal account, you can add links to your website or brand sponsorships to gain more traction.
Stories are also a great way to keep followers engaged. Posting on your feed and using Instagram stories shows that you are well-connected with your followers, making them want to use your product.
Instagram Story Highlights are a fantastic way to maximize your new Instagram business profile’s potential. Highlights allow you to organize and save your stories into collections such as FAQs, recipes, travel, or user-generated content!
Here’s another amazing example from Pura Vida.
Stream Live Videos
Instagram has become one of the best platforms to stream videos live. Creating a live video and sharing it directly through your Instagram story is easy. Live videos allow you to interact with your audience and show off your products.
Interact With Your Followers
If you are an Instagrammer, then you know how much fun it can be to interact with other people who follow you. It’s like having a conversation with them! Engage with your followers by replying to comments and Instagram direct messages. Not only will you up your follower count, but you’ll ensure that your current followers don’t click that unfollow button!
Hashtags are an excellent tool that makes your content easier to find. This is because captions on Instagram posts can’t be searched for, but hashtags can! So, if you have a hashtag that says #vintagedresses and someone searches for that. It puts your profile on their radar, even if they’re not following you.
You can even create your own branded hashtag. Branded hashtags are a great resource for user-generated content and will help broaden your audience and community.
Host a Takeover
Instagram takeovers are an interesting idea because it means someone else “takes over” your account and creates content on behalf of a brand.
This may seem like a scary concept, but it actually works! Takeovers are a way to collaborate with other influencers and brands, which gives you more reach to expand your target audience and gain rapport.
Use Instagram Reels
Reels have recently made their way into the spotlight when it comes to marketing, but they’re pretty powerful! Instagram users will scroll through reels for hours, so making some fun reels that promote your business or brand is a good way to get on their radar.
Instagram reels are similar to TikTok in that they’re very short clips. The max length is 90 seconds, although they’re rarely that long. They tend to be filled with funny content, but you can also keep watchers engaged with creative, eye-catching types of content like pottery or painting.
Advertise on Instagram
Instagram ads are similar to Facebook in that they look like ordinary posts apart from the “sponsored” label to tell you they are an ad. These ads appear throughout the app, through your feed, stories, reels, and more. Ads also contain CTA buttons, links, and product catalogs.
Advertising on Instagram is a great way to monetize. You can take two routes – using Ads Manager or promoting a post.
Facebook Ads Manager can create ad campaigns that are more customizable, creative, and overall better for targeting and reporting.
Promoting a post is as simple as taping a couple of buttons right from the Instagram app, but it’s not as in-depth as Ads Manager.
Obtain Audience Insights
Audience Insights is an excellent tool for keeping track of your account’s followers and overall performance. Insights can help you optimize your Instagram strategy by guiding you in the right direction for advertising and content creation.
To view Instagram Audience Insights, just go to your profile and select the “insights” button beneath your Instagram bio. You’ll be amazed at how much your content strategy benefits!
Track Your Analytics
You can track your analytics via your Insights. For business purposes, tracking analytics gives you a better scope of conversion rate and engagement rate. It also lets you see what you can do to up your follower count and be more engaging for your current followers.
You will track multiple features in the insights menu: accounts reached, accounts engaged, total followers, and content you shared. Each one provides some insight into how your account is performing.
- Accounts reached refers to the number of unique users who have viewed your content – everything from posts, reels, stories, Live videos, and ads.
- Accounts engaged refers to the number of users who have responded to your content in some way. This can include likes, shares, saves, comments, replies, etc.
- Total followers is self-explanatory. It tells you how many followers you currently have.
- The content you shared shows you how much content – posts, stories, reels, Live videos, and promotions – you’ve shared within the selected time frame.
Sell Products on Instagram
If you have products or services, you can post them on Instagram. Through Instagram, you can connect with customers interested in buying your product. It also helps you build trust among your followers by showing them how much effort you put into creating quality content.
To sell your products on Instagram, there are a few methods. Instagram Shopping is a helpful tool that allows you to add product tags to posts and stories and drive business.
It’s also important to maintain consistency when posting products to your page. If you’re planning on selling products on Instagram, you want to post your products in every way you can, from posts, stories, and reels. You can even try hosting a live Q & A to engage your followers!
How to Optimize Your Instagram Profile
You should optimize your profile to boost your social media strategy. Here are some tips to help you out.
Optimize Profile Pic
Many businesses use their logo as their display picture on Instagram. Make sure your profile pic looks the same across social media platforms, so people recognize you.
Your display picture is displayed as 110 x 110 px, but it’s stored as 320 x 320 px, so that’s the resolution you should aim to upload for the best results. A circle will frame your photo, so make sure you consider that when taking your picture.
Add Relevant Contact Info
It’s important to provide a direct way for people to contact your company through your Instagram account. To optimize your profile, you should add information such as your phone number, email address, and physical address (if you have one).
When you add contact info to your Instagram account, Instagram creates corresponding buttons for your profile. These buttons will say things like Call, Text, Get Directions or Email.
Create a Visual Aesthetic for Your Brand
Since visuals are key to Instagram, it’s important to have an identifiable visual identity.
Your goal is to establish recurring themes that you can alternate. Sometimes, the content will be clear. A clothing line might feature its clothes, and a food blog might show off its recipes. If you’re offering services, showcase customer success stories, or go behind the scenes to highlight office life and give your followers an insight into how your business operates.
Once you’ve decided on your themes, create a unique visual style for your site. Try to create your own color palette and overall aesthetic that your fans will recognize when they see it on their Instagram feeds.
This yoga podcaster, Rachel Brathen, uses the nature and outdoors aesthetic while incorporating personal pictures that let followers get to know her.
Use Tools to Help You Edit Your Photos
Every amazing photo usually has at least a little editing behind it. Editing software can help maintain your unique aesthetic, customize frames or logos, and even create other content like infographics.
Fortunately, many free resources are available, from Instagram’s built-in tools to third-party apps. If those tools aren’t cutting it, experiment with mobile photography apps, many of which offer free or affordable options.
Write Compelling Captions
Just because Instagram is a visual social media platform doesn’t necessarily mean you can ignore your captions.
A good caption will put meaning and context behind the photo. Good copy will strengthen empathy, community, and trust. Humor is also a great direction to go.
Save More Casual Content for Instagram Stories
Instagram stories are a fantastic platform for storytelling. Stories don’t necessarily have to fall within your aesthetic, and you can create authentic brand stories that engage your audience. These stories can include funny stickers and music that get your followers in the habit of watching your stories daily.
On a side note, if you have over 10,000 Instagram followers, you have the option to put links in your stories.
Create inclusive content
Brands are increasingly creating content that reflects diverse audiences. This includes hiring writers who reflect different backgrounds, demographics, and experiences. But brands also have to make sure that the stories they tell aren’t just about themselves. They must focus on telling authentic narratives that speak to everyone.
Representation is key to growing your audience!
You’ll need to schedule Instagram posts regularly to keep your audience coming back. However, posting regularly isn’t easy. Between work, family, and personal life, we all struggle to find time to sit down and write our next blog post. And even though we know we should be posting regularly, we don’t always feel like we have anything important to say.
A regular posting schedule is the best way to ensure you’re posting consistently. This doesn’t mean you have to plan everything out months in advance, but rather that you put aside time to think about what types of images you’d like to post and then schedule them ahead of time.
Many apps and tools are designed specifically to help you manage your Instagram feed posts. Some of the most popular include Hootsuite, Content Studio, Sprout Social, and Canva. These platforms allow you to upload photos, add captions, and even edit existing ones. They also let you schedule your posts in advance.
Respond to Comments and Mentions
Instagrammers are always looking for ways to connect with brands. As such, be sure you’re doing everything possible to engage with them. One way to do that is to respond to comments and mentions of businesses in your niche. This is especially true if you sell products or services related to those mentioned.
Collaborate with Businesses and Other Instagram Influencers
While there are many ways to use Instagram to promote your products and services, Instagram marketing is one of the best. Brands can leverage the power of Instagram influencers to help spread awareness about their products and optimize their marketing channels.
There are several different influencers, including celebrities, bloggers, vloggers, photographers, and artists. Each type has something unique to offer a brand. For example, a celebrity can bring credibility and name recognition to a campaign. A blogger can help build trust among her followers by sharing authentic stories about the product. Vloggers can show off cool features and give tips on how to make the product work well. Photographers can capture images that inspire people to buy the product. Artists can add personality to the campaign.
One thing all of these influencers have in common is that they have a large audience. You can harness the influencer’s existing fan base by partnering with an influencer. This helps you reach a broader range of customers.
Make the most of Instagram for Business
Instagram is a social network where people post pictures and videos. But it’s also a robust digital advertising tool businesses use to reach new audiences. And while many people are already familiar with how to use Instagram, there’s much more to learn.
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We’ve been working with top brands for years. From tech to fashion, we have influencers across every industry or niche. We’ll use data-driven analytics to help you maximize your brand’s influencer marketing strategy and achieve your business goals.
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