Fifty percent of Instagram users have visited a company’s website to make a purchase after seeing that product or service on the social media platform. This means if your business isn’t on Instagram, you’re missing out on sales.
Instagram is the world’s biggest photo-sharing app, but it’s also an incredibly effective marketing tool. More and more businesses have realized that Instagram gives them a direct channel to their audience.
However, if it’s all new to you, you might be wondering how to use Instagram for business. Don’t worry, though, as the app is intuitive and easy to use.
Keep reading to find 11 helpful tips for starting and growing your business Instagram account.
- Start By Setting Up Your Profile
If you’re brand new to using Instagram, the first thing you need to do is create a profile for your business. This will be your company’s ‘home’ on Instagram where you can follow others and they can follow you back.
The setup process is simple, but be sure to create a business account, not a personal one. This is because business accounts have more abilities. They can access analytics data, create advertising campaigns, and sell products directly through the app.
If you’ve accidentally set up your profile as personal, don’t worry—it’s simple to switch between the two.
Note that Instagram software is app-based, so you need to use the app predominantly via a smartphone or tablet, but you can share access so multiple staff are able to post.
- Understand the Lingo
New users to Insta (that’s short for Instagram!) can sometimes be confused by the terminology.
The first is bio, which is the biography section of your profile. Be sure to complete this with details about your business, your company website URL, and any hashtags that are associated with your brand.
Hashtags are words or phrases that help Instagram categorize photos. They can be broad, like #travel, or very specific. Of course, the broader hashtags have more images attached to them.
Your handle is your username and will always start with the @ symbol. When setting up your account, you’ll get to decide on your username.
Ideally, this should be the same as your business name (or very similar), so that it’s easier for customers to search and find you on the platform.
There are more terms you’ll come across, but you’re sure to figure them out as you go.
- Start Sharing Amazing Photos
This is one of our biggest tips for businesses using Instagram: Instagram for business is all about putting your best foot forward, so make a good impression by sharing only professional, great-looking photos and videos.
Sure, many of your photos will be of your products and services, but you don’t need to limit your Instagram feed to that. You can also share photos of your customers enjoying the products or even ‘mood board’ type images that evoke feelings of your brand.
Looking for a few tips for taking nice Instagram photos? We recommend investing in a high-quality camera, using natural light, and thinking about the angles of the subject you’re photographing.
It’s also a good idea to use editing software, like Lightroom, to edit your shots and make them look their best before posting. On your grid, you can share photos, videos, and reels, which are longer videos.
- Have Fun With Instagram Stories
Another tip we have to share is about Instagram stories—use them! Unlike feed images, which start in your grid permanently, stories allow you to share fleeting photos or videos that only last 24 hours.
Because they’re temporary, you can have fun with them, creating insightful stories that your followers can watch. They’re a great source of marketing data as well, since you can poll your audience with stories or ask them questions.
You can save your best stories as ‘highlights’, which will show up on the top of your profile page, above your grid.
- Engage With Your Followers
To build up your follower number and get high engagement on your posts, you need to engage with your followers! Instagram is all about being social, so you can’t just sit back and post photos, and then wait for your follower count to grow.
There are lots of ways to engage with others, such as replying to comments, asking questions, liking photos that are related to your brand, and following accounts.
Another great way to interact with your audience is by hosting a giveaway or competition. For example, ask followers to share their favorite image of themselves with your product, and then offer a prize for the best image!
- Use the Right Hashtags
To succeed with Instagram for business, you need to make use of hashtags. The right hashtags will help new users discover your profile, which can lead to new inquiries and increased sales.
Many companies create their own hashtag, such as the business name. By encouraging followers to use your hashtag, you’re essentially getting free advertising!
Plus, you can often share images taken by customers on your own account (with permission), which is a great way to generate more content for your page.
- Use Instagram to Run Ads
One of the biggest Instagram benefits is advertising. You can run paid ads through Instagram that let you specifically target your preferred demographic.
Set your own budget and duration, and then select the age range, gender, location, and interests of the type of people you want to target. Once approved, your ad will be shown to them.
Because Instagram is owned by Facebook, their ad payment systems are linked. So, if you already use Facebook ads, it’ll be simple to start Instagram ads.
- Use the Shop Tab to Sell Products
An amazing feature for business users is the ability to sell products directly through Instagram. You can set up the shop tab, which allows you to tag products in your photos that customers can purchase.
When users click on the tag, it links them through to the specific page on your website where they can purchase the item.
Everyone loves a fun impulse purchase, so make it easy for your customers by using the shop tab. Any business can use them, but they work particularly well in the beauty, fashion, home decor, and pet product industries.
- Think About Hiring a Social Media Manager
If all of the above sounds like a lot of work, that’s because it is! Doing Instagram well can be very time-consuming.
That’s why many companies hire a social media manager to look after their accounts. It makes it easier for you to concentrate on running your business and it means customers that are sending you messaging or asking questions will get replies sooner.
- Try Out Influencer Marketing
If you want to increase sales and reach a new audience, think about trying out influencer marketing. Essentially, this means working with individuals with very large Instagram followings.
They’ll share a post with their audience about your product, describing how great it is. Hopefully, this will encourage their audience to check it out for themselves.
The key to successful Instagram influencer marketing is to work with influencers who are genuine, have a high engagement rate, and have an audience similar to your own. That way, their followers are more likely to be interested in your product or service.
- Promote Your Instagram Account to Your Customers
Once your Instagram is up and running, be sure to promote it to your followers! You want them to follow you back, so consider adding your handle to some of your marketing collateral.
Cross-promote your Instagram account on your website and other social media channels. You can even add your Insta to your receipts or invoices where customers are sure to notice it.
Learning How to Use Instagram Is Easy With This Guide
We hope this guide helps not only learn how to use Instagram, but also how to use it successfully! It’s one of the most popular social media platforms in the world, so think of it as an essential component of your digital marketing strategy.
While it may take some time to figure out the look and feel you want for your account, you can then start growing your following. Instagram can lead to improved brand awareness, higher sales, and even free publicity, so get started today!
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