Social media has become an essential tool for businesses big and small to reach their existing customers and attract new ones. Used in the right way, it can not only offer a richer experience for people who love your brand, but it’s also an effective way to generate more sales. With a business account, you also gain access to invaluable data and insights, so you can discover what’s working and what’s not with your content.
Below we’ve put together a short guide on how to use Instagram for business, so you can engage your audience and become one of more than 200 million business accounts people visit every day.
Instagram for Business: How to Create an Account
First thing’s first, you’ll need to set up a business account on Instagram if you haven’t already. It’s quick and easy to do, simply create a personal account, then switch it to a business account. Or, if you have a personal account for your business already, jump to step four to learn how to switch it to a business profile.
Download the Instagram app if you don’t have it.
Click sign up and enter your email (ideally your business email).
Choose a username and password. To make it easier for customers to find you, try to use your business name as your username, if it’s available.
Now you’ve created an account, go to your profile and click the 3 lines in the top right corner.
Click ‘Settings’ then ‘Switch to business profile’.
Don’t forget to add a profile picture, a short bio about your company, and a link to your website. This could be the first time someone is introduced to your business, so first impressions count – and useful information is key here.
Instagram for Business: Tools and Features
Over the years Instagram has launched a wide range of tools and features, designed to help you engage with your customers. Here are some of the more popular ones, and how to use them.
There’s an extensive library of fun ways to engage your audience with Stories. You can simply share your recent post or create something more interactive such as a Poll, Question Stickers, or Reaction Sliders. Each Story is customisable with captions, images, and filters – you can even tag a person or brand if needed (perhaps for a partnership).
Instagram ReelsRelatively new to the scene, Reels are short, snappy videos that sit in-feed with a link out to watch more, as opposed to the top scroll bar like Stories. With a maximum of 60 seconds, these bite-sized clips are a great way to showcase things like new products, sneak peeks, behind-the-scenes, and team updates. You can also include audio and visual effects from a wide-ranging library to make your Reel really stand out.
One of the main ways to build your followers and attract new customers is through Instagram Ads, which are placed in the feeds of non-followers who have similar interests to your brand. These can take three different forms and give you an opportunity to get your name out there. You can create a simple photo ad, a video ad, or a carousel ad that allows you to showcase multiple images. Each features a button inviting people to learn more about your business.
The ultimate way to drive sales is through shoppable posts. Simply create a catalogue of your products connected to your account – either through Facebook or Shopify – then you can tag individual items in your posts, which people can then buy directly from you. This is a great way to highlight your full range, particularly the products people might not know you sell.
Instagram for Business: Best Practice
When it comes to posting and sharing on Instagram there are some rules of best practices to follow, to get the most out of your content. Below are some top considerations.
Use professional-looking images to show you mean business
Use relatable hashtags to reach a wider audience on Instagram
Reply to your followers to show you’re always there and listening
Tag, comment, like, and DM other users to build a richer community
Run promos and giveaways to drive engagement with your followers
Stay on-brand and always post content relevant to you and your products
Embed your Instagram content on your website to generate more followers
Include an Instagram button on your website to generate more followers
Remember: links don’t work on posts (include multiple links in your bio with tools like linktree)
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