Instagram isn’t just a platform for sharing photos and videos that will make your friends envious of your fabulous life. It’s also a powerful marketing tool for businesses.
One billion people around the world use Instagram each month. Of those one billion people, 9 in 10 follow a business on Instagram. This means your business has the potential to reach 900 million people on this visual-focused social media platform.
Are you not quite sure how to use Instagram for your business? No sweat! This guide will teach you how to use Instagram for your business successfully.
Why you need to create an Instagram Business account
Instagram offers three types of user accounts: personal, business, and creator. If you first create an account, it will default to a personal profile. However, you can choose to convert a personal profile to a business or creator account at any time.
As a business owner, it’s better to convert to a business account. Because this profile is intended for businesses that make money and sell products or services. The creator account on the other hand is meant for influencers. However, both professional accounts offer extra features. For example, you get access to Instagram Insights and extra contact buttons.
Owning a business Instagram account gives you another huge benefit: API access. This means you can schedule posts in advance and use third-party analytics to see how well your posts are performing. Creator profiles don’t get this access.
What does it cost to create an Instagram business account? Nothing! It’s completely free. So if you’re using a personal account to promote your company, you should switch to an Instagram Business account right now!
How to set up an Instagram Business account
First, create an Instagram account. Then, convert your Instagram account into an Instagram Business account.
Once you have your account set up, follow these tips to learn how to make the most of this powerful marketing, sales, and customer service tool.
5 tips on how to use Instagram for your business
1. Share content consistently
Our number one tip: Share posts, stories and reels to Instagram on a regular basis. Because if you post regularly, your audience will see more of your brand. You’ll stay top-of-mind.
However, it’s important that you avoid spamming your followers. Don’t post more than once a day. If you really want to show more than one picture, you can share multiple photos in a post. But keep in mind that people won’t swipe forever. Try to limit the number of photos you include in one post.
Stories are another matter, however. You can upload as many stories as you’d like, and add new ones as often as you’d like, without worrying about spamming followers. This is because stories are separate from the rest of Instagram’s feed.
Instagram posts, stories and reels
So, what’s the difference between posts, stories, and reels? Instagram posts and reels stay on your profile forever (unless deleted), so they’re best used for updates with polished and evergreen content. Stories, however, disappear after 24 hours (unless you save them to your story highlights) so you can be more playful. They’re great for behind-the-scenes looks at what you are working on.
2. Use Instagram to engage with your customers
Instagram is not only a marketing tool, but also a customer service tool. And it’s important to treat it as such, because your followers could become customers. So schedule in time to respond to comments and direct messages (DMs). The latter is especially frequently used to ask questions about products and services. That’s why it’s important to monitor your Instagram inbox regularly.
Instagram business accounts come with two inbox tabs: Primary and general. This two-tab inbox system helps professional Instagram users organize their DMs. Direct messages from people you follow come into your Primary inbox first. You can move less urgent messages to your General inbox. You’ll receive notifications about unread messages in your Primary inbox, but you can turn them off in the settings. The General inbox has notifications automatically turned off.
In addition, you also have a tab called ‘Message requests’. Requests are direct messages from accounts you don’t follow. You can choose to accept or deny these requests. If you accept a message, you can then move it into the Primary or General tabs.
3. Check account analytics with Instagram Insight
Having an Instagram Business account gives you exclusive access to Instagram’s analytics tool Insights. You can reach it by tapping the Insights button on your profile.
Here, you can gain useful data like follower demographics, engagement statistics, and the best day and time to share content. If applicable, insights and metrics about your account include paid activity as well. Use these insights to shape your content strategy.
In addition, you can click View insights under individual posts, videos, and reels to view specific insights into that piece of content. For example, interactions, accounts reached and engaged, etc.
4. Run an ad campaign on Instagram
Running ads is another feature that is exclusive to Instagram Business accounts. Even an Instagram advertising campaign with a modest budget can produce great results. It can help you meet goals like increasing post reach or selling more products and services. What’s more, you can set your own budget. And you can adjust the budget at any time, making it an ideal marketing tool for small businesses.
You can launch and manage Instagram advertising campaigns through Facebook’s Ads Manager. Why Facebook? Because Facebook owns Instagram. Because many of its users also have Instagram accounts, Facebook has consolidated the networks’ advertising capabilities in one place.
5. Sell products via Instagram Shopping
Did you know that you can sell products directly through Instagram with a business account? That’s right! With this feature, your audience can easily purchase your products by simply clicking on your posts and stories. So, how does it work? When you activate the Instagram Shopping feature, you gain the ability to tag products in your posts and stories. When your audience clicks on the tags, they’re taken to your website to complete their purchase.
So, how can you enable Instagram Shopping features on your account?
1. Confirm whether or not you are eligible to sell on Instagram. There are limits for certain industries.
2. Link your Instagram Business account to your business’ Facebook page.
3. Upload your product catalog via Facebook or your eCommerce platform.
4. Alert Instagram that you want to set up a shop by submitting your account for review.
5. Once you’ve been approved, you can activate Instagram Shopping features and start tagging products from your product catalog in your posts and Stories.
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Conclusion: a great tool for your business
Instagram is more than just a photo-sharing social network. It’s also a powerful marketing, customer service, and sales tool. Especially if you create an Instagram Business profile. You unlock useful features that let you run advertising campaigns, tag products in posts, and see account analytics. So what are you waiting for?