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On Oct. 6, 2020, Instagram celebrated its 10th anniversary. In the past decade, the social media landscape has evolved significantly, but Instagram remains one of the most essential social media marketing tools.

Having an Instagram for your small business is one of the best ways to promote your brand and connect with customers. And if you’re late to the game, don’t worry. 

It’s never too late to get started on Instagram. 

With a few clicks, you can switch your profile or create an Instagram business account. From there, you should take the time to develop a content plan and marketing strategy to make the most out of your account.

Once you learn Instagram for business best practices, you can establish your company’s presence on the platform. 

Check out the best Instagram tips in our small business Instagram guide. Read on to learn:

  • Why Instagram is important  
  • How to set up an Instagram business account 
  • What you need for an Instagram marketing strategy 
  • The best content to post on Instagram for small business 
  • Best practices for business on Instagram

Why Your Small Business Needs Instagram 

Social media’s necessity is no secret, and Instagram is one of the best social media accounts for businesses. According to Instagram, 90% of its more than 1 billion users follow a company. 

Creating an Instagram for your small business can help elevate your company in myriad ways, including:

  • Conversion
  • Engagement
  • Increasing website traffic
  • Branding
  • Personalization 
  • Content creation
  • Advertising 
  • Building trust 
  • Sharing announcements and updates
  • Customer connection  
  • Gathering feedback 
  • Showing off creativity

Not having an Instagram presence is a way to stand out, albeit negatively. Customers expect brands to have social media accounts, which can hurt your company if you don’t. 

Retail TouchPoints reports 72% of Instagram users make purchase choices based on the content they saw on the platform. Instagram says 60% of its users find new products on the application. 

Furthermore, Instagram supports small businesses, and it encourages its users to do the same. The platform makes it easy to use Instagram for small businesses with a suite of Instagram business tools.

Instagram Business Accounts 

Switching from a personal account to a business account is a best practice for businesses on Instagram because of the value it brings to your profile. 

Not only does an Instagram business account lend credibility to your business, but it also opens up new features, such as in-depth analytics and adding links to your stories. With a business account, you can also advertise on Instagram and link products in your posts. 

Users can interact directly with a business on Instagram with the contact buttons in business profiles. They can also shop in the app and see products with the View Shop button, like the one seen in Bath and Body Works’ bio. Customers can then search for products in the shop.

Take advantage of these perks by setting up a business account for your company. And luckily, you don’t have to start from square one if you already have an Instagram account. 

How To Change Instagram to Business Account

  • Go to your Instagram Settings and tap Account 
  • At the bottom of the screen, you’ll see Switch to Professional Account in blue text
  • Click continue to go through the prompts and learn more about the account 
  • Choose the category your company falls under 
  • Select Business account 
  • Look over your contact information 
  • Link a Facebook page to your account 
  • Finish setting up your profile 

If, for whatever reason, you need to switch back to a personal account, you can do that under the account settings. 

Create an Instagram Marketing Strategy

Now that you know how to create an Instagram for your small business, it’s time to plan how to use it. A marketing strategy for Instagram guides your account and helps you figure out what to post. 

As with any strategy, defining your goal is the best place to start. Instagram for small businesses can help you achieve any number of goals. Once you settle on the specific objectives, you can create your strategy. 

Ideas for your Instagram marketing strategy include: 

  • Building a community by engaging your audience with thoughtful captions 
  • Giving your product more context with video tutorials 
  • Showing off your company’s personality with unique posts 
  • Increasing conversions with shoppable posts
  • Enhancing brand awareness with curated content

Defining your target audience is also an Instagram for business best practice. 

Once you know who you’re aiming to reach, you can tailor your content to fit that audience. Different social media platforms are better for particular audiences, so ensure your Instagram content is targeted at its key demographics.  

Creating a social media calendar goes a long way, as well. It helps you plan out your posts and ensure you’re posting consistently. Setting up a calendar can give you time to prepare for events, such as holidays and product launches. 

Schedule frequent check-ins so you can update and adapt your strategy and content plan. 

What Content To Post on Instagram for Small Business

Content is one of the best ways to build your Instagram following. If you post quality content, it’ll be easier to amass followers because they’ll want to see what you share. It’s an Instagram for business best practice to be thoughtful with the content you post. 

There are various ideas for the types of content you could post that all depend on your brand and goals, such as:

  • How-tos 
  • Behind the scenes 
  • Q&As
  • Customer testimonials 
  • Giveaways and contests
  • Product tutorials 
  • Sneak peeks
  • User-generated content
  • Announcements 
  • Trending topics 

Instagram helps give your customers insight into your brand and tells them your personality, aesthetic, passions, and story. 

Go beyond just promoting your product into what your brand represents. Red Bull and GoPro are two companies that have a physical product. But their Instagram pages capture adventure, adrenaline, and action. 

Post what your audience cares about. If you run a business that sells rock climbing equipment, it’s a good bet your customers care about rock climbing. You can share information about the sport, interviews with rock climbers, tips, stories, reviews, or even memes. 

Don’t despair if you think your business doesn’t lend easily to content. There are still plenty of ways to take advantage. You can post customer testimonials, interviews, graphics, quotes, or animations that always capture the essence of your company and brand. 

If you need more inspiration, look at your competitors’ social media profiles or brands you admire. 

Instagram for Business Best Practices 

To make the most out of your Instagram marketing, here are some of the best Instagram for business tips. 

Craft the Perfect Bio

Your Instagram bio is essential because it is one of the only places you can put a link. So there’s a good chance you’ll be directing people to it often. Moreover, this is where you establish your company. 

Use the 150 character space strategically. Introduce people to your company and tell them what to do once they land on your page with a call to action. 

Post More Than Just Photos — Create Videos, Stories, Reels 

Remember that Instagram is more than just photos. Diversify your posts by using video posts or IGTV, which lets you post up to 60-minute videos. Stories are also valuable tools on Instagram for businesses, with one-third of the most-viewed Instagram Stories posted by companies. 

And don’t forget about Reels, Instagram’s competitor to TikTok, which companies are gaining popularity with, such as Louis Vuitton

Engage With Your Followers

Social media is about being social. Take the opportunity to talk to your customers and interact with them. Ask questions in your posts, create polls, put interactive stickers on your stories, and respond to comments from your audience.

Create an Aesthetic 

Try to follow a visual aesthetic with what you post so if someone looks at your page, it looks cohesive when tiled together. Make sure the photos flow together, and use similar fonts and accent colors like Under Armour’s use of red and white, which are used in its logo. 

Use Hashtags Strategically

Hashtags are still one of the best features to use on Instagram to connect with certain audiences. Plus, users can follow a specific hashtag to see similar content. 

Use hashtags for your product, industry, location, and other relevant details. Follow Instagram for business best practices, and don’t overload your posts with several hashtags. You can use up to 30, but your posts look spammy with too many. The sweet spot is around 11 hashtags

Consider creating a brand-specific hashtag like #ShareACoke. It helps with branding and is an excellent way to connect with customers and find user-generated content, to share on your page with their permission. 

Instagram for small businesses is an excellent tool to help you succeed with goals, including promotion, conversions, awareness, and content creation. The possibilities of the platform can be tailored to your company’s needs and creativity. 

Devote time to creating an Instagram marketing strategy and think about what kind of content you want to post. Make use of an Instagram business account and keep in mind all the different methods to optimize your account, like hashtags and a comprehensive bio. 

By following tips for Instagram for business best practices, you can grow your following and boost your business.

Do you want to enhance your presence online? Get started with a Bluehost hosting package today.

  • Machielle Thomas

    Machielle is a content enthusiast who has a passion for bridging the gap between audiences and brands through impactful storytelling. Machielle has also spoken at dozens of WordCamps throughout the years.

    Texas State University
    Previous Experience
    Brand Content, Content Marketing, Brand Lead, Operations Lead, Course Instructor
    Other publications
    Shopify, Contently
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