How to Use Instagram for Your Business

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 figure means that 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:

  • Why you should create an Instagram Business account
  • How to use Instagram for your business successfully

Why You Need to Create an Instagram Business Account

Instagram offers two types of user accounts: personal accounts and business accounts. 

If you’re using a personal Instagram account to promote your company, you should switch to an Instagram Business account to access useful expanded features. With an Instagram Business account, you can add business hours and a store address to your bio. Business accounts also have an additional call to action buttons below the bio, like “message” and “email,” that personal accounts lack. Additionally, you can tag products in posts with an Instagram Business account.  

What does it cost to create an Instagram Business account? Nothing. Instagram Business accounts are completely free.

Take the first step in learning how to use Instagram for your business by creating an Instagram Business account. First, create an Instagram account. Then, convert your Instagram account into an Instagram Business account.

How to Use Instagram for Your Business Successfully 

Once you have your Instagram Business account set up, follow these tips to learn how to make the most of this powerful marketing, sales, and customer service tool.

1. Share Content Consistently

Share posts and Stories to Instagram on a regular basis. 

How should you use Instagram posts versus Instagram Stories?

Instagram posts stay on your profile forever (unless deleted), so they’re best used for updates with polished photos and evergreen content. Instagram Stories disappear after 24 hours (unless you save them to your Story Highlights) so you can be more playful with them. They’re great for behind-the-scenes looks at what you are working on. 

While Instagram lets you share multiple photos with each post, it’s best to limit the number of photos you include in a post to two or three. Avoid spamming your followers by posting no more than once a day. You can string together as many Stories as you’d like, and add new Stories as often as you’d like, without worrying about spamming followers because Stories are separate from the rest of the Feed. 

Videos in Instagram posts can be up to one minute long. Videos in Instagram Stories can be up to 15 seconds long.

You can use hashtags in both Instagram posts and Stories to expand your reach. On posts, it’s advisable to use several hashtags throughout the body of your caption, or add a collection of relevant hashtags to the end of a caption. On Stories, stick to one or two hashtag stickers to avoid clutter.

Use either medium to share photos and videos that resonate with your audience. Show off your products, services, and customers. Tap into trending topics with hashtags to reach new followers. No matter what you post, always stay true to your brand.

2. Use Instagram to Engage with Customers 

It’s important to engage with followers on Instagram because your followers could become your customers. Connect with followers by responding to their comments and DMs (direct messages).

People are increasingly using Instagram’s direct messaging feature to reach out to businesses and ask questions about products and services. Monitor your Instagram inbox regularly for customer questions. 

Instagram Business accounts that are also Professional Accounts come with two inbox tabs: Primary and General. All direct messages come to your Primary inbox first. You can move less urgent messages to the General inbox. You’ll receive notifications about unread messages in your Primary inbox, but not about unread messages in your General inbox. The two-tab inbox system for Instagram Business accounts helps professional Instagram users organize their DMs. 

Instagram is not only a marketing tool, but also a customer service tool.

3. Check Account Analytics with the Instagram Insights Feature

Having an Instagram Business account gives you exclusive access to Insights, Instagram’s analytics tool. Reach it by tapping the Insights button on your profile.

Here you can gain useful data like follower demographics, post engagement statistics, and the best day and time to share content. Use these insights to shape your content strategy.

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. 

You can launch and manage Instagram advertising campaigns through Facebook’s Ads Manager. Why Facebook? Facebook owns Instagram. Because many of its users also have Instagram accounts, Facebook has consolidated the networks’ advertising capabilities in one place.

Example of an Instagram ad

5. Sell Things via Instagram Shopping

Did you know that you can sell products directly through Instagram with a business account? 

When you activate Instagram Shopping features, you gain the ability to tag products in your posts and Stories. When followers or visitors to your account click a tagged product, they are taken to your website to complete their purchase.

Example of an Instagram post with tagged products

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.
  1. Link your Instagram Business account to your business’ Facebook page.
  2. Upload your product catalog via Facebook or your eCommerce platform.
  3. Alert Instagram that you want to set up a shop by submitting your account for review.
  4. Once you’ve been approved, you can activate Instagram Shopping features and start tagging products from your product catalog in your posts and Stories.

Instagram is more than just a photo-sharing social network. It’s also a marketing, customer service, and sales tool. An Instagram Business profile unlocks powerful features that let you run advertising campaigns, tag products in posts, and see account analytics.

Now that you know how to use Instagram for your business, open an Instagram Business account and implement these tips.
Do you want to sell merchandise through Instagram Shopping? You’ll need an eCommerce website. Build your online shop with Bluehost’s award-winning website hosting platform.

Desiree Johnson
Desiree Johnson | Content Specialist
Desiree Johnson is a Content Specialist at Bluehost where she writes helpful guides and articles, teaches webinars and assists with other marketing and WordPress community work.

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