Instagram For Business: Ultimate Guide
Instagram for Business is a free business profile that allows you to do things like getting real-time metrics on how your stories and promoted posts perform throughout the day, or followers gain and engagement so you understand how they interact with your posts and stories.
Another difference that distinguishes an Instagram Business profile from a personal one is the ability to add information about your company like business hours, location, and phone number.
And it’s easy to get started using it.
If you already own an Instagram profile, should you switch?
The added features that you get from having an Instagram business profile make it a superior experience for those looking to measure and improve their performance on the platform.
So much so in fact that many Instagram influencers and non-businesses are also adopting the changes and converting to Instagram business profiles.
This all means one thing. You need to make the switch, especially if you are a business on Instagram looking to connect with customers on the platform.
With the new and emerging favorite Instagram Stories, and new advertising features, Instagram has made its platform extremely attractive for businesses.
We’ll go over some of what makes Instagram for business so desirable here, and outline what you need to do to take full advantage of the opportunities to maximize your business’s performance on Instagram.
How do you set up a Business account on Instagram?
If you don’t already have an Instagram account, you can follow the steps below to create an Instagram business account.
- Download the Instagram app and open it.
- Sign up for an account
- When you have an account, log in, find settings, scroll down and select to Switch to Business Account.
If you already have an Instagram account, you can upgrade to a business account by merely navigating to your settings and selecting Switch to Business Account.
It’s that easy, and you can start taking advantage of everything Instagram for business has to offer.
Tips for Instagram for Business
Update and perfect your profile
We’ve gone over what makes up a great Instagram profile before.
But the elements remain the same for an Instagram for Business profile.
You’ll need to make sure that you put in the effort, in the beginning, to set up all of the essential parts for a successful pattern.
Select the perfect profile photo for your brand. It might be best to use your company’s logo, but if your an influencer you might try something a little more creative.
Decide on your username.
This will be the name that is preceded by the @ symbol on your profile. It’s also the unique identifier that will be in the URL for your Instagram profile.
This will ideally be your business’s name, but if taken, you’ll need to be a bit creative with how you vary it up.
Pick a unique account name.
This is most likely going to be the name of your business, but if that is taken, you could also append another word, like “store” to the end.
You might need to be creative, especially as Instagram continues to grow.
For your name, you have some more room to play with. Also, even if you make a mistake and set a name you don’t want - you can change it later.
Keep in mind that the Instagram name is indexed and discoverable in Instagram search, so you can place keywords in your name that will help you appear in the search for users.
Include a link to your website.
This will be the only clickable link that you are allowed to place in your Instagram profile so be wise about where you link your page visitors to.
If you have a landing page or a specific product page you want to direct users to, make sure you have a strategy, but get creative and take advantage of this valuable real estate.
Write a great bio.
This is where you will tell your page visitors about your business, who you are, what products you sell, what type of content you create, and why you are on Instagram. Make the 150 characters you are given by Instagram count here.
Utilize third-party integrations
If you use Shopify or other third-party services to help run your business look into whether or not they have integrations with Instagram.
If they do, you will want to leverage those to help make your business more productive on the platform.
By linking your account with third-party services, you can leverage features that these services have that may be absent from Instagram itself.
For example, with Shopify, you can take advantage of being able to make posts shoppable.
Being able to add your checkout experience to your Instagram business page is a dominant feature and one that would not be currently possible without a third party.
Look into the services you and your business use and research the tools they offer for Instagram.
You might find something that could add a lot of value to your page, or help you avoid doing extra work.
Set a Goal
What are you trying to accomplish on Instagram?
Most importantly to be successful with an Instagram business profile, think about what your goal is.
Are you looking to increase sales?
Are you looking to drive traffic to your website?
Do you want to have more people show up at your local brick-and-mortar store?
The answer to these questions will change the strategy and approach you’ll need to take on the platform.
Think wisely about your goal for your Instagram profile and develop your plan accordingly.
Pick the right niche
With so many brands on Instagram, and the number continues to grow, the competition is fierce, and it may seem like an uphill battle to gain traction and get attention.
To work your way up, you’ll need to start small.
Think about developing a loyal following at a lower level by leveraging niche hashtags. Instead of going directly for #fitness for example, maybe start with a local hashtag like #fitnessboston.
Think about developing a following at a smaller level and gain your followers and engagement there first.
Then you can think about scaling up your followers and starting to tackle more significant campaigns.
You’ll also want to think about engaging with your existing customers to help nurture and grow your base on Instagram.
You can help to make sure your existing fans know you’re on Instagram by cross-posting.
Instagram has made it very easy to share your photos and videos to Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, which, makes it easy to drive your existing followers on those sites to your Instagram page.
This is also a smart tactic to use if you have content that you know will do well on multiple channels.
There is also data to suggest that images shared to Facebook via Instagram receive more engagement than images just published directly to Facebook.
You might also try something more tactical, like looking towards your competitors.
Try reaching out and following your competitor’s followers. Like their posts, and leave helpful, kind, and insightful comments.
More likely than not you’ll be able to convert some of those engaged users into your followers.
If you don’t start small, it will be hard for you to overcome the initial hurdle of finding followers and nurturing engagement.
Sync your Instagram Business profile with your other social channels
If you have a presence on other social media or an email list, you should be letting those followers know about your Instagram!
Don’t let your followers on other services remain in the dark, and tell them about the excellent content you are creating on Instagram.
Let them know about the kind of material you are posting and what you hope to accomplish with your new Instagram for Business profile.
Most importantly, you’ll want to make sure your content is in sync with these other channels, so your brand seems organized and well put together.
Make sure you are posting at regular intervals.
If you are not active at the right times, people might stop visiting your page, or will miss your presence in their feed.
Because the Instagram feed is no longer in chronological order, it is more important than ever to get people to engage.
A great way to do this is to encourage them to be on the lookout for your content by remaining active.
Use metrics from your Instagram for Business page to learn when your posts are most successful. Is it in the morning, on weekends?
When you discover the optimum time for you to post content, keep doing it at this time, and keep doing it at regular intervals.
Once you establish a rhythm, it will be easier for you to engage with users.
Connect with Influencers
Leverage the power of famous power-users, or ‘influencers’, on the Instagram platform to help drive engagement to your business profile.
Look at people in your niche who have a large following and reach out to them to see if they will post to their audience on your behalf.
One way to get them to talk about your brand is to send samples of your product.
If you send them something they usually do reviews of on their page, they are likely to try your product as well and show it to their audience.
These kinds of activities could pay off big time for your brand and resonate with broad audiences your may not have had access to otherwise.
Take the time to discover users who are creating great content on Instagram in your desired niches and think about reaching out to leverage them for partnerships, takeovers, or send them a sample.
Get creative with how you interact with these Instagram power users.
Leverage Instagram ads
Buying ads on Instagram is also an effective means for generating new business. If your goal is to build awareness, get more website visits, or increase sales, Instagram ads can help.
Because ads are a paid medium you will see a different kind of engagement, but they also allow you to cast a wider net than just organic engagement alone, and they are the main reason why Instagram is becoming such a compelling platform as it grows its user base.
Boost results with growth service
If you are not so much into ads but don’t want to miss out on accelerated growth, a perfectly balanced solution is Instagram growth service.
It will help you to automate proactive engagement, gain exposure to your product or service and bring steady growth of followers.
Instagram is growing, and becoming a more friendly place for business.
With more features for businesses like added metrics, the time to switch to an Instagram business profile and start getting your content right is now.
Developing your profile and generating an audience is relatively straightforward, but requires some strategy and goals to get right.
Ensuring you’ve looked at all the features being added to Instagram and what third-party services you use, the offer as well as a good step towards making sure you aren’t leaving any opportunities on the table.
Now is the perfect time to switch to an Instagram for Business profile.
So go ahead and make the switch already.
Your business has little to lose and everything to gain.
Karen is a senior technical writer and copywriter here at GrowFollowing. Her area of expertize are social media apps and new media.