Back to Basics: How to Use Instagram for Business

Back to Basics: How to Use Instagram for Business

Published on 30th of January 2024

You’ve decided to launch your business, and now you’re thinking about all the ways you can market your business to your audience. To hit the ground running, you’re ready to access all the tools that social media has to offer.

However, if you haven’t created a strategy for your business on Instagram, you won’t be able to maximize a staggering amount of resources. With over a billion people using Instagram at least once a month, you’ll want to get your brand on the platform.

You likely already have a personal account on Instagram, and you will likely follow at least one brand on that account. But there’s a big difference between what your personal account can do and what an Instagram Business account can offer.

We’ll explore how to use all of Instagram’s features for your business, but first, let’s talk about why your personal Instagram account won’t cut it.

Why Do You Need a Business Account on Instagram?

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The amount of features that Instagram offers through its Business account versus what you get with a personal account is staggering. While you will lose the ability to make posts private and link several Facebook profiles, you will gain many more features in return. From the ability to advertise to analyzing your content engagement, a Business account delivers the basic tools you need to get started with your own marketing.

In addition to analytics and ads, you can also create an Instagram Shop. In this feature, you can tag products in your posts, add links, use the swipe-up feature, and include Call to Action buttons. All of these features come along with nearly all of the capabilities of a personal account, such as Stories, carousels, Reels, pin posts, and more.

Now let’s look at how to set up your Business Account.

Set Up Your Business Account

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Your first step in using Instagram to promote your business is to set up your Business account. You may want to set up a Facebook Business page prior to doing this step so that you can link that Facebook page to your Instagram account. When you log into your Instagram account, you’ll see what’s commonly called a hamburger menu on the top left (three stacked lines). Tap that menu, and scroll down to select “Add Account.” You can then proceed to tap “Create New Account” and follow the prompts. You’ll see an option to create a Business account or a Creator account. In some cases, a Creator account may be more suitable, but the Business account offers the most benefit for most brands.

Some people find it easier to simply convert their personal accounts into a Business account. In contrast, other Instagram users want to maintain their connections with family and friends in the platform while driving their brand in a separate space.

Define Your Brand Strategy on Instagram

The benefit of marketing your business on Instagram is that there are so many active users on the platform. Ironically, the drawback to marketing your business on Instagram is also that there are so many active users. You may have trouble finding your place if you don’t have a clear brand message or aesthetic. Take some time in the beginning stages to define what your brand is and who your brand is for. Answering these questions will help you clarify important factors like how your brand looks, who you interact with, and what style your content will be.

It is absolutely vital to determine who you will be trying to reach. Some brands and products work best by embracing very specific niches, while others are more broadly-based. It can be tempting to think you have to get in front of as many eyes as possible right away, but for many brands, a winning strategy is to seek out people for whom they can be most relevant.

Build a Robust Bio

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Think of your Bio as you would the main page on your website. You want it to be as impactful as possible without presenting too much extraneous information. There are a few critical elements in your Bio that require special attention:

  • Your Profile Picture

    Many brands opt to use a specially designed logo for this space. Some brands use a photo instead. However, if you choose to use an image, make sure it is professional and on-brand.

  • Your Bio

    Take the time to craft a short but engaging description of your brand and what you can offer. You’ll also want to include a Call to Action, which will prompt your audience to click, visit, shop, etc. Many businesses also include a link and two to three hashtags. Because this is a lot of information, you’ll need to think carefully about how to convey a meaningful message in just a few words.

  • Key Hashtags

    In your Bio, you can include a few hashtags relevant to your business category. However, remember that this is also an opportunity to create your own unique hashtag, which can be easily seen in your Bio. You can also use this unique hashtag when posting your content or interacting with other people’s content.

Check in on Your Competitors

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So many other people market their businesses on Instagram, but that doesn’t mean you will find it difficult to succeed. Consider these competitors as resources to help you figure out what will work for you and what won’t. By reviewing your competitors’ accounts, you can see who follows them when they post and the types of posts that get the most likes.

Keep in mind that your goal is not to copy your competitors entirely. Your objective is to see what strategies are working for them so you can adapt them to your own aesthetic and product.

Use All the Tools Instagram Has to Offer

When you’re just starting out, you don’t know for sure which tools will work well for you. It’s okay to experiment and see what clicks for your brand. Once you’ve got the hang of the basics, start creating a content calendar and think about third-party apps that can help you stay organized and look professional. You’ll want to create content on a consistent basis. Finally, think about your Instagram grid. After all, appearances matter on Instagram, and you want followers to engage with more than one post.

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