Instagram For Business: The Complete Guide [Updated For 2021]
Instagram for business is a powerful tool that can help your company’s visibility and sales skyrocket. Over the years, Instagram has evolved into a platform that’s almost tailor-made for brands to showcase their products and services.
The option to switch to an Instagram business account and use Instagram tools for checking insights and running advertisements has been life changing for companies, influencers, and brands. With one billion users already on the platform, many are utilizing Instagram for business while others use the platform for personal reasons.
By now if you’re not using an Instagram business account to market your brand or company, you should be.
The brands who are taking advantage of an Instagram business account and Instagram tools are going to be ahead of those who aren’t. It’s time to jump in and get a piece of the action. 70% of users regularly search Instagram for brands and products, which only emphasizes the importance of using Instagram for business.
We recognize switching to an Instagram business account is a powerful tool, so here are specific reasons your company should make moves and switch to Instagram for business.
Why Use Instagram For Business?
You might be wondering whether Instagram for business is as beneficial for your brand as everyone says. Is learning how to use Instagram tools even worth your time? Does gaining more followers on Instagram correlate to more customers for your business? The answer to all of these questions is absolutely, but you don’t have to take our word for it.
Let’s look at some statistics that prove why you should be utilizing the Instagram tools and using Instagram for business.
Drive More Sales
To be competitive in your market, you should have a business account. A personal page is just that, for personal use. One of the biggest reasons businesses use Instagram tools is because it drives more sales and increases their overall revenue. 83 percent of people use Instagram to discover new products or services, and 81 percent of people also do their research on those products using Instagram.
Additionally, 30 percent of users have bought a product they discovered on Instagram. These numbers solidify the power Instagram for business can have for your brand.
Utilizing an Instagram account for your business is an incredible way to promote your products. Lately, Instagram tools such as product tags make it even easier for brands to sell on Instagram.
One company reported that their business on Instagram generated $332,640 in sales in three months. If you start using the platform correctly, you will gain more followers on Instagram and then start seeing those followers converting into customers. Using an Instagram business account is vital for driving sales to your website from this social media platform.
Not capitalizing on this is doing your company a disservice. The Instagram business account was created for a reason, so use it!
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Establishing your business on Instagram increases your brand’s visibility. Increasing your brand’s visibility, helps more people become familiar with who you are and what you do. Teens, millennials, and adults are all on Instagram, so no matter who you’re trying to reach, you can do it with this social platform.
With one billion monthly users, Instagram is arguably the most powerful marketing platforms. By posting frequently about your brand, you can make your voice heard and target it towards people who may be interested in your business, bringing in more followers on Instagram. Creating a brand image online using Instagram tools will directly result in ROI.
One of the key aspects of increasing visibility and ultimately more followers on Instagram, is through posting unique and quality content. It may seem obvious but this is more crucial now than ever with the increased popularity of this platform. To stand out with an Instagram business account, be original, have a brand theme, and produce content that brings value to the viewer.
With an Instagram business account, you can check insights to gage your audience, and ensure the right people are seeing your post. What good is it to have more followers on Instagram if they aren’t in your target audience?
Insights is one of the most powerful of the Instagram tools, allowing you to specifically see who is engaging and viewing your content, and helping you create a killer Instagram marketing strategy.
Connect With Your Customers
Prior to social media, brands didn’t have as many opportunities to connect with their customers as easily as they do today. Now, simply getting more followers on Instagram can lead to in-depth conversations with customers around the world.
What does this look like on Instagram? Conversations via DM’s, comments on a post, and interactions through polls or quizzes on your Instagram Stories can help you get to know your customers a little more and help them get to know you.
It’s no secret connecting with customers is important, so why not utilize Instagram for business to help you get there? Listen to what your customers are saying so you can adjust your future ideas according to their wants and needs.
With more followers on Instagram, you’re subjecting your company to more potential customers and feedback. Customers feel valued when brands connect with them personally, so implementing strategies and using Instagram tools to reach them is imperative.
In short, customer-company interaction is a win-win for everybody, and using an Instagram business account is a great platform to facilitate those interactions. Instagram for business allows brands to market products and engage with customers all on the same platform, which differs from traditional advertising and shopping patterns.
How To Use Instagram For Business
If you’re new at the whole Instagram for business thing, don’t worry! We’re going to walk you through exactly how to set up an Instagram business account.
(Note: these screenshots are from the Instagram app, so if you’re creating an account on desktop, it may look a little different.)
First, choose a username; it may take a few tries to land on a username that’s not already taken. Once you have a username, create a password and then add the phone number or email address you want to be associated with the account — Instagram will send a verification code to that number or email.
Once you’ve entered the verification code, Instagram will also offer you the option to connect with your Facebook friends and contacts, which you may or may not want to do. After that, you’re in — you officially have an Instagram account.
Now you have a profile, but it’s not yet an Instagram business account.
Go to your profile on the bottom right-hand corner of the screen click into Settings by tapping the three lines in the upper right-hand corner.
From there, tap “Account” and “Switch to Professional Account.” You’ll be prompted to choose whether you are a creator (like an artist or influencer) or a business (a retailer, brand, etc).
Click “Next” on whichever choice best describes you and follow the prompts to choose a category. Instagram will then ask you to review your contact info and connect with your business Facebook page. Then, you’ll officially have an Instagram business account.
Now that your Instagram business account is set up, it’s time to optimize it. Fill out your bio with information on your business — where you’re located, what you do, and any other important details people need to know. T
his is like your elevator pitch for your business account, so make it count! This is one of the Instagram tools that will tell users who you are and what you stand for as a business.
Your bio should convey your brand’s unique personality and show your audience what they’re signing up for by following your account.
Putting a link in your bio is also important. If you’re just starting out on Instagram, link to your website homepage. Later, you may want to link to a specific product page or landing page to promote a good deal.
Third party link-in-bio sites can create a dedicated landing page with multiple links to your other social media channels, your website, affiliate websites etc.
When you include a hashtag or “@” followed by a username in your bio it will lead visitors to the specified hashtag or another profile. The bonus to this feature is that you can use your personal Instagram bio to promote your Instagram business account.
Finally, once your Instagram business account is set up and your profile is optimized, start focusing on analytics.
Want to organically grow your Instagram and gain REAL followers?
Analytics is one of the Instagram tools that can help you understand your audience and post content that caters to them, equaling more web traffic and sales.
Track your analytics using the Insights tab (located under the three black lines at the upper right-hand corner of your profile) and let those statistics guide you as you continue tweaking and perfecting your Instagram for business strategy over time.
The activity tab allows you to know if people are viewing your profile and clicking your website links. The ‘audience’ tab lets you see your account’s growth. Analytics is one of the many perks of using Instagram for business.
Instagram For Business: Best Practices
Now that your Instagram business account is ready to go, there are a few things you need to focus on to get more Instagram followers and make sales.
Hashtags are a great way to help more people find your account and gain more followers on Instagram. They’re a powerful tool, but only if used correctly; select relevant hashtags with a purpose behind each one, instead of simply filling in anything you can think of. Relevant hashtags will help categorize your posts and get them in the hands of your target audience.
If you aren’t sure where to start, use a hashtag generator to get a list of potential tags. Then narrow it down to a smaller number — the right number of hashtags to use per post varies from brand to brand, but could range from seven to 30 — and do some testing to see which hashtags perform best (tap “view insights” on a certain post to see how many people found that post via hashtags).
Hashtags can be used in post copy, in the comments, and in stories to draw more followers on Instagram to your account.
With so many companies using Instagram for business, this hashtag categorization system, if used effectively, can really help your account get noticed.
Choose A Theme
Every business needs an on-brand Instagram theme that includes a defined brand voice, color scheme, type of content, and more. A consistent theme will make your brand easily recognizable to your followers and will give your feed a cohesive look, inviting users to follow along.
The end goal is to gain more followers on Instagram to promote your brand to the most people possible, so choosing a consistent theme is key.
Choose a certain tone of voice to use in your captions — playful and sassy if that works for your brand, or maybe laid-back and mellow. Then pick what type of content you’re going to post. Videos? Photos? Graphics? A mixture of the above?
If you choose graphics, be consistent with the colors and fonts you use; and if you choose photos, use Instagram tools for photo editing such as VSCO or Lightroom to edit each photo the same way.
Instagram’s relatively new product tags feature offers a great way to showcase your products on Instagram. When you tag a product, people looking at your post can tap the photo and see a tag with the name and price of each product.
They can tap a specific tag to see a full description of the product, and from there, choose to view the product on the website.
Since Facebook acquired Instagram, Instagram business account users get to reap the benefits of Facebook’s superior campaign customization options, diverse formatting, and incredible targeting capabilities. Instagram ads are beneficial and help you gain more followers.
You can create Instagram ads from your Facebook Ads Manager or straight on the Instagram app itself. As you design the ads, ensure they’re engaging and fit the theme of your other posts.
You want users to stop in their scrolling tracks and read what you have to say about your product or company.
Including a call-to-action (such as xfinity’s “Shop Now” button) gives users the opportunity to directly shop your brand’s product. Instagram users are not only more willing to engage, but also likely to recall more ads compared to other social networks. These users will see your advertisement, remember the product, and hopefully purchase it.
Instagram Ads are the ideal solution to help expose your brand. Please note that only an Instagram business account has the power to run advertisements. Your personal account does not have this capability.
Partner With Influencers
Influencer marketing is currently a $5-$10 billion industry and not going away anytime soon. Although there are tons of influencers in the industry, it’s important to understand that you must choose them wisely to see a return on your investment.
Start by Identifying some influencers or micro influencers in your niche. For smaller accounts, reach out to them, offering free products in exchange for a post or story on their account.
Take note, that many successful influencers with large followings will additionally expect monetary compensation to feature your brand on their page.
Not only is finding an influencer in your niche important, but also ensuring they’re reliable and have a loyal following to appropriately promote your brand. Think of influencers as an extension of your marketing team. With this being said, however, do not give them unexpected deliverables and crazy guidelines as if they worked for you in-house.
Want to organically grow your Instagram and gain REAL followers?
During your initial influencer search, choose people who will promote your brand without sounding like a salesman, and one that will direct new customers to your page. Sometimes this can be a guessing game in the beginning, but after an influencer successfully completes a campaign with you, continue to reach out to them in the future creating a relationship with them.
Your competitors are already using influencers, so you should be too! Use them to build your brand’s credibility, for creation of new fresh content, for a boost of organic traffic and engagement, and most importantly, sales generation.
Engage with your audience by using Instagram Stories, utilizing features such as polls, quizzes, and questions to interact with your followers. This is also a great way to go behind-the-scenes and humanize your brand.
Content such as videos of your employees goofing off in the office, or photos that show how your brand is expanding, can go a long way toward helping you connect with your followers. And since so many people view Instagram Stories (500 million users every day), Stories are a great place to share this kind of content.
Here, women’s clothing company Inherit Clothing Co. shared some snaps of its employees wrapping products to ship out.
If you’re looking to increase your engagement, build trust and make creating content even easier, look no further than user-generated content. UGC is content that your followers, customers and fans create that you can then repurpose and publish on your page.
If your audience is already posting about your brand, send someone a message and ask if you can repost it on your page. But, if they aren’t already creating content for you, it’s time to ask them to do so.
Run a contest, create a specific hashtag and ask your audience to make a post about your product or brand for the chance to be featured on your account.
People like to see posts written by real users – it makes your marketing messaging seem more accurate.
Link In Bio
Are you taking full advantage of the link in your bio? That’s the one place you can always direct your followers to send them to your website, online shop, blog or any other links you’d like to promote.
Instagram only gives you one link, though, so it’s a good idea to use a link in bio provider to really maximize that real estate.
When you use a link tool, you can create a landing page that can house many links that your followers and viewers might be interested in seeing.
This way you can promote multiple links in your posts and Stories, without worrying that someone who sees your feed post a few days later will miss the chance to follow the link.
The latest and greatest update from Instagram, Reels are currently incredibly popular. Not only are they getting pushed out by the algorithm, but Instagram just re-designed their app layout to include an easy-access button to see Reels.
With these short videos, you can show your behind-the-scenes, share quick, impactful tips or build a relationship with your audience. Video is popular across social media platforms, and Reels are Instagram’s answer to TikTok.
You can combine this strategy with the influencer marketing we talked about before, or you can partner with other brands in your industry for takeovers.
Even if you don’t want to work with another brand, you can do in-house takeovers to create different kinds of content for your followers.
With an Instagram takeover, someone other than the usual content publisher will run your brand’s account for the day. This can be an influencer, a related (non-competitor) brand, or even someone from your business, like the founder of a small company or the head of a different department.
If they do a Story takeover, they’ll show up in Stories all day, either sharing helpful tips or a behind-the-scenes look. You can also do a feed takeover, where your guest publishes a few feed posts.
Takeovers can be a great way to grow your following or increase your engagement, and it lets your audience have a bit more fun with your brand.
Whether you want to increase your following or grow your engagement, hosting a giveaway can be a great tactic. You can partner with other brands, influencers or companies to host a big giveaway, or you can run one yourself.
With a bigger giveaway, each brand can contribute a product or service, or you can all chip in to create another form of grand prize.
For a giveaway just with your brand, giving away some of your product is a great way to generate interest. You can choose your specific entry criteria, but asking people to like a post, follow you and anyone else involved in the giveaway, and comment are all common ways to gain an entry.
Some giveaways ask people to tag their friends, others will ask them to say why they want to win.
Finally, perhaps the best thing you can do for your Instagram presence is to create high-quality content consistently. Find a schedule that works for you and your brand’s bandwidth, and then commit to it.
If you can’t or don’t want to post seven days a week, that’s fine. Choose a schedule that you’ll be able to stick with, as your followers will begin to expect and look forward to your content.
As you work to grow your following, remember to always be publishing excellent content to keep your new audience around so they can learn from you and eventually buy.
Hacks Specific To B2B Marketing
It can be easy to write off Instagram and other social media platforms as a way for B2C companies to thrive, but you can also use Instagram for your B2B marketing, too. There are a few specific things you should be doing to really catch the eye of other businesses on Instagram.
First of all, have fun with it. Social media is generally a light, fun platform, and you’ll want your content to fit into that. Just because you’re marketing to other businesses doesn’t mean you need to make boring content.
They’re still people who will be making the purchasing decisions, so be informative but also fun and creative with your content.
Then, make sure you’re emphasizing the social part of social media. This is an easy thing for B2C brands to do, but it’s important for B2B brands, too! Respond to comments on your posts, send and answer direct messages and share helpful information in your Stories.
Promote other businesses that your audience would also benefit from, and maybe they’ll do the same for you.
Hacks Specific To B2C Marketing
B2C companies can do really well on Instagram, too. This is where you’ll be able to really build a relationship and form a connection with your followers and customers.
Your top priority should be engagement marketing, connecting with people on the app, leaving comments, having conversations and responding to direct messages.
Show the behind-the-scenes of your business, because people like to know secrets. So, do a day of Stories showing what happens in the building.
If you’re a product-based business, show some of how you make your products, or show how you package and ship an order. B2C brands can use ads too, and if you do, you’ll want to make sure they look organic. That will be more likely to capture your ideal customers’ attention.
Practices To Avoid
There are so many great tips for things you should do on Instagram, it’s important to also cover what you should avoid doing. First, try not to “post and ghost.” If you can, stick around on the app after you publish a post.
Respond back to comments quickly and engage with others’ content. This shows the Instagram algorithm that you’re really there to interact with others.
Don’t use the same set of hashtags on every single post. Your hashtags should be specific to your post. A picture of a dog shouldn’t have #icecream in the caption or comments.
Reposting the same set of 30 hashtags on each post shows Instagram that you’re not putting the thought and effort into creating a set of hashtags specific to that post.
Create a list of hashtags relevant to your business, and mix and match those with hashtags specific to your image and caption.
Also, avoid buying Instagram followers. If you try to buy a set number of followers from a company, you’ll probably end up with bots and fake followers who will slowly unfollow you.
Here’s a video we created discussing this in detail:
How To Gain More Followers
You can get organic Instagram followers by using hashtags, establishing a brand voice, partnering with influencers, and following the other best practices mentioned above.
One of the easiest ways to get more organic followers is by using an Instagram growth service such as Kicksta.
Kicksta is a tool that works to attract users in your target audience, “liking” posts from those users so they’ll come check out your account.
On average, Kicksta can save you two-and-a-half hours each day, growing your account while you spend your time doing other tasks.
Kicksta increases your brand awareness, provides you with insights on how things are going, and keeps all of your information safe.
Quality growth services like Kicksta are an excellent way to get more followers on Instagram.
Want to organically grow your Instagram and gain REAL followers?
How To Improve Engagement
If it isn’t already, one of your biggest goals on Instagram should be to increase your engagement rate.
Growing your following is great, but if your followers aren’t engaging with your posts, a big follower count isn’t really worth much. Improving engagement might seem like a big goal, but it’s actually easier than you’d think.
First, you want to make sure you’re creating content your audience wants to engage with, so make it interesting.
Add a good call-to-action at the end so your followers know what to do. This can be something easy like “double tap if you agree,” or more involved like asking a question.
Then, spend some time engaging with your followers. Go to their pages and like some posts, comment on a couple and show them the engagement you want to receive.
Many users are more likely to give engagement when they know what kind you want to receive.
You can also increase engagement through some of the tips we mentioned earlier, like partnering with influencers, running giveaways and hosting takeovers. Anything new and different can help excite your audience and inspire them to engage.
How To Convert Followers Into Customers
For businesses, the point of being on social media is to generate new customers. Instagram gives your audience the opportunity to get to know you, like you and trust you.
This helps prepare them to actually make a purchase. Every time you show up on Instagram Live and answer questions, post a Reel that shows your behind-the-scenes or send an audio response to a DM, you’re moving them along that path to becoming a customer.
One great way to convert followers into customers is through your Instagram Stories. You can promote your product or service, sure, but there’s a more subtle way to do so, too. Post a poll asking for your audience’s thoughts on a certain topic. Make each option one of your products.
This could be hazelnut coffee or peppermint coffee, for example. Then, once people start voting, send a DM to each person who responds.
Thank them for participating, and then send them a link directly to your hazelnut or peppermint coffee, depending on which they picked. This personalized invitation is a great way to convert your followers to customers.
Using Instagram For Business
Now you know the ins and outs of Instagram for business, it’s time to put your new found knowledge to the test. Thanks to our complete guide for 2021 on all things Instagram business accounts, your company or brand is set up for success heading into the new year.
Check out the infographic below and let us know if you find it useful. Feel free to share with friends and colleagues on social media!
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