instagram for business

Like many other business owners, you want to establish a strong brand presence and increase your visibility online. But do you have what it takes to become a trending brand?

Unfortunately, most businesses that aspire to beat the competition don’t recognize the most crucial aspect of success: the power of Instagram for business. This massive social media platform can potentially create a bullet-proof online presence.

But only if you do it right.

This article will discuss everything you need to know about how to use Instagram for business. Unlock the power of social media marketing and dominate your industry by reading more!

Why Instagram is important for businesses

Instagram marketing is one of the hottest drivers for business growth in today’s market landscape. It’s probably the only place where content is so visual, yet the users are active commerce buyers.

According to a report by Datareportal, Instagram currently has 2 billion active users every month. From Instagram’s own data, we can see that 90% of their users follow at least one business. That’s a lot of potential customers, all waiting and wanting to discover your brand.

According to the GWI report, 62.4% of Instagram users follow or research brands or products on the platform. Instagram has already become an indispensable tool for a marketer’s arsenal.

This is because the platform features and algorithm offer powerful capabilities to businesses.

A personalized content delivery algorithm ensures you reach your target audience more effectively. You can maintain an active presence and capture user attention with popular features like stories and reels. We do not even mention the power of branded hashtags and popular hashtags that you can utilize with the Explore page.

Instagram even has an integrated shopping feature. You can hook them up with visually engaging content on all levels of awareness and directly funnel them to the Instagram shopping feature, streamlining the buying process. In fact, many businesses build an Instagram shop that’s entirely native to the app.

There’s more: powerful analytics, engagement opportunities, user-generated content, and influencer marketing –  these are all potential tools you can leverage with an Instagram account.

Benefits of Instagram for Business

We’ve discussed all the nifty features that an Instagram business account lets you use – but what do they actually do for your business?

Here are a few of the numerous benefits that an Instagram business profile can unlock for you:

  • Increased brand awareness and visibility. Features like Explore, Instagram reels, Instagram stories, and the algorithm’s excellent content delivery help your business reach a wider audience. More users can discover and engage with your content, products, and services through this.
  • Improved customer engagement and loyalty. Regular Instagram posts and interactions allow you to personally connect with your target audience. This engagement builds a sense of community and loyalty as your Instagram followers see your brand’s personality and feel more connected.
  • More opportunities for lead generation and sales. Instagram’s shopping and advertising capabilities provide direct lead generation and sales avenues. You tap into the powerful purchasing behavior of engaged users and sell your products without ever having to leave the platform.
  • Enhanced customer service and support. Customers can easily message your account, comment on your post, and interact with you. Being immediately accessible to your audience creates a positive customer experience and strengthens relationships.
  • Authentic visual storytelling. Instagram’s focus as a visual platform allows you to tell your business story authentically. Through post images and video content, you can showcase your business values, company culture, and mission in a way that delights.

Using Instagram for business is one of the most impactful strategies you can implement this year. With an Instagram profile, you can access powerful features that allow you to reach more people and meet their needs in the best way possible.

Creating an Instagram Strategy

Having an Instagram business profile is well and good, but it really won’t do anything for your brand if you don’t have a good strategy. Before diving headfirst into the app and all its intricacies, you and your team should already have a social media strategy in place.

Here are a few tips to create an effective professional account strategy on Instagram:

  • Identify business objectives and goals. Clearly outline what your business wants to achieve on Instagram. Do you want to increase sales, build brand awareness, or engage with your audience? Knowing these goals guides the entire strategy.
  • Define your target audience and ideal customer. This is critical because you must constantly tailor your content to appeal to this specific group. Understand your ideal customer’s age, interests, behaviors, and other factors. This knowledge lets you create content that resonates and builds a meaningful connection.
  • Develop a content marketing strategy and editorial calendar. Have a posting schedule. Your content strategy and calendar dictate what content you will put out and at what frequency. Will you make an Instagram post once a week? Maybe shared posts twice? An Instagram ad every once in a while. Having an actual plan will guide your day-to-day. Schedule Instagram posts accordingly to maintain systemic engagement.
  • Optimize for mobile. Instagram is primarily accessed on mobile devices, and its contents are optimized for this. Get the low-hanging fruit and create vertical videos and photos for your content. Instagram captions are also great to add more depth and utility to your content.
  • Engage with your community. Building a community around your brand encourages new followers and galvanizes loyal followers. Actively engage with your community by responding to your follower’s comments, address every direct message you receive, and participate in conversations.
  • Measure success and adjust the strategy as needed. Use Instagram Insights or third-party tools to track post performance. If specific strategies aren’t working or if there’s room for improvement, be ready to adjust your approach to better align with your goals.

Having a good Instagram strategy involves deciding what to post, when, and how to engage with followers, among many others. A well-thought-out strategy creates a consistent and effective presence.

It will also guide the kind of content that you share. With a social media strategy for Instagram, you can ensure that the Instagram content you post aligns with your brand and resonates with your target audience.

phone with open Instagram profile

Optimizing Your Instagram Profile

Your Instagram profile is your personal or business account page on this social media platform. It includes a profile picture, a short bio, and a feed of posts you shared or posted yourself.

Your Instagram profile is your business’s face on the platform.

Users who visit a profile quickly form an opinion of it, which can either make or break your brand identity. Plus, it’s also crucial for discoverability: the keywords, hashtags, and the business category on your profile let Instagram’s algorithm match you with the most receptive Instagram users.

There are also more ways that your Instagram profile can shape your business’ Instagram usage.

Here are a few:

  • Encourages follows and engagement. Your profile can motivate users to do certain things. An optimized profile lets users connect with the account and stay engaged over time.
  • Conveys essential information about your brand. A killer Instagram bio will convey the most important aspects of your business. Depending on the need, it could be your core values, current promotions or deals, and other crucial details.
  • Utilizes extra Instagram features. Business accounts can use features such as highlights, reels, and Instagram story archives on their bio to strategically display important details about your brand or current offerings. Some key features are missing for personal accounts.

You might think of your Instagram profile as just another page of the platform – but it can be so much more.

Instagram business accounts should optimize their bios to reflect their business better. Whether that’s to differentiate yourself from other brands, display essential information, or attract new customers, your Instagram feed can assist with it all.

Tips for creating an engaging and visually appealing profile

Having a great Instagram bio contributes to an effective marketing campaign. It’s a big opportunity to showcase your brand, display essential information, and even persuade your audience.

But how can you optimize your business profile in the first place?

Here are some business tips:

  • Be consistent in your branding and messaging.  Consistency creates a cohesive and memorable brand image for visitors to your profile. Keep your bio aligned with your brand identity: use a recognizable profile picture from your camera roll, ensure your bio reflects your brand’s voice and values, and always present a consistent look.
  • Use keywords and hashtags. These help your profile appear in searches, making it easier for people interested in similar content to find and follow you. Incorporate relevant keywords and hashtags in your bio to enhance discoverability. Include terms related to your industry, niche, or interests.
  • Write clearly and concisely.  A concise bio ensures that visitors quickly understand what you’re about. Thus, provide a short but engaging description of who you are or what your business does. Communicate your unique selling points, key offerings, or any current promotions.
  • Include effective call-to-actions (CTAs). A well-placed CTA guides your audience on the next steps you want them to take. Include a call-to-action to a clickable link in your bio to increase engagement.
  • Utilize emojis and line breaks. Use emojis to add personality and break up text in your bio. Emojis can convey emotions or complement your message. Additionally, use line breaks to make your bio visually appealing and easy to read, especially on a mobile device.

Success on the Instagram app is often determined by small efforts, including creating an optimized bio page.

It might seem inconsequential, but your bio represents your business on the platform, and the impression it creates could stick with your customers. But don’t worry – follow these best practices, and you won’t have those problems.

Man in front of camera - instagram

Creating Engaging Instagram Content

While having a good digital marketing strategy and a killer bio is important, content is the meat of your Instagram presence. Strategies and bios will take you far, but without good content, you won’t reap the actual benefits of this platform.

Depending on your brand’s preferences and objectives, you can share various kinds of content on this platform.

You can create the following types of content:

  • Photo posts;
  • Video posts;
  • Stories;
  • Reels;
  • Carousel posts;
  • Live videos;
  • User-generated content.

Creating diverse content is essential. A single kind of content gets boring, and your audience can quickly lose interest. A varied content keeps your own feed interesting, caters to different preferences, and ultimately lets you connect with a wider range of audiences.

The next section contains some tips for creating high-quality Instagram content for your business.

Tips for creating shareable Instagram posts and stories

Content is the meat of your Instagram account – it’s mostly what new and existing followers are there for.

Here are some best practices for making Instagram content stand out:

  • Incorporate storytelling and emotion. Stories humanize your brand and make your content more memorable and relatable. Share content that tells a story or evokes an emotion. Create captions with a human, personal, and emotional touch.
  • Use videos and stories to engage followers. Create short, engaging videos that show behind-the-scenes moments and product demonstrations or share valuable information.
  • Utilize Instagram stories for immediacy. This type of Instagram content allows for real-time updates, polls, and Q&A sessions that make your audience feel connected.
  • Participate in popular trends and challenges within your niche. Tapping into what’s popular keeps your content relevant and joins existing conversations. This can significantly increase your discoverability.
  • Encourage engagement with interactive content. Features like polls, quizzes, and questions in Stories create a two-way conversation that makes audiences feel involved and valued.

Creating different kinds of content, ensuring quality and relevance, and using multiple content strategies are the keys to creating good content on the platform. A solid app presence builds a strong online presence, laying the foundation for achieving your business goals.

Growing Your Instagram Following

Your followers are not just numbers on a screen – they represent the community or audience that has expressed interest in your business. In other words, your followers are people who are interested in what you have to say.

Gaining followers on Instagram is crucial.

A larger following means more people see your content. The more people see your content, the more you build brand awareness and product visibility. There’s also a greater chance that they will interact with your posts and convert through your CTAs.

Having a high following count also enhances your credibility. When other people see that many other Instagram accounts are interested in and trust your business, it creates a positive impression.

If you’re really creative and driven, you can then leverage this trust and interest in the following ways:

  • Marketing and advertising impact. When you run Instagram ads, having a substantial following ensures your ad reaches more people. This enhances the success of marketing campaigns and promotional activities.
  • Influencer collaboration opportunities. A substantial following can attract collaborations with influencers. The audience of an influencer creator account is a brand-new market where you can promote products or services.
  • Access to analytics and insights. The higher your follower count is, the more accurate your analytics and audience insights are. These tools offer valuable data and help you refine your content strategy based on audience preferences.

For businesses like yours, growing this following opens up many opportunities. You can use it for mining insights, finding influencer collaborations, credibility, and so much more.

Tips on Growing Your Following on Instagram

Now that you understand how a large audience provides you with leverage, the next natural question is, “So how do I do it?”

Whether it’s for your personal Instagram account or a part of your small business strategy, here are the top 3 things you should do to get more followers:

  • Publish quality content consistently. Consistency in posting keeps your audience engaged and interested and pushes the algorithm to distribute your content to more people. Regularly share high-quality, visually appealing content that aligns with your brand identity.
  • Engage with your audience regularly. Engaging with your audience strengthens existing relationships and attracts new followers. Respond promptly to comments and direct messages, ask questions in captions, and encourage user-generated content.
  • Use hashtags and the Explore page strategically. The Explore page is an excellent way to get discovered by new audiences, and you can do that with a branded hashtag strategy. Research industry-specific hashtags and incorporate them into your captions or comments

Growing your follower count on social media platforms is a matter of consistency, engagement, and strategic use of distribution methods. It might take time, but doing it the right way nurtures a more organic following that wouldn’t be impacted much by trends and changes in the algorithm.

Instagram and data analysis

Instagram Analytics and Metrics

A big part of your Instagram strategy should be measuring your performance. After all, how else will you know what’s going right and which parts of the strategy must be revised?

Instagram analytics and metrics are tools that provide data and insights about the performance of your Instagram account. They serve as your eyes and ears, observing your initiatives’ impact on your customers.

This is important because it gives you crucial information, such as demographic information, content performance, and goal tracking.

These insights guide your strategy going forward. You can analyze which posts are performing well, which demographic engages with your brand the most, and what trends and preferences your audiences display. Ultimately, it gives you more understanding of your audience and your social media landscape.

But what should you measure?

It depends on your business goals, but here are a couple of pointers:

  • Reach and impressions. How many people see your content (reach), and how often (impressions).
  • Engagement rate. How much does your audience interact with your content through likes, comments, and shares?
  • Click-Through Rate (CTR). The percentage of people who click on a link in your post leading to your website or product.
  • Conversion rate. The percentage of people who take the desired action, such as purchasing or filling out a form.
  • Sentiment analysis. The overall sentiment (positive, negative, or neutral) of followers’ comments and mentions.
  • Brand mentions. This measures how often your brand is mentioned across social media platforms.

Monitoring these social media metrics allows you to understand their online performance. Data helps you make informed decisions about your social media strategy and track your progress toward your goals.

Best Practices for Instagram Engagement

When your target audience likes your content on Instagram, they will likely click the like button, leave comments, save your posts, and share them with others. These activities are called audience engagement, and they are important indicators.

Audience engagement tells you how interested your audience is in what you have to say. It also helps build a community around your brand and even boosts your content in the eyes of the Instagram algorithm. Brands that engage their audiences develop a stronger following.

Here are some best practices to enhance your Instagram engagement:

  • Always reply to comments and direct messages. In situations where your audience reaches out and talks to you, respond promptly as soon as possible. It shows your audience that you value their input and encourages ongoing engagement.
  • Ask questions in captions and stories. Encourage interaction by posing questions in your captions or using polls, quizzes, and question stickers in your stories. This prompts followers to share their thoughts or experiences.
  • Host giveaways and contests. Organize giveaways or contests to incentivize likes, comments, and sharing. It also expands your reach as participants often tag friends.
  • Create shareable content. Create fun, relatable, entertaining, or informative content. Shareable content increases the likelihood of followers sharing your posts with their network.
  • Collaborate with others. Partner with influencers or other businesses for shoutouts or collaborations. This exposes your content to new audiences, driving engagement from different followers.

Engagement is often a difficult metric to work on. According to research by SocialInsider, the average engagement rate for a business Instagram account is 0.65%, although this varies by industry, with some going up to only 3.44%. They can be intimidatingly low numbers, especially for small businesses with a proportionally small following.

However, working on these best practices will increase the chances of success and impact on this platform.

Instagram Ads

Instagram offers a paid avenue to drive sales and business growth. Instagram ads are a powerful way to spread your brand or offer to an extremely targeted audience. They can appear on your feed or as Instagram stories ads and drive remarkable results.

Paid ads on Instagram allow you to highlight your offer engaging and meaningfully. You can create ads that show rational product demos or emotional stories. There is also a wide variety of ad formats, including image, video, carousel, and Story ads.

One standout feature of Instagram ads that differs even from a Facebook business page is the platform’s organic integration with influencers.

Businesses collaborate with influencers with large, engaged followings to authentically promote their products or services.

This form of influencer marketing boosts the reach and credibility of ads, as followers trust the recommendations from influencers they follow, making it a powerful way to connect with a target audience.

One of the best examples of this strategy is GymShark, a fitness clothing e-commerce brand. They’ve mastered collaborating with brand ambassadors on Instagram and have created successful long-term influencer partnerships that made their brand a household name.

When done right, Instagram ads are a powerful way of reaching your customers in a way that delights them.

Woman holds a phone - instagram

Final Thoughts

If you want to increase your reach, drive business growth, or visually engage your audience, use Instagram for business. This social media platform has a lot of potential and many powerful features that deliver remarkable results.

However, achieving your business goals on Instagram is often overwhelming and complex. Compared to merely creating a personal account, a business on Instagram must be aware of more features, guidelines, and best practices.

This article tackled everything you need to know about using Instagram to grow your business. Save this for reference when strategizing your big Instagram break.

Craft a winning strategy to launch your business to the heights it deserves!

Frequently asked questions

How does an Instagram business account differ from a Facebook business account?

An Instagram business account is tailored for visual content sharing and allows businesses to showcase their offer creatively. On the other hand, a Facebook page or business account provides a more comprehensive platform for various content types, including text-heavy posts, articles, and a broader range of multimedia.

How do I add a link to my website in my Instagram bio?

Optimizing your Instagram profile makes your account look more professional and helps you drive more audience behaviors. Go to your profile, click on “Edit Profile,” and you’ll find a section to add your website link. Ensure it’s accurate; users can click on it directly from your bio.

How do I switch back to a personal account from a business account on Instagram?

Instagram makes it easy to switch from work to personal life. Select Settings, tap “Account,” then tap “Switch to Personal Account.” Follow the prompts, and your account will switch back to a personal one.