When it comes to business, Instagram has become the hot new Social Media platform. In this blog, we will cover how to use Instagram for a Business.
When it comes to wondering why your business should use Instagram for your business, let’s check out some necessary statistics below according to Instagram.
- 60% of people say they discover new products on Instagram
- 200 million-plus users visit at least one business profile daily
- 25 million companies are using Instagram for Business
- 1/3 of the most viewed stories are from businesses
So why is it so important to start a brand or add your business on Instagram? Facebook has shifted its focus on family, friends, and creating a more friendly environment, where Instagram has become more business-focused. Now let’s cover the steps on how to use Instagram for a Business below.
Click below to skip to sections
- Setup Instagram Business Account
- Develop Instagram Strategy
- Optimize Bio Section
- Content is King
- Use Hashtags correctly
- Go all-in on Instagram Influencers
- Cross-Promote with similar Niche Users
- Engagement on Instagram
- Run Instagram Ads
#1 Setup Instagram Business Account
The very first step you will need to accomplish is setting up an actual Instagram Business account. If you already have a well-established following then you can simply turn your personal account into a business account.
If your personal following does not represent who you want to follow your business account, then you will need to set up a whole new Instagram account and set it up for your business.
How to setup Instagram account
#1 Download the app for iOS, Android or Windows
#2 Signup by opening app
#3 Input your email address and hit next, and if you want to connect your Instagram business account with your Facebook Business page make sure to put in your admin email address, or hit login with Facebook.
#4 Pick your username and password and fill in your profile information.
#5 Tap done
Now that you have a personal account set up, we now just need to convert it over to a business account.
How to convert a personal account to Business account
#1 Login to your personal Instagram account
#2 Tap the profile icon to go to your profile
#3 Tap the 3 lines icon at the top right of the screen, then tap settings
#4 Tap switch to a business profile, then continue
You can connect your Instagram business account to your Facebook business page by following the prompts.
Make sure to add all your business contact information as soon as you set this up which will include an email address, phone number, and address for a physical location.
#6 Tap done.
#2 Develop Instagram Strategy
Just like anything in business, having a strong mindset and strategy will be key going forward. It is vital that you develop a strategy for you or your team to follow and stick with during your journey.
Below we will discuss the 5 main keys to teach you how to use Instagram for a business.
Why start from scratch when there is so much information that is already out there that can teach you what has and hasn’t worked in your niche. You are not copying what others have done, you just want to find out what has and hasn’t worked, and use that to mold your strategy.
You never want to be that business that gets caught spending useless hours posting the wrong content or putting in the wrong hashtags to get no traction.
Step 1 is you looking up as many businesses as possible and see what is working for them. Look at how many likes, comments, and reactions their posts are getting. What is their post about? How is their bio section filled out? What hashtags are they using? Gather as much information as possible.
Find your Target Audience
Finding your target audience is probably the most important process of the strategy development process. Let’s go through a basic strategy on how to find your target audience below.
Your target audience statistics that you want to collect are all available on Instagram Insights. These will range from age, gender, and demographic. Let’s go through some of the methods to get this information.
- Who are your current customers? Think about the people who walk in your store or already have analytics on your website, personal Instagram account, or even Facebook.
- Instagram Insights: When you have more than 100 followers, Instagram will tell you about your current followers. Just click on the 3 lines at the top right corner, and tap Insights. Then select audience.
- Build a buyers persona – This a very effective method if you don’t have much data yet. Develop a profile on what your typical buyer would be. Gender, Age, demographic, Possible Interest, Etc.
Understanding what goals you want to achieve using Instagram is a huge part of this process. Writing down what goals you want to accomplish and how to get there is a must-do.
Just remember when setting the goals that you make sure they relate to your Instagram account and your business as a whole.
Set daily, weekly, monthly and even year goals to keep you motivated through the year and keep your business on track where you want to be at all times.
Create a Posting Schedule
As you may already know and hear, that content is king. This may be true, but posting on a consistent basis is what will take your Instagram account from alright to gaining followers every day.
Most social media marketers will even tell you that having a posting schedule that you follow every day is the most important thing you can do for gaining followers, reactions and getting conversions.
There are paid programs that will let you schedule your post out, but I would suggest using later.com for free to start off. This will get you in the mindset of creating and scheduling your post out days and even weeks in advance.
If you don’t have enough analytics to show when the majority of your audience is on Instagram, make sure to run some tests to see when you get the bulk of your reactions and comments to know when to auto-schedule your post if this is possible.
There are 3 main metrics you need to prioritize. So what are they and what do they do?
- Brand Awareness – this includes growth rate, post reach, and hashtag reach
- Engagement – Creating posts to get reactions, likes, comments, shares, and bookmarks
- Conversion – Organic post and Paid ads that focus on click-through rate and cost per click.
If you are a new business, then focusing on brand and awareness should be the priorities for a couple of months. People can’t make a decision about using your business if they aren’t aware you exist or know what kind of business you are.
To really understand how to use this step, then you need to understand how funnels work. Singlegrain.com really explains everything click funnels really well.
#3 Optimize Bio Section
Understanding how to optimize your bio section is another method for learning how to use Instagram for a business.
Your bio section gives you plenty of room to give all your business information away to make it as easy as possible for your audience and customers to find you. Let’s talk about the different components to optimize in your bio section.
Nothing says “professional business” like a high-quality profile picture of your business logo or product. These are the two most commonly used images on Instagram’s business accounts.
It is recommended to use 180 X 180 pixels for your Instagram profile picture. This will max out the resolution on your phone and desktop as well. Even though most of your traffic will most likely be on a mobile phone, it doesn’t mean you want to miss the few desktop users.
Name / Username
For SEO purposes it is very smart to use your business name in both places here. This gives you a chance to maximize your brand awareness, and really get maximum exposure when it comes to your brand name.
Your name is in bold and right above your username, but making them both the same or really close to what your business niche is about is the smart route to go here.
The category is located under your name and username. This lets all of Instagram know what niche your business is in. If you are in Social Media Marketing, then your category would probably be marketing or digital media services.
There are many routes you can go with your categories, just know this is very vital when people are looking up local businesses because they are typing in these keywords to find the businesses with this niche.
This is one of the very few spots you can post a clickable link, so using this space the way it is intended is what is needed. Just post your website address here and gain the SEO from Instagram.
You don’t just have to create a link to your website though, use it for landing pages, or even blogs inside your website. Point the audience and funnel them where you need them.
This is probably one of the most important components of the Bio Section. You have a 150 character limit to pack as much SEO, hashtag, and location data as possible.
It is very useful to showcase this block with what your business services are, a couple of hashtags, and location data if possible. A good looking bio will even stop a user in their tracks and get their attention to look more closely at your account.
Instagram released this new feature and it has really helped create more usable space in your bio. Before your bio was packed full of call-to-actions and location data. Now you have your own location for them. Now let’s cover the 3 buttons.
- Call – This button is your phone number. They tap on their phone and it calls your business directly
- Email – You input your email address and it allows them to tap and email your business directly
- Location – Put in your physical address for your business and this allows them to tap it and it will bring directions up on how to get to your business with their default GPS on their phone.
These are new features for the most part and most businesses still do not use them to this date. Make sure to take advantage of every square inch of space to get ahead of other businesses on Instagram.
#4 Content is King
Create Unique Content
Creating a brand experience is what the ultimate goal is on Instagram for businesses. By creating your content to all look a certain way will make not just your content recognizable, but your brand in general.
This your chance to leave your trademark on Instagram. Does your content have black and white photos, sharp photos, on heavy saturation? These are all things that will be recognizable over time to your audience that frequently visit your account.
This doesn’t apply just to photo, but also video as well. Peter Mckinnon is great at the way he plugs in his advertisers and there are people who enjoy that part of the video, more than the rest of the video itself.
The goal here to should be to provide a constant visual look on your photos and videos. Your followers should know that they are on your account just by looking at your photos or video. Now let’s look at a couple of ways to create high-quality unique content.
Creating high-quality photos should be a must for every Instagram user. This space is dominated by photo and video only, so if you can’t do either, why would anyone ever follow you? Here are a couple of things you can do to create high-quality photos.
- Rule of thirds – Your phone has a grid option on it. Place your subject where the grid lines meet to create an intersecting photo that is off-center but still balanced.
- Use natural light when possible – Your camera lens is built to handle natural light better than false light. Natural light gives off more complex and dynamic lights than a yellow or bright white false light.
- Golden Hour – The Golden hour typically happens between 5:45 pm – 6:30 pm. This is when your photos will get the least harsh light and get the most elegant of lights that form those golden circles and shapes in your photos.
- Avoid Harsh Lights – Harsh lights are really bright false and natural lights. This usually happens when you take photos outside when the sun is overhead. The best thing to avoid this is either have a really good post-editing program like adobe or buy camera lens covers that bring down the light that is coming in your camera during your shoots.
- Angles are everything – Angles can turn your good photo into a legacy photo. Taking those extra 5 or 10 seconds to squat down or take that overhead shot can give a totally different feel to your pictures. Make sure to try different angles at every shoot, just to learn the feel of them.
- Props – A very underestimated part of photography is the props in the background. Props can help complete the story you are trying to tell in your picture. They add depth, storytelling ability and even edge brightness or darkness. Use props that make sense with the photos and have fun.
Another part of taking good photos is taking them and making them even better with post-editing software. If you are using a Mac or Windows computer then I would highly recommend adobe photoshop and lightroom.
Use Instagram Stories
If you are really looking to use Instagram for business then you need to use everything available to you. so you are probably wondering why your business should use Instagram stories. Here are a couple of stats to help you lean towards using it.
- 1/3 of most-viewed stories are posted from businesses
- Instagram stories are used by 500 million users every day
- 90% of all accounts follow at least one business
Instagram stories are the perfect place to post a story for your brand. Let’s say you own a restaurant. We could easily create 4 Instagram story posts by taking 4 pictures of your business creating a certain entree. You can post the stories at 4 different times, so you show the story of the entree being made throughout the day.
Any process your business has to go through to create a service or product is perfect for Instagram stories. These are easily made and requires almost no time to create.
Instagram TV (IGTV)
Instagram TV allows you to upload 10 minutes videos for most accounts, and up to an hour for larger accounts. So what could your business possibly post a 10 video for?
- Business Launch
- Podcast Interviews
- Creating Product
- Performing Service
- Tutorial Video
- How-to Video
- Top 10 List Videos
- & much more
One of the biggest perks of IGTV is the fact there are no ads put in place right now. They are solely focused on growing the feature, so this is the best time to take advantage of this.
Instagram TV is both horizontal and vertical based videos, so you are not limited to just one.
#5 Use Hashtags correctly
Hashtags are found and used in many ways. Using hashtags correctly on Instagram can give you 10 X the reach you would without them. So if you use them correctly, you can grow your follower account extremely fast.
Instagram allows you to use up to 30 hashtags, but adespresso has found that 11 hashtags are their magic number to give them the best results. Having one hashtag can increase engagement by 12%.
We advise using the staircase method for hashtags. Find 10 hashtags in your niche that you get more likes and comments on and use them every time. This will guarantee you to rank at the top for the hashtag almost every time.
You then find 15 hashtags that average your number of likes and comments per posts and use them. The last step is finding 5 hashtags that get way more likes and comments and use them. You have a smaller chance to rank for the high competing hashtags but will have a chance if you do spark one of your posts one day and you don’t wont to lose traction if this is the case.
Make sure to follow up at least once a week on all your posts and check out the insights on each one to find out how much reach you received with your hashtags. This is a good gauge to see what is working and what is not.
#6 Go all-in on Instagram Influencers
This is probably my favorite of how to use Instagram for a business. Find 1 of your favorite Instagram influencers on Instagram and follow them. Read every post that they post and comment with relevant information so all of the other followers take notice.
When you comment, like and are very active on an influencer’s account, they will take notice. This may take a while, but when it happens it will be well worth the wait.
Gaining an influencer’s attention will get noticed right away from their loyal followers and will start to follow you more and more. This is a very quick way to gain traction after you took the long road to get the attention.
#7 Cross-Promote with similar Niche Users
Go and find other users who are making similar content and do some cross-promotion. This can be anything from bringing them on as a podcast guest, Instagram Live Guest or just posting about each other’s content.
All social media platforms including Instagram will notice that you are reaching out to other users’ accounts and typically get that bonus in organic reach by getting the guest to promote your post that features them. This is a very simple, yet effective way to gain more followers for your business through Instagram.
#8 Engagement on Instagram
This is the quickest and most effective way to gain followers for your business using Instagram. When someone likes or comments on your Instagram post you should be responding on the same day.
A lot of business owners that use Instagram will spend every night right before bed to responding to all the likes and comments on their post. This will help build a digital relationship with your followers or future followers.
Make sure to respond with relevant responses to show that you are actually reading what they took their time out of their day to comment about. I actually keep notice of all the people who comment and make sure to go back on their post and give them comments as well.
Businesses will typically get about 4% of all their followers to engage with their content, so make sure to reward those followers who are willing to do so and keep it growing.
#9 Run Instagram Ads
If you have the money and looking to expand your business at a more accelerated rate, then this is the tactic I would take.
Create fun and stylish ads that will appeal to your typical niche audience. This can be used in brand awareness, engagement or conversion stage. If you are new to creating Instagram ads, we would suggest creating brand awareness ads that are more effective to reach and focus less on conversions.
The great thing with ads is the fact that you can run ads and test them and keep track of what works and what doesn’t. There is nothing better than completing an ad that gives you amazing results and knowing that it is growing your business without even working for it.
There is everything you should need to know how to use Instagram for a business. Good luck with your business endeavors.
The importance of social media is growing by the day, and there is no sign of slowing down. Any business will tell you that referral business is always the best kind of business, but loyal customers is what your ultimate goal should be. We will cover in depth the top reasons why every business social media incorporated in some way or another.
Social Media Ads growing?
Social media ads are still one of the cheapest, if not the cheapest way to advertise and reach such a large targeted audience. These numbers shown by Hootsuite will surprise most.
- 53% of businesses are actively using social media ads
- 7 million users paid for Facebook Ads
- 2 million users paid for ads on Instagram, which is owned by Facebook
- 32% growth in social media advertising across the globe from 2017 to 2018
- Instagram almost doubled its take in ads from 2017-2018 with $6.84 billion
- There is an expected 73% growth in ad spending for the next 5 years!
- 45% of the world has social media
You can make up all the excuses in the world for not using social media ads at this point, but you will either catch up or be left behind in the social business world. Businesses are now thriving more than ever on social media, and this is coming across every platform possible.
While the ad explosion has already hit, it doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon with all the new social media platforms coming out. The most recent Tik Tok platform has recently exploded on the scene, and it is a matter of time before ads become relevant and apart of the platform itself.
why outsource social media management?
This is probably the easiest question to answer for a business owner if you are looking to become relevant on social media. The answer is TIME! Leaving your social media footprint is not as easy as most would think, and this is how so many businesses get ahead.
Time is the one thing we can’t get back, and making quality social media post to gain organic traffic either take a lot of time, or a lot of money. Most platforms suggest 1 post per day, 1 video every 4 days, and 1 live stream per week to just get started. All of those need to be high quality, and this is because of the amount of competition out there, so simply posting an average image of your mom on your business page talking about computers will no longer suffice.
The average social media manager will spend roughly between 6-15 hours per week on 1 client with roughly 3-5 platforms. This alone will tell you why most businesses will outsource the social media aspect of their business.
The typical business will typically try to get an already paid employee to run the social media, but soon find out how much time it takes, and will eventually take away from their primary job.
what social media is important to my business?
This a really commonly asked question whether you are talking to clients or just browsing through google. Each social media platform has its relevancy to each business. Each social media platform has optimized uses for each type of business.
Facebook is the one platform that has been able to adapt to almost every business model. It is able to be social by text, video, gifs, messages, and so many other ways. No one platform has this advantage, and why it is recommended every business has a Facebook business page.
- It has 2.32 billion monthly active users as of December 2018, which is an increase of 9% from 2017.
- Facebook is currently the top-ranked platform for all social media users
- 150 million users use Facebook Stories daily
- 95% of businesses use Facebook worldwide
These stats alone should be convincing enough to use facebook, but so many ask about conversions using messenger. Over 10 billion messages are sent on facebook per month. If a business wants to sell its services or products, they will respond.
As far as network, Facebook is 2nd, only behind Google. Facebook will be the headliner for a long time, and when they bought Instagram, they just extended their relevancy by at least 7 to 10 years at least. Facebook has been very dominant on spotting where the eyeballs are going when it comes to social media, and not afraid to pay heavy amounts to purchase them.
Instagram had an explosion in 2018 for business use and never turned back. The most obvious markets hit were the Real Estate and Food markets. You started seeing all types of hashtags popping up for bother markets including #foodporn, #foodie, #househunting, #FHB, FSBO and more.
Instagram will not work on every business model. The key businesses that need Instagram will be any that could provide quality photo’s that are useful for the customer to make the conversion. A few examples would be restaurants, real estate, car dealerships, beauty salons, car detail shops, photographers, and many more. Below are some stats on why Instagram meets the importance of social media in business:
- Over 1 Billion active users
- Close to 60% of all Instagram users come back daily
- 500 million people use Instagram stories daily
- Around 50% of the users are between 18 and 34
- 39% of Instagram users are women, 30% male
- 60% of all Instagram users have claimed they have found a new product on it
- Instagram has over 25 million business profiles
Twitter will always be known for one thing, and that is the hashtag. Twitter’s entire existence rests on the hashtag, and it has thrived on it ever since. Twitters throughout the past 2 to 3 years has come down to a certain market use. Twitter is used primarily now to do announcements, news releases, and anything that would involve “breaking”.
- Twitter has 321 million active monthly users, a decline of 3% since 2017
- 40% of Americans use twitter between the ages of 18 to 29, and it is a very steep decline after that
- 500 million tweets per day are sent out
- Most twitter users aren’t tweeting, they are simply looking
- Tweets with video get 10X the engagement, which has really defined its market
- 84% of all businesses use twitter, but expected declines are coming
- 125 million hashtags were shared every day in 2018
Unless you are really trying to hit social media from every direction, there is a good chance Twitter may not be worth the time and effort. Recommended businesses would be any news, blog-focused, or group-based business. There are more, but do your research before you commit.
The Facebook of Business as most refer to it as. This platform has quickly grown to become necessary in a lot of business worlds. The reality of the situation is this, if you are not B2B, you could be very well wasting time and money.
Most businesses think if they don’t have a business then they are being left out, but this is not the case, and it’s not close. This platform is used for 3 things heavily
- Business to Business
Those are the core features of LinkedIn. I would expect it to adapt and try to overcome some obstacles like the maximum 10-minute videos and unknown advantage of the hashtag that differs from any other platform. I am not in any way bashing LinkedIn, I just think a lot of businesses dump a lot of money in the wrong spots, and this could be one. Below are some stats on LinkedIn
- Has 610 million users
- Over half of LinkedIn traffic comes from mobile users
- Over 9 billion impressions per week on LinkedIn
- 62% of users use LinkedIn, 86% are B2B
- 90% of LinkedIn users say they are open to job opportunities
- It is a lead driven platform with a 63% use
If you are B2B, want to network or want to hire staff, then this is a no brainer, and would highly recommend putting in the effort for networking at least and adjust your use from there. Business to Business is a no brainer and would start ASAP. The big question lingering is, what is the replacement for LinkedIn because there seems to be no one in sight.
If you are interested in more statistics, below are the resources used:
- Hootsuite – 130 + social media statistics that matter to marketers in 2019
- Instagram – Our Story
- Facebook reports 4th quarter and full-year 2018 results
Trend 3 Media works day and night to be different in the extraordinary social universe, give us a chance to show the world what you have to offer!