Instagram for Business: A Beginner’s Guide

Instagram is by far one of the fastest growing apps available. There are now more than 300 million users sharing more than 70 million photos and videos every single day. Those numbers are huge, so it only makes sense that the top brands are racing to take advantage of the opportunity for reach and growth this platform provides. The awesome thing about Instagram is that you don’t have to be a large corporation making a ton of money to grow a huge following. There are millions of individuals, small and mid-sized businesses, and organizations that have been able to stand out and make a name for themselves. No matter the size of your business, Instagram is the perfect platform to really let your personality, and brand, shine.

 

Instagram for Business: A Beginners' Guide

Establish your profile.

First of all, you will need to set up your Instagram business account and profile. Since Instagram is a primarily mobile app, you will do the majority of your account set up and management on your phone, not on your desktop computer. You will likely want to keep your business account separate from your personal account. Instagram is pretty laid back and casual but your business should still appear polished and professional. Clean imagery and brand consistency is the best way to accomplish  that goal.

instagram edit profile

Account Name:

Use your business name and email address to sign up rather than using your Facebook login information. You will choose a name and a username. Both should be as close as possible to your actual business name. Keep it consistent by using the same name (or as close as possible) across all of your social media accounts. Your name and username are the only fields that Instagram considers in search queries, so including a keyword in your name will increase your chances of being found.

Profile Image:

Your profile picture should be your logo or another image that represents your business. If you use a photo of yourself, keep it professional and stay away from selfies or photos where you’ve obviously cropped other people out of the photo. Keep in mind that your profile picture will be cropped into a circle and primarily viewed on small handheld devices. At just 150 x 150 pixels, it will be a fairly small image.

Bio:

Keep your bio short, simple, and to the point. Although the keywords and hashtags in your bio are not searchable, your description should clearly state what your followers can expect from you. Share who you are, what you will provide and how you are unique.

Website:

Instagram allows you to include one clickable url in your profile, so it should be a direct link to your business website or blog – although you may want to change this from time to time depending on specific campaigns. Don’t forget to get your Instagram badge and add it to your website so that your website visitors can find you and follow.

Linked Accounts:

Be sure to link your Instagram account to your other social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and Tumblr. You can learn more about that here.

Define your brand strategy.

Before you post any pictures, create your brand strategy. What is the purpose or goal of your Instagram account? Are you trying to drive traffic to your website? Engage potential customers? Sell products? Bring brand awareness?

With your goal in mind, seek to understand who your audience is and what they are interested in. What will they find appealing and interesting? How will you inspire and motivate your potential customers to want to know more about you?

You may have to look at your brand in a slightly different way to account for the primarily visual aspect of Instagram. If you’re not sure where to start, begin by searching out and learning from other brands and industry partners and competitors that you like and would appeal to your target audience. Take a look at their followers and the people or businesses that they follow.

As with your brand, you want to stay consistent in your theme and style. Think of your account like a portfolio and consider the look and feel of each photo or video, as well as, your account as a whole. When you notice a particular image is not meshing well, delete it. Decide on certain elements that will connect your photos and images with your brand. You may choose to accomplish this through filters, color palette, or photographic style. You want your brand to be recognizable even without your logo attached.

Keep your goal in mind when you develop your strategy and create concepts that align with your  goals.

33 Acres Brewing does a great job of remaining brand consistent in their photos.

33 Acres Brewing great instagram business account

Build your community.

For some it may be an icky word, but what’s social media without “networking”? With Instagram networking is all about interacting with your Instagram community. Think “sharing” not “selling”.

Don’t just post your photos and sit back and wait for the likes to roll in. You need to grow and engage your community by following other people and brands that you really enjoy and liking and commenting on their posts. Check out the people that follow you and follow them back if you like what they’re doing. You can also follow them on their other social media platforms. Consider the city or community where you are located. We are located just north of Atlanta so we want to highlight local places and the cool events happening all over our city. Even if you live in a small town, and especially if you have a brick and mortar storefront or deal primarily in local business, this can be a huge point of community engagement for you and your brand.

Share your story.

Instagram provides an excellent opportunity to share your brand’s story and reach a whole new audience through images, captions, and videos. Share photos and videos that you think your followers will enjoy.

Share consistently but spread your posts out throughout the day. The number of times you post per day will vary depending on your followers and what works for them and you. Monitor interaction and adjust your posting schedule, as needed.

Finally, show off your products! Just don’t go overboard. Share them in the context of a lifestyle brand so it doesn’t feel ‘salesy’. Be sure to get a good mix of fun and business so your account isn’t all work and no play. When someone visits your account they should feel like they are seeing real pictures taken by real people, even if you’re a huge brand like Nike.

great instagram business account nike

These are just a few of the basic first steps in getting your brand established on Instagram. Above all, remember to show your personality and have fun. 

Check us out on Instagram. Click the image below and ‘follow’ us as we grow our insta-community!

emini instagram

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