How to Use Instagram for Business (4 easy steps)

As Facebook refocuses on connecting people with content from family and friends, Instagram has become “the new home for brands,” where engagement is high, followers are brand-loyal, and real business goals can be achieved.

Here’s everything you know about how to use Instagram for business—whether you’re just getting started or you simply need to refine your existing strategy.

Step 1: Get an Instagram business account

If you already have a personal Instagram account with brand-appropriate content and an established following, you might want to simply convert it to an Instagram business account. This gives you access to all the business features but makes the transition seamless for your existing followers.

You could also choose to create a brand-new Instagram business account. This is the right choice if you don’t have an existing personal account, or if your personal account does not accurately represent your business.

How to set up an Instagram business account from scratch

  1. Download the Instagram app for iOS, Android, or Windows.
  2. Open the app and tap Sign Up.
  3. Enter your email address and tap Next. If you want to connect your Instagram business account to your Facebook Business Page, make sure to use an admin email address to sign up, or tap Log in with Facebook.
  4. Choose your username and password and fill in your profile information. (We’ll dive into how to optimize your Instagram business profile information later in this post.)
  5. Tap Done.
  6. You now have a personal Instagram account that’s ready to convert to a business account. Continue by following the steps below.

Step 2: Create a winning Instagram strategy

Define your target audience

Before you can decide what kind of content to post in Instagram, you need to think about who’s going to see it.

The vast majority of Instagram users are under the age of 35, with a fairly close split between male and female users. The United States has the largest number of Instagram users, closely followed by India, Brazil, and Indonesia. That’s good information to get you started, but you need to go beyond these overall Instagram demographics to define a target audience unique to your brand.

Since defining your target market is one of the most important parts of your marketing strategy for any marketing tool, we’ve created a step-by-step guide that explains all the details. Here’s the short version:

  • Determine who already buys from you.
  • Check the analytics on your other social media channels to learn who follows you there.
  • Do some thorough competitor research.
  • Create a clear value statement for your brand.

Set goals and objectives

Knowing what you want to accomplish by using Instagram for business is the first stage in creating an effective Instagram strategy. Understanding your goals keeps you on track and allows you to focus all of your efforts on achieving real business objectives.

Effective goals follow the SMART framework. That means they are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant, and
  • Timely

As you build your Instagram presence, it’s okay to have goals based on vanity metrics like likes, follows, and comments. But make sure you also set goals that relate to real business objectives. Which leads us to…

Focus on the right performance metrics

The exact metrics to measure and track will vary for each business. But, broadly, you should focus on metrics related to the social funnel.

That means your goals should align to one of the four stages in the customer journey:

  • Awareness: Includes metrics like brand awareness, follower growth rate, and post reach.
  • Engagement: Includes metrics like engagement rate (based on likes) and amplification rate (based on shares).
  • Conversion: In addition to conversion rate, this includes metrics like click-through rate and bounce rate. If you’re using paid ads, conversion metrics also include cost per click and CPM.
  • Customer: These metrics are based on actions customers take, like providing testimonials.

Commit to a regular posting schedule

Once you start building a following on Instagram, your fans will expect to see posts from you on a regular basis. You want to keep them aware of your brand and engaged with your content without overwhelming them to the point that they tune out—or worse, unfollow.

There’s no one time that’s best to post for all businesses. After analyzing 1,000 BhadooskyMedia Instagram posts, the we found that the best time to post was 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. on weekdays, since followers were scrolling through Instagram on their lunch breaks.

That’s what works for us. It’s not necessarily what will work for you. You’ll need to do some testing to determine what times seem to create the most engagement for your post (more on that later).

The key factor is to understand when your audience is online. Remember that they may not be in the same time zone as you are. Instagram Insights shows you exactly when your followers are online, broken down by day.

Instagram analytics

Step 3: Optimize your profile

You entered some basic profile information when you first created your Instagram business account. Now it’s time to optimize your profile for the best results

Tweak your bio

Your Instagram bio is only 150 characters long, but it needs to do a lot of heavy lifting. It tells first-time visitors who you are, what your brand is all about, and why they should care.

  • name as well as any variations (like a common abbreviation). Using the same username (or handle) on all social networks makes it easier for fans to find you.
  • Website: This is the only spot on Instagram where you can post an organic clickable link, so be sure to include one! Link to your website, your latest blog post, a current campaign, or a specialInstagram landing page.

Step 4: Share great content

Create a visual aesthetic for your brand

Instagram is all about the visuals, so it’s important to have a recognizable visual identity.

First, think about what you will showcase in your posts. In some cases, the content will be obvious: a clothing line might showcase its clothes, and a restaurant might post photos of its food.

Step 4: Share great content

Create a visual aesthetic for your brand

Instagram is all about the visuals, so it’s important to have a recognizable visual identity.

First, think about what you will showcase in your posts. In some cases, the content will be obvious: a clothing line might showcase its clothes, and a restaurant might post photos of its food.

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