Wondering how to use Instagram for business?
There are 1 billion people on Instagram. 63% of those users log in to their account at least once every single day, and a massive 200 million say they visit one business profile a day (at least).
Instagram isn’t just a place for people to share pictures of their pets. This popular visual platform is one of the most valuable business branding and marketing tools around.
Where Facebook is focusing more heavily on connecting people with the content their friends and family members share, Instagram is becoming the ultimate environment for professional growth. Engagement is high, Instagram followers are loyal, and there are endless ways to engage with leads.
But how exactly do you turn your Instagram profile into a marketing tool?
Here’s everything you need to know.
Currently, there are around 25 million companies active on Instagram.
Originally, business leaders assumed that Instagram was only worth using as a marketing tool if you were running a fashion or makeup brand. However, the truth is that this platform can work for any organization in search of engagement.
Around 70% of shopping fans say that they use Instagram for product discovery, and to help them figure out what to buy. Additionally, customers like engaging with businesses on their Instagram profiles, and most users follow at least one company.
With Instagram, companies have a variety of engaging ways to connect with their audience. Instagram users can build their brand image through videos and pictures or deliver exclusive experiences with Stories. Companies on Instagram can design videos with Reels and IGTV or create shoppable posts where customers can buy items instantly.
Perhaps even more importantly, Instagram opens the door to better mobile customer engagement. Mobile purchases are set to reach a value of around $3.56 trillion by 2021. A huge portion of Instagram’s user base is mobile, and one-third of the community say they’ve bought something through mobile.
The first thing you need to do to benefit from Instagram for Business, is to create a Business account. The business account on Instagram gives you access to extra features, including the option to run Instagram ads. If you already have an Instagram account that’s suitable for your business, you can convert that account into a Business profile.
Go to Instagram and click on Profile then tap the three lines icon at the top of the screen. Tap on Settings, then choose Switch to Professional Account:
You’ll need to decide if you want to connect your Instagram business account to your Facebook page. This will come in handy if you want to create shoppable posts later. You’ll also have to add your contact information, including a phone number and physical address.
Now you know how to switch to the right account type, let’s explore how to use Instagram for business as effectively as possible.
Instagram links are a valuable tool in generating opportunities for your business. The right link can send traffic back to your website, so customers can deepen their relationship with you. Links are also a powerful tool in increasing revenue, as they can direct customers to landing pages and deals that eventually drive conversions.
The only problem? Your linking opportunities on Instagram are limited. You only get one opportunity to add a link to your bio, like so:
That makes it hard to send your customers to various crucial product pages or deals. Fortunately, there are a few ways to make links work for you:
All forms of Influencer marketing have grown in popularity recently, as consumers become more suspicious of traditional ads. Influencer marketing connects your brand to a person or group that your audience already trusts and respects. This gives you instant credibility.
Instagram is a particularly popular avenue for influencer marketing because it’s so easy to collaborate on Stories, use branded hashtags, and mention a company in a post. In 2020, 69% of companies said they planned to spend the biggest portion of their budget on Instagram influencer marketing.
The great thing about Instagram, is that you don’t need to spend a fortune on huge A-list celebrities either. Micro-influencers can also make a huge difference. For instance, Glossybox.US shared this picture from @Amelia_katee_fit – a fitness PT trainee with around 30k in followers:
To leverage influencer marketing, start by:
When it comes to figuring out how to use Instagram for business, remember that you’re dealing with a social media platform. In other words, if you want your campaigns to be successful, then you need to be “social”. Engage your audience by actually connecting with them.
It might sound obvious, but when someone comments on your photos, respond to them and use some mentions to really make them feel special. Check out how @WorldWanderlust connects with her followers here:
Engaging your audience can take some time. You need to sort through your comments and make sure that you’re responding with something meaningful. A canned response like “thanks” or an emoji won’t help people to build genuine relationships with you.
You can also engage your audience by asking them questions about you and your brand. Instagram Stories offers an awesome polling and voting system that you can use to collect feedback on everything from your customer’s favorite products, to what they’d like you to release next.
Asking questions simultaneously engages your audience and gives you useful information that you can leverage for growing your business. Don’t forget that you can get extra guidance on the kind of content that your customers love, and which strategies boost conversions by checking out your Instagram Insights too.
Want to get your customers excited about your brand and your products? Contests are one of the best ways to engage with both new and existing fans. Everyone loves the opportunity to win something, and you don’t have to give a lot away for your promo to be effective.
Ask your customers to #like your post for a chance to win, or mention a friend that they would love to share a prize with. This is an excellent way to generate engagement and help spread brand awareness throughout your industry too.
The key to running a successful competition is making sure that you have something impressive to give away. Make sure that your audience actually wants whatever you’re offering. You can even consider teaming up with other brands to make the prize more appealing like @homecountycandleco do here:
A few extra tips to keep in mind when running your promos include:
Make sure that you read through Instagram’s promotion guidelines to ensure that you’re following the rules carefully. You don’t want to run the risk of getting on Instagram’s bad side.
You don’t have to pay to win on Instagram all the time. However, working with Instagram ads does give you an extra opportunity to boost your chances of reaching the right audience. Instagram ads are fantastic because they allow you to use the amazing targeting features of Facebook.
Instagram makes it easy to specifically choose who you want to connect with whenever you launch a new ad campaign. You can also cross-promote your brand across both Facebook and Instagram at the same time, to reduce the costs of finding new customers.
To start creating an Instagram ad, go to the Facebook Ads Manager and click on Create. You can choose from a range of objectives for your ad, like driving traffic for your website or encouraging engagement.
Fill in all the details for your ad set, and remember to use hashtags, images and mentions in your ads to generate as much attention as possible. Your ads need to look incredible to gain the right attention on Instagram. Don’t forget to track the performance of your ads to ensure that you know how to make the most of your campaigns later.
Learning how to use Instagram for business doesn’t have to be as complicated as it seems. Once you know how to make the most of your business account, you can start generating more traffic and opportunities through contests, ads, and even influencer campaigns.
Remember, pay attention to the results of every promotion you use on Instagram. The more information you gather, the more you’ll learn about the strategies that give you the best ROI.
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