Instagram, like all social media channels, is all about joining in on the conversation with your community, showing off what you’ve got or have been doing and informing your audience.
According to Instagram, 90% of its users follow a business account and Instagram is encouraging companies to use the platform by continuously rolling out new business-specific features.
If you’re thinking about setting up an Instagram account for your business, or if you already have one and don’t quite know how to use it effectively, here are some of our top tips for success:
- Define your brand
Before even starting to develop your Instagram account, have you decided what your brand image is? The decisions on your design features, including the colours, fonts and imagery style used, are an important starting point for developing a brand personality.
Who are trying to get to follow and engage with your content? This will greatly influence how you set up your profile and the strategy for what you will be posting. It’s a good idea to research competitors or brands targeting a similar audience to you as this will guide your branding decisions.
- Set up a business profile
Setting up a business profile on Instagram is easy and you can also switch to a business profile if you’ve already set it up as a personal account.
To switch your profile to a business account, go to your profile and tap the three lines in the top right-hand corner, then settings, account and click ‘Switch to a professional account’.
Once you’ve set it up, it’s crucial to make sure you optimise your profile and bio for your business needs. Some key areas to update include:
- The contact information: include the company email address, phone number and physical address on your profile. Instagram will automatically add buttons to make it easy for potential customers to get in contact.
- Category: choose a suitable category that fits your business and instantly shows those visiting your profile who you are. This will appear under your business name on your profile page.
- Call-to-action buttons: these buttons allow customers to make a purchase directly from your profile page, including ordering food or booking an appointment. From your business profile, tap ‘Edit profile’, then ‘Action buttons’ and select the action buttons you’d like to add.
- Track results with analytics tools
Setting up a business account will give you access to analytics for your Instagram account, and they can be accessed via the ‘Insights’ button under ‘Edit profile’ on your profile page.
Instagram analytics are a great way to understand your audience and how they are interacting with your profile. You’ll find information such as what posts led to profile visits and follows, which days your content received the most interactions, and details about your audience’s demographic and behaviours.
- Utilise the Shop function
Bridging the gap between a customer discovering your product and making the final purchase is an important step when targeting an audience with an ever-shortening attention span.
An Instagram Shop allows you to integrate your product catalogue within your profile and promote your products directly to users through posts, Stories, in the Explore tab, and in a special Shop tab on your profile.
- Emojis are your friend
Businesses can often get so caught up in appearing professional that they forget Instagram is all about personality.
Using emojis in your posts is a great way to add that extra level of personality and relatability to your brand.
The visuals and emotions you show on social media are an important part of building your brand persona and an emoji or two is one of the simplest ways to do this.
- Reels are all the rage
Short snippets of video content are a valuable addition to your Instagram profile and are much more likely to grab a user’s attention.
Reels are the perfect way to create 30-second fun videos with audio and effects that can be shared to your followers or to the wider Instagram community through the Explore tab.
The Explore tab, accessed from the main home screen via the bottom navigation bar, will automatically generate new videos based on users’ viewing habits. This means they’re much more likely to discover your videos and enjoy and engage with your account.
Remember, it’s not all about followers
Sometimes it really is quality over quantity. As a business you want to attract followers who will engage regularly with your content. Not only will this boost your posts and increase their reach, but it also means your followers are more likely to make a purchase.
It's also important to engage and interact back with your followers; this builds relationships and encourages them to keep interacting with your posts too.
At Shooting Star, we’ve worked with numerous businesses to manage their Instagram accounts, whether they’re just setting one up or growing an existing Instagram presence.