Getting started with Instagram for Business

Instagram is one of the fastest growing social media channels – currently there are around 800 million active monthly users, liking 4.2 billion posts per day.  Users are up from 700 million a year ago and projected to surpass 111 million in 2019.  Instagram users are some of the most engaged on social media, with half of its user base between 18 and 29 years old – on average an Instagram account enjoys 58% more engagement per follower than Facebook – so it is definitely time to up your Instagram game!

Instagram business profiles offer business account users the ability to get insights into their followers, promote posts, run ads and have a contact button on their profile.  You can manage your Instagram business page via Facebook.

Businesses which have ready access to great visual content are particularly well suited to Instagram, retailers, fashion brands, photographers, event venues, restaurants etc. will find it much easier to post – businesses who are more service based and don’t have much visual content will have to use a bit more imagination to make their posts engaging.   Try to show your company culture in photos, using ‘behind the scenes’ photos of your people, sharing industry related infographics, photo’s of your location, industry relevant memes and quotes are some ideas if you are not lucky enough to have a ready supply of great images available to you.

Instagram is intended to be used directly from mobile or tablet devices so uploading photos from a desktop or laptop is more difficult, although not impossible.  Social media management apps like buffer and Hootsuite have now introduced support for posting on Instagram, there are also a few third party browser plug-ins which enable you to post directly from your computer – see this useful blog for more information on that.

To build your business profile on Instagram, start by making sure you fill out your business bio and contact information.  (Note - you will need to link your account to a Facebook profile to set up a business profile on Instagram).  You can add your logo or branding to your profile to make sure you are recognisable.  If you are completely new to Instagram, start following businesses which are in your niche, have a look at the hashtags and keywords they are using to get some ideas on which to use – try to use a mixture of niche and popular tags and take notice of daily tags like #throwbackthursday and #feelgoodfriday, see this list for more.  You should aim to post regularly, ideally every day and make sure you use hashtags on your posts to get them seen in feeds.  Don’t worry about over using hashtags – this isn’t really a thing on Instagram!    Just remember that this is the way posts get seen so do make sure they are relevant to your business.  It’s fine to publish other peoples content to your feed as long as you make sure to credit them – this is a good way to build followers and drive engagement.    

Some people advocate sticking with a theme and a small range of filters to give your feed a more uniform look – this tends to make your profile more visually pleasing when viewed as a whole.

As with all social media platforms, consistency is key and making time to post regularly is important – scheduling via an app like Hootsuite or Buffer can help with that.    

It may seem like mastering another social media platform will take a bit of work, after all, some of you have only just got to grips with Facebook, but Instagram is certainly worth the effort – in terms of engagement it out performs Facebook –achieving 10 X more engagement with brands and Twitter with 84 X more engagement!  

For more information on Social Media Marketing, download our free guide – ‘10 top tips for effective digita marketing’