Instagram has grown at an exponential rate in recent years, from one million users in December 2010 to over one billion by 2020. Every month, over one billion people use Instagram, and over five million companies use it to visually convey their stories, interact with their fans, and grow their brands.
Roughly 90% of the registered over one billion people follow at least one business. Using Instagram for business is a no-brainer in 2021.
One could argue that Instagram is like no other social media platform. The platform is nearly exclusively based on sharing images and videos rather than words. Instagram has become a cultural powerhouse as a result of this visual twist; “Instagramming” is now a verb.
It seems big and small all brands are on Instagram. Brands can run fundraisers in Instagram Live broadcasts, open shops from their profiles and let people book reservations from their accounts. Updates of new business tools, features and tips in the app have become pretty much routine.
It can be intimidating to think about how you can stand out in such a vast crowd if you’re new to Instagram. However, getting started with Instagram is a lot simpler than it appears.
You’re in luck if you want to get an Instagram account or if you already have one but aren’t sure how to utilise it. We’ll go over all you need to know about Instagram so you can see why it’s the most popular social media site for engagement right now.
How to use Instagram for your business?
1. Set up your account and profile
If you have not downloaded the Instagram app, you can grab it from the App Store, Google Play Store, or Microsoft Store.
When you create an Instagram account through the mobile app, the app will walk you through a few simple setup steps. There are two things to keep in mind |
A circle will appear around your Instagram profile photo. If you’re using your company logo, make sure it’s in the centre of the image. Also, because your profile image will be small in the app, a prominent logo mark rather than a logo with text may be preferable.
The software will not prompt you to complete your profile information but doing so will be beneficial. Go to your profile in the app and touch “Edit Profile” to complete your profile details. Your website and bio are the two fields to fill out. If you want to alter your Instagram username (i.e. @username), you can do it here as well.
2. Post photos or videos
Simply use the “+” icon at the bottom to upload a photo or video. Instagram will display your picture library’s most recent photos. By touching on “Photo” or “Video,” you can also select to capture a new photo or video.
Select your media
Here’s how |
You can submit your photo as a portrait or a landscape if you’re using photos from your library. Tap the symbol with two arrows in the lower-left corner of the preview to select your chosen photo. The photo can then be moved and zoomed in to fit within the frame as desired.
You can also upload up to 10 photos and videos into a single Instagram post. Tap on the icon with two overlapping squares in the lower-right corner of the preview and select your media.
To record a new video, press and hold the record button for a few seconds. If you want to record a few different things, let go of the record button, point your phone camera somewhere else, and then press and hold the record button to resume recording.
If you are sharing single-image posts, you can now schedule Instagram posts to help ensure you’re posting high-quality content consistently.
Edit your media
After you’ve chosen your media for your post, you can apply a filter or make changes to the orientation, brightness, contrast, and other aspects of it. When your media is ready, simply touch “Next” to complete the specifics of your post.
Write a caption | Your caption appears just below your media when your post is published. You can mention another Instagram account (i.e. @username) and add hashtags (i.e. hashtags) here. Accounts that you mention will receive a notification about it, and your post will appear when someone searches for the hashtags you used.
Tag People | If you are posting a photo or a collection of photos, you can tag multiple Instagram accounts in each photo. The accounts you tag will also receive a notification about it.
Add Location | If your media is a photo or video of a location, you could add a location tag to your post. Your post will appear when someone searches for posts in that specific location.
Social shares | If you have connected other social media profiles to your Instagram account, you can easily share your posts on those profiles by toggling the switch.
Now is the time… Once you’ve finished your post, tap “Share,” and Instagram will publish it. Everyone who follows you will see your post in their feed. One of the best practices for growing an Instagram account is to post consistently.
3. Post-Instagram stories
Every day, more than 250 million individuals use Instagram to share their stories. Instagram stories are a new type of content on the platform. They’re photographs and movies that vanish after 24 hours. Verified accounts can include a link in their Instagram stories that directs users to their favourite website.
Instagram stories, unlike regular Instagram posts, do not appear in your profile gallery or the feeds of your followers. They’re in a separate feed at the top of the app, hidden beneath your profile photo.
Simply swipe right on your Instagram feed to post an Instagram storey. You’ll be directed to camera mode, where you can capture a photo or video, or upload a photo or video from the previous 24 hours. You can add stickers (including hashtag and location tag stickers), draw, and add text after you’ve shot or selected a photo.
Here are 10 different ways of using Instagram Stories |
- Tell a story
- Explain how to do something
- Promote a blog post
- Share a list
- Announce promotions
- Offer discounts
- Share an interesting statistics
- Share a quote
- Introduce an Instagram takeover
- Make an announcement
4. Find people to follow
Next, let’s look at some of the accounts we’ve been following to see what they’ve been publishing or will be posting.
If you haven’t followed any accounts yet, Instagram will invite you to “Find people to follow” on your feed and give you three options. You can connect your Facebook account, join your contacts, or follow Instagram-recommended accounts. I believe that using the Instagram search and exploration tool is a superior strategy.
In the search and explore tab, Instagram will show you Instagram stories and posts that you might like. Here’s how I would go about finding people to follow |
- Type in a keyword that is relevant to your business in the search bar
- Check out the suggested Instagram profiles or hashtags
- Follow the profiles that are relevant to your business
- Check out profiles that are recommended to you when you follow a profile
It would be ideal if you could follow your customers. (Imagine being followed by your favourite brand!) While finding all of your clients on Instagram is very impossible unless you know them directly, you could enlist their assistance. Here are a few ideas |
- Mention your new Instagram profile on your other social media profiles such as your Facebook Page
- Add a link to your Instagram profile on your website or blog
- Include your Instagram username on your name cards
When people follow you on Instagram, you’ll receive a notification. Check out their profiles and follow them, too.
5. Comment on posts
It’s not only about publishing on social media. It’s also about interacting with others. Tap the speech bubble icon underneath the photo or video to leave a remark on it. You can either leave a new comment or reply to one that has already been made.
It’s a good practice to respond as soon as possible to your followers’ comments on your images (yeah! ), such as leaving a remark or asking you a question about your business, to show that you’re paying attention to social media.
Sprout Social conducted over 1,000 interviews and discovered that 70% of those polled are more likely to use a business’s product or service if the brand replies to them on social media. When a brand fails to respond, 30% of customers will turn to a competitor.
Engaging with your followers contributes to the development of your brand, which can help you convert followers into customers and consumers into loyal customers.
6. Convert your profile to a business profile
We would recommend upgrading your Instagram profile to a business profile if you are using Instagram for your business or corporation. You can use a business profile to offer additional information about your company and promote your Instagram posts. More significantly, you get Instagram stats for your account.
All you need to convert your profile to a business profile is a Facebook Page. Here’s how to do it |
- Go to your profile on the mobile app and tap on the gear icon
- Tap on “Switch to Business Profile”
- Select the Facebook Page that you want to be associated with your Instagram account
- Fill out your email address, phone number, and postal address
- Tap “Done”
7. Use the free analytics
Instagram provides a wide range of metrics that help you measure your performance, understand your audience, and improve the results of your Instagram marketing.
Most metrics can be considered level-one metrics—or data in its most basic form. These Instagram metrics are straightforward numbers such as followers, impressions, reach, likes, comments, and clicks. While this information is helpful, the numbers are a snapshot in time. To focus on continuous improvement, growth, and optimization, you’ll need to look at level-two performance metrics.
8. Use tools to help you
Finally, if you’re feeling daring, check out a couple of Instagram tools that can help you create better material, save time, and post more consistently. Here are a few tools to help you get started |
Photo Editor by Aviary | for editing your photos (web and mobile app)
Display Purpose | for finding the best hashtags to use (web app)
Adobe Spark | for creating amazing Instagram stories (web and mobile app)
Buffer for Instagram | for posting on Instagram consistently (web and mobile apps)
Whether you’re an aspiring influencer, photography lover, or an everyday social media user, or a business owner Instagram is a great place to be. It’s easy to get started, so if this article has piqued your interest, give it a try.
Save time managing Instagram for business using Shergroup’s social media solution. We will manage, schedule, and publish posts to your Instagram account, engage your audience, measure the performance, and manage all your other social media profiles. Trust us when we say we can handle your social media and help you earn the engagement and followers you always wished for. Our social media experts know what’s trending and how best to promote your business on social media. So, you can leave all your worries with us and enjoy how the popularity of your brand.
Contact one of our business solutions advisors for more details about our process.
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