Instagram for Business has a wide range of ways for you to share images and stories, create targeted adverts and create a social media shopfront for your business.
Instagram is owned and run by Facebook, giving you access to a huge marketplace and a wide cross-section of different customers and prospects. Although Instagram started out as a simple photo-sharing platform, its links with Facebook now mean it’s a far more powerful and diverse tool to have in your social media armoury.
Whether you’re a small sole trader, a freelance influencer or a well-established business brand, there’s considerable value to having a meaningful presence on the Instagram platform .
Key reason to get proactive with Instagram
Instagram is the fifth most popular social network in the world at present. So it’s a platform that really can’t be ignored when it comes to raising your company’s online presence.
The fact that people say an image is ‘grammable’ (meaning, good enough to post on Instagram) tells you just how much Instragram usage has become part of modern culture. Being a platform that’s primarily used via a mobile app means that Instagram is always to hand – ready and waiting for images, videos and memes to be uploaded and shared.
It’s this element of sharing our day-to-day lives that’s made Instagram so popular. But it’s also an underlying ideology that has to define the way you use Instagram for your business. It’s a place to share your everyday business experiences, highlight your values and bring potential followers into your brand family. It’s certainly one of the more ‘social’ of the social media platforms – feeling a lot more human and welcoming than LinkedIn, for example.
These are the key ways to get up and running with Instagram:
- Create your Instagram account – set up an Instagram account and you can start posting and sharing. Once you have an account you can then transfer this into a business account and start making use of the more professional features of the platform. But to begin with, you need to upload your logo, give a short overview of your company and share links to your website and contact information.
- Post and share your day-to-day images – the key reason for having an Instagram account is to post images and videos. So, that’s the fundamental thing to get right from the outset. Get busy with your camera phone, make fun and interesting videos and give people an insight into the company, your brand and your people.
- Explore the possibilities of Stories and Reels – Instagram Stories allows you to post short clips, video and moments, which last for 24 hours in your story timeline. They’re a good way to share news and campaigns, but remember to pin any favourite stories or they will be lost forever. Instagram Reels are short 15 or 30-second videos that you can share with your followers. They’re permanent and can be a good way to share short clips of events that you want to promote and share.
- Broadcast with Instagram Live and IGTV – unlike Reels and Stories, which are short recorded moments, Instagram Live allows you to broadcast live to your followers. Think of it as your mini TV studio, giving you the ability to create live streamed events, Q&As or demonstrations, all broadcast straight from your device and out into the world. Once broadcast, you can share your long-form video recording of your broadcast to IGTV – giving you another channel to use when thinking about video marketing and demos etc.
- Get a custom plan – once you have a business account set up, Instagram can create a custom marketing plan for you. Tell them your goals and the plan will provide actionable skills to help you grow your followers, find new customers and make your brand more discoverable on the platform.
- Use Instagram Ads – Instagram is owned by Facebook, so you have access to the same broad advertising features you’d expect from their parent company. Instagram Advertising allows you to create highly targeted digital ads, focusing your ads at the specific demographics and follower groups that you want to engage with.
- Set up Instagram Shopping – Instagram Shopping is a set of features that lets people shop your photos and videos, from anywhere in the app. So, if your followers see an image of your latest product and like the post, they can also link through to your shopping portal to buy the product. It’s a great way to quickly increase the return on investment from your Instagram activity and have a positive impact on your sales.
- Be smart and review your Insight analytics – Instagram Insights give you the same lowdown on your account analytics as you get from Facebook Insights. These tools allow you to see who’s engaging with your Instagram content, which posts are proving to be popular and where you’re getting the best overall engagement and results. By following your Insights closely, you can use this info to inform your social media strategy and maximise the impact and ROI you’re getting from Instagram.
Start exploring the benefits of Instagram for Business
Sharing photos and stories may not initially sound like the most productive strategy for winning new customers and enhancing your sales. But with the Facebook-backed tools and features that Instagram now sports, it’s now a highly effective and productive social platform to explore.
By making Instagram a key channel for your business marketing, you can quickly build up a following, engage potential customers with your Stories, Reels and IGTV clips and start selling straight from the app – it really is that easy.