Social Media (organic and paid), Top Tips, Hints & Advice

11 Tips for Using Instagram for Business

Written by Elona Jetullahu on 19th March 2021

Not sure where to start on Instagram? Or, maybe you have been working on your Instagram business page for ages and just not seeing anything in return. This blog will feature eleven tips on how you can master your Instagram business page and truly own it with each and every post you send out to the world.

Firstly… Instagram. Is it for you?

Instagram has over one billion monthly active users, less competition and a more engaged audience than other social media giants like Facebook or Twitter. This presents businesses with the chance to reach a huge and often highly engaged audience. Instagram is also the second most logged in social media site for daily use after Facebook, and with over 90% of accounts follow at least one business on Instagram, I am certain using Instagram is worth the effort.

Statistics reflective on user activity on Instagram.

Before we jump into the eleven tips, let’s start off with identifying your objectives.

The most common objectives of Instagram marketing strategies are the following:

  • Brand awareness
  • Online community
  • Drive engagement
  • Drive traffic to the website
  • Announcing upcoming events
  • Products and services
  • Building bonds with influencers

Now that you’ve identified your objectives, let’s assume your Instagram page is a Business profile. Not a business profile? Not a worry.

Set up a free business profile

Within the app, find Settings, then scroll down to Switch to business account. When you have a business account, you can add pertinent business information such as opening hours, a business address or a phone number.

When you create a business account on Instagram, you’ll be able to get insights about your stories, posts and followers.

Now let’s move onto maximising your online presence potential with the following tips…

Tip #1: Optimise your Instagram business page

Profile picture: Use your high-quality logo

Category: There are over 100 categories you can choose from. Pick the one that most suits your product or service

Bio: Feature what your business does, any potential USP’s (e.g. 100% Vegan), and any hashtags you would like customers to use when tagging your product

Website: A website is essential when driving traffic is an objective

Contact info: Feature a generic but active email that users can contact you with

An example of a good Instagram profile layout.

Tip #2: Use metrics to identify your Instagram audience

Structure your content strategy with metrics that define the success of your goal. Understanding your audience demographics and performance of your posts can lead you to the positive ROI.

Post and audience metrics that can you access as a business:

  • Impressions
  • Reach
  • Profile views
  • Website clicks
  • Email click
  • Gender
  • Age range
  • Top locations
  • Audience most active time

Example of Instagram Insights.

Tip #3: Think aesthetically – colour scheme/layout

Think about your brand colours and visual style when it comes to Instagram. Align with your brand’s overall aesthetic and colour scheme.

Here are some points worth considering before uploading an image:

  • Is the image quality consistent with previous uploads?
  • Does the image align with your brand colours? If not, there are image editing apps to help manipulate the colours with filters
  • Will it compliment the other images on your Instagram feed? The app ‘Preview’ allows you to test this before uploading
  • Would your audience appreciate the image even if there was no caption? The image should be strong enough to speak for itself (not that we would suggest uploading with no caption!)

Tip #4: Don’t underestimate the power of captions

Captions are a chance to enhance your content further and there are plenty of ways brands use them.

Consider the following when writing up your captions:

  • Stay consistent with your brand’s voice
  • Tailor the message based on your audience
  • When promoting a product or service, avoid sounding too salesy
  • Use Emojis (if your brand voice allows it) for a friendlier, relaxed tone
  • Although Instagram captions are limited to 2,200 characters, we recommend using no more than three lines of text for posts that don’t need much context (after three lines of text the caption becomes truncated with an ellipsis)
  • Utilise hashtags: use no more than 5 hashtags per post, that way you can drive additional engagement. Up to 30 hashtags can be used within the comments if they are all relevant

Graphic of Instagram.

Tip #5: Define your business personality on Instagram

Most companies focus on the visual aspects of their brand communicate your brand’s personality in both your caption, and comments. Humanising your Instagram business account is a great way of making your business more memorable.

A way to define your business personality on Instagram is by identifying your persona. This is the tone of voice and wording featured within the content, such as your captions, imagery (text overlay), video narrations and responses to your comments. By choosing your brand persona, you will be able to give your Instagram page a friendly and more approachable presence.

Top tip: If your followers feel like they know you, they’ll gladly repost, share, and interact with your brand through their comments and likes.

Example of company using persona on Instagram.

Tip #6: Encourage your audience to post your product/service

UGC, also known as user-generated content is any form of content (images or videos) that have been created and shared by the users on a social media platform. It is valued as the most authentic, trustworthy, and reliable form of content. In other words, consider it as a review in visual form.

Why does user-generated content matter?

  • 90% of users trust UGC to influence their purchase decisions (TurnTo)
  • Showcasing the real experiences of real customers works as validation of authenticity
  • It displays brand advocacy as existing customers become brand representatives
  • It is a powerful technique in spreading word-of-mouth marketing

What factors contribute to a customer’s decision to post?

  • Customer satisfaction
  • Customer personality type
  • The customer may be an influencer/blogger
  • If customers find any UGC competitions (e.g. share your photo with us for a chance to win)
  • If customers are encouraged to share photos using your brand hashtag

How do I encourage our customers to post?

  • Make it easy to capture content for users: whether it’s in stores or online, giving users call-to-actions such as ‘tag us on Instagram’ or ‘use our hashtag to be featured on our page’ are effective ways of getting users involved
  • Provide incentives with rewards
  • When users do post about your brand, always interact! Whether it’s a comment or a share on your business profile story, this sort of interaction will encourage other users to do the same

 

Tip #7: Stuck on content? Remember your objectives

We all know how hard it can get when trying to consistently create visual content, but Instagram can be used for a lot more than generic product or service messages! Don’t feel restricted just because you’re profiled as a business.

Recap on the list of objectives:

Brand awareness

Before uploading a brand awareness post, consider the following for your image and caption:

  • What do you want your audience to know you as?
  • What do you sell or service?
  • Would you like to open up about your company culture and USP’s (e.g. environmental-friendly)?

Online community

Looking to build an online community for your brand?

  • Encourage comments in your next post. For example, ‘we love cinnamon in our banana bread, what’s your favourite addition? Comment below!’
  • When running competitions, ask users to tag a friend
  • Get personal. Captions are a great way of talking about your brand mission, or the latest news at your company

Drive engagement

When looking to drive user engagement, consider the following:

  • Upload high-quality photos (you can use your phone for this)
  • Upload fun, inspiring, motivational quotes, or quotes that align with your brand mission
  • Use the right hashtags that relate to your content (i.e. don’t use #strawberries when promoting a sofa)
  • Use Instagram Insights to understand when users are most active, and post at those times

Drive traffic to the website

In order to drive traffic to the website…

  • Ensure that the website URL available for users to click (located under your bio)
  • To visitors that are new or familiar with your Instagram page, it is important that you adopt all the previous tips to solidify your business account. When users see a business that appears active, engaging and also has a product or service in demand, the user would naturally want to take a look at your website.

Announcing upcoming events/product launch

Want to announce an upcoming event or product launch?

  • Utilise the Countdown Sticker located within the story options. This allows you to feature a short message and a live countdown (available for users to view for 24 hours)
  • Go live! Whether you want to show users what is going on behind the scenes, or whether you want to host a Q&A on Instagram, going live is a great way of building engagement prior to the launch
  • Post images or videos featuring sneak-peaks or teasers of the product/service

Website traffic via Instagram.

Tip #8: Upload Instagram Stories

Not only are Instagram stories fun and creative, but they’re one of the best ways to grow your engagement, build brand awareness, and even drive sales.

Benefits of uploading stories

  • Running low on inspiration? Instagram’s ‘Create mode’ within the Stories section has pre-populated stickers designed to kick-start your creativity
  • Insights allow you to view who has seen or interacted with the post, which gives you an idea as to who are your most engaged followers
  • Stories are proven to help boost engagement
  • Make your stories creative and fun using Instagram’s Emoji and GIFs option

Remember to: tailor the stories to your objectives – for example, if you’re looking to get more users to your website feature ‘Click the link in our bio’ for a clear call to action

Example of interactive Instagram story.

Tip #9: Organise your Stories into Highlights

Your highlights live front-and-center on your Instagram profile, so they’re perfect for helping new visitors discover what your company is all about.

Here is why Highlights are important:

  • Regular Instagram Stories vanish after 24 hours, but when you add it to an Instagram Story Highlight, your content gets a permanent spot on your profile
  • Highlights help customers find the information they need quickly (e.g. Q&A Highlight story, or ‘Special Offers’)
  • Brings your brand to life, especially when you allow users to see what’s going on behind the scenes or in the life of the CEO (examples)

Suggestions:

  • Be consistent – if you happen to upload stories, be sure to update the Highlights featuring the images/videos
  • Use simple, descriptive titles for your Highlights
  • Create custom icons for your Highlights that are consistent with your brand visuals

Tip #10: Create a 30 day content planner

The biggest step to running a successful Instagram account is to plan your content.

When writing your plan, remember:

  • Your objectives
  • Any content on your website can be created into a great visual piece for Instagram
  • Promote new website content when possible on Instagram
  • Keep the aesthetic appearance intact with every post
  • Aim to post every day if possible – your content plan should make this easier for you

Monthly Schedule for Instagram posts.

Tip #11: Post consistently and stick to your goals

It can get hard sometimes, but you will see results if you post consistently and stick to your objectives.

Things to consider before giving up (or not trying):

  • Your dream customer is online, and possibly on Instagram – take your chances
  • Experiment with different content to see what works for you and your audience
  • Be realistic with the number of times you post – choose a number you know you can stick to
  • Instagram is a visual interface for creative expression, be fun and experimental!

Instagram stock photo.

Now that you have 11 tips in your bag, we are certain you are ready to master using Instagram for your business.

As an agency, our social team specialises in organic and paid social media. If you’re interested in our team helping with your online marketing strategy, get in touch with us today.