Instagram is quickly becoming one of the best social platforms for business. Users regularly interact with businesses on this social networking website and seem more than willing to do so. It’s highly visual and highly engaging. And if you’re wondering which FOMO-inducing app is better for business, all signs point to Instagram (over Snapchat). Not on there yet? Well, better late than never. Here are 11 steps to get started, provided by Social Report.
1. Download the Instagram App
First things first, you will need a way to access Instagram via your smartphone or a web browser via your Mac or PC.
Instagram is smartphone optimized, and you will experience the social media platform there the best. However, you can easily access the site by typing Instagram.com on Safari, Google Chrome, and just about any browser available for desktop.
2. Create an Account and Choose a Profile Photo
Simply input basic information such as your email address or phone, your name, and username.
Remember that Instagram is an image-heavy platform, so it’s essential to consistently use high-quality photos. One of the first images you will be asked to upload is your profile photo. The profile photo will be very small, so text is out of the question. Instead, use your company logo.
3. Complete Your Profile Information
Instagram won’t ask you to provide profile information, but it’s important to fill out these details especially if you want to drive traffic to your website or a webpage.
To add information, go to your profile page and tap on Edit Profile. Here you can add your page’s description and website URL and change your name and username. After typing your brand’s information, simply tap Done.
4. Post Photos and Videos
After setting up your account, you can start publishing content. To post a photo or video, simply tap the + icon on the bottom section part of your screen. The app will conveniently show your most recent photos, but you can also choose to take a new photo by tapping Photo or record a new video by selecting Video.
When uploading media, you can:
- Zoom in or out of your photos by pinching
- Switch from landscape or portrait by tapping on the two-arrow icon on the left part of the screen.
- Upload up to 10 images or videos in a single post by the overlapping square icon on the right mid-right section of the screen.
Once you’ve selected the images or videos to upload, you will be given the option the edit the image. There will be several filters and edit options to quickly enhance your photos.
After editing, tap next and add the post details. Remember to add an appropriate caption and hashtags to the image. Also, tag the right people and add your location, if applicable. If your account is connected to your other social media sites, like Facebook or Twitter, you will be able to share your posts there too by selecting them manually.
When your post is ready, simply tap Share to publish.
6. Add a Story
Stories are images or videos that disappear after 24 hours, so they are a great way to publish unique, timely, or authentic content without flooding other people’s feeds or cramming content onto your profile. They’re great for updating people about live events or posting casual interactions that make people feel closer to your brand.
To add a story, simply tap on your profile photo on the stories feed located at the top right corner of your screen. Your stories can either be Live, a photo, or a video. To keep your stories interesting, try using additional formats like SuperZoom or Boomerang, and add stickers or text to them.
7. Find People
You’ve just made your first Instagram post, but you may have noticed that your feed is a bit empty. To fill this void, Instagram will ask you to “Find People to Follow” by connecting to your Facebook account, adding phone contacts, or through profile suggestions. These are the three easiest options as you can simply tap on a profile to follow them.
You can also search for friends, hashtags, brands, celebrities, or places in the Explore page, which you can access by tapping the Magnifying Glass on the bottom part of the screen. In this page, you will also see photos, videos, and stories from people who Instagram thinks will be most relevant to you.
8. Convert into a Business Account
If you’re using Instagram to market your brand, you may want to convert your account into a business profile. A business account on Instagram will give you more tools to manage and grow your brand on the platform. The added benefits of a business profile are:
- The ability to add your brand’s phone number, email, or location directly on your profile
- Create ads
- Access to Instagram’s analytics
These added features come completely free and all you need to have is a business Facebook page.
To convert your Instagram account into a business profile, follow these steps:
- Go to your profile and tap the three-dot icon on the top right part of the screen
- Scroll down and tap Switch to Business Profile
- Select the Facebook page associated with Instagram account
- Add details about your brand in the provided sections
After adding your details, simply tap Done, and you will have successfully converted into a business account.
9. Take Advantage of Instagram Insights
One of the most valuable tools you get from converting to a business profile on Instagram is its free analytics tools. In Instagram Insights, you will be able to see key information about your follower’s demographics and the time they are most active on the platform. Similarly, you can view your top performing posts and stories, which will give you a better idea of the type of content that your followers find most interesting.
10. Post Consistently
According to Social Media today, a staggering 70% of Instagram posts are never seen by users. That’s why it is important to use all tools at your disposal like stories, hashtags, and location tagging to increase the chances of your posts showing up on people’s feeds.
One of the best ways to ensure your target audience sees your posts is by posting consistently. That’s why scheduling your posts on Instagram is a must.
11. Engage with Other Accounts
Social Media is a great way for brands and their customers to build a relationship. One way to do this is by interacting with your current and future patrons through the comments section. When you find a post you want to comment on, simply tap on Speech Bubble icon at the bottom part of the post.
You can also respond to a comment by tapping the Reply button underneath the comment. This is a great way to interact with your customers or reply to their questions or concerns.
Publishing great content on Instagram is crucial, but engaging with your followers can help strengthen your brand and build a great relationship with your customers.
Have Fun with the ‘Gram
Instagram is a fun social platform, so don’t lose that when creating your posts. Because the medium is visual, words don’t tend to do the talking – your photos and videos do. Make them visually appealing, relevant, and sufficient to stand on its own (always caption, but as a supplement, not the focus). Ensure to be thorough with your setup and mark it as a business profile to make the most of the account. Your competitors are already on there, so stop hesitating and get started today.
More Resources for Instagram:
Deciding between Instagram and Snapchat? Here’s why to choose Instagram.
Looking to include video in your strategy? Try these hot video content ideas for 2018.
Create a highly visual Instagram feed with the tips here.