“Building a brand on the digital platform is all about show of paired with value-added service”
Let’s begin with the elephant in the room:
No, it’s not too late to get started on Instagram.
Not by a long shot.
Although the Instagram’s one billion user mark is just around the corner, marketers are still hopping on the bandwagon by the masses.
And why not? As the platform continues to roll out new business-specific features, there’s perhaps no better time than now to build your Instagram presence from scratch.
The best thing about Instagram is that this particular platform is not yet reserved for any brand as of such.
Running a brick-and-mortar business? An ecommerce empire? Or maybe you’re a solo business trying to snag some clout?
Good! There’s an audience on Instagram that’s waiting for you.
Have you been spending your nights searching for a comprehensive guide that will quickly tell you how to use your Instagram account for business?
For people who are not so much into digital platforms it might seem daunting initially.
A series of questions might be cluttering your mind right now like how to post? Why are you not being liked by anyone? And so on.
But in spite of having lack in knowledge about the Ps and Qs of Instagram you could be rather amused to know that making a business visible and attracting new followers is rather easy in Instagram than other digital mediums.
All that is required is a workable strategy.
Read through and jot down the seven steps in which you can start and build your business using Instagram.
Eager to know about it lets dive in now!
Mastering Business through Instagram in 7 step
1. Use the word ‘Go’ to Fine- Tune your Profilex
Spoiler alert: you can’t do much on Instagram until you properly fill out your profile.
Filling out your Instagram business bio is the first step toward building your presence on the platform
Where there is no “right” way to craft your profile, these principles are a solid starting point based on Instagram best practices:
Profile photo: It’s best to use your company logo as your profile photo so people can easily identify your brand.
Choose a name for your Insta profile that matches with the name of your other social profiles and reflects the name and genre of your business.
Username: The user name should always be the name of your business.
Website: This will be the only clickable URL on your Instagram page Therefore make sure you provide a link where you want to take your traffic to. It can be either the link to your website or the link of your latest post.
Bio: Your bio is where you will capture the attention of other users. Bio should either describe the type of website you have or highlight your company’s slogan. It can also carry the description of your business.
Bear in mind that you have plenty of room to get creative in terms of how you craft your profile. For example, TED ‘s takes a minimalist approach to its profile which goes hand in hand with their branding.
Including a CTA in your Instagram bio is a smart move if you’re selling products or have a promotion exclusive to the platform.
If you are thinking whether or not to shift your business to Instagram; Let me tell you it’s a smart move.
Such profiles have access to both in-depth analytics and additional contact and location information for people to get in touch with you. Here’s a good example from Chicago’s own avec:
Instagram business profiles allow users to add contact information that’s not available on a personal profile
Rather than fall victim to analysis paralysis, simply start by ensuring the small details of your profile are in order. For more tips on setting up your profile, check out our guide on how to write Instagram bios for businesses
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Start a free trial and test out how Persuaders can help you optimize your Instagram presence.
2. Adopt a ‘Tribe’Mentality
Instead of worrying about boasting big numbers, it’s best to approach Instagram for business with a sort of “tribe” mentality.
Start small. Establish relationships. Engage with others one-on-one.
In short, build your own tribe.
Make no mistake: Instagram is not an “if you build it, they will come” platform. Businesses both big and small should focus on not only building their own followings, but tapping into niche communities where their audience is already hanging out.
How do you make it happen, though? Where can you find potential members of your tribe?
Uncover Niche Hashtags
Hashtags essentially act as a search function for Instagram to find relevant followers and brands. This rings true for users and businesses alike.
And again, tapping into your target audience means getting specific.
For example, the #beauty tag has literally hundreds of millions of posts behind it. Rather than tackle crowded hashtags, consider how smaller, niche hashtags such as #unicornhair, #bluehairdontcare or #coloredhairgoals exist in which a beauty brand could realistically stand out.
Niche hashtags on Instagram are perfect for growing your tribe
Similarly, location-specific hashtags are perfect for zeroing in on an audience in your own neighbourhood.
Location-specific hashtags are perfect for building a local audience
Instagram hashtag report from Sprout
Oh, and Sprout can help you figure out how to get your hashtags right if you’re totally stuck on how to tag your photos.
Look Toward Your Own Customers
If your fans and customers are already on Instagram, using them as your billboards is a brilliant move given the popularity of user-generated content.
Incentivizing followers to tag you in their photos does double duty of showing off your products and signalling yourself as a brand that listens to its customers.
Shouting out your followers creates a sense of brand loyalty that most businesses would die for. The more you can show off your satisfied customers, the better.
Make Your Activity Count
Running a business on social media especially Instagram doesn’t need to be a time consuming method;
It requires efficiency to make a mark on the digital platform.
A thumb rule to keep in mind for those who want their business to be visible on Insta are like, share, comment and follow the posts of other people;
Between these actions as well as your own content calendar, it certainly pays to streamline your activity to save time.
For example, you should have a keen understanding of how often to post on Instagram to maximize engagement and when your followers are going to be online. Similarly, you should stick to a schedule to keep yourself from scrolling through Instagram 24/7.
In short, anything and everything you do related to Instagram for business should be laser-focused on your brand’s goals for the sake of your valuable time.
3. Publish Goal-Driven Content
This isn’t a trick question, either. The answer directly influences your entire content strategy.
And with so much diversity in terms of what you can post, pretty much any goal is fair game.
Are you trying your hand at social selling?
Just trying to build some much-needed brand awareness?
Have killer product photos that you’re itching to show off?
Awesome. Just make sure that you post content that speaks to those goals.
Posts like this one from GoPro are shining examples of goal-driven content in action:
Eye-popping imagery? Check.
Showing off their product and a satisfied customer as well? Double check.
Providing a specific call-to-action for viewers? Yep, that too.
Haphazardly posting is not a viable strategy when it comes to Instagram for business. Once you define what it is your brand wants to do, you can begin to better speak the language of your followers.
4. Craft Your Brand’s Narrative
What is most common between all big brands promoting their business is that they all have a narrative.
Through imagery, they’re able to speak to the interests and desires of their audience, receiving tons of love in the form of comments and likes.
You don’t need to be a master storyteller to create a narrative: you just need to let your pictures and captions do the talking.
For example, check out Airbnb captivates its audience through adventure-driven, motivational content:
Meanwhile, brands like Modcloth are all about empowerment and aren’t afraid to show off a bit of attitude:
Even something as simple as being a helping hand providing tips to your followers is a smart move as highlighted by the folks at Beard brand:
The takeaway here is that people should be able to glance at your feed and have a defined sense of what you’re all about. Having a defined narrative makes it easier to craft captions and choose between photos, all the while reinforcing your identity to people who might not be familiar with you.
5. Show off Your Products
Creativity counts on Instagram unlike any other platform. Diversifying your content strategy while also promoting your products should be your endgame, and below we’ve highlighted some awesome ways to make it happen.
Video content is insanely popular on Instagram right now.
Instagram for business doesn’t have to be a total suit and tie affair, either. Brands like Chubbies rely on memes and off-the-cuff videos to put their products on display.
As noted earlier, user-generated content in the form of customer photos can be some of your strongest marketing firepower.
From authenticity to connecting with your audience, there’s a reason why even some of the biggest brands on Instagram regularly regram photos from their followers’ feeds.
And again, not every Instagram photo needs to be meticulously planned and edited. Showing products “in the wild” is more than enough to people over.
The key to consistency is never running out of content ideas to keep your feed fresh to keep your followers engaged and entertained.
6. Engage with Influencers
Power users get approached by companies on a regular basis because of the value they can provide with a single post. As a result, some influencers offer paid shoutouts while others do so organically.
The good news is there are plenty of free ways to connect with power users and have them mention your company. You can start by commenting on their photos, or tagging them in your posts. When you tag or @mention someone on Instagram, they’ll receive a notification. After seeing your company’s name pop up in their mentions a few times, they’ll become more familiar with you and be more likely to connect.
You can also connect with them on other social media platforms. A lot of Instagram users are also on Twitter, which can be a better option to start conversations. Don’t be afraid to reach out to influencers and introduce yourself with a Tweet. Let them know you’re a fan of what they do and you’d like to connect with them.
Another technique that’s not completely free is to offer free samples of your products or services. Most of the time, you won’t have to ask for a product placement or shout out. If they try your product and dig it, influencers will more than likely post about it on their own.
That said, be selective about who you send offers to. Look for users who have a history of getting their followers to take action. Also, their audience should also obviously match your target demographic.
7. Tap into the Power of Instagram Ads
Unlike Facebook, it’s much easier to get in front of people organically on Instagram.
However, the numerous Instagram ad types out there coupled with the platform’s robust targeting is tempting for brands with the budget the experiment with ads.
From videos to stories and beyond, sometimes paid real estate is just what you need to pop up in your ideal followers’ feeds.
Video ads have become a huge aspect of Instagram for business for many ecommerce brands
Although not a must-do by any means, consider how Instagram is continuously promoting new features for businesses. By getting in on ads now, perhaps you can keep yourself ahead of the game before their “next big thing” for marketers rolls around.
No, It’s Not Too Late to Master Instagram for Business
If you haven’t gotten started as a business on Instagram, don’t panic.
For brands with a visual story to tell and a desire to grow a tribe of dedicated followers and customers, there’s still a place waiting for you on the platform.