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The Beginner’s Guide to Instagram for Business



The Beginner’s Guide to Instagram for Business

Instagram offers a huge opportunity for businesses to capture customers' attention and increase foot traffic.

With more than one billion users on the platform and roughly 200 million people visiting at least one Instagram business profile per day, Instagram is a great way for businesses to expand their reach and increase customer engagement, and loyalty.

On the flipside, not paying enough attention to your business’s social media presence could be detrimental. For example, a recent study found that 30 per cent of millennials are likely to avoid restaurants with a weak Instagram presence. (This is the demographic that spends an average of five days per year browsing food pictures on Instagram, after all.) 

When you also consider the fact that millennials visit restaurants more frequently than any other generation, the financial benefits of maintaining an Instagram profile are clear. However, it’s not just restaurant owners that could grow their profits through Instagram. No matter which industry you operate in, your customers are looking you up on social media. 

With so many people on Instagram each day following and engaging with their favourite brands, learning how to build your business and brand on the platform is vital to your business’s success. Read on for our beginner’s guide to Instagram to learn how to set up your business account, and post quality content that reaches your intended audience.

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How to set up your business account on Instagram

When you’re starting out on Instagram for the purpose of promoting your business and your brand, you’ll want to curate an attractive page with frequently updated posts that draw your target audience in — so they become engaged followers and excited fans. 

Instagram provides a quick and easy way to get your brand noticed by the right type of people.

If you’re looking to fire up your social media presence, but aren’t sure where to start, here are the answers to your important questions.

Is the business account free on Instagram?

Yes, a business account is completely free of charge on Instagram. You can easily transform your personal profile into a business profile, or start up a new one whenever you need. Once your account is set up, you can choose to create ads and promote posts (which you pay for, depending on the ad budget you set).

How to change your Instagram profile to a business profile 

If you’re switching your existing Instagram profile to a business account, firstly, ensure your profile is set to Public visibility. Private accounts cannot be changed to business profiles. Then, head to the menu icon at the top right of your page and select Settings. Next, tap Accounts, then choose Switch to Professional Account. It’s as simple as that.

How to get your business location on Instagram

Instagram location tags, or geotags, are precise location coordinates you can add to a Story or post. Geotags put your business on the Instagram map. 

To create a geotag, you will first need a Facebook business page that’s linked to your Instagram account. Follow the below steps to get set up.

  1. Sign in on the Facebook mobile app 
  2. Enable Location Services 
  3. Tap Check In within your status update box  
  4. Type in your business name and add your location 
  5. Choose a category
  6. Select a physical geolocation
  7. Add any additional details, then tap Create
  8. Claim your location

When you add your location tag to Facebook, it will also appear on Instagram.

How to link your Facebook business page to Instagram

You can link your Facebook page to Instagram from within the Facebook app or the Instagram app. From Instagram, go to your profile page and tap Edit Profile. In Public Business Information select Page. Then you can choose from the list which page you want to link to, and select Done to complete the process. 

How to promote your Instagram business page

Instagram can be a crowded place, however there are a few things you can do to attract more eyes to your business’s Instagram page. Here are some ideas. 

  • Ramp up the number of times you post to Instagram every week. Increasing your post frequency gives you a better chance of appearing in your followers’ feeds, and helps to attract new followers. 
  • Cross-promote your Instagram posts across other social media networks. Sharing an Instagram post to Facebook or Twitter is a simple way to get even more ROI out of one piece of content. 
  • Share user-generated content on your Instagram story. This means finding an Instagram post or story created by one of your customers, and resharing it to your own business’s profile.

What to post on my business Instagram 

One third of the most-viewed Instagram stories come from businesses. Given its potential to reach a wide pool of potential customers, there’s little wonder why savvy business owners turn to Instagram as the lead player in their content marketing strategy.

But how do you make an impact? It can be confusing trying to figure out what to post on your feed, what strategies you need to employ, and the best practices to optimise your engagement.  

Variety is key. You will need to post pictures of your products or services, of course, but you’re not limited to this type of content. 

If you run a coffee shop, you might feature your customers’ dogs. If you own a restaurant, you could share recipes. If you run a trades and services business, you could turn customer reviews into Instagram posts. 

What you choose to post depends not only on the type of business you run, but also on your brand as well as the demographic of customer you are hoping to attract. 

What is the best time to post on Instagram?

Knowing when to post and how to navigate the tricky Instagram algorithms will help achieve the best ROI for your efforts. It’s widely considered that posting at lunchtime between 11am and 1pm and in the evenings between 7pm and 9pm will get your posts the most traction. However, it will always depend on your target audience and their location — so it may take a little time to find the sweet spot for your business. 

Ultimately, it’s a good idea to use the time zone that most of your followers are in when posting the bulk of your content. When your post receives a lot of engagement soon after posting, Instagram will likely show it to more people.

Using a tool like Hootsuite to plan and schedule your social media in advance makes it much easier to keep on top of what you're posting, when. The best time of day to post may be your busiest hours of the work day — scheduling your Instagram posts in advance means you still get the benefit of prime time engagement. 

Which hashtags should I use?

Leveraging hashtags is one of the best ways to get your Instagram content in front of more potential customers. Posts with at least one hashtag typically average 12.6% more engagement than posts without; it’s an easy way to grow your reach, and get more comments and likes on your Instagram content. 

Here are some tips for using hashtags on Instagram.

  • Experiment with the number of hashtags you use. You can use up to 30 hashtags per Instagram post, but sometimes less is more. Use trial and error to see how the number of hashtags used affects your reach.
  • Don’t just stick to the popular hashtags. Use a variety of hashtags so your content doesn’t get lost in the crowd — from trending hashtags, to niche or location-centred hashtags. 
  • Use a tool like All Hashtag. Hashtag tools help you create and analyse the top relevant hashtags for your content, and you can easily store your hashtags for when you need them.

Once your business is up and running on Instagram, it's time to start building your online community.

For more ideas on how to grow your business, sign up to our Business Blog.