How to create an effective Instagram business profile

Screenshot 2019-07-25 at 20.12.32.png

Did you know that more than 200 million Instagram users visit at least one business profile every day?

With over 700 million monthly active users, and a more engaged audience than other platforms (such as Facebook or Twitter), having an Instagram business profile is a fantastic avenue to market your business to a targeted and interested audience without having a large budget for paid advertisements. Whether your current strategy needs a re-vamp or you’re a complete newbie to the ‘gram, I’ve put together some top tips on how to use Instagram for business effectively.

Design your business profile
Make sure you’ve converted your Instagram profile to a business account so that you can make the most of Instagram’s available insights and analytics, as well as add clickable contact buttons for visitors to your profile. Once you’re set-up, you’ll need to ensure you’ve got an inviting bio, but just because you’re allowed 150 characters, doesn’t mean you need to use them all. Instead of overwhelming your viewers by writing too much on your company profile, focus on your most important USP or upcoming event, promotion or product launch. You also get a clickable link in your bio section, which you can use to update with your website, but also replace it with app downloads or event registrations when you have anything special upcoming to promote.

Create unique visual content
First and foremost, Instagram is all about visual content. In order to create a brand aesthetic, you’ll need to focus on highlighting the solution you provide for your clients in a visually appealing way. Try to showcase the process behind your business, allowing viewers a sneak peak behind the scenes of what you do so they can appreciate how hard you work for them! Show your company culture, share your mission with the world, or simply share some tips and how-tos. Remember you can do all of this within the allotted caption space and either photo or short video or up to one minute in length.

Embrace Instagram stories
Instagram stories are live for 24-hours, and the most important ones can be saved as a highlight on your business Instagram profile. The best part is that almost any brand can find a fun and engaging way to participate! All photos and videos added play in chronological order and you can add as many as you like. This feature is a fantastic way to target new audiences by tagging other accounts, adding popular hashtags that relate to your content, and including location-tagging; then add calls-to-action to boost any upcoming promotions. Because of the limited time of display, this provides the perfect opportunity for your brand to experiment with different content types: behind the scenes content, photos, videos, boomerangs, rewind videos and Instagram Lives; to see what your audience responds to best.

Expand your reach with hashtags
A post with at least one Instagram hashtag averages 12.6% more engagement than posts without a hashtag, so it’s worth creating a hashtag strategy for your brand if you want to grow you account. For advice on how to expand your reach through hashtags, check out my blog post 5 Instagram hashtag tips to help grow your reach.

Engage with other accounts
Instagram is one of the strongest social media channels for interaction and sharing the love for other accounts, so tagging other accounts is a great way to get noticed. Consider partnering with another brand that has a similar sized audience as yours to promote each other to your audiences so you can both benefit from increased exposure. If you have budget for an influencer campaign, this typically involves paying (or giving freebies to) an influencer with a larger following to promote your business. It's a great way to gain a large number of new followers quickly, providing that you create a strong call to action and the influencer's audience is genuinely engaged and interested in their content.

Make sure to keep your audience’s interest
Once you’ve started to generate an audience, you’ll need to keep their attention. Offer exclusive content on Instagram, allowing your audience to be the first to know about new products, services or events. Build anticipation for upcoming company highlights or offers with teaser photos and videos to make your audience feel special and retain their interest for longer.

Re-evaluate your wins to ensure you maintain a successful strategy
The best way to find our what works for your clients is to test and measure results. It’s important to analyse what worked and what didn’t to ensure that you have a strong marketing strategy. Social media management tools can help to schedule your posts at optimum times, and review social media analytics to measure your success and refine your strategy accordingly.