Instagram has more than one billion people monthly users, and roughly 90% of them follow at least one business. This means that, in 2021, using Instagram for business is the thing that you don’t need to think about too much.
In just over 10 years Instagram has grown more than just a photo-sharing app into a hub of business activity. Brands can run fundraisers in Instagram Live broadcasts, open shops from their profiles, and encourage people to book reservations from their accounts. Updates of new business tools, features, and tips in the app have become pretty much routine.
It can be too much to keep track of though, especially if running an Instagram business account is only one small part of your job. So here is all the thing you need to know.
Read on to explore how to use Instagram for business, from setting up an account to measuring your performance.
How to use Instagram for business: 6 steps
Step 1: Get an Instagram business account
Start creating a brand new account or switch from a personal to a business account by following these easy steps.
The way to sign up for an Instagram business account:
1. Download the Instagram app
2. Open the app and choose to Sign up.
3. Write your email address. If you want to grant access to multiple users or you plan to link your Instagram business account to your Facebook Page, ensure that you use an admin email address to sign up or click Log in with Facebook.
4. Fill in your profile info with your name and password. You will have to sign in if you choose to log in with Facebook.
5. Click Next.
Congrats! You’ve had a personal Instagram account. Now, let’s switch to a business account!
How to switch a personal account to an Instagram business account:
1. Click the hamburger menu in the upper-right corner of your profile.
2. Tap Settings. You may see Switch to Professional Account from this menu, click it. Otherwise, go to the next step.
3. Choose Account.
4. Click Business (or Creator ).
5. If you want to connect your Instagram and Facebook business accounts, follow the steps to link your account to your Facebook Page.
6. Choose your business category and include relevant contact details.
7. Click Done.
Step 2: Create a winning Instagram strategy
Define your target audience
An effective social media strategy starts with understanding your audience.
Research Instagram’s audience demographics to get a sense of audiences that use this platform. For instance, 25-34-year-olds represent the largest ad audience on the site. Identify the key segments that overlap with your customer base, or hone in on active niches.
Since defining your target market is one of the most essential parts of your marketing strategy for any marketing tool, here is something that you need to know:
- Think about who already buys from you.
- Check the analytics on your other social media channels to explore who follows you there.
- Conduct competitor research and compare the way your audiences vary.
Knowing who’s in your audience allows you to create better content. Take a look at the kind of content that your customers post and engage with, and take advantage of these insights to inform your creative strategy.
Set goals and objectives
Your Instagram strategy should manage what you want to achieve on this platform.
Begin with your business objectives and identify the way Instagram can help you achieve them. We recommend applying the SMART framework to make sure that your goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.
Track the right performance metrics
With your clear goals, it’s easier to identify important social media metrics to measure.
These vary for each business, but in broad terms, plan to pay attention to metrics related to the social funnel.
Align your goals to one of the four stages in the customer path:
- Awareness: metrics like follower growth rate, post impressions, and accounts reached.
- Engagement: metrics like engagement rate (based on likes and comments) and amplification rate (based on shares).
- Conversion: In addition to conversion rate, this includes metrics like click-through rate and bounce rate. When you use paid ads, conversion metrics also include cost per click and CPM.
- Customer: These metrics depend on actions customers take, such as retention, repeat customer rate, etc.
Create a content calendar
With your audience and goals defined, you can plan ahead to post on Instagram with purpose. A well-planned social media content calendar helps you not miss important dates and gives you enough time to create production.
Start by plotting out and researching important events. This may include periods such as holiday planning or Black History Month, back to school or tax season, or specific days like Giving Tuesday or International Hug Your Cat Day. Take a look at sales data to see when your customers start planning for specific occasions.
Look for chances to enhance themes or regular installments that you can build into a series. “Content buckets,” as some people call them, help you check certain boxes without having to overthink creation. The more planning you do advance, the better you can produce regular content and respond to last-minute or unplanned events.
Plan to publish when your followers are most likely online. Because newsfeed algorithms consider “recency” an important ranking signal, publishing when people are active is one of the most effective ways to increase organic reach.
With an Instagram business account, you can measure the days and hours that your audiences are most likely online:
1. From your profile, choose Insights.
2. Beside Your Audience, click See All.
3. Scroll down to Most Active Times.
4. Toggle between hours and days to see if a specific time stands out.