How to Use Instagram for Business: A Practical Step-by-Step Guide

Haigram – More than one billion people use Instagram every month, and roughly 90% of them follow at least one business. This means that, in 2021, using Instagram for business is a no-brainer.

In just over 10 years Instagram has grown from a photo-sharing app to a hub of business activity. Brands can run fundraisers in Instagram Live broadcasts, open shops from their profiles and let people book reservations from their accounts. Updates of new business tools, features and tips in the app have become pretty much routine.

It can be a lot to keep track of though, especially if running an Instagram business account is only one aspect of your job. So we’ve brought everything together here.

Learn how to use Instagram for business, from setting up an account from scratch to measuring your success.

How to use Instagram for business: 6 steps

Step 1: Get an Instagram business account

Start a new account from scratch or switch from a personal to a business account by following these steps.

How to sign up for an Instagram business account:

  1. Download the Instagram app for iOS, Android or Windows.
  2. Open the app and tap Sign up.
  3. Enter your email address. If you plan to grant access to multiple users or you want to connect your Instagram business account to your Facebook Page, make sure to use an admin email address to sign up or tap Log in with Facebook.
  4. Choose your username and password and fill in your profile info. If you logged in with Facebook, you may be asked to sign in.
  5. Tap Next.

Congrats! You’ve created a personal Instagram account. Follow the steps below to switch to a business account.

How to switching a personal account to an Instagram business account:

  1. From your profile, tap the hamburger menu in the upper-right corner.
  2. Tap Settings. Some accounts may see Switch to Professional Account from this menu. If you do, tap it. Otherwise, proceed to the next step.
  3. Tap Account.
  4. Choose Business (unless it makes sense for you to choose Creator).
  5. If you plan to connect your Instagram and Facebook business accounts, follow the steps to connect your account to your Facebook Page.
  6. Select your business category and add relevant contact details.
  7. Tap Done.

Learn more about the difference between Instagram business and creator accounts.

Step 2: Create a winning Instagram strategy

Define your target audience

A good social media strategy starts with a sound understanding of your audience.

Research Instagram’s audience demographics to get a sense of who uses the platform. For example, 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 important parts of your marketing strategy for any marketing tool, we’ve created a step-by-step guide that explains all the details. Here’s the short version:

Determine who already buys from you.
Check the analytics on your other social media channels to learn who follows you there.
Conduct competitor research and compare how your audiences vary.
Knowing who’s in your audience puts you in a better position to create content. Look at the type of content your customers post and engage with, and use these insights to inform your creative strategy.

Set goals and objectives

Your Instagram strategy should establish what you hope to achieve on the platform.

Start with your business objectives and identify how Instagram can help you accomplish them. We recommend applying the SMART framework to ensure your goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.

Track the right performance metrics

With your goals defined, it’s easier to identify important social media metrics to monitor.

These vary for each business, but in broad terms, plan to focus on metrics related to the social funnel.

Align your goals to one of the four stages in the customer journey:

Awareness: Includes metrics like follower growth rate, post impressions and accounts reached.
Engagement: Includes 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. If you’re using paid ads, conversion metrics also include cost per click and CPM.
Customer: These metrics are based on actions customers take, such as retention, repeat customer rate, etc.

Create a content calendar

With your audience and goals defined, you can plan to publish on Instagram with purpose. A well-planned social media content calendar ensures you don’t miss important dates and allows you to allot enough time for creative 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. Look at sales data to see when your customers start planning for specific occasions.

Look for opportunities to develop themes or regular installments that you can build into a series. “Content buckets,” as some people call them, allow you to check certain boxes without having to overthink creation. The more planning you do upfront, the better you’ll be able to produce regular content and respond to last-minute or unplanned events.

Plan to publish when your followers are online. Because newsfeed algorithms consider “recency” an important ranking signal, posting when people are active is one of the best ways to improve organic reach.

With an Instagram business account, you can check the days and hours that are most popular for your audience:

  1. From your profile, tap Insights.
  2. Beside Your Audience, tap See All.
  3. Scroll down to Most Active Times.
  4. Toggle between hours and days to see if a specific time stands out.

Step 3: Optimize your Instagram profile to do business

An Instagram business profile gives you a small amount of space to accomplish a lot. It’s where people on Instagram go to learn more about your brand, visit your website or even book an appointment.

Write a great bio

The people reading your bio were curious enough to visit your profile. So, hook them in and show them why they should follow you.

In 150 characters or less, your Instagram bio should describe your brand (especially if it’s not obvious), and showcase your brand voice.

We’ve got a full guide to creating an effective Instagram bio for business, but here are some quick tips:

  • Cut straight to the point. Short and sweet is the name of the game.
  • Use line breaks. Line breaks are a good way to organize bios that include different types of info.
  • Include emoji. The right emoji can save space, inject personality, reinforce an idea or draw attention to important info. Make sure to find the right balance for your brand.
  • Add a CTA. Want people to click on your link? Tell them why they should.

Optimize your profile pic

When using Instagram for business, most brands use their logo as a profile picture. Keep your picture uniform across social media platforms to aid recognition.

Your profile photo displays as 110 x 110 pixels, but it’s stored at 320 x 320 pixels, so that’s the size you should aim to upload. Like most profile icons, your photo will be framed by a circle, so make sure you take that into account.

Use your one link in bio wisely

For accounts with less than 10,000 followers, this is the only spot on Instagram where you can post an organic clickable link. So be sure to include one! Link to your website, your latest blog post, a current campaign or a special Instagram landing page.

Add relevant contact info

When using Instagram for business, it’s important to provide a way for people to contact you directly from your profile. Include your email address, phone number or physical address.

When you add contact information, Instagram creates corresponding buttons (Call, Text, Email or Get Directions) for your profile.

And thats all about How to Use Instagram for Business: A Practical Step-by-Step Guide