Instagram is currently one of the largest social media platforms with millions of unique users globally. While most people consider Instagram nothing more than a picture sharing social media site or app, you can also use Instagram to help your business. If you have scrolled through Instagram, you have undoubtedly seen ads for brands and companies sprinkled through your feed or in sponsored posts. Instagram is still and will remain a social media platform, but it is also a business platform that a company of any size can use to their benefit. Starting to use Instagram for business might sound intimidating, but the process is easier than you might think. Here is everything you need to know to start using Instagram for business.
The very first thing you must do to start using Instagram for business is to create a business account. Most people have a default or standard Instagram account, and you can use that account type to promote your business, but you will not have access to tools and features exclusive to business accounts. Business accounts are free, and you can even convert a standard account into a business account. Once you have your business account, fill out your company details, connect the account to your business Facebook page, and then you can start the real work of using Instagram for your business.
Ways To Use Instagram For Business
Instagram has more options than meets the eye, and as a business, you have several different avenues to work with. Standard Instagram posts are always an option, but there are also stories, live, hashtags, ads, and Instagram eCommerce storefront. You can set up and create most of these types of content within Instagram, but the storefront requires more prep work. If you plan to sell things through Instagram, set up APIs, like the UPS time in transit API and address verification APIs, to ensure the whole process is smooth from start to finish. It is also critical to not treat all of these content avenues the same. A customer who wants to see quick content might not stick around for live streams because customers are looking for something different from different content types.
Instagram Live is a relatively new feature, but it has surged in popularity since its release. Live streaming has picked up more and more followers both in general and across the Internet; customers want to feel a connection to the brands in their life and live streams are a fantastic way to do that. Use live streams to show off your company’s personality and uniqueness. Answer questions, show off new products, or introduce your staff in Instagram live sessions. After you end a live stream, the video will be saved in your stories for 24 hours, but you can also keep the video on your main profile feed if you record through the app and upload the video.
Instagram stories are one of the platform’s most popular features. These posts are images or videos that disappear after 24 hours, but highlights will remain on your profile until you remove them. Stories might be temporary, but they are a fantastic way to show content to customers content their standard feed algorithm might have skipped. Stories are at the top of the Instagram home page, so customers will quickly see when you have posted a new story, and some users will get a notification if they have that option enabled. Post a variety of content to your stories to keep the reel fresh and exciting for customers. Stories can contain boomerangs, still photos, videos, text replies, and music, so you have plenty of tools to play with.
As with all social media platforms, interaction is a critical component of using Instagram for business. Do not just post your content and leave customers to consume it as that wastes a considerable portion of Instagram’s potential. Reply to customer comments, like posts of customers talking about your brand, mention users or other brands, add tags to your content, and send direct messages for an even more personal approach. Facebook, which owns Instagram, is also planning to incorporate direct messages with Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, so you will have even more ways to contact customers or prospective partners.
Instagram can be a fantastic tool for businesses, but you have to use it correctly to get the best results. Start with a business account and then delve into Instagram live, stories, interaction to grow your audience and expand your brand’s reach with Instagram.