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Over the years, Instagram has developed from a picture-sharing application to one of the most popular social media platforms on the planet. Its fun filters, hashtag categorization, direct messaging, geotagging, and Stories feature make it the go-to platform for its 1 billion users, according to the Verge.
So, how can you attract some of these users and leverage Instagram for business purposes? Here’s how to get started.
First, you’ll want to ensure that your Instagram profile is set up to distinguish your account as a business. This helps you track insights about your followers, including demographics like location, gender, age, and more.
To do this, log into your Instagram profile and go to the settings. In the settings menu, scroll to the bottom of the page and select “switch to business account.”
Instagram for business has two distinct features that set it apart from regular accounts:
- Instagram Story links: This is one of the few ways to add links to your content. Many businesses ask influencers to feature their products in their Instagram Stories along with a link that takes them directly to the product page.
- Sponsored ads: If you have an advertising budget, this is another viable way to get eyes on your brand.
Since the profile picture preview is quite small, choose an image that makes the best use of that prized real estate. You may opt to use your company logo, but a high-quality picture of your welcoming face works well, too.
Since Instagram does not allow line breaks, it’s best to write your profile description outside of Instagram itself. Use a word processing application or another smartphone app. After you create your profile on an outside app (such as Notes on iOS), you can simply copy and paste the text into Instagram to create the desired spacing.
For additional flair, you can add emojis that reflect your brand. If you’re a restaurant owner, you can use a chef hat or a spoon emoji, but of course, be mindful not to go overboard.
Since links are only clickable when followers view your profile, make sure your bio link features something relevant, current, and appealing. This may be a new product, video, or your most recent blog post. Be sure to update it to reflect what has been happening with your brand.
You’ll want to integrate your social media efforts into your business’ overarching content strategy. On Instagram, this can mean:
In addition to maintaining a web presence and promoting your brand, posting on a regular basis gives your audience opportunities to engage with you.
You can apply the same Instagram filter to each post to achieve a strong visual aesthetic, or you can become familiar with some mobile photo editing apps (like Pixlr or PicsArt) to convey your brand voice.
Aside from reposts, categorizing your images is the only way for potential fans to find your account. Choose keywords that are relevant to your brand and integrate trending topics when appropriate.
You can also create your own branded hashtag so that your followers can easily sort through every post related to your blog, product, or service.
Don’t only rely on hashtags to categorize your images, though. Let your descriptions highlight your brand’s personality and be consistent with the tone and vocabulary that you use.
After you’ve acclimated to Instagram for business, go a step further and optimize your account.
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