How To Use Instagram for Business: Setting up for Success

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Karen Lin

Instagram Tips | May 26, 2023

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Instagram is where everyone goes to see beautiful, aesthetically pleasing photos and entertaining reels. On the other hand, online stores are where people shop for the trendiest clothes, furniture, and accessories. But what if you could combine the two? What if you can give your customers access to your business through their favorite social media platform? Today, we’ll take you through how to use Instagram for Business.

Instagram is an excellent marketing tool and business strategy for your company, especially if you’re in the visual industry. This includes food, fashion, travel and beauty businesses. These business types would benefit from their target audience seeing their products presented beautifully and in a curated manner. And that’s exactly where Instagram shines.

Let’s discuss how you can use Instagram to boost your brand awareness, sales, audience interaction and more.

Two people shopping online through a phone and laptop.

Why You Must Learn How To Use Instagram for Business

Instagram is a fun way to market your business. Some entrepreneurs will stop after creating a regular Instagram account and posting their products now and then. But that doesn’t maximize the Instagram marketing tools at your business’ disposal. To make the most out of your presence on the platform, you need to know how to use Instagram for Business properly.

Over 80% of Instagram users say that the platform helps them research and decide what products to buy. This makes total sense. Instagram is a visual platform. When you see a cute dress or food that looks scrumptious in a photo, you’re more inclined to buy it.

Instagram is amazing for reaching your intended target audience and increasing brand awareness. Using Instagram Insights, you can create quality content that will reel potential customers in. You can even make sales directly from the platform. But to do all these, you must understand how to build and run an Instagram business from the ground up.

How To Start Using Instagram for Business: Switch To  Professional Account

Before you learn how to use Instagram for Business, you must tag yourself as a business on the app first. To do that, you need to switch from a “personal” account to a “professional” or “business” account.

Business accounts have access to many more features that are perfect for companies and businesses. You’ll get performance reports, exclusive Instagram Insights, and the ability to tag your products on posts. It’s a must for anyone trying to set their business up for success on the platform.

Setting up an Instagram business account is easy and completely free. Here’s how to start using Instagram for business by switching your account type, step by step:

1. On your profile, tap the hamburger menu with three lines on the upper right.

2. Click on Settings > Preferences.

3. Scroll to the bottom of the next options and click “Switch to professional account.”

4. Instagram will then show you some of the features of business accounts. Read through each one and hit “Continue” on every feature.

5. Answer all the questions according to what applies to your business details and personal preferences for promotional emails.

6. Follow the next few prompts if you’d like to connect your Instagram page to your Facebook business page.

7. Finalize the switch, and you’re done!

If you want to keep your personal Instagram account, that’s fine too. You can simply create a new account for your Instagram business. Note that everyone can have a maximum of five Instagram accounts.

How To Use Instagram for Business Awareness: Spruce up Your Profile

Before we learn the technicals of how to use Instagram for Business, you need to “dress up” your profile. After switching to a professional account, it’s time to add some spice to your Instagram business profile. Remember—first impressions count. How your profile looks when someone visits, the page will make your business stand out from the competition.

Here are some tips on how to make your Instagram business page more exciting and engaging:

·   Add a detailed Instagram bio describing your store, what you sell, and what you can provide to potential customers. Make sure to speak in your brand’s tone and voice to make it feel authentic.

·   Have a memorable profile picture. You can always use your logo. But if you want to stand out, consider a cute, quirky photo that still ties back to your brand.

·   Link your website in your bio. At the end of your bio, type out a CTA encouraging people to visit your website.

·   Story Highlights with attractive covers. Businesses commonly use this for their FAQs, customer reviews, menus, promotional content, etc. Highlights are also a terrific way to give your target audience access to your old Instagram Stories.

A professional Instagram page complete with a detailed bio and Instagram Highlights.

Closing the Deal: How To Use Instagram for Business Sales in 2 Steps

Of course, at the very heart of how to use Instagram for Business is learning to make a sale. It’s super easy with an Instagram business account. In just two steps, you can transform from a regular business profile to a full-fledged online store on Instagram!

How To Use Instagram for Business Sales Step 1: Connect Your Product Catalog

One of the best features of Instagram for Business is being able to tag your products in your posts. That way, if someone sees a nice pair of shoes in your model’s photo, they’ll know exactly what product it is.

But to do that, you need to connect your business’ product catalog to the app. Through Meta’s Commerce Manager, you can sync your Shopify catalog with your Instagram business page at the touch of a button.

Once you connect your catalog to your account, you can tag those products on your posts. Right before you publish your post, you’ll see the “Tag products” option on the screen. Click that and select which products you’d like to tag. You can tag a maximum of 20 products in each post.

You can also tag your products on Instagram Stories through the product link sticker—another feature exclusive to business accounts.

An online clothing catalog that is perfect for syncing on Instagram for Busines

How To Use Instagram for Business Sales Step 2: Turn on the Shopping Feature

After syncing your catalog to your account, it’s time to learn how to use Instagram for Business to set up your Instagram Shop. By turning on Instagram’s Shop features, your target audience and potential customers can buy your products straight from your page.

You can show off your Collections when you’re an official Instagram Shop. Each product will also have a detailed page dedicated to the information specific to those products. This makes it easier to market each product to potential customers who click on them from your posts and Instagram Stories.

A woman happily purchasing products from an Instagram Shop.

Here’s how to set up your Instagram Shop:

1. From your profile, click on the burger menu and click Settings > Business > Set up a Shop.

2. Answer all the following questions regarding your business.

3. Wait for Instagram to approve your Shop request.

4. Once approved, select which product catalog you want to use for your shop, and you’re done!

Note that you will be subject to selling fees when a customer purchases a product directly from your Instagram Shop. Meta collects $0.40 for sales of up to $8 and a 5% cut for sales worth $8.01 and above. Thankfully, Meta has waived these fees until the end of June 2023.

You may be asking—is Instagram shopping safe? Yes, it is. Instagram has many safety features to prevent fraud and scams, like its Purchase Protection Policy.

How To Use Instagram for Business To Understand How You’re Performing

Instagram business accounts and Shops are excellent for closing deals and driving sales. But you may wonder how to use Instagram for Business to learn from your business performance. Luckily, the app provides special analytics reports exclusively for Instagram businesses.

Professional accounts have access to Instagram Insights—a report showing how your business’ content is faring. This is a great tool to learn more about your Instagram marketing strategies and how they’re performing. Here are just some of the data you’ll see on Instagram Insights:

·   Your top audience demographics are based on who engages with your content the most. This is a terrific way to see if you successfully reach your target audience. It’s also an interesting way to discover if another segment is interested in your products.

·   Growth of follower count. You’ll also be able to see when your followers are most active.

·   Total reach and engagement rate of your posts. It also shows if there have been significant upticks in these numbers throughout a given time.

·   Estimated earnings from your Shop given a specific time frame.

·   Information on your boosted ads.

Learning these metrics allows you to optimize your posts to make way for quality content your target audience will love.

How to Effectively Use Instagram for Business by Creating Quality Content

We’ve already covered the technicals of how to use Instagram for Business. But what kind of content should you be making to support your business account?

When it comes to Instagram, creative content will always be king. Sure, ads and product catalogs can boost your business. But it’s appealing content, exciting reels, and stunning photos on the feed that will make or break your Instagram business.

So, if you’re wondering how to effectively use Instagram for Business and drive sales, the answer is simple—quality content.

How to Use Instagram for Business to Post Visually Pleasing Content

Nailing your visual aesthetic is incredibly important for any Instagram business. Creative visual content is the app’s greatest strength, after all.

So, when you post photos of your products on Instagram, ensure it’s a feast for the eyes. Tempt your potential customers with food that looks colorful and delectable. Make them yearn for trendy dresses, shoes, and bags on the prettiest models.

Experiment with different visual aesthetic styles. You can do something raw, candid and grungy if that’s your branding. If you’re a fun brand, go for bright, happy, vibrant photography. Make sure all your content represents your brand well, and you’ll be in a good spot.

Curated flat lay photo perfect for a food business profile

To maximize each post, create multiple photo posts. Use this space to show your clothes and accessories from every angle. You should use multiple photos or videos in one post to show recipe ideas for food businesses. This is how to use Instagram for Business to lure in more potential customers.

You can even play around with other types of engaging content, such as Instagram Live. Your marketing team can go on the platform and discuss the products with your followers. It’s also a great way to engage your audience and form a bond with them.

Shop owner talking about their products on Instagram Live

Play With Virality: How To Use Instagram Reels for Business

Instagram Reels are short, snappy, clever clips similar to TikToks. They last up to 90 seconds long and are a great way to win the hearts of potential customers. Why and how to use Instagram Reels for business? Let us explain why Reels are a fantastic marketing tool for your Instagram business.

The Instagram algorithm currently prioritizes Reels. That means they push this type of content more to audiences. If you post Reels, you’ll have a better chance at capturing a wider audience than with a regular feed post. So, if you’re asking yourself how to use Instagram for Business to reach the most users possible, your answer lies in Reels.

It’s super fun to be creative on Reels. Stich some clips of your products together to show them in action. You can also add music, text, and even voice-overs to your Reel to make it more engaging.

Creating a funny, viral Reel is a great way to get people to share your content. Jump on current trends like the Wes Anderson Reel trend or funny TikTok audios. Not only does this showcase your products in a fun, visually pleasing way. It also makes your brand look young, fresh, and relatable.

People filming an engaging Instagram Reel for a food business

How To Use Instagram for Business for Busy Entrepreneurs: Schedule Content in Advance

Pro tip: if you’re too busy with other aspects of your business to post content manually, schedule it in advance instead. Create a weekly or monthly content calendar. This will guide you on what you want to post every day.

How to use Instagram for Business and upload content even when you’re busy is easy. Just get the help of a third-party content programming app that can schedule and automatically post your photos or Reels for you. That way, you don’t have to stress about posting when you’re busy crafting marketing strategies and growing your business. It saves you so much time!

A content planner for brainstorming monthly Instagram posts.

Grow Your Company With These Tips on How To Use Instagram for Business

Now, you know all the best tips and tricks on how to use Instagram for Business. With some creativity and knowledge in marketing strategies, you’re all set to create quality content and drive those sales.

Want to give your Instagram business another leg up? We’ve got you. At Path Social, we use a proprietary AI targeting algorithm that serves your business content to audiences that will love it the most. This helps organically grow your community of followers—and potential customers! Work with us and start gaining more followers today.