A Guide To The Perfect Business Instagram Account : Tips & Tricks
There is no shortage of social networks available to help your business grow. Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest are just a few of the many platforms that brands use to expand their reach and connect with new customers.
If you are struggling to handle on all social media platforms and missing out to reach your audience then focus on Instagram at the top. Big, diverse, and always growing, it offers a plethora of ways to connect with your audience.
If you’re launching or fine-tuning your Instagram presence in 2020, read on for your guide to the perfect business Instagram account.
Create an Instagram profile that conveys your brand
The content you display on your Instagram feed — photos, videos, infographics, Stories, and so on — are important. But it’s equally important that you don’t neglect your profile itself. This is what your audience will see when they first check out your Instagram account, so it’s worth spending the time to get it right.
Firstly, make sure your Instagram profile includes all the relevant information in the fields provided. As well as your business name and location, your actual website address needs to be populated. This is what drives traffic from Instagram to your website, so ensure this is completed.
Ensure you use a high-quality image for your account avatar. This should be the same image used on all your channels, whether they’re social, email, website, or otherwise. This ensures your brand is coherent and recognizable, wherever your followers find you.
Finally, spend some time writing a good Instagram bio. Outline clearly who you are, what your business does, what your values and mission are, and other helpful information that your audience can use. The trick is to keep it as concise as possible — you only have a limited number of characters available to you, so keep it short and snappy.
Implement a solid hashtag strategy to get regular traffic
While most social platforms use hashtags in some form or another, Instagram takes it to the next level. Hashtags are a crucial part of the platform, helping tie together the content, topics, and accounts that followers care about for easy accessibility.
Every post on your Instagram account should be tagged with between 9-11 hashtags. This is the optimum number that gets engagement on the platform, so make the most of them.
The key to using hashtags on Instagram is to use a blend of both general and specific hashtags. These help you get a diverse mix of traffic visiting your account. For example, if you’re an apparel brand that sells activewear, a generic hashtag might be #activewear, while a more specific one might be #womensactivewear or #runningactivewear. These are just examples, but they illustrate the value of generic and specific hashtags.
Hashtag research pays off here — find hashtags that relate to your business and its industry niche by searching for your business keywords, and you’ll find the hashtags that matter for your brand. There are lots of paid hashtag research tools that make this easy, but if you’re new to this, it’s a good idea to test the waters with a free option before investing in a paid tool.
Hashtag research makes for an intelligent hashtag strategy that is data-led, rather than purely a vanity project.
Analyze your metrics and fine-tune your strategy
While we’re on the subject, your Instagram should not be a vanity project. It’s crucial that you analyze all available data and metrics to ensure that your strategy is actually driving engagement and conversions to help you meet your business goals.
While Instagram offers limited built-in analytics, it’s worth using dedicated social media management tools for measuring the success of each individual post and ad campaign.
The key metrics you should monitor include:
- Reach: the number of people who see your content.
- Engagement: how many people reacted to your post in a meaningful way e.g. comments.
- Impressions: the number of views your content receives during a specific time period by a single individual e.g. if one person views your post four times, this is one reach and four impressions.
- Follower growth: use this to spot spikes in growth following a particular campaign.
These are just a few examples of the metrics you should be tracking. Monitor the success of each piece of content you share to identify what qualities resonate most with your followers. This will let you fine-tune your strategy based on hard data, helping you grow your business account sustainably and intelligently.
Focus on high-quality aesthetics in every post
You know already that Instagram is a platform where visuals matter. More so than most other social networks (excluding Pinterest), Instagram prioritizes high-quality video content over all else.
Consequently, you need to take advantage of all that Instagram has to offer and ensure your account reflects these high-end aesthetics.
If you’re on a tight budget though, don’t fret — you don’t need expensive equipment or sophisticated editing suites to create stellar content that represents your brand. The camera on your smartphone and one of the many free photo editors available online are all you need.
When it comes down to creating your Instagram content, you need to ensure it is relevant, attractive, and above all, what your audience wants. Ultimately, what keeps your followers coming back to your Instagram account for me is value, so it’s worth bearing in mind.
Value is different things for different brands. Take a look at your buyer personas and identify the pain points that matter to your audience. Create attractive but easy-to-understand content that addresses these pain points, making use of photos, video, and other formats to keep it engaging for your audience.
Strive for the perfect grid view for maximum aesthetics
We touched earlier on the importance of high-quality visuals. While it’s crucial to strive for this in every post, it’s also worth considering the bigger picture, specifically, your Instagram feed in grid view.
When prospective customers visit your account, they’ll first see your content in grid view, and it’s important that you make the most of this initial experience by making your grid look as attractive as possible.
Mosaics are a great way to achieve this. Check out the example from Biba India here:
Image Biba India
By splitting a single image out across multiple posts, you make both your individual posts look attractive and their grid view at the same time.
This mosaic effect requires planning and coordination. Split an image into several individual squares using an online image editor and use an Instagram scheduling tool such as Planoly to test how your Instagram feed will look with it.
Bear in mind that as you get most images added to your Instagram, the grid might look out of skew for a period.
Use Stories to connect with your followers
Instagram Stories are one of the most effective ways that a brand can connect with its followers on the platform. This ephemeral photo or video that vanishes after 24 hours makes for hugely engaging content that Instagram users love.
Stories also provide a creative way for you to showcase your brand and connect with your followers with Stickers. These include:
The list above is not exhaustive, but they give you an insight into the many ways that you can connect with your followers on a personal level.
For instance, you can use Q&A Stickers to invite questions from your audience and then share the responses on your Story. Alternatively, you can provide video clips that showcase behind-the-scenes elements of your business.
Above all, Stories are effective because they let you ‘override’ the Instagram algorithm and push your content to the front of the Stories queue. While the feed is dictated by the algorithm, Stories are ordered on a queue basis, so you can keep your brand at the forefront of your followers’ minds.
Embrace Instagram’s social selling features
Instagram has led the way in terms of social selling. It has rolled out a number of features in recent years to let brands sell products to your customers via the platform. These include Product Stickers and Shoppable posts, as well as the Checkout to let customers pay for products natively in-app.
To implement these social selling features in your profile, all you need is a business account and an ecommerce CMS to integrate it with. Set up your product catalog on Facebook and then wait for it to be approved by Instagram, and you’re good to go.
It’s worth adopting a considered approach to your Instagram social selling here.
For instance, your Stories are good for getting prospective customer’s attention directly, so you might want to sell limited or one-off products via Stickers. Your Shoppable posts, on the other hand, can be used for more ‘evergreen’ products that are popular all-year-round.
Celebrate your successes and collaborations
Social media is about sharing, engaging, and collaborating. Instagram is the perfect platform on which businesses can do that. Use your platform to showcase your successes and collaborations with your audience.
These can take many forms. You might want to highlight your customer stories, shining a spotlight on your audience themselves. Trawl your repeat customers and find those who shop with you time and again. These are your potential brand ambassadors, so reach out to them and ask them what they love about your brand, sharing the results on Instagram.
Alternatively, highlight the collaborations your brand does with charities, social enterprises, or even other brands. This gives your audience a glimpse behind-the-scenes of how your brand operates, adding a level of intimacy between yourself and your audience that ultimately strengthens your relationship.
Instagram is just one of many great social platforms available to brands looking to expand their reach online in 2020 — but it’s an important one. Whether you’re just starting an Instagram channel or improving an existing one, follow the tips above and create the perfect Instagram account for your brand in 2020.