If your business isn’t already one of Instagram’s 800 million active users, it’s time to rethink your marketing strategy.
Instagram’s diverse and highly engaged user base makes the platform a prime candidate for brands looking to grow their reach quickly and easily. It’s not about whether or not your business should be on Instagram, but rather how much time you should be investing in it.
Between Facebook’s saturated News Feed and its engagement throttle on branded content, everything seems to be pointing towards Instagram.
Here’s everything you need to know in order to launch your profile and start growing your brand’s presence on Instagram.
Start With a Business Profile from the Beginning
Setting your Instagram page up as a Business Profile gives you access to valuable audience insights and engagement statistics on your posts.
Some marketers believe having a business account throttles your engagement, but it’s important to start learning from your metrics as soon as you start posting. This makes it easier to identify what the best time to post is, where your followers are coming from, how they engage with your page, and which of types of content work best with your audience.
If you need access to all of the data on your followers and various profiles, there are tons of more advanced options for tracking analytics like minter.io, Sprout Social, and Later. But at the very least, start by enabling your Instagram Business Profile.
Just make sure you’ve linked your Facebook account and Instagram profile, then either add one of your existing business pages or create a new one directly within the app.
Also bear in mind that if you want to take advantage of post promotions and other Instagram based ads, you’ll need to have a Facebook page linked.
Setting up Your Profile
You have just a few seconds to capture the attention of your audience and convince them to check out your profile before they continue scrolling.
Creating a great Instagram profile for your business requires five key components. The goal is to provide your audience with as much context as possible without coming off as repetitive.
If possible, add a keyword to your name that gives your target audience a little more context and helps your account stand out in a crowd.
Your username is your primary means of identification on Instagram — make it fun while still fitting in with your brand.
Try a slight variation on your account name, and keep in mind that shorter usernames are easier to remember and less frustrating to type.
For example, In-N-Out Burger’s username on Instagram is @innout — short, simple, memorable, and the account will pop up before you finish typing the entire name.
If you’re a business, use your logo. Unlike Facebook, keep in mind that Instagram uses circular profile when you’re designing or cropping your logo.
You don’t need to worry about including your name in this version of your logo because Instagram always displays your account name next to your profile. Any text used in your logo on Instagram will be hard to read and relatively low resolution.
Like anything you post on social media, your profile should be easy to absorb at a glance. Make it simple, clear, and most importantly, skimmable.
Don’t force users to sift through a dense paragraph of text. Break your bio up into short bullet points or single sentence lines to make it more readable.
It’s also good practice to switch up the copy in your bio depending on what your link is. If your goal is to get users to click on your website, your bio is an opportunity to guide them there.
Sending traffic to your homepage is great, but it doesn’t engage your followers. If you’re not changing the link in your bio, you’re missing out on a ton of free, targeted traffic.
Nobody is going to check the homepage of your business once a week for updates. On the flip side, using your link to send your followers to a new blog post each week is a great way to turn recurring profile visits into organic traffic.
Start Filling Your Feed and Engage Others
Building your following from zero can feel like a bit of a Catch-22. You can’t increase your follower count without content, but you it’s impossible to get others to see your content without people liking and commenting on your posts.
Thankfully, engaging with content on Instagram isn’t a one-way street — the best way grow your following is to start communicating with others.
Once you have a few posts uploaded, search for relevant hashtags and accounts and simply engage with their posts. The more you like, comment, and follow, you increase your chances of being seen.
And this is where content comes in — if your posts are relevant to the niche you’re targeting, engagement will come naturally. If you’re struggling to get followers, think about who you’re targeting and what types of content they’re interested in.
Find Relevant Hashtags
Targeted hashtags are another indispensable method for generating organic engagement on your Instagram profile. Hashtags act like site-wide, searchable categories for user-generated posts.
When you’re just starting out and your overall engagement isn’t that high, reaching the top of popular hashtags is impossible.
Don’t waste your time with hashtags that have over 100,000 posts — you’re just not going to get seen. Keep the hashtags you target small to start and be as specific as possible with your targeting.
Stay Consistent to Beat the Algorithm
Beating Instagram’s algorithm to make sure your post rank at the top of your followers’ feeds is actually quite simple. It’s based on two primary factors: how much engagement you get and how quickly you get it.
Use the insights on your Business Profile to find out when your followers are active and post as frequently as you can. If you don’t post every day, your engagement will drop and your future posts will lose visibility.
If your content is wildly inconsistent in style, people will unfollow your page, your engagement will drop, and you’ll lose visibility.
See the theme? If content is king, consistency is queen.