How to use Instagram for business: a complete guide (2022)

Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms with over 2 billion monthly active users (that’s 1/4 of the entire global population), which means it’s a great marketing channel to use for promoting your brand.

If you’re new to Instagram or you want to learn how to better market your brand on Instagram, we’ve put together a complete guide on how to use Instagram for business. From optimizing your profile to creating stellar content, we’ve got it all.

So let’s dig in.

How to use Instagram for business: 5 steps

Instagram is a visual social media platform with a heavy emphasis on photo and video content. This can seem tough for brands without a visual product, but even B2B businesses and service-based brands can benefit from this network.

As long as you follow our guide, you should be able to grow an audience and engage your followers in no time.

1. Create an Instagram business profile

There are three types of Instagram accounts: personal, creator and business. Creator and business accounts are the two types of professional accounts offered. Influencers and content creators would want to utilize the creator account, while as a brand, you’ll want to set up a business profile.

With an Instagram business profile, you get access to useful features like:

  • More sections to flesh out in your profile
  • Instagram insights/analytics
  • Instagram advertising
  • The ability to connect to a scheduling app
  • Instagram shop/tagging products in posts

Each feature can help your brand get the most out of its presence on Instagram.

2. Optimize your Instagram business profile

As I mentioned, there are more sections available in your business profile, so take advantage of them. This will provide plenty of information to potential followers upfront, giving them a clear idea of what your business does and why they should follow you.

Optimize your profile by using the following fields:

  • Profile photo: It’s best to use your company logo as your profile photo so people can easily identify your brand.
  • Name: Make this your business name, identical to your brand’s other social profiles.
  • Username: This should also be your business name. Note that your username cannot have any spaces.
  • Pronouns: This is included on every profile, but you’ll only want to use it if you’re the face of your business.
  • Website: This will be the only clickable URL on your Instagram page. Most businesses either use their website or link to their latest promotional page. You can also use a link in bio tool to link to multiple pages.
  • Bio: Your Instagram bio is where you will capture the attention of other users. You can either describe what your business does, hype up your website or slap your brand’s slogan here (or all of the above, actually).
  • Page: Connect your Instagram business profile to your Facebook business page.
  • Category: Select the category that best describes your brand’s industry or product/service offerings.
  • Contact options: Link all of the best ways for customers to contact you, like email, phone or physical address.
  • Action buttons: Add a call-to-action button right onto your Instagram profile, like “Order food,” “Book now,” “Reserve,” or “Get quote.”
  • Instagram story highlights: Add story highlights to your profile and categorize them based on the types of stories your brand typically creates.

Here’s an example of a brand that has its Instagram profile fully optimized:

How to use Instagram for business: a complete guide (1)

3. Create a strong Instagram marketing strategy

Each marketing channel you have a presence on needs to have its own specific strategy—and your Instagram is no different. Because Instagram is such a visual platform, a lot of your strategy needs to revolve around finding or creating the visuals that you share.

(Video) Instagram for Business - Ultimate Beginner's Guide

However, there are a few more aspects to remember as well.

Define your target audience

First, make sure you’re creating content that your target audience will be interested in. But to do that, you first need to define that target audience. Look to your existing customer persona, then conduct research on Instagram to find profiles that align with that persona. Follow them and analyze the content they share. Check out which brands they’re following and analyze the content they share as well.

Then, use those analyses to help guide your own Instagram content strategy. Pay attention to which of your posts, stories or reels get the most attention so you can start creating more similar content.

Set goals and KPIs

What are you hoping to get out of your presence on Instagram? The most likely objectives may look something like:

  • Sales
  • Website traffic
  • Engagement
  • Followers
  • User-generated content
  • Influencer partnerships

All of the above can be easily done, but you need to adjust your Instagram strategy for each one.

For example, if your goal is sales through your social media initiatives, you’ll want to set up an Instagram shop and tag your products in each of your posts. If your goal is website traffic, make sure to create a link in bio page with multiple links to your website, blog posts and sales pages, as well as utilizing the link sticker in your Instagram stories.

Lay out your goals and KPIs, then create a strategy that satisfies them.

Track your performance and metrics

With your Instagram business account, you get access to built-in insights, data and analytics. Take advantage of this so you’re able to see how your strategy is performing. Take a look at your top posts, how much engagement each of your posts gets, insights on your followers and more.

You can also take advantage of Sprout Social’s social media analytics dashboard to get even more in-depth insights about your Instagram’s performance:

How to use Instagram for business: a complete guide (2)

Create a content calendar and publishing schedule

The last part of your Instagram strategy is to determine the types of content you’ll create, build a social media content calendar and start scheduling your posts.

For e-commerce brands, this is most likely going to consist of product photos, like we see on Bloomscape’s Instagram below:

(Video) How To Use Instagram! (Complete Beginners Guide) (2022)

For service-based brands, this might consist more of branded graphics, like we see from Planoly’s feed:

Find the types of content that make the most sense for your brand and start creating.

4. Post high-quality Instagram content and follow best practices

We briefly touched on content, but let’s dig a little deeper because Instagram providesa lot of opportunities for sharing new content with your audience. You’ll also want to be well-versed with Instagram’s best practices to see the best results.

Test using new Instagram features

It should come as no surprise that Instagram is constantly releasing new features. And to make the most of the platform, it’s a good idea to test all of them to see what resonates most with your followers, whether it’s Instagram Reels, link stickers in stories or something else.

Find the right tools and apps to create or edit Instagram posts

There are so many Instagram tools to take advantage of that can help you create even more stunning content. Some are perfect for editing photos while others are more ideal for creating branded graphics.

A few Instagram post tools to consider are:

Test out a few different apps to find the ones that are easiest for your team to use.

Writing engaging Instagram captions

There’s an art to writing a good Instagram caption that actually gets your audience to engage with your content, follow you and make a purchase. A few tried-and-true tips are:

  • Keep it short and sweet. Just because itcan be 2,200 characters doesn’t mean it should.
  • Ask a question or tell a story that will increase the likelihood that viewers will comment.
  • Incorporate emoji or social media lingo.
  • Use hashtags to help Instagram users find your content.

To get even more inspiration, here are 50+ Instagram caption ideas.

Explore the various Instagram post types

Instagram gives its users so many different ways to create and share content, so make sure you’re taking advantage of those. It can be boring for users to head over to your Instagram post and see just the same type of content again and again.

Instead, switch it up. Share stories, photos, branded graphics, videos, carousel posts, reels, guides, live video broadcasts and more. Add each different type of content to your content calendar so you can plan around it and keep a solid variety.

(Video) How To Use Instagram For Business-FULL Tutorial

Increase sales with shoppable posts

Ecommerce brands can get even more out of Instagram through shoppable posts. Set up your Instagram shop, tag products in your Instagram posts and make it easier than ever for customers to make a purchase.

Through shoppable posts, your followers can tap on a product they see in one of your posts, click over to the product listing in your Instagram shop and make a purchase, all without ever leaving the platform.

5. Grow your Instagram follower count

And finally, you need to start growing your Instagram followers. While follower count is a vanity metric and doesn’t matter to your bottom line as much as engagement and conversions do, it’s still a good idea to work on growing your followers. It can aid in social proof and it can help you reach a wider audience on the platform.

A few tactics for growing your Instagram followers include:

  • Comment on Instagram posts of people who look like they’d be part of your target audience
  • Use relevant hashtags on your posts so that users searching for those hashtags can find your content
  • Post consistently and share a wide variety of content types
  • Collaborate with influencers to expand your reach to their audiences
  • Cross-promote your Instagram account on your website and other social media feeds
  • Pay attention to the content that gets the most engagement and create more like it
  • Start creating brand awareness ads on Instagram

Instagram for business frequently asked questions

Want to know even more about using Instagram for business? Here are a few FAQs to help you out.

Is Instagram free for business?

Yes, creating a business profile on Instagram is absolutely free. The only thing you’ll ever have to pay for is if you choose to run ads on the platform.

Is Instagram worth it for small businesses?

Absolutely! If small businesses take advantage of all the features available to them, they can really make a splash on the platform.

Which account is best for business on Instagram?

It’s best for businesses to create a Professional > Business account over a personal or creator account. This gives them the best features for brands, allowing them to build a following and make sales.

Start using Instagram for business

If you haven’t gotten started as a business on Instagram, don’t panic.

With an active, ever-growing user base, Instagram has proven itself as a staple of social marketing rather than a flash in the pan. For brands with a visual story to tell and a desire to grow a base of dedicated followers and customers, there’s still a place waiting for you on the platform.

If you’re still looking for ways to step up your Instagram game, use our Instagram for Brands guide and learn how to create a creative and engaging strategy.

FAQs

How do I use Instagram for business guide? ›

Are Instagram guides effective? ›

Are Instagram Guides worth it? Instagram Guides can be very helpful for grouping your content together into a neat category that your followers can easily access. They're worth it if you want to give your older content pieces a new lease of life or make your content easier to navigate.

How do you use Instagram for business 2022? ›

How to use Instagram for your business
  1. Step 1: Set up your business account. ...
  2. Step 2: Define your photos, hashtags, and stories. ...
  3. Step 3: Plan your posts and automate ahead. ...
  4. Step 4: Create live events. ...
  5. Step 5: Analyze and optimize your performance. ...
  6. Step 6: Create an Instagram shop. ...
  7. Step 7: Advertise to reach further.
18 May 2022

What should be the first post on Instagram for business? ›

What should I post on Instagram to get followers?
  • Product photos.
  • Behind-the-scenes photos.
  • Instagram Reels.
  • User-generated content.
  • Instagram contests.
  • Video tutorials.
  • Influencer content.
  • Product announcements.
8 Jun 2022

Do Instagram guides boost engagement? ›

Instagram Guides are therefore not only a great way for your brand to revive old content and save time and effort, but also help provide your followers with useful content. You can also use them to increase the reach of your posts on Instagram, and even boost engagement.

How many guides can you make on Instagram? ›

The shops of accounts you follow will populate first and you can scroll through those or search for a specific account's shop. After you select the shop, choose the product you want to feature and then select the posts associated with that product. You can only feature one product per guide.

How do people see guides on Instagram? ›

To view a Guide, visit the profile of participating creators or organizations like @afspnational, @heads_together, @vitaalere, @klicksafe, @headspace_aus, @deepikapadukone, @sudahdong and @eenfance. Then, tap the middle icon to view their Guides.

What is the real purpose of Instagram? ›

Instagram is a free photo and video sharing app available on iPhone and Android. People can upload photos or videos to our service and share them with their followers or with a select group of friends. They can also view, comment and like posts shared by their friends on Instagram.

What is Instagram best used for? ›

Instagram is an entirely visual platform. Unlike Facebook, which relies on both text and pictures, or Twitter, which relies on text alone, Instagram's sole purpose is to enable users to share images or videos with their audience.

How often should I post on Instagram for my business? ›

Get into a consistent rhythm

As well, 20% of business accounts posted to their Story at least once per week. Combining this research with Adam's comments, we can ascertain that posting one feed post and two Stories per day is a pretty good bet for growing your engagement.

How do you make an Instagram guide? ›

How to make Guides on Instagram: Your digital blueprint
  1. From your profile, click the plus sign in the top right corner and select Guide.
  2. Choose posts, products or places.
  3. Add saved posts, Instagram Shop products or posts from places.
  4. Name your Guide and add a description.
21 Mar 2022

How do you create a guide? ›

How to create a how-to guide
  1. Understand your target audience. Before writing your how-to guide, it's important to understand your target audience. ...
  2. Research the process. ...
  3. Decide on a title. ...
  4. Create actionable steps. ...
  5. Simplify your language. ...
  6. Incorporate examples. ...
  7. Include additional tips. ...
  8. Proofread.
11 May 2021

How do I make my small business grow on Instagram? ›

8 Instagram for small businesses best practices
  1. Set up your Instagram business profile the right way. ...
  2. Be relatable, not salesy. ...
  3. Engage with your followers. ...
  4. Grow your audience organically, don't buy them. ...
  5. Use hashtags to extend your reach. ...
  6. Use Instagram Carousels to hit the same users again. ...
  7. Post regularly.

How do you master on Instagram? ›

How To Be An Instagram Success?
  1. Create the perfect bio.
  2. Produce interesting content.
  3. Post regularly.
  4. Identify top hashtags.
  5. Utilise Instagram Stories.
  6. Take advantage of Instagram Highlights.
  7. Cross promote friends and influencers.
  8. Go Live on Instagram.
2 Feb 2018

How do I promote my small business on Instagram? ›

Your Small Business Instagram Marketing Strategy
  1. Set Your Account Up For Success. ...
  2. Share High-Quality Content. ...
  3. Use Those Tags And Hashtags. ...
  4. Build Your Reach. ...
  5. Share The Right Information. ...
  6. Show, Don't Tell. ...
  7. Follow Influencers. ...
  8. A Small Business Instagram Marketing Strategy Isn't Instant, But It's Worth It.

What content is most popular on Instagram? ›

Visual content like photos and videos are 40 times more likely to get liked and shared by the users on social networks. So there is no wonder why Instagram is constantly increasing and developing. This visual-based platform is more popular nowadays than at any time before.

What is the best time to post on Instagram? ›

More videos on YouTube

Brayden Cohen, Hootsuite's Social Marketing and Employee Advocacy Strategist, told us: “Typically, we like to post early in the morning and mid-afternoon. For Instagram, that means we try to post anytime between 8 AM – 12 PM PST or 4-5 PM PST on weekdays.”

Do Instagram guides show on feed? ›

Your Instagram guides will appear in a separate section on your Instagram feed. The new feature will help marketers and brands create in-depth, inspiring content to engage with their followers even further.

Can you edit Instagram guides after posting? ›

How To Edit A Guide After Sharing It On Instagram - YouTube

Can you get analytics on Instagram guides? ›

Once you have an Instagram business or creator profile, you can easily access your analytics through the Insights tab in the Instagram app. Start by tapping on the menu icon in the top right corner of your profile, and then click on Insights tab, which will open the analytics for your business or creator profile.

Who can see your Instagram guides? ›

Once you create a guide, it will live under a public tab in your profile that users can visit anytime. You can also share it to your Instagram Story for more visibility. There are three types of guides on Instagram — places, products, and posts.

How do I share a collection on Instagram? ›

You can also share a collection on Instagram Shop to your story.
  1. Tap at the bottom of the app, then scroll down to view featured collections.
  2. Tap a collection.
  3. Tap in the bottom right of the photo.
  4. Tap Add collection to your story.
  5. Tap , then tap Share.

What does it mean when someone adds your post to a guide? ›

In a Guide, you will see posts and videos that the creator has curated with their own tips, commentary, or advice. The posts in Guides can come from the creator or from other Instagram users. If you want to learn more about a specific post, just tap on the image or video to view the original Instagram post.

How do I get paid on Instagram? ›

How to make money on Instagram as a creator
  1. Partner with brands. Partnering with brands is likely the most well-known way that creators can make money on Instagram. ...
  2. Join an affiliate program. ...
  3. Enable Live Badges. ...
  4. Sell your merch. ...
  5. Link to your blog or vlog. ...
  6. Offer paid tutorials or masterclasses.

What should I post on Instagram to get followers? ›

Don't forget to provide content to your followers as if they were friends on your personal feed: this might include posting memes, inspirational content, or just re-sharing interesting photos or artwork (all properly credited, of course) that can give your followers a little mental pick-up during the day.

How do you make money posting on Instagram? ›

To set it up, head to your creator account settings and enable the monetization option for in-stream video ads. Then, post videos as usual. The amount you earn depends on how many views your video gets in the feed. You'll receive 55% of the revenue generated per view, according to the Instagram for Business website.

Does Instagram pay for likes? ›

No. Instagram is never paying you, so you need to be creative.

How can I make 100 a day? ›

How to make $100 a day: 36 creative ways to make money
  1. Take part in research (up to $150/hour) ...
  2. Get paid to take surveys. ...
  3. Become a shopper. ...
  4. Get paid to watch videos online. ...
  5. Download this app and make money by going online. ...
  6. Get paid to play games online. ...
  7. 7. Make an extra $100 pet sitting. ...
  8. Teach anything online to kids.
8 Sept 2022

How many views do you need to get paid on Instagram reels? ›

Instagram is also directly paying some influencers through incentive programs like "Bonuses" for Reels, which requires at least 1,000 views on Reels (rather than a follower minimum).

What businesses should not do on Instagram? ›

Instagram Mistakes: 7 Things to Avoid Posting on Instagram As a Business in 2021
  • Posting low-quality content.
  • Using too many hashtags.
  • Posting salesy content.
  • Posting personal opinions and views.
  • Ignoring customers' comments and DMs.
  • Making negative comments about competing brands.
  • Posting exclusionary content.
20 Aug 2021

How much does Instagram business cost? ›

Instagram business profiles are free to anyone who wants one.

What is the best time to post on Instagram? ›

More videos on YouTube

Brayden Cohen, Hootsuite's Social Marketing and Employee Advocacy Strategist, told us: “Typically, we like to post early in the morning and mid-afternoon. For Instagram, that means we try to post anytime between 8 AM – 12 PM PST or 4-5 PM PST on weekdays.”

How do people find you on Instagram? ›

Anyone with your phone number saved in their contacts or who has added you on Facebook can find your Instagram account — especially if they're intent on stalking you. All they have to do is go to their Instagram account and go to their Find Friends page.

Can Instagram pay you? ›

With most monetization products, you will be paid once you've earned at least $100. Payments will be sent to the bank or PayPal account you linked to your payout account. Note: If you're a US creator earning with Subscriptions or badges, you'll receive your payment once you've earned at least $25.

How many followers do u need to be verified? ›

While there's no required number of followers to be Instagram verified, you'll definitely seem more notable with a higher number of followers. To increase your odds of getting a blue checkmark next to your name, keep on building your reach and growing your engaged followers.

How much does 1k followers make on Instagram? ›

Average monthly income nears $3,000

Micro-influencers (between 1,000 and 10,000 followers) make an average $1,420 per month. Mega-influencers (more than one million followers) make $15,356 per month.

Videos

1. Using Instagram to Market Your Business - A Complete Guide
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2. How to Create an Instagram Business 2020 [Step by Step Tutorial] - Make Money on Instagram
(Santrel Media)
3. Instagram Marketing For Small Business (2022 UPDATE)
(Adam Erhart)
4. How to Use Instagram - Beginner's Guide
(Howfinity)
5. Instagram Stories: The Complete Guide for Business in 2022
(LYFE Marketing)
6. TOOL TIPS: HOW TO CREATE YOUR BUSINESS ACCOUNT ON INSTAGRAM | COMPLETE GUIDE
(Shaunie Sanders)

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