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How to set up and optimise Instagram for your business

According to Hootsuite, statistics show that 1 billion people use Instagram every month, users spend an average of 28 minutes per day on the platform and 200 million Instagram users visit at least one business profile daily. If you have an Instagram account, well done! But is it a business account yet? Here is how to create a business account on Instagram and other ways in which to optimise it.

Getting started with Instagram for your business

Although it can be viewed on a desktop, Instagram is primarily a mobile app, so you need to download it before you can sign up for an account. Instagram is a free-to-download app available for Android and iPhone. There are two ways in which you can sign up: either connect your Instagram account to your Facebook account or sign up with your e-mail address. Once you have signed up, convert your business’s Instagram profile to a business account to receive access to analytics and insights, which are useful tools to establish what type of content works for your business and who is looking at it and when. You can also add a contact button that enables users to contact you via Instagram direct message, SMS or e-mail for customer support queries.

To convert to a business account, you will need to connect the account with your business’s Facebook page by following the in-app prompts from the “Switch to Business Profile” option under your “Settings”. Once your Instagram business account is created, you can go to the “Profile” tab and tap the “Edit Your Profile” button to change your name, username and profile picture, or add a website and a short biography.

Now optimise your Instagram business account

When optimising your Instagram business account, you make it easier for your potential clients to find you, learn about who you are and you give them a reason to follow and engage with you. Get started by following these easy steps:

  • Choose a @username (also known as a “handle”) that is recognisable, searchable and easy to find, like your business name. If your business name is already taken as a username, try keeping your business name as the first part of your username so that people searching for your business are more likely to come across your account.
  • Add your full business name to the “name” section of your profile. This will appear under your profile picture and under your username in search.
  • Use a branded Instagram profile picture which represents your brand, such as your logo. Your profile picture immediately draws the attention of every person who visits your Instagram profile and it will show up next to every comment and post that you share.
    Top tip: You should also aim to use the same profile picture on all of your social media profiles, as this continuity will strengthen your brand presence.
  • Write an informative bio. After your profile picture and name, users will look at your bio. You have a maximum of 150 characters to let your audience know who you are and what you do.

Top tip: Consider using the occasional emoji, especially if you are targeting a younger audience. In just a single character, an emoji can help to bring your words to life.

  • Add a link to the “website” box in your business’s Instagram bio. This makes it easy for people to go straight from Instagram to your website, blog or a specific campaign. Instagram is a brilliant place for marketers, but unfortunately you can’t include clickable links in post descriptions. That is why your Instagram profile link is so important.

Top tip: If you ever want to use a post to drive traffic to a website or page, you need to direct people to the link in your bio.

  • Make sure to enable your notifications to ensure maintained activity. Remember to be social in this social network by interacting and engaging with your audience. A quick response is of utmost importance.
  • Share high-quality images. Your Instagram aesthetic should strongly represent your overall brand, as this is your first chance to make a lasting impression on your audience.
    Top tip: If you want to keep things simple, you can use the same Instagram filter on all your posts.
  • Consistency is key. Make sure that you regularly post high-quality content in line with your brand aesthetic.

An optimised Instagram profile is an active one!

Let’s get posting!

To post a new photo, tap the add (+) button on the bottom of your screen. This will open your phone’s camera, and you can either take a new photo, record a short video or select one from your camera roll. When clicking “Next”, you’ll be taken to a screen with multiple options, including Instagram’s filters and an “Edit” button, which allows you to adjust the photo by changing the brightness, contrast, structure, warmth, saturation, colour, fade, highlights and shadows.

Once you have edited the photo to your liking, click “Next”. Then you can write a caption to describe the picture, add a location to geotag it, tag people and share it on other social media platforms.

Now that you know how to create a profile and post photos, you are ready to start your creative journey on Instagram! ICSC can help you set up and optimise your Instagram business account. Even better, we can create on-target content and manage your account. Get in touch with us to see how we can assist you.