Instagram is currently one of the most popular social media platforms, with over 2 billion monthly active users. That makes it an important place for businesses to be present and active. However, many businesses dive into the Instagram pool without a plan and lacking understanding for how to best utilize the platform to their benefit. Spoiler Alert: a business account on Instagram needs to be approached differently than a personal account.
Before looking at the best practices for an account, it’s important to understand the various benefits offered to business accounts on Instagram:
Insights – Instagram provides analytics tools that allow you to see the performance of your posts, stories, and profile, as well as data about your followers. See the reach and impressions of your posts and stories, how many accounts and who interacts with your posts and stories, follower trends, and follower demographics.
Scheduled Posts – Business accounts can use scheduling platforms to plan posts ahead of time to be more efficient and consistent. There are a number of third-party scheduling platforms to choose from, as well as Meta’s planning tool.
Advertising – Instagram business accounts can produce targeted advertisements and boosted posts. Advertising on Instagram includes cross-over advertising on Meta’s other platforms (Facebook, Messenger) and partner sites.
Contact Features – In addition to direct messages, business accounts can add a “Contact” button to their profile for visitors to directly call or email the business. For direct messages, business accounts can also set up “quick reply” messages to immediately respond to customer inquiries.
Shopping – For e-commerce shops using Instagram, business accounts allow you to add a catalog of products and sell directly on Instagram. This makes it easier for potential customers to make quick decision purchases without having to search for your products through different pages and links.
Links on Stories – This feature is reserved for accounts with over 10,000 followers, but allows accounts to add a “swipe-up” feature on Instagram stories to link to external websites; a great feature to generate leads and sales.
So, with all the added features that an Instagram business account must utilize, the next step is setting up a profile for success. There are various best practices to make your profile more appealing to visitors, generate website visitors, and new leads.
On a platform with billions of user accounts, it’s important to make your profile as easy to find as possible. If you are just getting into the game now, there is a chance your name may have already been claimed. Make sure to utilize a username that is obvious for your brand (if not your brand name) and a name that users will search, either on Instagram or via a search engine. Your Instagram also contributes to your SEO.
Your profile picture should be a representation of your business and brand. Ideally, the profile picture should be your logo. However, if your logo does not lend itself well to the circle shape that visitors see, you should have a logo icon or create a graphic that fits well into the circle, represents your brand, and will be recognizable as people scroll through Instagram.
The description in your profile provides a space for you to provide information about your business and entice people to follow and engage with you. The catch: you have to do this with 150 characters or less. In this small space, that is the first thing people see when they visit your profile page, you should include who you are, what you do, and a call-to-action. If you have an impactful tagline, this is a good place to include it. This is also the area to include a link to an external website. Choose a landing page on your website where the intended audience is most likely to take an action, or link to a third-party tool that allows you to create multiple links to different parts of your website.
Third-Party Links Tool
For many businesses, it’s beneficial to have links to multiple pages from Instagram; whether for post-specific links or multiple product pages. Instagram only allows a single link. So, a third-party tool that allows multiple links makes this possible. There are plenty of options to choose from, such as Linktree, Linkin.bio, Shorby, Shortstack, and plenty more. Some options offer free plans with paid tiers. Others require monthly fees for the most basic plans, but have more capabilities.
Highlights appear above the feed and are a place to archive and showcase stories, which would normally disappear after 24 hours. This is an excellent place to highlight series of images that showcase information about your business, products, services, and other meaningful content. Highlights should be “evergreen” content, meaning it does not expire and can be in place for an extended period of time.
Up to three posts can be pinned to the top of the profile page’s feed. This allows you to keep important or popular posts at the top of the feed and ensure every visitor to your page will see them. There are a variety of posts to consider pinning:
High-quality photos and/or videos
Popular products, sales, or events
Top performing posts
Press coverage and accolades
All of this is great, but only helpful if your content is engaging and drives traffic to your profile. There are a number of ways to improve your engagement and drive profile traffic… a separate post for another day.
If you need help getting your Instagram profile to its best version, contact Omega to explore our digital marketing services.