How to use Instagram for business: features and benefits

How to use Instagram for business: features and benefits

Did you know your business can reach a youth audience of 83 million through Instagram? How about that? With 130 million Instagram users tapping on shopping posts every month and 81% of people researching products and services, it is a social network worth the effort for your business.

A quick guide to starting you on how to use Instagram 

1. Start with Creating a Profile: This means creating an account on Instagram, adding a profile picture, writing a cool bio (description), adding your business handle, adding Call-To-Action (email, website, phone, location). Don’t forget to register your Instagram handle as a business account and link it to your Facebook page.

2. Creating Content: Content is at the heart of Instagram. What began as primarily a photo-sharing app is today a world of rich audio-visual content. Building a content strategy on what to share on Instagram is crucial. Spean time planning the context, calendar, type of content, language and build an identity for your business that breaks through the clutter.

3. Uploading Content: Instagram offers you fantastic options to upload content via a post, story, reel or Live. A post can be a single photo, a carousel of multiple photos, or a video (long & short). Stories are quick to consume a line-up of pictures or videos. They disappear after 24 hours, so keeping them interesting is key. Reels are purely video content, with 15 to 30-second options. Your business can also go LIVE to followers and fans!

4. Building Followers: Great content on your feed attracts more followers. Like a good book, that gets popular. Start building your followers by asking offline customers to follow you. A good hashtag strategy helps reach new Instagram audiences. Engage with a prospective target audience. Run influencer marketing campaigns to gain followers from their network.

5. Distributing Content: Content by itself won’t help you reach a larger audience overnight. Creating excellent content ensures value add and keeps your brand fresh. However, reaching audiences organically requires a lot of effort. Using good hashtags to reach audiences through the network is important. Advertising on Instagram helps your content reach followers and across their network too.

6. DM (Direct Messages): Your business can easily connect with Instagram followers, converse with prospective clients, book orders and do so much more in a private window through direct messaging.  

Users can privately communicate with each other through direct messages. If a customer has a complaint or question, it’s best practice to chat with them via direct message to keep the conversation private. Direct messages are often referred to as DMs.

Awesome Features of Instagram for your business

1. Posts: Businesses can do so much more with posts than just one photo. Add different angles of products in a carousel. Post a demo video of your product. Ad filters, geolocation tags to make it searchable, and more.

2. Stories: As the name suggests, businesses can weave a story in multiple 6-second stories. Create engaging stories with Poll stickers, Questions, and Quizzes. Gain insights from followers, feedback, and more through these stickers. The best part is you get to keep these on the highlights feature on Instagram for your audiences to view later.

3. Instagram Shopping: Add shopping tags on posts, @mentions of brands, and tags and do the same with stories too! Clicking on the shopping tags shows users’ prices and directs them to make a purchase.

4. Reels: Instagram’s latest addition reels can drive engagement for your brand through video. Jump on trending reels or create informative videos. You don’t need to be a professional to shoot or create these videos. The reels feature enables selection, merging video and photo, adding music and posting them with captions, and more. Easy to do videos in just minutes.

5. Going LIVE: Going live on Instagram is a game-changer. It’s a powerful feature to help connect with an audience, interact and showcase brand authenticity in real-time. From talking about product features to interviewing experts, businesses can use Instagram Live to build brand buzz.

6. AR filters: Several businesses create AR filters that followers use to make videos and post pictures. Instagram users take pictures using these filters and the badge shows on their stories, reel videos below for others to use too.

Benefits of Using Instagram for your business

1. Real-Time Sales like Instagram is one large marketplace is a reality. Running shoppable tags on your posts and stories encourages people to purchase. Most users on Instagram browse with the intent and power to purchase. 

2. Instagram Ads offer businesses the opportunity to reach out to newer target audiences far cheaper than traditional media. Impressions and reach with an Instagram post are far more than it would probably be with a magazine ad.

3. Instagram Insights gives businesses a clear understanding of their target audience. Who follows the brand, their location, gender, age group, even days the target audience is most active.

4. Tracking ROI on ad campaigns is simple and easy to understand. Facebook ads manager accounts for each advertising dollar spent. How many website link clicks did the campaign generate? How many leads were generated and converted? Businesses can evaluate the cost per result on each campaign too.

5. Retargeting gets easy with Instagram ads. A new user has to only click once on your ads and the retargeting feature will show the same ad to that set of audiences again. Often followers visit a brand website but don’t make a purchase. Retargeting helps convert these followers with retargeting ads to them. 

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