More local businesses are turning to Instagram to reach their customers. If you have made the leap and signed up, congratulations. If you are still wondering if you should and where to start, keep reading for tips on how to set up your profile and where to find strategies to help with your particular niche.
Personal vs Business Account
Many entrepreneurs use their personal accounts to do business. However, you are missing out on the rich data and options that come with setting up a business account on Instagram. Here are some of the benefits of using an Instagram Business Account.
You get Instagram Insights – Just as sales is the life blood of your business, being able to track who you are reaching and how these convert into dollars and cents is critical. With a business you get this rich data. While it is nice to look at your growing numbers of followers and how much likes and comments you receive, you want to know are your followers male or female, how old and do they live in your target service area?
Even more information is available for each piece of content. You want to understand which content receives the most engagement but also what do they do when they connect with it. Do they share it to their stories, save it, comment, do they go to your link to read the related article or to shop?
Having this knowledge helps you to create more content similar to what they’ve shown to like.
Create ads – On any given day, there are sponsored posts showing up in your feed. With a business account you can target your ads to the specific type of customers who you enjoy serving. You can then track how effective your ad has been in terms of reach, engagement and sales.
Instagram Shopping – This option is not available everywhere. However, you want to be ready for when they do allow your region or island to use this feature. The ability to shop directly from your profile, will allow quicker buying decisions and reduce the wait of people needing to go to another site to make a purchase.
Primary and secondary messaging inboxes – You can separate your messages in the way which keeps you organised. Primary could be from customers who purchase and regularly engage and Secondary are those making enquiries or the personal conversations you may have with friends and business associated.
Add your contact information – A business account allows you to add a button where people can find a telephone number and email to connect with your.
A Call-to-Action button – This makes it super easy to know what is the next step they need to take to do business with you.
Have we convinced you? Follow the steps below to set up your business account on Instagram.
Download the App unto your device.
- Open the app.
- Tap Create New Account or Sign Up With Email or Phone Number.
- Enter your email or phone number and tap Next.
- Create your username and password. (If you already have other social media accounts, try to use the same username for all)
- Fill out your profile info (more on this below) and tap Next.
Set Up a Business Account
- Go to your profile and tap the hamburger icon at the top right.
- Tap Settings, then Account.
- Tap Switch to professional account.
- Tap Business and follow the prompts.
Optimize your Profile
A quick look at your profile should tell us the main things we need to know about your business, who you serve and how to connect with you.
In the Name space tell us the name of your business or the service you provide. If you’ve already used you business name as the username, for example @BasicAccountingInc, use the Name space to tell us who you serve – Accounting Services for Solo Entrepreneurs or Bookkeeping for Busy Moms.
Use the bio section to give us even more information. Have you won an accounting award or regular business columnist? Tell Us. Do you have an introductory offer or newsletter you want us to sign up for? Tell us in this section. Close with a Call to Action. Sign up at the link below or Book an Appointment.
So for profile should look like this.
- Username – @BasicAccountingInc
- Name – Bookkeeping for Busy Mompreneurs
- Bio – Voted Top 10 Small Businesses in Montserrat. | Sign up for weekly bookkeeping tips. | Join our Facebook Community.
- Website: basicaccountinginc.com
Choose the Right Profile Photo
I’ve seen businesses take a business card and drop the entire image into their profile and walk away. Your profile photo needs to be a reflection of your business. Do you have an icon or logo which represents your brand? Use that. It can also be a professional image of you if you are the face of your business. If you need to create a logo or find an appropriate photo for your profile photo, use the free version of canva.com and create one.
Invite Others to Follow You
Once you set up the account, Instagram will suggest other people or businesses for you to follow. Go right ahead and add a few that you are interested in learning more about or who serve a similar market as you. It is also important to spread the word that you are on Instagram. Add your account link to your email signature, your website and any other form of communication that you distribute.
Now the Work Begins
The work to add followers and convert them to customers can be fun. Make it a part of your daily and weekly goals and you will see results.
Check out one of the articles below to learn more about marketing on Instagram.
Nerissa Golden is a media and business strategist. She is the editor of Discover Montserrat and author of eight books, including Start, Grow, Thrive: Build a Business to Last. Follow her on Instagram at @trulynerissagolden