Instagram, owned by Facebook, is one of the most popular social media platforms, with nearly 112.5 million users in 2020.
What’s more, 59% of social users use social media as buying inspiration. And according to Instagram statistics, at least 200 million Instagrammers visit a minimum of one business profile each day.
This means that with the right marketing strategy, businesses can successfully use Instagram to promote their products and services, build brand awareness, and increase sales.
That said, here’s everything you need to know about using Instagram to grow your business.
1. Create a Business Account
For starters, you should create an Instagram business account to get access to several features that personal profiles don’t have, such as:
- Boosting posts
- Add links to stories
- Track analytics data
- Use shoppable posts
- Add CTA’s
- And more.
To create a business account on Instagram, you can go to your personal account and settings and select “switch to business profile.”
It’s also recommended that you connect your Instagram business profile with your Facebook page. The details you add about your business on your Facebook page will be reflected on your Instagram profile.
2. Post High-Quality Photos
Since Instagram is a visual social media platform, it’s crucial to share high-quality photos and video content that represents your brand.
Generic photos won’t cut it, so make sure you edit your photos and focus on creating a cohesive grid on Instagram.
Use the ability to enhance your photos with filters, write a caption and add a location, and tag other users when appropriate.
The cosmetic company, Sephora, is great at staging its photos and create engaging visual content that entices users to purchase their products.
3. Leverage Instagram Stories
Stories are one of Instagram’s most popular features, especially since you can add links to them, which you can’t in regular posts.
In addition, the photos or videos you share in your story disappear 24 hours after you’ve posted. But if you want your story to stay up on your profile, you can use Stories Highlights. That way, your story stays on your profile until you decide to remove it.
Instagram offers many tools to help you create engaging and interactive stories. For example, it allows you to post recorded and live videos, photos, boomerangs, reels, text, and music.
You can also add cool stickers and emojis to your posts, tag other users, and add hashtags. Using stickers for polls, sliding bars, and questions are excellent for asking your users for feedback and boosting engagement.
4. Stream Live Videos
Similar to Instagram stories, you can stream live videos that disappear. And once you stop streaming, your video remains in your Instagram Stories section for 24 hours.
If you want a video to stay on your Instagram feed, you can upload and post your video directly through the app or shoot one directly.
Streaming live videos allows you to offer users a live sneak peek or “behind the scenes” of your business. You can also use this feature to announce new product releases or answer live questions.
5. Engage With Your Audience
If you’re serious about growing your business through Instagram, you have to engage with your followers.
But if you really want to grow your audience, you have to focus on digging a bit deeper and crafting thoughtful responses to comments, not just saying “thanks.”
For example, Hot Box Cookies does an excellent job at engaging with their Instagram audience:
They’re running small guessing contests to get people to comment and like their posts. And at the same time, they promote their cookies and increase brand reach.
For example, some fun ways of stepping up engagement with your audience and showing you’re a “human” are:
- Using emojis
- Sharing related images
- Replying with a funny GIF (available in Stories only)
- Asking follow-up questions
6. Sell Your Products on Instagram
Last November 2020, Instagram added a shop tab. It allows users to discover and purchase their favorite products directly through the app.
To start selling on Instagram is easy. You simply create a product catalog that’s connected to your account. Then, similar to how you tag a person in a post, you can tag a product from your catalog and create a post.
However, you must sell physical goods that comply with Instagram’s merchant agreement and commerce policies. Best of all, you can even use Facebook, Shopify, or BigCommerce to create your catalog.
7. Share User-Generated Content
User-generated content is basically free marketing and any content posted by fans or followers.
It’s a form of social proof, which is super valuable since people tend to trust their peers more than the brand itself.
Instagram is a perfect platform for sharing user-generated content. For instance, you can use a branded hashtag and then create an Instagram collection of user-generated content. But remember to ask for permission to share it first.
Here are ASOS’s #AsSeenOnMe user-generated content on Instagram:
By using the #AsSeenOnMe hashtag, ASOS followers can tag themselves wearing ASOS products, providing free marketing for the ASOS brand.
Over to You
And there you have 7 actionable tips on how to use Instagram for business in 2022. Cutting through the noise and competition on Instagram isn’t easy. Still, by using these tips and being consistent with your marketing, you can successfully build brand awareness, increase engagement and sales for your business.