Welcome to the final blog of our social media series, where this time we’re sharing ten simple steps for using Instagram for your business – whether you’re just getting started or simply need to enhance your existing strategy.

There are over 25 million business profiles using Instagram worldwide, and more than 200 million users visit at least one business profile every day. From gathering insights to selling products, Instagram has now become a top platform for brands and constantly provides new tools to help businesses succeed.

  1. Set up an Instagram business account

If you already have a personal Instagram account with brand-appropriate content and an established following, you might want to simply convert it to an Instagram business account or you could also choose to create a brand-new Instagram business account.

Such profiles have access to both in-depth analytics and features to help create a business presence. Once your account is set up, add in all relevant details about your business, including your name, username, profile picture, website URL and a bio.

  1. Set goals and objectives

Your business’ presence on the platform should be driven by strategic goals. It’s vital to set out your main goals and then you can focus all of your efforts on achieving them.

Regardless of what you’re trying to achieve, all effective business goals follow the SMART framework – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.

  1. Define your target audience

Instagram target audience research should be one of the first things to consider when developing an Instagram strategy. Before you decide what kind of great content to post, you need to think who is going to see it.

Your target audience should have interests relevant to your brand and/or industry.

  1. Post regular content

As every account has a unique audience, there is no one time that’s best to post for all businesses. However, scheduling your posts for optimised times is proven to help you reach more followers and get more engagement on your posts.

Post content on a regular basis as you want to keep your followers aware of your brand and keep them engaged with your content. But be sure not to overwhelm them with too much unnecessary content.

  1. Use niche hashtags

Remember to include niche or location-specific hashtags. This is a great way to help users find content on Instagram.

Once you understand hashtags, you can branch out and experiment to find which ones work best for your brand.

  1. Create a visual aesthetic for your brand

Instagram is all about the visuals, so it’s important to post aesthetically pleasing content and  have a recognisable visual identity.

It’s also important for brands to decide on a consistent visual look and theme. Use similar colours and filters – 60% of the top brands use the same filter for every post.

  1. Tell great stories with Instagram Stories

This is one of Instagram’s most popular features and more than 500 million users now use this feature every day. The platform offers simple tools that make it easy to create engaging content, and the photos or videos that are posted in this way disappear 24 hours after they are posted.

In addition, users can take and stream live videos. Similar to Stories, these videos only remain for 24 hours.

  1. Work with influencers

One of the quickest ways to gain access to an engaged and loyal following is by establishing relationships with influencers in your industry. Getting a shout-out or recommendation from the right influencer can give your page credibility and more followers.

Smaller brands with limited budgets can use micro-influencers – people with a smaller but dedicated following.

  1. Experiment with ads

Businesses have the option to advertise on Instagram with photo ads, story ads, video ads and carousel ads. Ads can ensure you get your content in front of a wider and targeted audience as well as reducing the number of steps required to get them to your website or promotion.

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  1. Track results with analytics tools

It’s important to check in regularly to see how your progress matches up to your business goals. Without the right metrics, you’ll never know if you could be doing more to engage your audience.

Although there are a lot of metrics to keep an eye on, many free analytics apps have been developed to help you keep track of your progress.

Thank you for reading and if you need support on integrating Instagram or other social media channels into your business, we’d love to hear from you!