10 Things You Need to Do When Getting Started on Instagram

Ever wondered why Instagram is growing so fast?

The app was launched in 2010 and acquired by Facebook in 2012. Fast forward to 2022 and the app boasts 1 billion active users monthly! 

Instagram offers users an aesthetic environment for interaction, community building, and product advertisement.

And with the introduction of more jaw-dropping features, many business owners like you are moving towards owning an Instagram business account. 

The reason? Instagram offers the perfect environment to foster expansion and increase reach.

If you want to get your business thriving at the next level with an opportunity to reach a massive audience, then you must join the band.

Ready to take the plunge?

We’ve compounded a list of the top 10 things you need to know to navigate the app like a pro. 

Understand Why You’re Setting up a Business Account on Instagram

As a business owner, you’re familiar with goal setting and why it’s necessary. Business goals help you see the prospects and need for continuous operation. 

Likewise, for a marketing channel like Instagram, you need to understand your why’ before acting. Why get on Instagram at all? What goal do you want to achieve?

Whether you’ll be running ads, and promotional offers, or investing substantial time in content marketing, analyzing your gains and goals will help you stay focused. 

Though these goals differ from one business to the other, here are some of the most common business goals for Instagram:

  • Expand customer base
  • Relate with your niche-specific audience
  • Increase sales and profit
  • Increase website traffic
  • Tell brand stories, visions, values, and goals.

Important Notice: Set realistic and attainable goals. A business Instagram profile isn’t a get-rich-quick or get-profit-quick scheme. However, if you’re dedicated enough, your hard work will be worth it in the end.

Craft an Instagram Content Strategy

Not many people know this, but using Instagram goes beyond posting several pictures and videos daily. 

Without a well-thought-out content strategy, you can post all you want, but don’t be surprised if you see no results.

Your Instagram content strategy works jointly with your business goals and it’s a major determinant of your business growth. So, how do you do content strategy?

  • First, Define Your Audience

Instagram is a big space with people visiting for different reasons. 50% of the gram users surf for products and services. 

So, your concentration should be on this category of buyers. Pinpoint your target audience. This will help you plan highly relevant content for the market and stand unique among competitors.

  • Research Content 

Speaking of content, great content starts with research. 

Your business page aims to expose your products and services to the market. If you’ve successfully identified your audience, you should dedicate ample time to researching the right content to post. 

A simple hack? Look at your competitors. What’s their content like? You don’t have to copy them, just take a cue or two for your own profile. 

Also, go where a large number of your target audience are. Find out what they’re talking about and what their pain points are. Then, turn your findings into valuable content that gets instant Instagram views

  • Plan Content 

It’s time to turn all that research into juicy content. Plan your content first, then keep track of them.

One of the best ways to stay organized when storing your content list is to use a content calendar. It shows all your topics and market strategies at a glance, making it easy to identify errors or gaps.

Photo by STIL on Unsplash

Set Up your Profile

Your business profile on Instagram should specifically attract your audience, convert them to customers and increase profits. There are four major areas to concentrate on when setting up your profile:

  • Username and Account Name

Most brands lean toward using their business name as their username and Account name. After all, it’s unique and easy to recognize. You can do the same. 

However, you’re free to make some tweaks as long as you keep it simple, short, and memorable.

Pro Tip: adding keywords to your account name can help increase your visibility in search results. You can do this by going to your profile and tapping the ‘Edit Profile’ option. 

In the example below, Starbucks adds “coffee” to their account name. As such, when someone searches for coffee, their profile will come up.

  • Profile photo

Instagram is a visual app. If you want to make a great first impression, getting the right angles in your profile picture is very necessary. 

Simply put, a bad profile photo makes your business look unprofessional. 

Your profile photo should reflect your brand and should be instantly linkable to your business.  

  • Bio

On Instagram, you get no more than 150 characters to tell people about your brand. Use it wisely. craft it to reflect your brand’s uniqueness. It should include:

  1. A brief explanation of your services: talk about what you do. Make it a short discussion about what your customers can get from your business
  2. Your contact Address: Include your phone number, email address, business location, etc.
  3. Call to Action (CTA): add a sentence that invites people to take an action such as ‘Send a message now,’ ‘Dial our number’.
  • Link in bio

Want to generate more traffic and get them learning more about your brand? Place a link right below your bio to take your customers to your website. 

Find Niche Hashtags

Hashtags help users locate your business faster. Finding the right hashtags may be a difficult task, but research has shown that posts with over 11 hashtags get more engagement. If you want to do hashtags right, you have to:

  • Research hashtags specific to your niche: focus only on hashtags in your niche. Choose the trendy ones but steer clear of anything overused. For example, a bakery can use hashtags like #cupcakes, #weddingcakes, #cakesforkids, etc.
  • Creatively develop hashtags: Creativity does it in the media. to stand out, think about a word that a user can randomly type in the search box and make your own hashtag.  You can also create hashtags unique only to your brand. (Think #cocacola, #nike etc.)

Pro Tip: Avoid excessive use of Hashtags. It’ll only put readers off. Hashtags are most effective when used with posts that are catchy, attractive, and interesting to your audience. 

Use Highlights to Show What your Business is About

The Highlights feature on Instagram allows you to publish even more information about your business. Highlights let you collect and categorize all the most important stories you’ve posted and showcase them on your profile. Some ideas for your highlight cover include:

  • About Us: Give further information about your brand in this section
  • FAQ: Create a separate highlight for where you answer all the questions that most of your audience have.
  • Customer Reviews: Ask your customers to talk about their experiences when you worked with them and upload them on your highlights for others to see.
  • Products Feature: Introduce your products here and let your audience know key information about them.

Upload Your First Content

Ideally, your first content should be a short introduction of your brand with a nice picture to accompany it. It can be a photo, reel, or video. 

The steps to uploading content on the app are easy and straightforward. Here’s how to upload your first content on Instagram.

  • Click on the + sign on your home screen

On the homepage of your Instagram account, you’ll see a plus (+) sign. 

  • Select a photo from the gallery

Upon clicking the plus sign, you’ll be directed to your gallery where you’re to select your desired image.  

Pro Tip: You can always select more than one picture and upload them at once on Instagram. 

  • Crop and Add Filter effects to the Photo

Remember it’s a business page, so you have to choose high-quality images with great backgrounds.

The next step is to apply a filter, edit or crop the image. The edit option reveals features such as adjust, brightness, structure, and contrast.

If you’re using a filter, ensure it’s not too much. Also, crop out the unprofessional items. Then, move forward by clicking on the arrow on the top right side of your screen.

  • Write your Caption

Your caption will appear under the photo you’re about to upload. Ensure that whatever you write is related to the picture. It should be catchy and encourage engagement. Feel free to use hashtags, emojis, and other fun items as you write your caption.

  • Share the Post

After ensuring that the post is good enough, share it. To do this, tap on the checkmark at the top right side of your screen. And voila! Your first post is up.

Connect With Others

Instagram is a social app. To thrive on it, you have to interact with others. If you’re trying to get more followers, you should:

  • Like, share and follow other users: aside from the impact of getting followers from your posts, you can as well increase your audience by liking, sharing a post. The owner of the post will probably get curious, check out your page, and reciprocate the gesture. 

Follow other users as well, even competitors. It’s a good way to start your journey on the gram as a business page. 

  • Solicit Shoutouts from other businesses: Reach out to your counterparts and get them to post shoutouts for you. 

Photo by Oleg Laptev on Unsplash

  • Participate in interactive sessions: Through these sessions, you can leverage the influence of others to connect with a bigger audience. You also gain exposure.

Interact with your Audience

When you put content out there, you expect feedback and reactions. Luckily, Instagram allows people to interact and participate effectively through different methods:

  • Polls
  • Questions tags
  • Promotional Content and lots more. 

Beyond simply posting, it’s your job to also interact with your audience. Use polls and stickers to ask questions, then reply to them. Also, reply comments and DMs religiously 

Connect your Instagram Business Page with Other Social Media Channels

If you have a presence on other media apps, connect your Instagram account to them. The goal is to reach a larger audience and provide quality content everywhere – Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Tiktok, LinkedIn. 

Also, try to stay consistent in terms of style, brand personality, and tone across all your social platforms. Your customers will always notice when something is different. A cohesive online presence, however, gives an impression of stability.

Track Your Growth

The insight tool is one of your best friends on the Instagram app. It offers you metrics of your growth at a glance. 

It can also help you understand the perfect post timing for your page. The tool also shows the number of comments, likes, and followers your posts got within a specific time. 

Photo by Carlos Muza on Unsplash

Conclusion

Social media is changing the future of many industries, especially the business world. Yet, many more innovations are expected to come. 

Now that you have secured your spot on this app and have learned how to navigate it, keep going. Post and engage with your audience consistently.

Keep working hard with these tips, and you’ll see the difference in your business within a short while. 

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