Instagram has become one of the most popular social media platforms on the market. What started out as an app designed for individuals to share pictures has evolved into a great platform for business to grow their reach and gain more customers.
With over 1 billion active users a month, more than 80% of users on Instagram are following at least one business page. Even more meaningful, over half of profile visits to business pages come from people who aren’t even following that business. This means that Instagram is an incredibly effective way for you and your business to maximize your reach with your existing consumer base and attract new followers. It also means that your Instagram profile needs to be ready to make a great first impression.
If you’re ready to transform your Instagram business account into a growth machine for your business, keep reading to learn the best ways to improve your Instagram profile and maximize the platform’s benefits for your business.
1. Make Your Instagram Profile a Business Profile
If you haven’t already, it’s time to convert your Instagram account into a business account! Business profiles come with additional features and tools specifically designed to grow your business.
Some of the main things that are different when you switch your account to a business profile are that you gain access to Instagram Shopping, Instagram Ads, and Instagram Insights. You also have more profile customization options, so you can display your business hours, location, links, and contact buttons to make it easier for Instagram users to interact with your business.
One of the most powerful tools of Instagram business accounts is the ability to access more detailed analytics that show you exactly how users engage with all of your content. You can see how your follower count grows, get detailed demographic information about your followers, and see how Instagram users found your content (home feed, your profile, hashtags, etc.). All of these insights will help you understand the success of your Instagram marketing strategy and adapt it for continued success long term.
If you’re looking to grow your business on Instagram, switching to a business account is the first place to start. More than 25 million businesses use this account setting successfully, and you should too!
First, start by heading to your profile and look under the settings. Once there, head to account, and then find and click on “Switch to Professional Account.” Instagram will then ask you to categorize your page under what is most appropriate for your services to make it easier for users to find your business. Once this is done, you will need to connect to an active Facebook page for your business.
2. Optimize Your Profile
Now that you’ve created your business account on Instagram, it’s time to design the profile to make it more engaging to users. First, create or edit your handle and username so they’re easy to find. For your handle (what comes after the @), stick with simplicity and use the exact name of your business, if possible. In the name field, you can use your business name or a shortened version of the name and a classifier. Names on Instagram are searchable, so if you’re a spa located in Charleston, you might use something like this: “Spa Name | Charleston Spa” so that your profile comes up when users search for Charleston spas.
Maintaining a consistent online presence across all social media platforms is important, so choose a handle and profile image that is the same on the other platforms you use, like Facebook or Twitter. Make your profile picture one that is easily identifiable to users and is relevant to your business. This might be a logo, a picture of you, or a picture of your business storefront. Whatever it is, keep it consistent!
Next, it’s time to write your bio. A successful Instagram profile bio achieves three things: summarizes what you do, highlights benefits users will gain by following, and includes a call to action that supports your goals.
You only get 150 characters for your bio, so it’s best to keep it simple and concise. Make sure that your bio addresses the user and how your business can serve them rather than simply describing yourself. You can do this by describing your business’s values or mission to connect with your target audience, or identify key benefits that your account provides.
Once you’re satisfied with your business profile description, finish your bio with a compelling call to action. Some examples might include asking users to download our app, register for our services, visit our website, or book an appointment. Pair this call to action with the link or contact information necessary to take the action requested.
Finally, make sure you turn on notifications for your profile to ensure quick responses to any questions or comments that come through. This will show high levels of engagement and will help you build and maintain meaningful relationships with your followers.
3. Use Instagram Stories and Highlights Strategically
Instagram Stories are a hugely popular feature of the social media platform. Only lasting for 24 hours at a time, stories can be used to show less formal behind-the-scenes peeks at your business, personal details, or quick updates on promotions or events. Instagram Stories allow you to post as frequently as you want without cluttering your feed or overposting on your actual page, which can be off-putting for followers scrolling through the app.
Even though stories are only visible for a limited amount of time, you can select some stories to be shown on your profile permanently with Highlights. Highlights appear below your profile information and before your regular grid of static posts and allow users to view old stories even after the 24-hour time limit. This is especially useful for new followers that may have missed the original stories, but can still benefit from the content.
We recommend dividing your stories up into relevant highlight categories to make it more accessible for users to navigate your content in an organized fashion. Some categories you can use could be products, sales, reviews, promotions, blog posts, etc.
4. Add Action Buttons
This somewhat recent feature on Instagram allows users to engage with your business like an online store, giving them the opportunity to buy products or book services directly through the app. Whether you’re selling clothes, classes, artwork, or another type of product or service, this feature makes it easier for followers to become customers. You can even set up an entire store on Instagram, allowing users to purchase without even leaving the app to navigate through a clumsy mobile site or through a bunch of different links. Ease of customer experience is crucial to turning those likes and comments into sales.
5. Maximize Your Posts’ Reach
While this tip isn’t specifically about your profile settings, making sure your Instagram content is optimized to reach current and existing audiences is important, as an optimized Instagram profile won’t go very far without the content to back it up.
First, it’s crucial to post consistently and at the right times. Start by researching the best times to post your content either by diving into your own follower insights or by using third-party websites or software that have identified ideal posting times for your account. This will ensure that your posts have the potential to be seen by more of your followers.
Next, don’t forget to use hashtags! Posts that use hashtags receive over 10% more engagement than other posts, and using hashtags will help your content reach audiences beyond your own followers. Find 5-10 useful hashtags that are relevant to your business and the specific content you’re posting to make it easier for users to find your account and business. If you want to get the benefit of adding hashtags without having them clutter up the visual look of your caption, add the hashtags as a comment on your post right away!
To identify which hashtags are best to use, research your industry and target audience ahead of time and come up with a bank of lots of hashtags that you can swap out for different posts. You can look at other competitors’ posts to see which hashtags they use, pinpoint trending hashtags used by influencers relevant to your industry, and even use Instagram’s search functionality to explore popular hashtags.
Lastly, using a location tag also increases your post’s reach potential. By adding a location tag to your post, it will show up in the search results for that location, giving you more visibility and ultimately increasing your engagement. It’s a great way to promote your business to local communities or people visiting your area.
6. Review and Update
This step is fundamental to any strategy you use to grow your business. Once you have implemented all of the tips to improve your Instagram profile, it’s essential to monitor your results. Using your Instagram analytics and feedback from users, you can begin to see what does and doesn’t work for your business.
Start by looking at the general profile analytics to see how you’ve done overall. Have you noticed an overall increase in your followers and total engagement? What do your followers’ demographics look like and how can you target those audiences moving forward?
Then, you can move to reviewing specific posts to see which ones have received the most engagement, the most follows, or even the most visits to your website. Try to determine what made those posts particularly successful so you can replicate it going forward. You can see if your hashtags or location tags are working based on the breakdown of the post’s reach and where people found it.
Once you’ve reviewed all this information, use it to tweak and improve your profile and content going forward. And don’t forget to constantly be reviewing the results!
Instagram is the place to be as a growing influencer or business, but setting up your Instagram business profile is only the first step. Following these tips to improve your Instagram profile will set you on the path to growing your business and maximizing all the benefits Instagram has to offer businesses. But if you’re looking for additional support in taking your Instagram marketing to the next level, Jetsetter Social offers social media marketing services that will really help your business take off on social!
For more Instagram tips, check out these blog posts: