We all have to start somewhere! That’s especially true when starting an Instagram business account. Whether you have a booming Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Pinterest presence but nada on Instagram or nothing going on on social media in general, here are some tips to get off on the right foot.

1. Starting an Instagram Business Account? Make One!

Instagram business accounts are free and they’re a must if you’re trying to market a product or service on the platform! With an Instagram Business account, your brand can add links in Instagram stories, link to your business Facebook account, and access helpful analytics to optimize your social media marketing strategy. Go into the profile section of your Instagram account, and click “switch to business profile.” It’s pretty user-friendly from there. Follow the steps to authenticate with your Facebook page and you’ll be off to the races.

2. Optimize Your Instagram Profile

Can you sum your business up in 150 characters? You’ll have to in your Instagram bio! Be really strategic here—using hashtags, a link to your website, and keywords that attract your primary customer. The great thing about your Instagram bio is that you can use it as a testing ground; it doesn’t have to be set in stone. See how much traffic you get with one description and set of hashtags for a couple weeks. Then, switch it up! This includes the link to your company website.

Starting and Instagram Business Account profile optimization tips

3. Follow Others

Instagram is all about exposure. The algorithm ranks your profile in feeds based on your own content, who you follow, who follows you, and how you engage. Give your visibility a boost by following others. You don’t want to go hog wild and follow 10,000 people, but you should aim to follow at least 100 beneficial accounts—including ideal customers, brands, and profiles with overlapping or complementary interests to what your business provides. Think of your Instagram as a Venn diagram, intersecting with common interests, hashtags, and followers.

4. Determine Your Content Strategy

Instagram is unique in that it’s the most personal of all social platforms—giving followers an intimate look into your products, services, brand personality, and staff. Coming up with a content strategy that checks off all these boxes is key to your Instagram success. Making a content calendar with content buckets is the easiest way to do this. Say for instance you market nutritional supplements. Your content buckets could be product details, sales and giveaways, user-generated posts (people using your products), company news, company insights (like parties, photos of your office space or warehouse, etc.), and trending holidays and events. Test out these type of posts to see which do best. Then you can optimize from there!

5. Engage With Others

When you’re starting an Instagram business account, it feels great when your posts start getting lots of likes and comments. In order to make the most of these and continue to appease the social platform’s algorithm, you need to like these comments, reply, and also engage with followers on their own posts. Set time aside each day to do this with your followers as well as engage with accounts you like and users you’d like to become customers.

6. Post to Your Instagram Feed Regularly

Posting regularly is super important when starting an Instagram business account. Why? Because publishing content on a regular basis gives your account more exposure, attracts and retains more followers, and shows the Instagram algorithm that you’re on top of your sh*t. We find it’s easiest to stay on a consistent publishing cadence when we use a scheduling platform like Planoly—or at least write out posts two weeks to a month in advance. Here are some more tips to make publishing Instagram posts part of your routine.

7. Use IGTV and Stories Too

Your Instagram feed is important, but that’s only one way you’re going to reach your ideal customers. Using Instagram Stories and IGTV allows you to cast a wider net, showcase different types of content, and not bore your audience with multiple posts per day. Use IGTV for long-form video os procedures, DIY videos, events, and more. Try stories for links to sales, engagement campaigns, and content that doesn’t need to liver permanently on your profile page.

8. Cross-Promote on Facebook and Other Social Channels

If you’re on other social channels besides Instagram, cross promote! Publish content that drives followers to your Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, or Twitter pages. Also cross-promote your website—including blogs, regular content, and special sales landing pages. Don’t do this too much in a salesy way, but build this cross-promotion strategy into your overall content for the best results.

9. Consider Instagram Ads

Fast-track your growth and overall business goals when starting an Instagram business account by running paid ads. You’ll appear in more feeds in front of a larger audience. Spend as much or as little as you’d like, run short A/B-tested campaigns, or opt for a long-range approach. If you don’t know much about paid social ads, here’s why you should consider budgeting for them.

IMO, Instagram is one of the most engaging and fun platforms to work on. It’s the most casual, visceral, and taps into customers who are looking to engage with your product, service, advice, content, and brand. We hope you’ll use these tips on starting an Instagram business account from scratch! If you ever need help marketing your company on Instagram, give us a shout. We’d be delighted to help.