If you’re not already on Instragram for your business, this pandemic has created one more reason to not ignore it (and other digital tools for your marketing, branding and sales) anymore. With 1 billion active users, Instagram For Business is surely a platform on the top-end of the list when starting or expanding your digital drive.
Your target audience on Instagram are users already following your content. This is why you need to focus on building an engaged audience base. However, it can be challenging to know where to start as there is a diverse array of features and constant updates, like the Shop feature being introduced just last year, at your disposal.
Ideally, Instagram would be a tool used in your overall marketing plan to grow your business. However, you can just as easily run your business out of your Instagram account without using any other platforms, especially if you’re selling consumer-facing products.
Some businesses may also already be operating under a Personal Account on Instagram. However, creating a Business Account provides more opportunities and exclusive features than a Personal Account. Business Accounts will always be public so that any Instagram user can access them.
How To Create An Instagram Business Account?
If you don’t already have one, you need to sign-up for a Personal Account. Then head to Settings, find Account and tap Switch to professional account. Pick a category from the drop-down list matching your business, then click Business. Once that is done, you’re ready to start using Instagram for your business needs.
What Do You Get On Instagram for Business?
#1 Promote Your Instagram Content with Business Manager
With more than 1 billion Instagrammers worldwide, how do you break through the noise?
With Instagram’s Business Manager, you can target the right audience at the right time of day, with the right visuals and right ad message, for your business. You can target both Instagram users and Facebook users with your ads with Business Manager, given that Facebook bought over Instagram and integrated it into the same ad platform in 2012.
You will be able to create and manage ads whether you’re on desktop or mobile to track your campaign performance and manage your creative work – from uploading ad creative to copywriting. Above all, it is intuitive enough for advertisers of any expertise level.
You can also give permission to other collaborators to work on your ads, and create multiple ad accounts. Also, Business Manager has the all-important Ads Manager function.
You can sign up for Business Manager at https://business.facebook.com/, and don’t worry that the URL says “Facebook” and not “Instagram”.
Proceed to click More Tools, then click Ads Manager. (Tip: You may want to avoid accessing Ads Manager from your Facebook Account page as the workflow options for creating your ad campaign may be different.)
You will then be brought to a menu where you can select a “Campaign Objective”. You have three groups of Campaign Objectives to choose from. There is 1) Awareness (which has Brand Awareness and Reach), 2) Consideration (which includes Traffic, Engagement, App Installs, Video Views, Lead Generation and Messages) (Tip: Lead Generation works especially well for service businesses.), and 3) Conversion (including the options of Store Traffic, Catalogue Sales and Conversions).
If you download Facebook Pixel, you can track analytics for Conversions too. This means you can see who not only reached your website by clicking on your ad, but also who took your product to the online checkout.
#2 Metrics Unique to Business Accounts
Both Business and Personal Accounts let you view vanity metrics (likes and followers), but the similarities stop there. Business Accounts have unique features on actual user engagement, which include clickthrough rate, post shares and DM (Direct Message) enquiries from potential customers.
“View Insights” is a powerful tool showing the performance of each individual business profile post, letting you know what specific users you have reached. From there, you can see their in-app activity, such as accounts they follow, and visit those of your competitor’s accounts they have interacted with. You will also know which users were already following you and which users discovered your account via your new hashtags.
Impressions and reach tell you which content is popular with audiences, and which types of content is less engaging. Content Interactions over the past week or month also teach you how audiences engage with different types of content.
Audience demographics tell you the times of day that they use Instagram the most. You know their age, gender and city. You will have all you need to form a target customer profile.
#3 Engaging Your Target Audience
Business Accounts have the Contact option, meaning that users can call or email you directly from the app. If applicable, you can even list your physical store location under Public Business Information. This makes your account look more professional compared to a personal profile, and audiences will likely take you more seriously.
For Personal Accounts, these features are unavailable, so users would have to search the Web for your contact details and address instead.
Based on the user profile information you have gathered, you can then predict which business accounts your target market will likely visit. Search for these account pages, then click on the most recent post, and click on “Liked by”. You can then reply to their comments, or drop them DMs.
Upon reaching 10,000 followers, Business Accounts unlock the Swipe Up feature on their Stories, which funnels users to your main site, or any link in your caption references. This is perfect because Business accounts can link users to the business support team, setting up one to one customer engagement. On the other hand, no matter how many followers you reach, Personal Accounts do not have the Swipe Up feature.
#5 Quick Reply
Running a business, you will likely (and hopefully) get more emails and DMs. Thankfully, there’s infrastructure unique to such an account. Quick Reply lets you pre-write replies to common customer enquiry DMs. DMs can also be sorted according to your most important leads. So do not be afraid in encouraging your audience to drop you more emails and DMs for one-to-one chats.
Hashtags are a place for users to find compiled posts relating to one of their interests. Both Business Accounts and Personal Accounts have access to the same hashtag features. These hashtags can gain more views if you Boost the posts. However, the Boost function is only available on Business Accounts, and it is up to you to set the budget and target audience.
#7 Instagram Shop
Shop listings can be categorised according to theme or collection, allowing you editorial control of your online shop. Once you create a product detail page for a listing, that page will constantly stay up to date on Instagram posts tagged with that product. These posts include user-generated content. When your audience sees other Instagrammers posting about your products, they will look at your brand with increased credibility. Product detail pages also let you include detailed descriptions of your goods, pricing information and promotional media.
Little Reasons To Continue Neglecting Instagram for Business
With 200 million Instagrammers visiting at least one Business Account each day, there’s little reasons to continue neglecting it, especially as it will help prospective customers to find out more about your products and services, or to connect with your business.
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