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Instagram For Business: Your Detailed Manual

By Laurence L.

Instagram For Business: Your Detailed Manual

Running an online business? Just starting your own brand? Then you need to be on social media – and you absolutely need an Instagram account at the very least. Today, we’re going to take a deep dive into the world of Instagram for business accounts. We’ll see how to leverage your profile to attract followers, convert visitors to buyers, and how to effectively brand yourself.

Table Of Contents

What is Instagram

If you’re reading this blog post right now, you most likely know what Instagram is (you’re on a laptop or smartphone, after all). Instagram is the leading social media app owned by Facebook, reported to have over 1 billion active users monthly with 120 million users in the United States alone (making it the leading app for photo sharing in the country).

The appeal of Instagram is the ability to share content through dynamic photo and video functions. This, in turn, allows a person (or brand) to connect deeply with followers, loved ones, and family.

Why use Instagram for business

As you may have guessed from above, Instagram is a great tool to market your business. In fact, Retail Touchpoints says that 72% of users report making purchase decisions based on something they saw on Instagram. Having a brand account also allows you to build a community based on your brand’s beliefs, products, and niche – it’s a branding goldmine. Furthermore, having a specific-business account on Instagram will allow you to more effectively reach consumers. There are multiple features available such as ads, post insights, and specific call-to-action buttons.

Are there any downsides to using Instagram for a business though? The biggest one may be if your business’ target demographic is older, as the platform still mostly attracts younger teen-young adult users. Also, utilizing paid ads can get pretty expensive. And really, sometimes – some users are on Instagram for memes or funny content – not necessarily to shop or discover brands.

How to create an Instagram business account

Setting up an official business account for Instagram is easy (and free). You’ll need a Facebook account set up to start though (but it’s easy). Facebook Business offers easy step-by-step tutorials on how to get set up.

During your profile creation, be sure to select the appropriate category for your account. Think about what industry or category your business lies in. If you don’t see a category that fits, custom search categories to find more specific listings. And remember: you can change your category listing at any time (you know, in case your business grows to include more things).

Instagram For Business: Your Detailed Manual

The brand profile for AliDropship’s Instagram account.

Once you are set up, make sure you have aspects of your account profile filled out. Pay attention to the avatar, a website URL, and website bio. Your bio is important because there’s limited space to describe your brand, its story, and its beliefs. We share examples of great, catchy brand bios here to help you get started.

How to get Instagram followers for business

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BMW has a curated feed that can attract viewer attention quickly.

Content, content, content (and hashtags). Instagram is all about photos and videos that captivate people and lure them in. Brands have to utilize their accounts to sell the benefits of their products while establishing a connection with followers and customers alike.

Gaining followers is usually easy to do for free (take some tips from us) – but you have to do some work upfront, such as niche and competitor research to see how and where your brand and its products fit into the spectrum of things. Are you high-end or more affordable? Are you more rooted in science or rely on artistic vision and free expression? These are some questions to get you started so you can position your brand effectively.

As you establish your brand, you can move on and focus on bigger efforts such as inspiring mass followings on your profile while avoiding fake followers or bot accounts. And along the way, you may notice a drop in followers, which is actually normal, but can be explained with some reasons.

Building a following isn’t easy work. We actually gained 70,000 in one year through a dynamic, automated approach (and it’s possible with the super-cool Social Rabbit plugin).

What to post on Instagram for business

Wednesdays at 11 a.m. and Fridays from 10 a.m.–11 a.m. are best for engagement.

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Dove Chocolate posts friendly quotes on its account.

When speaking of followers and accumulating or losing them, it’s natural to progress into what conspires all this to happen: what you post on your account.

From memes to inspirational quotes and professional studio shots of products, there’s a lot you can do to elevate your website and its branding. Take a page from our experts’ books and consider these start-up ideas for your Instagram business account.

Like with other social media platforms, Instagram also has some easy best practices in terms of how often (and when) business pages should post content. Generally, Sprout Social has found that Wednesdays at 11 a.m. and Fridays from 10 a.m.–11 a.m. are best for engagement, with Wednesday being the best day of the week to post. And on average, one post a day is max.

Of course, there isn’t a universal recipe for how many times a week you should post. As you can guess, it varies too much by audience and niche. Still, we think at least 3 times a week is ideal (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday) to capture all facets of the work week.

Want an easy way to keep track of your social media calendar? Use this free template here (courtesy of the wonderful Hootsuite) to help you organize your brand’s content and ideas.

How to increase engagement of an Instagram business page

Instagram For Business: Your Detailed Manual

Example of researching keywords for “coffee” on Instagram.

Once you know how to attract followers and post on an organized schedule, it’s also smart to keep in mind how you can keep engagement (clicks, comments, likes, shares) of your Instagram page for business.

When establishing your content calendar and brand strategy, one major piece of prework a brand should do is conduct hashtag research. Hashtags are the keywords of Instagram, as they act as tags for any user to search for to explore content. Look into competitor hashtags, trending hashtags, and what unique hashtags you can utilize for your brand or any campaigns you have. Dive more into the fun world of hashtags here.

One beginner’s strategy we recommend (but it takes time) is the grassroots marketing strategy (you’ve probably seen this if you’re on Instagram yourself) – posting comments on posts of trending accounts or those similar to yours in interest). This gets your name – and humor, should you choose to utilize it for your brand voice – out there to followers of bigger accounts.

Remember: a well-executed grassroots strategy can bring an Instagram business account such as your own new followers, comments, and greater interaction with your brand. As people engage with your business, don’t forget to also be engaging as a brand and to respond to comments or likes on your posts.

A final approach is to get your brand involved in engagement groups (some are free, some are paid), which are small communities of niche-like accounts that co-engage with one another’s accounts to boost engagement rates. In these groups or pods, there generally are rules in regards to link sharing and what type of engagement you need to engage in (ex. “Like” posts only, comment on posts only, repost posts only).

Instagram for business advertising

Before spending money on ads, you’ll want to make sure you have great content and offers to entice viewers.

Instagram For Business: Your Detailed Manual

Fast food chain Wendy’s runs a paid video ad.

Instagram For Business: Your Detailed Manual

Influencer Hungry Hipsters gives a shoutout to Mercedes-Benz.

If you’re building an Instagram account for an ecommerce business, at some point you’ll want to think about expanding into paid advertising to broaden your reach.

But before spending money on ads, you’ll want to make sure you have great content and offers to entice viewers. An engaging profile ensures visitors who click on your ads will want to further interact with your profile.

One approach you can take to advertise your business is to utilize paid shoutouts. By featuring a product or business in exchange for a flat rate, shoutouts are a great way to gain exposure within your niche or target audience with another brand. Learn step-by-step how to use paid shoutouts with our walkthrough video.

Another approach is to reach out to influencers to collaborate on something, whether it’s a feature on Instagram Stories or a sponsored post. Influencers can be expensive, however (especially if they are big names).

A final method (and the most traditional one) for business advertising on Instagram is to roll out paid ads. These are the sponsored posts you may see on your feed. You can create attractive ads and set them up through Facebook Business Manager.

And if you want to get even more interactive, you can engage in Instagram Shopping through shopping ads, where users can click on links directly on your post image. Unlike paid ads, these ads do not cost you anything. They may take more setup work on the backend of Facebook Business Manager, but can make your posts even more attractive.

How to grow your business on Instagram (tips, tricks, best practices)

Growing your brand and its presence (like with many points we’ve touched on so far) requires your basics to be developed: a well-crafted profile page with an identifiable avatar and profile description, a defined brand voice, and a unique content strategy.

One of our best business practices for accounts on Instagram is to constantly do research. Even after you’ve established yourself among your competitors, don’t stop! Always seek out trending hashtags, see what competitors are posting on their feed and Instagram Stories. Take note of big-name accounts and trending profiles of celebrities, meme communities, and company brands.

Tools for Instagram

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Iconosquare is an example of a leading analytics platform for social media.

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VSCO is a popular app for editing video and image, available for iOS and Android.

To create successful content and find deep analytics that’ll help shape and craft your following to precision, it helps to utilize third-party tools and apps. Elevate your Instagram Stories or feed pictures with great photo-editing apps, or get a free inside look to trending hashtags that build traffic on online databases. Take time to create videos and images that speak to your target audience and entice them. And of course, don’t forget to use analytics to see what is working and what isn’t.

SUMMARY: Utilizing Instagram for business is fun (and necessary in today’s social age). Still, it does require a good amount of research and continuous content creation and engagement tactics to reach high follower counts and exposure. From paid ads to shoutouts to maintaining a social media calendar, there’s a reason why social media is a serious part of marketing for your online business.

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By Laurence L.
Laurence is a copywriter and editor at AliDropship. He loves to educate and teach audiences about tips for dropshipping and social media marketing.
1 Comment
AJIT GOGOI May 19, 2020 14:08:14

I want success through the Alidropship with instagramapp.

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