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How to Start an Instagram Page for Your Business

Ruth Hoffmann
Ruth Hoffmann
CEO at ruthhoffmann.com

Your small business needs to be on social media. If you aren't, you're missing out on cheap and effective marketing tools.

Among the many opportunities the internet offers for promoting your business, Instagram is one of the most important ones to pay attention to. The network offers various good ways to increase the visibility of your business, and you don't need a lot of specific experience with Instagram to take advantage of its full potential (though it can certainly help to have your page run by someone who knows what they are doing).

1. Make sure your account is set up as a business account.

One of the most common rookie mistakes when setting up a new business Instagram profile is forgetting to mark it as a business page. This has multiple implications for your page's operation, and it's very important to set it up as soon as you have your profile up and running.

Go to your settings, click the Upgrade button, and follow the instructions to fill out your full business profile. From then on, you'll have full access to the features offered to business users.

2. Pay attention to your page bio.

Your profile's bio is more important than you might think, and it's a good idea to pay attention to it from the very beginning.

Take the time to come up with something catchy and interesting, instead of just filling it out mechanically. This is a great opportunity to tip the scales in your favor when someone checks out your profile. You don't want to seem like a generic page set up in a haste; use every box and field offered to you to its full potential.

3. Set up your business contact details.

Make sure you have your contact details listed as well. After all, it doesn't make much sense to expect any increase in traffic if people don't know where your shop is or when you're open. This is actually a surprisingly common mistake among smaller businesses, and it can lead to a complete waste of effort on running your Instagram page, because it will not draw any additional traffic to you. It's a small detail that can easily elude you, so pay attention.

Don't leave out any details. You may not think that something like a Twitter profile matters much to your audience, but people expect to find all of your relevant links packed together in one place. Make sure that you give them what they expect; don't spread those links around all over the place. This will not only make it difficult for people to find you, it may lead to some frustrated customers, as they have jump from one place to another to keep track of your different profiles and contact points.

4. Content matters.

This one might seem obvious, but you'd be surprised how many businesses post completely bland, generic content that fails to set them apart from their competition in any meaningful way. There are many ways to improve the overall quality of your content, and it's not a bad idea to explore some alternatives that you may have been trying to stay away from. [Looking for social media management tools for your business? Check out our best picks and reviews.]

Many businesses tend to look down on memes as low-effort, silly content, but they can definitely get the job done quite well when used in the right circumstances. That said, if you're going to utilize something more specialized for your marketing purposes, make absolutely sure that it's being posted by someone who knows what they are doing. More on that below.

5. Build relationships with influencers.

Influencers play a critical role in the whole network of social media promotion, and it's important to pay attention to them and work with the right ones for your own Instagram page. Building relationships with the right influencers can be a total game-changer for your Instagram business account, and it doesn't take that long to seek out the best ones for your specific market, get in touch with them and start building that relationship.

According to SocialTradia, many influencers have seen great success from flipping business accounts, and it's not a bad idea to talk to someone experienced in that niche if you want to see how it can benefit you as well.

6. Post regularly.

You should do your best to build momentum with your posts and keep it going. Posting regularly is going to be very important if you want to build an audience, because it's not as simple as asking people to follow you and calling it a day.

Don't be surprised if you start to lose followers due to a lack of regular activity. It happens to many business Instagram pages.

Try to establish some schedule around which you can work comfortably. It doesn't have to be very frequent – that's not the point. If your followers know when they can expect a new post from you, this can change things a lot, and it can turn the situation around in your favor. You can easily increase the number of likes and other types of interactions you receive on your posts by simply establishing a solid schedule for your posts, and sticking to it.

7. Mix it up a little.

Try to experiment with new ideas from time to time too. You never know when you might discover a new format for your posts that works much better than the ones you've been following until now. As we said above, don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone, and play around with things like memes and other types of content that you would consider non-standard for your average posts. Sometimes, these posts will flop. But in other cases, you're going to discover great new opportunities that you didn't even suspect existed before!

8. Interact with your audience.

This is another important point that often gets overlooked by amateurs. It's not just about posting content – you should also do your best to engage your audience through that content. Talk to people, ask them about their opinions on your content, respond to comments. Try to address more than just the positive comments, too – if someone has something bad to say about your content, you should still pay attention to their opinion and not disregard it.

Try to keep this to a reasonable volume though. Audience interaction works best in moderation, and it's something you should take the time to learn properly before diving into it more actively.

9. Track your progress.

It can be hard to know that you're moving in the right direction without some stats. There are various meaningful data points that can be tracked, and not all of them require advanced technology to make sense of the information that they provide. Keep in mind that too much analysis can be a harmful factor, so try to control the rate of adoption for these solutions into your operations if you don't want to face any trouble.

It's also a good idea to set up something for the longer term, allowing you to track how well you've been doing over the months, years and so on. This is not just about improving your performance – it can also give you a very good motivation to keep things going forward, because you'll always be able to see the huge progress you've made behind you.

10. Keep your profile up to date.

Things may change in your operations, and it's important to reflect that in your Instagram profile as fast as possible. You don't want to miss out on any potential customer interactions just because you had the wrong address listed, for example. Phone numbers are also subject to changes over time, and they are one of the most important points of contact a business can have, so it doesn't make sense to ignore this part of your profile.

It doesn't even take long to update your details, so just take the time when you've gone through a major change in your operations, make a list of everything that needs to be updated, and just go through it one by one. You'll find that this can be easier than you think if you have an organized approach to it.

11. Don't dismiss professional help.

Last but not least, don't underestimate the potential of getting help from an experienced professional. Some people know a lot about running a good Instagram page, and even though this used to be somewhat of a joke profession in the past, it's anything but that nowadays. There are many fine points to address when it comes to Instagram marketing, and some of them are not immediately obvious.

An experienced social media manager will know exactly what they need to do to get your audience to react the right way, and it won't even take them a lot of effort to do that. And you'll quickly find that every cent you're spending on these services brings back significant returns. Take good care of your Instagram account manager, and pay attention to what they have to say about your situation. You'll often get some interesting insights from them which can completely change your perspective on certain aspects of your profile.

In the end, this is something that is still unexplored to a large extent. We're still coming up with various interesting new approaches to some of the most common problems in social media, especially on the professional side. And those who get in early enough stand to benefit a lot in the long run, because it will become more and more important to have a good Instagram account for your business.

Image Credit: mangpor 2004/Shutterstock
Ruth Hoffmann
Ruth Hoffmann
business.com Member
I teach coaches, consultants & professional service providers the strategic & psychologically proven frameworks that will help them build a highly influential personal brand profile, grow a highly engaged client base of loyal customers and create strategic marketing systems that will help them sell with ease.