How to Use Instagram For Business

by Anne Kinsey - Updated April 27, 2018
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Instagram is a dynamic photo sharing social media platform that could help you increase your customer base, reputation and influence. If you have ever spent any time on the app, you have probably noticed certain Instagram influencers who know just how to get everyone excited about their brand. Every social media platform has slightly different features, benefits and best standards of practice. Learn how to leverage Instagram for your business to grow a following that takes you to the next level in reaching your business goals.

How to Use Instagram For Business

Instagram allows businesses to post photos with captions and hashtags that engage others and grows your following. If you don't already have a business Instagram account, you can convert your current account to a business account, which allows you to have access to a business call-to-action area, as well as advertising options. Make use of all of Instagram's features by using the stories option, which allows you to upload short videos or photos that stay active in a bar at the top of your followers' feed for 24 hours, ensuring they see you before they even begin to scroll.

For posts directly to your page, you should include photos and videos with a posting rate of at least 1.5 posts per day, according to the analytics at Buffer Social. You can post more frequently without seeing a drop-off in engagement, as long as you can keep up that rate of posting over the long haul. If consistency is a problem because your business days get busy, consider using an automated social media posting app, like Hootsuite or Buffer, to plan your posts a few days or weeks in advance.

Instagram Marketing Tips

Instagram is an incredibly visual platform, so keep visuals in mind with everything you do. Choose a color palette of three-to-four main colors to include throughout your photos and word images. Decide whether you want to use a posting pattern to create a checkerboard or other effect on your page. Some businesses use a quote for every other post or use "no crop" apps like InstaSquare or InstaSize to create white borders around all photos that create a feeling of space and freedom on their page.

Interact with your followers by responding to their comments and liking their posts to create a feeling of community. Remember to cross-post your Instagram posts to other social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, to cut down on the amount of time and work you devote to social media. Use hashtags to your advantage by putting popular hashtags from your niche in the first comment of your posts. Create your own hashtag and encourage followers to use it so that you can re-post their posts. Take advantage of Instagram's analytics for businesses in order to tweak your voice, posts and posting frequency as you see what gets the best engagement and response from your unique audience.

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Examples of Successful Businesses on Instagram

One of the best ways to boost your brand on Instagram is to learn from those who are already wildly successful on the platform. Follow their pages, study their posting habits, color schemes, wording and hashtags. Some of the most successful businesses on Instagram include FedEx, AirBnB, Reuters, Nike Lab and Play-Doh. Look for gurus within your industry who have successful Instagram followings as well. For instance, life coaches might follow the likes of Tony Robbins and Valorie Burton, while financial planners follow Money Magazine and Dave Ramsey. Let their posting habits and strategies inspire you as you create your own social media plan for business and financial success.

About the Author

Anne Kinsey is an entrepreneur and business pioneer, who has ranked in the top 1% of the direct sales industry, growing a large team and earning the title of Senior Team Manager during her time with Jamberry. She is the nonprofit founder and executive director of Love Powered Life, as well as a Certified Trauma Recovery Coach and freelance writer who has written for publications like Working Mother, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Houston Chronicle and Our Everyday Life. Anne works from her home office in rural North Carolina, where she resides with her husband and three children.

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