How to optimize your business Instagram account in 2020
Why use Instagram for your business?
When we broach the subject of social media with our customers, this question comes up often. It is true that some companies still struggle to see the benefits of using an account Instagram business in their web strategy. So we’ll start by answering this question. Then, once you are convinced of the usefulness of an Instagram business account, we will show you the best practices through a pictorial guide so that your company also succeeds in the Insta-game!
Why use Instagram for your business?
Instagram launched the Business Instagram Accounts feature in 2016. Since then, more than 25 million businesses have created a business account on Instagram. Here are some reasons that motivated them to take the step:
1. Instagram has 1 billion users
Instagram is used by around 14% of the world’s population. According to Instagram, 80% of users follow at least one business account, which represents a pool of nearly 800 million people. We are pretty sure that one or more of your clients is a part of it. Quite simply, a business Instagram account allows you to develop the visibility of your business on one of the most frequently consulted social networks.
2. You humanize your business
Your business isn’t just a name, logo, and product line, is it? Mainly focused on the visual and the human, Instagram is a privileged social network to put a face on your business and make it accessible to the public. With features like stories, you can showcase a photo or video content with a limited lifespan, which makes your business more responsive and lively.
3. You can promote your products and services
You can use Instagram as an additional marketing channel to inform your audience about your promotional offers, events, or new products/services:
Whether you want to grow your community or drive conversions, Instagram advertising is a great option. Indeed, be aware that Internet users memorize Instagram advertising 2.8x better than on other social networks.
4. You strengthen your brand identity
An Instagram Company profile allows you to highlight the graphic identity of your company in order to better stand out from the competition. For example, at Express Web Agency, we use the four colours of our logo in order to create a graphic theme specific to our Instagram Company account.
5. You collect data on your audience
Like on your Facebook page (which is the owner of Instagram), you have access to a set of data such as the number of views of your posts or visits to your profile. These statistics allow you to better understand your audience and its characteristics:
Convinced of the usefulness of a business Instagram account? Very good. Now grab your cell phone and notebook, log into your Instagram account (or create it), and use the following guide to optimize your business Instagram account.
So how do you use Instagram for a business?
1. Change your account to "professional"
Over 25 million businesses use a business Instagram account. Unlike personal accounts, business Instagram accounts allow you to take advantage of the advantages mentioned above, such as data on your audience or the possibility of making promotions.
Additionally, business Instagram accounts make it easier for your customers and visitors to contact you, with contact buttons that can include your email, address, and phone number.
If you have not yet switched to a professional account, Instagram allows you to make this change easily from your account settings, in the “switch to a professional account” section. Also, be sure to make your profile public, so new visitors can access your content freely.
2. Configure your Instagram business account information
Your username should be easy to identify and find, like your business name. Ideally, it should only contain your business name, or at least start with your business name. You can change your username in “Edit profile”.
Your company name
The Instagram name is the one that appears under your profile picture and appears below your username in searches. You can add a keyword that specifically describes your business to make it easier for users who search for your business to find and identify you.
Your profile picture
The profile picture is one of the first things your visitor sees when they see your business Instagram page.
Ideally, this element should represent your business in a meaningful and recognizable way. We, therefore, recommend that you choose your company logo as your Instagram profile picture.
You will notice that Celine’s Instagram profile picture is round (110px in diameter). It doesn’t require you to import a round photo file. Choose a square photo (for example 150px / 150px) with sufficient margins, and Instagram will automatically round it up.
Our tip: You can change your profile picture temporarily to highlight an event, promotion, or specific date like Hubspot did for the month of June (Pride Month):
Your company biography
Biography is a key part of your business’s Instagram account. You have 150 characters to give the key information about your business to your customers. Here are things to consider:
Describe your activity
If you are a service business, list the trades in your area of expertise. If you sell products, briefly describe your different lines.
Use emojis 😉
Instagram is the most used network by young people, so feel free to use emojis! They lighten the content of your description and allow information to be conveyed simply and explicitly. They can also serve as a call to action to direct your visitors to your website:
Include a trackable link to your website
Instagram allows you to include a link in your description. This feature is very important because it can allow you to attract a significant volume of traffic to a page of your choice. You can also modify this link according to your promotional offers.
Our tip: If you want to track and analyze the traffic coming to your Instagram page, don’t include your normal website URL. You won’t be able to measure how many people clicked on this link. Instead, you can use a link shortener like Bitly.
Please note: Instagram is used almost exclusively from mobile devices. So make sure that the page you direct your visitor to is fully optimized for mobile browsing.
Use # and @
You have the option to include hashtags and mention other Instagram accounts in your bio. If this is relevant to your business, you can choose to direct your audience to a specific hashtag, or to one of your associated pages.
3. Create quality content
Address your persona
Your Instagram account is part of your content strategy. And like any content shared as part of this strategy, it should first and foremost be aimed at your persona. You need to identify what your typical customer likes to find on Instagram. Because quality content is above all content that interests your persona.
Take a sparkling example, Coca-Cola. The American firm mainly targets young people who like going out with friends, playing sports and entertaining their adventurous spirit. This persona is featured in almost all of the brand’s publications, of course with a bottle in hand:
Optimized Instagram account
Focus on a quality or nothing
The visual is the very essence of Instagram. This is also what differentiates this platform from Facebook or Twitter. You must therefore bet on the content of superior quality, of the best possible definition. To do this, remember two letters HD (high definition).
In other words, on Instagram the form matters almost more than the content:
Diversify the formats used
Photos, videos, live, stories, carousels, IGTV; Instagram post formats abound. Each format has its advantages and allows you to vary the type of interactions you create with your audience.
Here are two examples of ways to diversify your post formats:
Use stories and their ephemeral nature (they disappear after 24 hours) to highlight the daily life of your business, your employees, or meetings with your customers. These glimpses of the life of your company make it accessible and human in the eyes of your customers, but also of your potential candidates (human resources advice: never neglect the power of attraction of pizza …):
Use carousels (a series of successive photos) to highlight related images, such as a product line, before and after, or a series of articles. Our tip: you can invite your audience to interact:
Our advice for your publications: no matter what type of content you publish (photo, video, or carousel), include as many hashtags as possible related to your activity in the description of your content! This will allow users to find your business Instagram account from their interests.
Also, don’t overlook the importance of the captions you write. Make sure to arouse the curiosity of your audience! Last tip, turn on localization when you publish or schedule your content. In its suggestions, Instagram will show your content to people in your geographic area.
Make your Instagram business account harmonious
At the beginning of this article, we pointed out that Instagram allows you to strengthen your identity and your brand image.
By default, Instagram offers a reading of your photos through a large grid of 3 photos. One of the best ways to highlight your graphic identity is to take advantage of this grid to create harmony and graphic cohesion between all your photos.
4. Publish your content and manage your account
Prepare an editorial calendar
While posting to Instagram every day is recommended, that doesn’t mean you have to create a new photo every day. You can prepare in advance by making an editorial calendar to schedule your publications. You can create your own calendar or use an app such as UNUM or Later. These apps will allow you to receive reminders when you forget to post, and also allow you to preview your account after the photo is posted to make sure the overall cohesion is maintained.
As we will see in the next few points, activity and responsiveness are decisive criteria in the success of your business Instagram account. But to be responsive, you still need to be informed when something happens on your account. Make sure to turn on notifications to respond to your audience when they engage with you on Instagram. Staying accessible and responsive will help you build your customers’ engagement with your business.
To do this, go to the settings of your Instagram business account, then click on “push notifications” to adjust your preferences.
Interact with other users
Today’s consumers expect answers when they reach out to businesses on social media. Make sure that someone in your business deals with and responds to your customers’ comments.
Commenting on the content of other profiles is also an effective way to use Instagram. A compliment on a post, or a glowing comment can help you build your network and build your Instagram community.
Publish at the best time
Finally, once your account and your content are optimized for the Insta-game, all you have to do is put the odds on your side by posting at the best times. When you post can influence the reach of your content, so keep these times when posting on Instagram:
From Tuesday to Friday
Between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Knowing that according to Later, Wednesday and Thursday are the two days when engagement on Instagram is the most meaningful.
Instagram has no more secrets for your business!
That’s it, if you’ve made it this far, you know enough to create, optimize and manage your business Instagram account! Do not hesitate to discover more about the algorithm of Instagram in order to perfect your knowledge of this platform. If you are convinced of the effectiveness of a business’s Instagram page but don’t have the time to take care of it, our community managers will be happy to help you.