Launching a new business feels a little like preparing for a baby, and by that I mean there's no amount of work that guarantees you'll be 100 percent ready when the big day rolls around. However, there are some things you can do ahead of the launch of your new business to make things a little easier on yourself as you move forward. One of those tasks is, of course, settling on a great name for your business, and the following task should be figuring out how to create a new Instagram business account.
“[According to Instagram], about 80 percent of users follow a business account on the platform. This is the place to get your brand out there,” says Kelly Kauffman, social media manager at University of Virginia. And if you're thinking that the photo and video sharing app isn't a useful way for you to build your brand, you might consider the fact that as of August 2017, approximately 71 percent of US businesses are using the social media platform. These stats alone makes Instagram one of the single most important places for your business to have a social media presence — and on top of that, it can be really fun to use. Here's what social media experts have to say not only about creating an all-new account for your business, but also a few tips for ensuring it's getting as much traction as possible.
Step 1: Set Up Your New Account And Profile
If you don't already have the app on your phone, go ahead and download it and follow the prompts to create a new business account. Make sure to use your work-related email address, which should be the same one you use for your business’ Facebook account. This ensures you’re able to sync your business’ Instagram to your business’ Facebook page (more on that later).
Once Instagram accepts your email address and you confirm it belongs to you, it’s time to set up your profile. If your business' handle is available, claim it now! If it's not, make sure you're creating a handle with your business' name in it, plus minimal identifiers (like extra numbers, letters, or locations) to help customers realize they've found the right page. Same thing goes for your bio and profile picture; simple, classic branding that’s to the point works best.
“You want to make it as easy as possible for potential customers to contact your business," says Kauffman. "With your business account, you’ll be able to track your realtime metrics of each post, including impressions. It also lets users include business hours, location and phone number," making it all the more important to ensure your account is easy to find.
Step 2: Follow Other Accounts
Once you're fully set up as a business account, Instagram will suggest some people for you to follow — and picking who gets your business account's follow is equally as strategic as picking a brand name.
“A new Instagram account means you will be doing a lot of community building and outreach," says Danie Tackoor, social media manager at San Diego agency Ignite Visibility. "Start following the accounts of people who interact with brands in your space and give their posts a like, or comment on them. Just be sure that the comments you leave are authentic and on posts related to your business. No one likes a spammy comment on their page."
Step 3: Link All Of Your Business Accounts
Next, link your other social media accounts, like Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr. If it’s just one or two, that’s fine. One of the most important marketing tips to remember is quality, not quantity. You don’t have to be on every social media channel to reach customers; in fact, I don’t recommend it. Focus on your strengths and spend your time and marketing budget where it makes the most sense for your brand.
Step 4: Start Posting!
Now for the fun part: bringing your brand to life by posting to your page. “The key to a great Instagram account is compelling and engaging photos. Instagram is a visual platform and you really have to supply content that will attract your current audience while appealing to a future consumers,” says Kauffman.
Step 5: Optimize, Optimize, Optimize
There are plenty of ways to boost your Instagram content: use hashtags, create Stories, run promoted posts, and check your Insights. These are all great tools to use to help extend your reach.
Tackoor recommends scoping out your competition and learning from their strategies. “See what hashtags your competitors are using, and [which hashtags] have the most visibility. Not only can you see this information in the native platform, but there are tools such Rite Tag that can help you see the popularity of hashtags and also if a hashtag is trending.”
Step 6: Consider Running Ads
“[According to Instagram] 60 percent of Instagram users say they’ve discovered new products on Instagram, so this is a platform that can be used to attract new customers with engaging Instagram ads,” says Kauffman. “Businesses only have to use a small amount of money behind Instagram ads to further reach their audience and find new, potential customers.” And by taking advantage of these tools for your new account, you're only making sure that your business is showing up in the feeds of potential new customers. Not a bad deal, right?