How to use Instagram to promote your business

Contributor - Alison Battisby

A lady holding a camera stood in front of a blue background

Instagram provides a fantastic way for businesses to promote their products and services by inspiring their customers with highly visual content. Alison Battisby of Avocado Social shares her essential checklist to help you get results on Instagram

  1. Register your free account on the Instagram app and edit your setting so your profile is a Business Account rather than a personal one.
  2. A Business Account will offer a Contact button so your customers can directly email, call or find your business location. All of this information is edited within the Settings section of the app and you decide how much is public.
  3. Connect your profile to your business Facebook page. This will make it easier to use all the Meta features.
  4. Research how other businesses in your industry are using Instagram by searching for keywords in the box at the top of Instagram. This will give you ideas as to what works and what doesn’t.
  5. Upload your logo into your profile, so your customers come to recognise it and can easily identify you.
  6. Before you do anything else, fill out your biography. Explain who you are and what you do and share a bit of your business personality. Emojis are supported here!
  7. Remember to link to your website as this is the only place you can direct traffic back to your website - other than advertising.
  8. Start to follow relevant people in your niche, such as bloggers, publications and celebrities.
  9. Upload at least one photo a day to ensure that you are giving yourself enough opportunities to be seen in the newsfeed. Ensure that your imagery and video content is unique and inspiring and fits with the creative nature of Instagram.
  10. Try to establish a theme with your Instagram posts, as this will help to make your feed more consistent so it will stand out. The app Planoly is good for planning how your Instagram feed will look.
  11. Feature other people’s content on your newsfeed as this will position your business as a useful resource of curated content around your niche. This gives you an opportunity to build engagement too; just remember to tag the original author in the caption.
  12. If you aren’t using hashtags, your content is essentially private. Hashtags are the best way to drive new engagement and be seen in the Discover tab. Research hashtags by looking at what your niche is using, and by searching for related hashtags using the search functionality at the top of Instagram.
  13. Don’t just use the most popular hashtags - they are often saturated so it is harder to get your content noticed. The best approach is to select a mix of popular and more niche hashtags that are relevant to the content you are posting.
  14. Run a competition to encourage engagement on your posts (tag your friend below, comment below to enter etc) or encourage photo contributions around a theme and hashtag. This is a great way to build awareness for your product or services.
  15. Instagram offers free insights so you can see who is following you in terms of age and location, but there are also more advanced paid-for tools such as Iconosquare which tell you about hashtag usage and timing of your posts.
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Alison Battisby

Alison is fascinated with communication and did her degree in English Language, with specific modules on online conversation - before social media even existed!

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