Instagram is the most popular social media platform with 13 million downloads in Q2 of 2020 alone. From eminent world leaders, actors, singers, sportsmen, etc, to news portals, educational institutions, commercial groups, businesses, students, and even common people, Instagram is a place for everyone who wants to make use of it.
With such widespread popularity and use of Instagram, the platform has now become a hub for businesses to make a place for themselves in the market. Because Instagram users comprise people with diverse interests from different parts of the world, every business can target a specific group of people as their customers. So, be it a local business or an international one, Instagram is one stop for all.
Running a successful business on Instagram is only perplexing till you don’t know the secrets to start one. And with the various Instagram business tools launched by the social media platform, it is now easy to understand and get going with a business on this platform. Here are the five golden steps to run a successful Instagram business.
5 Steps to running a successful Instagram business
1. Create a business account
Starting at the start, the first step is to create an account. If you’re already a user of Instagram, you must know that Instagram offers two types of account creation- business account and personal account. For a business, it’s clear that creating a business account is the right choice since it offers various business tools for growth and better handling.
Choose a professional username
Once a wise man said, “Words have meanings and names have power”. Choosing a professional username is the key to building a powerful brand. The best tip is to have the username the same as your company’s name since it is how people identify your business and find it on Instagram.
If you don’t already have a name for your business, make sure to read the following tips before choosing one:
- Choose a name that at least roughly suits the services you’re offering.
- The company’s name should have a meaning that adds value to its purpose.
- The name should be unrestrictive to diverse areas where your business might grow in.
- The name should not be lengthy.
- Avoid choosing a name that is difficult to pronounce.
- Make sure the name is not already taken.
Set a category for your business
Instagram offers a feature called “category” for business accounts where one can choose a category from hundreds of options that best fit their business. This feature can be used as a way to define what the business is about in a single word. Having a category display on your profile can help you connect with the right audience. It can also be seen as an insight into what the audience can expect from your business, so choosing the right one is a big game.
Upload a Profile Picture- Your Logo
The best profile picture is the one that speaks for your Instagram business. The company’s logo is straight up the best icon you can have as your profile picture to make your profile look promising and professional. If you don’t already have one, here’s a quick guide to creating one:
- Hire an experienced graphic designer and describe your motto of the business.
- You can have the initials of your company name entwined in the logo.
- Have a tagline below the logo that describes the company’s purpose.
- Self-satisfaction is necessary, take your time and choose the best.
- Make sure it isn’t restrictive.
- Make sure the icon is completely unique.
- Don’t make it too complicated; simple yet elegant is the way to go.
Add your Business Website/ Connect Facebook Page
If you’re an Instagram business that offers shopping, the website space is the right place to add the link through which your customers can shop from you. If not, you can also use your Facebook page’s link as a website.
Add contact options
An instagram business should always have contact options for its customers to get in touch with the company. Adding a business email or a telephone number (if you have one) can always help your customers reach out to you regarding any queries or grievances, which also makes your business look approachable as well as customer-friendly. Always put in the contact that is authentic and true. But just adding the contact options isn’t enough, make sure to respond to people reaching out through it as well.
Curate a catchy bio
Instagram has a word limit of 150 characters for inputting bio, make sure you make the best use of it. Your bio should create an impact and make your business stand out from other similar businesses. This place is solely for you to express your brand.
Here are a few helpful tips for writing an effective bio:
- Use the space to tell people about your mission with a short line.
- You can add a line about the history of your brand, e.g., “established since 1999”
- Add a hashtag that is associated with your brand and encourage people to use it.
- Mention any achievements your business has, like “#2 in top 10 start-ups of America 2020 by Forbes”.
- Don’t make your business look reserved; write in a conversational tone.
- Don’t keep it too short and utilize the space.
- Don’t use unnecessary emojis or symbols.
2. Focus on the feed
You can have a well-written bio, a beautiful profile icon, and a great name for your Instagram business but running a successful business includes having an equally amazing feed. It’s best if you hire content writers and graphic designers to make the best posts with a business-centric and appealing design. But if you’re confident about yourself managing the feed on your own, or low on budget to hire writers or designers, just follow the below tips for making an amazing feed.
Make it well-planned
It probably doesn’t need to be said that a business should have a well-planned feed. Decide a theme and go with it, but make sure it’s something people don’t get bored of. If you’re unsure about not wanting to change the theme sometime in the future, you can also go without a specific theme. But make sure you always stick to planned content. Make it informative, interactive, and easy to access.
Be consistent with posting
Now here you can have a little help from Instagram insights to find out the best time to post according to the time your followers are most active. Once you’ve figured that out, being consistent is the key. Give out your followers something to read or look at daily regarding your business. For e.g., post pictures of new launches for your fashion label or tell them about the new services you’re offering. This will not only help people know more about the business and build a relationship but also increase your page’s reach as Instagram’s algorithm rewards people who post daily.
Reach out with captions
While making a post, never leave the caption space empty. You can speak to your followers through this space and also gain interactions.
Here are a few ideas regarding writing captions that can gain interactions:
- Give out information about the post and describe it better. People may save the post for the information you write in the caption.
- Ask a question that people can respond to but make it casual.
- Write about the backstory to the post and talk directly to your audience through it.
- Do not write captions that are totally irrelevant to the post.
- Make sure there are no grammatical errors or incorrect sentence framing in the caption.
- The language shouldn’t be difficult to understand. Keep it professional but easy.
Don’t miss out on posting stories
Stories are underrated when it comes to growing your business. But these 24-hour posts can actually build your reach and help you run your Instagram business successfully. Because not all things that are happening within your business need to be told as a post, you can post stories to let the audience know about recent happenings. Moreover, you can utilize the story for knowing better about your audience and even taking suggestions through various story features. Some of the tips are:
- Use polls to ask your audience what product would they like to shop between any two.
- Use the Question stickers for taking feedbacks and suggestions.
- Use slider polls to let your audience have their input on the stories.
- Use occasional stickers by Instagram for being featured on special sticker stories.
- Use the stories to talk with your audience, take up their questions and answer them with videos.
3. Promote your business
Try Instagram ads
Instagram offers ads for businesses to promote their content and gain exposure. You can choose the specific country/region, category of people (artists, musicians, etc) and target the perfect audience for promoting your business to. This will help you reach out to your potential customers and build a strong, organic audience. However, this feature charges you some money but the price is somewhat worth giving away for the growth it brings to your business.
Invest in email marketing
You must’ve heard of email marketing before but this is another thing that is underrated in running a business. While on the contrary, it can be really helpful for attracting customers. If you have a website, you can simply add a pop-up box for collecting emails of the users for sending them newsletters and updates, just like the one you see every time you visit a reputed website. But if you don’t have one, you can simply ask for it through your business’s Instagram story with a question sticker.
You can then send the interested customers updates about new arrivals, sales/discounts, opportunities at your business, etc. But make sure the email is well-written and the subject is catchy enough for the recipient to open the mail. It’s best to hire an email marketing expert for this role but you can do it yourself as well if you have such skills.
Gain reach through hashtags
Using hashtags in the right way can help you gain great reach. Find the relevant hashtags to your post and add them at the end of your caption. With this, every time someone sees a post of that specific hashtag, they find your business’s post in the “recent post” option. And trust us, this is a great way to increase organic reach, but make sure you add only relevant hashtags because you wouldn’t want for e.g., your clothing business to show up for cute cat’s hashtag. Use them wisely.
Promote on other social media apps
Other ways to promote include promoting your business on different social media apps like Facebook and Twitter. Make sure you put out a word in there for your business as well.
4. Build a Good Business-Customer Relationship
Building a trustworthy image and a good relationship with your customers as a business is very important for making it successful on the run. This creates your market image and who knows one of your customers might even put a good word to their circle for your business and you gain a new customer.
Respond to messages, comments
Make it a rule to never leave your customers hanging, be it on direct messages, comments, or e-mail. If someone tried reaching out to you, take time and reach out back to them. This will show them that your business cares about its customers. But always remember the following points while responding:
- Be professional, but also polite.
- Always write a well-structured reply so that no confusions arise.
- Look approachable.
- Don’t delay the talk if not very necessary.
- Don’t reply to hate comments with a hateful response. It’s best to ignore.
Set up interactive sessions
This can be through an Instagram live or a questionnaire through stories, let the audience know you and your business closely, and build personal relations with them. Give interviews and interact with your audience regularly.
This is one great way to attract the audience and build a good image within them. People look for giveaways and contests so give them what they crave for and they’ll be on your side.
5. Don’t give up
At last, the never-give-up attitude is any business owner’s best take at running a successful Instagram business. Cause winners never quit, and quitters never win; as accurately said by Vince Lombardi. If you decide on making your business a huge success and work towards it consistently, no power can hold your business back from being the next big thing. It may take months or years but there’s always light at the end of the tunnel, and the world only gets brighter from there. All the best for your Instagram business.