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Instagram for business: first steps - part 1

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Instagram for business: first steps - part 1

In just a few years, Instagram, the photo-sharing network owned by Facebook, has become one of the most popular social platforms around the world . Similarly, in social media marketing, Instagram now ranks high on the list of the most promising advertising platforms for businesses. Next, we present the social network in detail and answer questions such as what is Instagram and what can be done with it? How does Instagram Business work? And what are the advantages of this platform compared to other social networks ? In this guide you will learn how to create a company profile on Instagram step by step and present your business in the best way..

  1. Why is it worth using Instagram for my business?
    1. The king of social media interaction
  2. How does Instagram for business work?
  3. Structure and main characteristics
    1. Videos on Instagram
    2. Layout and filters
    3. Instagram stream
    4. Hashtags on Instagram
    5. Connection with other platforms
  4. Your Instagram profile for companies
    1. Important settings
    2. First steps
  5. Instagram Business: the possibilities of Instagram for your business
    1. Reasons to create an Instagram profile exclusively for your company
    2. From standard profile to business profile
  6. Instagram for companies: a strategy behind each post

Why is it worth using Instagram for my business?

The main argument for using Instagram as a marketing tool is, clearly, the vertiginous increase in its number of users and the reach that this implies. The photo and video sharing network was created in 2010, and in 2012 it was acquired by the social media giant Facebook. In its beginnings, Instagram was considered a meeting point for fashion and beauty bloggers that attracted the attention of other followers of the latest fashion trends with visually very attractive images. However, these days are over and now Instagram is recognized as a trusted marketing channel to represent industries of all kinds .

According to the social media marketing report by Social Media Examiner, in the ranking of the social networks most used to promote companies around the world, Instagram ranks sixth with 44%, being preceded by (as expected) Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Google+..

On its own, its number of users around the world is already a strong argument to invest in the development of a corporate presence on Instagram. The visual identity of a company is increasingly important. This is why Instagram is the ideal platform to show yourself and to increase the perception of your business by potential customers. Whether it is a well-known brand or a small business, the opportunity to use Instagram as an effective branding tool should not be overlooked.

The king of social media interaction

The last few years have shown that images and videos reach a higher degree of interaction on social media than text content. The level of user interaction (also known as? User engagement?), Reflected in likes, shares and comments, is one of the key performance indicators (KPI) on the social web . The loyalty and commitment of fans and followers are an essential factor in increasing brand awareness. Studies show that, in terms of user engagement, Instagram leads other platforms. A survey by Forrester reveals information about the engagement rate on the major social networks. A corporate page with a million fans on Facebook is capable of generating, on average, only 700 comments, likes and shares in a single post. This represents an engagement rate of 0.7 percent. Twitter, the renowned microblogging service, generates only around 300 interactions per tweet..

On Instagram, a post can achieve up to 4.21 percent engagement , which means that user engagement is 58 times higher than on Facebook and 120 times higher than on Twitter. On the other hand, Instagram represents the network of the mobile generation . Currently, the importance of mobile is enormous and is evident in all areas, especially in search engine optimization. Last but not least: the youngest target audience and their most relevant influencers are found on Instagram. In the United States, this photo-sharing service is one of the most important platforms for teenagers.

How does Instagram for business work?

As a digital photo application for smartphones and tablets, Instagram allows you to share photos and videos with other users . The application can be downloaded for free for Android, iOS and Windows operating systems. Users can log in with an email address and by entering some basic information, as well as a profile photo.

Since 2012, this service is also available through the web browser. Users can create and manage a profile independently of the app.

Create and manage your profile from Instagram easily from your computer, Source: https://www.instagram.com/?hl=es

Structure and main characteristics

Instagram has a clear structure : in addition to the function to upload photos, edit them and exchange them with other users, there is a home page that contains the latest news, a page with the function of notifications, search and inspiration respectively and, finally, a overview of your own profile. Like most of its competitors, Instagram has a comment feature and the ability to like? in the photos and videos of the platform. Instagram Direct allows you to share content privately through individual messages to your contacts or chat groups.

Home page on Instagram (source: Instagram app)

Videos on Instagram

Initially, Instagram was a platform that only allowed the publication of images, but, shortly after, Instagram integrated a function to capture videos of 15 seconds, while commercial users were allowed to upload videos of up to 60 seconds . Now, this last option is available to all users since the beginning of 2016. According to the company, this measure was implemented in response to the current trend whereby users would spend more time in the application while watching videos. IOS users have an additional feature: they can create videos from other clips directly from the app. The launch of these new video features is seen by many as a response to the growing community of followers of the short video app SnapChat.

Layout and filters

The square design is characteristic of Instagram. However, users can upload photos in this format or adjust the image as they wish. Currently, this application offers a large number of design options not only in itself, but also in layout apps that offer extensions such as the creation of collages. One feature that has made Instagram so popular is its image editing filters. With these, users can upload photos from their smartphones or capture them directly from the application, edit them with numerous filters, and finally publish them.

Filter functions for in-app image editing

Instagram stream

Items uploaded to Instagram then appear in the stream. There, users find photos of the people they follow, as well as sponsored images or videos. Previously, the photos appeared chronologically, but now an algorithm is responsible for showing first the content classified as relevant based on the user's activity (comments, likes, etc.). Unlike Facebook's algorithm, which filters content completely, Instagram's algorithm only affects the order in which posts are displayed.

View, likes and comments for photos on Instagram (source: Instagram app)

Hashtags on Instagram

Due to activities and interests, Instagram? Inspires? to your users with suggestions that are tailored to your profile. The search function also makes it possible to search for specific tags, people or places. Similar to Twitter, hashtags also play a specific role in categorizing content. These tags are crucial to ensure that the content is perceived by the Instagram user community and beyond the subscriber group itself.

Connection with other platforms

As part of the Facebook consortium, it is almost impossible to avoid connecting with this social network. Instagram users can link their profile to their Facebook account to find friends who also use both services. Instagram photos can also be shared simultaneously on Facebook, Tumblr, Flickr, Twitter, and Swarm . In addition, there is the Instagram Direct function that we mentioned above and that serves to send the images as a private message directly to other users.

Message box on Instagram Direct (source: Instagram app)

Your Instagram profile for companies

Official profile of Nike, Volkswagen, National Geographic on Instagram

The Instagram app is available for free to private and business users alike. Once the application is downloaded on a mobile device, it will only be necessary to enter an email address and password . Both creating and managing Instagram are relatively simple. The user only has to enter a username, a short biography and a profile photo, with which the profile of your company on Instagram is considered configured. We explain each one below:

1. User name : if you want to use Instagram Business, it will surely be very useful to use the same name that you chose for your other social networks and which, in general, is usually the name of the company or the brand. Afterwards, the username will appear just below your profile picture.

2. Brief biography : the second most important part is the description of maximum 150 characters about your company. There is no specific guideline for bio on Instagram. However, the limited space represents a challenge to the extent that you have to be as direct and precise as possible to briefly explain what your company does and what Instagram users can expect from your profile. The better known the brand, the easier it will be to write this part. Some companies on Instagram use their tagline as a bio, such as sportswear manufacturer Nike with its slogan? Just do it ?. It is common for, in this space, many companies use relevant hashtags used by their customers to find your company (at most the three most important ones). Another priority element for the biography is the link to your website, the only link to which, so far, this online platform links. Because Instagram does not offer the space to include the Legal Notice, some companies use this link to link directly to the Terms and Conditions section on their website. If you want to know more information about how to write the Legal Notice, visit our guide in this regard.

3. Profile picture : Most companies choose their own logo as their profile picture. If you opt for a different image, it should be, as far as possible, the same one you use for other platforms. Remember that brand recognition plays a key role. Since your chosen profile photo will automatically appear in the shape of a circle, you should make sure that it looks good in that format and that no relevant details or information are lost. Also, it should have a resolution high enough to be viewed on the Internet. In case you are not sure, it is best to choose the image with the highest resolution, even if on Instagram it is shown only with a diameter of 100 pixels.

Important settings

After setting up the Instagram profile for your business, it's important to take care of some important settings. One of them is the activation of push notifications every time you receive? Like ?, comments and followers or when someone mentions your brand in real time, since alerts allow you to react quickly and have total control over your account. As in other social networks, on Instagram it is also very important that companies stay active and continually try to promote interaction and engagement with their followers . Only in this way is it possible to achieve success on Instagram for your business.

First steps

Once the profile has been created and configured correctly, you can take your first steps on the platform and learn to know it. Instagram is very useful, not only to strengthen the presence of your brand or business on the Internet, but also to find inspiration and gather information about the behavior of your main competitors. Additionally, you will be able to identify influencers and opinion leaders within the industry. The most important thing here is that you initiate communication with others, giving? I like it? and commenting on content posted by other users. Search for tags and keywords, be inspired by others, and discover topics that may be of great interest to your target audience. You can use different tools to identify relevant hashtags, such as Rite Tag. Remember that hashtags are a very important topic on Instagram, which we will see in depth in the second part of this guide.

Instagram Business: the possibilities of Instagram for your business

In the summer of 2016, Instagram announced the launch of Instagram Business. With a few clicks and some additional data, it is possible to convert a standard profile into a corporate profile, a first that marked a milestone in the history of Instagram.

Reasons to create an Instagram profile exclusively for your company

The benefits of business profiles on Instagram are that you can provide contact information to your users and allow them to communicate with you directly . Additionally, you can access statistics , track and measure the success of your paid campaigns without using additional tools or the help of third parties. Before the launch of Instagram Business, it was very difficult to determine the origin of users and diagnose the scope of a specific post. Now, the application presents user statistics clearly and easily. And finally, it is possible to post and promote targeted content to maximize the reach of individual messages.

A conventional Instagram profile can easily be turned into a business profile. The only requirement is a Facebook account. Anyone who wants to manage a corporate account on Instagram must have a business page on Facebook and connect their profile on Instagram with Facebook Business Manager.

From standard profile to business profile

Once you log into your Instagram account, you find the option? Switch to company profile? in the Options of your profile. The application will then run the so-called "Instagram Business Tools".

Instagram registration options for businesses (source: Instagram app)

In this step it will be necessary to connect your profile with your Facebook account. As we mentioned before, the company profile on Facebook is a requirement to use Instagram Business. If you don't have one yet and want more information, visit our guide to creating a corporate page on Facebook.

The only requirement to use Instagram Business is to connect it with your Facebook page (source: Instagram app)

The next step will be to enter the contact information: your business address, phone number, and / or an email address . As an important innovation, the company profile on Instagram includes the option to include a call to action (CTA), with which the user is encouraged, for example, to communicate with your company via phone or SMS. If you include the address of your business, something that is especially worthwhile for local businesses such as shops or restaurants, thanks to Google Maps your customers can easily plan their arrival route.

Provide contact information for your customers on Instagram Business (source: Instagram app)

Another feature that is only available for the Instagram business profile is the statistics section. There you will have access to reports on the activity of your followers and the analysis of the scope of your content . The third feature, which we have already mentioned above, is the publication of content aimed at a specific audience to increase reach. Instagram Business allows you to convert your standard posts into targeted advertising ads. The most important thing here is that the sponsored messages include a CTA with option and personalized contact information, this being the only payment function in Instagram accounts for businesses.

Instagram for companies: a strategy behind each post

Once you have configured the corporate account of your business, some questions may arise: how do I present my company properly? How does social media marketing for Instagram work? What is the impression that I would like to give to my potential clients? What message do I want to convey through my publications? How can I successfully reach my audience?

Clearly, these questions cannot be answered lightly, because, as with all marketing activities, you have to proceed strategically. In our planning and strategy guide for businesses on Instagram you will find tips on how to develop a content strategy correctly, position your brand on Instagram and reach the target audience that includes the most potential clients for your business.