Promoting business on Instagram, the social network has over 1 billion monthly users, making it one of the most influential social media platforms on the planet. Knowing how to use it effectively to promote your business and its products and services has the potential for you to engage a large number of people and consequently give your business mass exposure to a huge audience.

Here are some important tips to help promote your business on Instagram.

Use a Business Account

This might seem like a straightforward and common-sense thing to do but surprisingly a lot of organizations forget to change their settings to business accounts.

There are many benefits to having an Instagram business account. First of all, you get access to Instagram insights which enable you to track your social media accounts’ analytics. You also get a call-to-action button in profile, you can create ads without Facebook’s advertising tools. It also enables Instagram shopping and a secondary direct messaging inbox.

By making the switch, you will be able to track the metrics that matter to you and optimize your strategy accordingly and overall, improve your conversion rate.

All that is required of you to make the change is to go to settings and click on “Switch to Business Profile”.

Use Hashtags

Hashtags are an influential feature that is available on every social media platform that enables people to find a specific type of content.

For example, if you are looking for marketing content, you look for #marketing and Instagram will show you posts using that tag.

Although Instagram allows its users to use up to 30 hashtags, they now recommend the use of only 3 to 5 hashtags on each post.

With that in mind, try using a mix of popular and not-so-popular hashtags so you have the best reach possible. Test until you find something that works for you.

Post User-Generated Content

User-Generated Content (UGC) is the best word of mouth tool you will have access to on any social media platform.

Consumers on social media all want to consume content that is authentic and is made by normal everyday people and not brands.

UGC is basically any piece of content created by individuals using or directly recommending products. In simple terms, UGC is the online version of word of mouth.

The reality is that content created by people will always be more popular and trusted than content created by brands.

The solution to this challenge is simple, use the content that your customers create.

By deciding to do this, you are adding validation to your products, connecting with consumers, and driving awareness while being authentic.

If there isn’t enough usable UGC out there for your brand, you need to encourage and incentivize it by starting a brand ambassador program, creating a contest or challenge where people need to submit photos with the products, or by partnering with influencers.

Develop an Instagram Influencer Strategy

Influencers are people who have already built an audience and for brands, they can be the link between you and your target demographic.

It is wise for a brand to leverage the power and influence of Instagram creators to drive as much awareness as possible.

By partnering with the right influencer, your account can grow massively and drastically increase sales.

In addition, partnering with influencers—especially small influencers—is the best way to constantly produce high-quality user-generated content.

Which as you now know, is super important for all your social media strategies.

However, you need to do your research because if the influencers you select don’t have good engagement rates or their audience doesn’t overlap with your target demographics, you will end up with a negative ROI.

There are influencers of all sizes with unique audiences, so there are no exact numbers. But to give you an idea of how much Instagram influencers cost, check out these figures:

  • Nano influencers (1,000 – 10,000 followers): $10 – $100
  • Micro influencers (10,000 – 50,000 followers): $100 – $500
  • Mid-tier influencers (50,000 – 500,000 followers): $500 – $5,000
  • Macro influencers (500,000 – 1 million followers): $5,000 – $10,000
  • Mega influencers (1 million – 5 million followers): $10,000 – $50,000
  • Celebrity influencers (5 million+ followers): Over $50,000

It is important to keep in mind that having more followers isn’t always better. Small influencers may benefit you more depending on your goals.

Use Instagram Stories

Stories are a feature that originally began on Snapchat, but once Instagram adopted it, everyone started using it.

An Instagram story is basically an image, video, or link that accounts post for 24 hours. But instead of showing up in the feed, it shows up in the story section of the app.

It is basically a way of sharing updates, engaging content that doesn’t belong on your feed, and interacting with your followers.

This feature has proven to be extremely effective at improving engagement with your audience.

The right way to use stories to grow your account as a brand is by being consistent and doing the following:

  • Share UGC (customer stories using your products)
  • Share product updates
  • Announce you published a new post on Instagram
  • Show behind the scenes images
  • Interact with your followers through polls and questions

The idea is to have an additional content channel where you can keep engaging with your followers.

Another great feature related to Instagram stories are highlights. Highlights give you the ability to show selected stories in your profile page and they don’t get deleted.

This way, you can show your best stories to everyone who is just discovering your profile.

If you’re part of a DTC brand, having UGC as one of your highlights is a must.

Also, identify the intents of the people looking at your profile and make a highlight around them.

For example, if people want to know where your stores are located, make a highlight with your locations.

Use Reels

In the same way Instagram originally introduced stories to compete with Snapchat, they have also added reels to compete with TikTok. Reels are short videos you can scroll through infinitely, just like TikTok.

The benefit of this format is that it’s able to make the content reach a lot of new people. Again, just like TikTok.

To use this feature correctly, you need to be consistent and create the same type of content that would work on TikTok, authentic content.

However, it is important to keep in mind not to repost your TikToks as reels. Instagram has noticed that many users are doing this, and since they want people to stay on their platform, they don’t promote this type of content. So, make sure you tweak your content a bit in order for it to become successful on the platform.

Post at The Right Times

Success in social media is all about consistency, and it’s no different for Instagram.

You need to post consistently and at the right times if you want to build an audience.

Once you start posting consistently, look at your analytics and identify the days and hours when your audience is most active. In order to keep your audience engaged, make sure you keep posting at these specific times to drive more traffic to your Instagram profile.

Engage with Your Instagram Followers

Instagram is a place that serves a purpose to connect with people, and it is almost impossible to successfully connect with people just by blindly posting. You also need to interact with your audience.

Many brands schedule their posts and forget about them. However, you shouldn’t do that because you don’t want a boring page because it won’t give any results.

To bring your account to life, you need to use captions that encourage comments, respond to comments and post stories consistently, among other things.

Go Live

Instagram also allows its users to live stream. By starting a live stream, you can directly engage and interact with your followers in a way that feels authentic.

Although it is more difficult for brands than it is for individual influencers, it’s worth it.

Because influencers are their own brand, they can live stream and answer questions whenever they want.

However, if you don’t have a face for your brand, you need to put your thinking cap on.

The first thing you could do is find someone in your organization that would be willing to go live and talk to the audience.

You could also invite a famous personality to host your live stream or do live events of some sort.

You need to come up with this yourself because what works will depend on each brand.