How to Leverage Instagram for your Business

Caitlin MacWilliams
Latest posts by Caitlin MacWilliams (see all)

History 

Instagram has been evolving since its inception in 2010, with new features and functionalities being introduced constantly. The addition of business accounts in 2016 allowed businesses to create a professional profile, view analytics and promote advertisement posts. After a few years, direct links to businesses’ products were created, allowing Instagram users to save products and checkout directly from the app. The integration of professional accounts allows users to pick a category that best describes your business. Whether you own a business or consider yourself a creator, Instagram provides many tools and features to highlight your brand. 

Purpose 

According to the Instagram for Business official website, 33 percent of the most viewed stories come from businesses, and one in five organic stories gets a direct message. It is essential for businesses to utilize the Instagram stories feature to provide a unique experience for both prospective and loyal customers. Businesses may utilize the basic functions, advertise, as well as sell on the app. Basic functions allow you to track your businesses performance through real-time data. Analyze your customer engagement and share your businesses contact information. Businesses can exchange useful information and share their business story with customers by using the app’s basic features, which contributes to the expansion of the business’s audience.  

Advertising with Instagram allows businesses to promote their content within minutes. With an adjustable target audience option, businesses can define their niche market. The applications user-friendly tools allow businesses of any size to meet their goals through ad insights and personalized budgets. Connect with users through photo, video, shop, and branded content ad formats.  

People have always come to Instagram to shop and discover new products. 70% of shopping enthusiasts turn to Instagram for product discovery and 87% of people say influencers have inspired them to make a purchase” (https://business.instagram.com/shopping). With the recent rollout of Instagram Shopping, users are immersed with a variety of different industries utilizing the shopping features. Product tags, informative product pages, and even the ability to complete transactions without leaving the Instagram app enable users to shop directly from a business profile. 

Instagram Stories for Business 

Share your business story and brand identity through the Instagram Stories component. With the ability to add text, photos, location tags, music, polls, questions, countdowns and more – a consistent and engaging conversation with your customers has never been easier.  

Here are some suggestions for getting your business engagements started: 

Take Customers Behind the Scenes:

Create a behind-the-scenes series showcasing your product development, product use cases, or even highlighting your employees. Display a series of videos demonstrating the preparation of your signature dish as a chef, for example, so that customers can follow along.  

Keep Customers on the Edge of their Seat:

Start your next campaign by keeping customers on the edge of their seat. For instance, a retail brand may tease the audience by releasing small snippets of an upcoming launch. This encourages customers to continue to follow your stories and stay tuned for more details. 

Offer Customers an Incentive: 

Showcase a coupon or discount through Instagram Stories. Allow your viewers the opportunity to receive a certain percentage off for simply interacting with your business and following your journey. 

Allow Customers to Provide Feedback:

Gauge your audience through Instagram Stories features such as polls and questions. A local coffee shop may utilize the polling feature by asking their followers if they prefer hot or iced coffee. This user generated insight will help you make the most of upcoming promotion and advertisement opportunities. 

Sources: 

https://business.instagram.com/a/instagram-stories 

https://business.instagram.com/shopping  

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