Unless you’ve been residing under a rock, you probably already know that Instagram is a valuable marketing tool that can take your customer relations to a whole new level. It’s the perfect platform for building communities and fostering conversations. And boasts some of the most active and engaged users of all the social platforms.
Understanding the ins and outs of how to best set up your Insta profile for business success however, can be a little tricky for the uninitiated.
But don’t worry! We’ve created a comprehensive list of must-dos when it comes to Instagram set-up for business to save you the stress.
1. Create a proper ‘business’ account
Ok, this might be a bit too obvious, but we’ll still put it on the list. First thing you need to do is create an Instagram account for Business. Setting your account up as a business rather than a personal profile will give you more features, including:
- Real-time metrics on how your stories and promoted posts perform throughout the day.
- Access to insights into your followers and how they interact with your posts and stories.
- Ability to add information about your company, such as business hours, location and phone number.It only takes a few moments to set up a business account. Once you have your Instagram account, go to the top right corner of your screen, press on the three lines and then on Settings.
Press on Account and then choose Switch to a Professional Account (ours is already one, so we don’t get this option.)
2. Connect to Facebook Business Page
We recommend you connect your new Instagram business account to your business’ Facebook page. This way, you’ll have the option of posting on both platforms at the same time. Plus, more importantly you’ll also be able to push Instagram ads out through your Facebook Business Manager. This is a great way to help boost your Instagram followers!
In the Account page, choose Linked Accounts, then select Facebook. You will need to login to Facebook and then choose your Business Page to link to the account. You can connect other business social media accounts if you have any.
3. Optimise Your Account
This part is essential for your business marketing. You want to put in as many details about your business as possible, to make sure people find everything they need quick and easy.
Let’s look at the Edit Profile section – you can find the button right under your bio.
For the Profile Photo, choose your brand logo. It’s recommended you use the same picture you use on other social profiles to help people instantly identify your brand and keep things consistent.
Pro Tip: your profile photo displays as 110 x 110 pixels, but it’s stored at 320 x 320 pixels. It’s a good idea to upload a 320 x 320 px photo to ensure it looks good if Instagram changes how profile photos are displayed.
The Name should be the name of your business. The username – aka your handle – should be your business name and should be easy to read, remember and search for. If your business name is already taken, try adding a location or spacer element to it (for example, if @teamvisible is already taken, we could use @teamvisible_perth or @teamvisible.au).
The Website section is the only link you’re allowed to have on your profile, so make the most of it! It can be your business’ website, but you can also change it accordingly if you would like to direct people to different products/services/events. If you do need to change/add different links quite often, we recommend you choose one of the many free bio link tools (see step 4).
The Bio is where things start to get interesting. There is a character limit (150) and it’s hard to create short and catchy content that makes you stand out.
Here are a few useful tips to follow when writing your bio:
- Keep the tone and language on brand
- Opt for short sharp dot points that cover your main products/services/selling-points over a lengthy paragraph
- Try to include relevant keywords that people might search for
- Include a few emojis (don’t overdo it) to make it pop and add character
- Include a hashtag if relevant
You should also set a Category for your business and add your Contact Options.
4. Try out a bio link tool
If you’re sick of updating your link with your latest content, or just want to link out to more than one place from your Insta page, we’ve got good news for you! There are tools designed to help you put all the links in one place, which makes it much easier for your followers to find anything they need.
The right tool for you mainly depends on the type of business you own. For most businesses, Linktree is a good go-to. All you need to do is set up a free account, customise it and add in your desired links on the Linktree page. Then you just take the link for this page and paste it into your Website section in your profile bio.
A very common Linktree page structure is adding in links to different pages from your website (Products/Services, Appointments, FAQ, Blog etc) and links to your Facebook profile and any groups you might manage. Make sure the names of the sections in your Linktree are clear.
Here’s an example from Gary Vee:
For ecommerce or blogging, you might need a more visually appealing option to add links for each post. In this case, we strongly recommend you use Later – it’s free and can be used to schedule content, not just add links to it.
You can create links for older posts or start fresh and add a link to each post. Later will recreate your timeline and allow followers to click on the desired photo, which will send them to the linked page.
All you need to do is add the linkin.bio link to your Website section in the profile bio and you can expect people to find something like this when they click on it (see screenshot).
This can be immensely useful when you’re trying to sell individual products, because it makes it much easier for followers to get to post-specific web pages.
5. Create Highlights Categories
Another great way to optimise your profile is to use Highlights, which are related to your profile’s stories. Even though a story is only viewable for 24 hours, it still remains stored in an archive, which means you can “recycle” it in your highlights.
The fact that you don’t have many followers when you first start out is an opportunity to create a solid Highlights section without spamming anyone!
Here are a few useful tips to keep in mind:
- First ask yourself what are the main categories/sections you can divide your business into?
- Upload the photos for the different categories as stories (there’s a limit to how many stories you can post in one day, so you might need to do this on a few different days). Tip: preferred dimensions are 1920 x 1080 px.
- Go to the Highlights section and press on the + and select the relevant stories for the Highlight category (for example, choose all T-Shirt stories for the T-Shirt Category).
- Update the cover of the Highlights with an icon rather than a photo.
You can always add new stories into the Highlights (see screenshots below).
6. Choose a posting strategy
Your posting strategy is basically just deciding what you’re posting and when. But before you get into that, you need to think about your target audience. Who are they (age, gender, location, etc.), what are their likes and dislikes, what are they interested in, etc. This is going to help you figure out what sort of content they might like to see from you.
For example if you’re a dietician and your target audience is young women interested in health and fitness, you might share healthy meal ideas and recipes, workout videos, nutritional facts, and active living inspo.
Another thing to keep in mind about Instagram is it’s a very visual platform. Aesthetics are important to Instagram users. Create a mood board (Pinterest is great for this!) to get a feel for the style and vibe you want to create with your feed. This activity can even help to narrow in on a bit of a colour palette as well. Refer back to this when you’re sourcing/creating new content to ensure it’s on brand.
Next up, figure out how often you’re going to post and when. If you’re unsure, start with 3 posts a week and build up from there once you get into the swing of things. As for posting times, you can easily find the best posting days and times for your region with a simple Google search. Alternatively if you have another platform (e.g. Facebook) have a look at your insights on there to see when your followers are most active. After you gain followers and things get moving, you can use your own Instagram account metrics to determine the ideal posting time for your business.
Instagram rewards consistency so it’s essential that you commit to a regular posting schedule. Which brings us to our next point.
7. Choose a post scheduling tool
So you’ve decided to post X times per week, but you’re worried you might not be able to keep it up since you’re so busy you sometimes forget your own name – we get it. The good news is that you don’t have to manually post every day, because there are a few tools out there that help you schedule out your content for the whole month (or longer).
Scheduling Instagram content is very helpful not only in regards to time saved, but also because it makes it easier to stick to the posting strategy and also gives you an idea of what your feed will look like.
Hootsuite is a great option and they offer a free account which allows you to schedule a maximum of 30 posts (quite enough for most small business owners). You can also link your Facebook and LinkedIn in order to schedule all your content from one platform. However, it doesn’t have all the extra features specifically for Instagram.
For an Instagram specific option, check out Later. They have a free plan that provides all the features you need, including scheduling of all different types of content, feed planner, hashtag researcher, bio link tool, analytics and more!
If you want to take things up a notch, look into Sked (paid per Insta account added on the platform). There are many advantages to using Sked, here are just a few:
- Different types of posts available, like video, carousel and stories
- ROI reports and analytic
- In-app photo editor
- Bio Link Tool Integrated
- Drag and drop grid layout
- Product, Location and User tagging.
Phew, that was a long read! Well done, for making it all the way through! Trust us: it’s worth taking the time to properly set up your Instagram Business account from the very start. It might take you a few hours, but after that you only need to plan and schedule your content and watch your account grow!
We want you to leverage everything Instagram has to offer you to amplify your business and stand out in the crowd. If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the information, get in touch with someone on our team and we’ll help you suss your Instagram Marketing out!
*Note: Visible may receive commission for purchases made through some of the links in this post.