With more than 400 million users – Instagram is today, one of the leading platforms successfully helping business owners establish a name for themselves in the world of social media. Imagine having an audience of 400 million who can see the services and products you are offering? Sounds unbelievable, right? Well the truth is … it’s possible!

With so much of today’s business done online, it’s critical to remain active across all social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest) – and especially, Instagram, as a business owner.

While it’s comparable to Facebook, Instagram is a mobile-photo sharing app which allows users to edit and post photos and videos – now even allowing its users to stream themselves live, similar to Facebook Live.

Signing Up

Creating an Instagram Account is easy and doesn’t take long. While Instagram can be accessed via desktop, Instagram is primarily a mobile app, so you have to download the application on your mobile before signing up. You can download the application from either the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.

By signing up to Instagram, you’ll let yourself be found by thousands of potential clients.

As a business owner, you will want to create a ‘business profile‘ instead of a personal account. The business account gives business owners, an insight to key information and analytics, which we will later discuss in this article. Before signing up to Instagram you will be asked to link your Facebook business page to your Instagram account. This way both of your accounts will be linked, making it easier to navigate from one platform to the other.

Once your accounts have been linked and your Instagram Account is created, you can now go the Profile Tab, located at the bottom right hand side, to Edit Profile. In this space you can do anything from change your name and username, change your profile photo, add a website users can visit and write a short 150 character biography other users will be able to view once they visit your business account.

TIP: To switch your account from a private or public account go to – Options Settings, located in the Profile Tab; top right-hand corner. To switch and activate a private account tap on the blue button to activate a private account. To make your account public, again – tap on the blue button to switch off the private setting and activate public account.

With Instagram for Business, you’ll be able to see who’s engaged with your profile.

Finding Your Way

Navigating on Instagram is relatively simple. The Home Button allows you to see posts from pages you may be interested in or accounts that you are currently following. The Home Button also allows you to see anything you may have previously posted. To the right of the Home Button is where you will find the Search Bar. The Search Bar allows you to find pages or people you are interested in.

Below the Search Bar you will find a display of photos and videos you can explore to see what other users are posting on Instagram. The Plus Button allows you to add any images or videos, directly from your camera roll or phone camera, you wish to post on your business page.

TIP: Instagram videos have now been extended from 15 seconds to 1 minute in duration. This is a great business tool to share with your followers and potential new customers. Think about how you can utilise video posts for your business? For example: As a salon owner you could upload a short video showing users and potential customers how to get the perfect blow dry, with a simple call to action!

Think about the trust people would have in you when you give them free lessons!

Creating Content

When creating content for any online platform, it is important to think about how you’ll be seen, and how people will remember what you post. Gone were the days where you’d post something and clients will come flocking to you. See it takes an average of 7 – 17 interactions with someone before they’ll buy from you.

And the good thing? If a user likes what you are posting, they will probably follow your page. This is positive news in the world of Instagram! Most people have less than 1,000 followers on Instagram, so they’ll take note of people who like their photos. If you like, and comment on people’s photos, this is a sure-fire way to grow your following.

Always remember the hashtags: adding hashtags to any of your photos or videos – for maximum exposure, before publicly posting them. For example: Images of makeup will usually have the hashtag #Instagrammakeup associated with them. Hashtags allow users to search and filter through different topics of interest via the online platform, making content and business easier to find

Interacting With People

A simple way of interact with other users on Instagram is by liking their photos and commenting on them. To like a photo, either double-tap on the image or tap on the heart-shaped button to like a post.

Commenting on a post is done by clicking on the Comment Button, located on the right hand side of the Like Button. To make your interaction more personal with other users, use the tagging @ symbol available. Start by typing the @ symbol, then type the user’s name you wish to tag in the comment box. After writing your comment simply tap the Post Button and the comment will be posted. By tagging a user, the person will automatically be notified they have been tagged in a comment, making your interaction with them more personal and intimate for future relations.

Insights and Analytics

As a business page on Instagram you are exposed to specific analytical insights and information. These statistics allow you to view the demographics and behavior of your followers, enabling you to create more relevant and timely content for your business page.

For example: Instagram Insights allow you to see what time most users are visiting your page. This information allows you to successfully allocate an appropriate time to post new content to your business page – which will attract more attention and traffic to your page.

All In All – Post Daily

If you’re not posting daily on Instagram, you’re losing potential business. The mass of people using Instagram daily is greater than Facebook, and almost as high as Snapchat. Instagram will surpass Facebook as the #1 go-to platform – in a matter of years.

The question is, what’re you doing about your Instagram?