This three-part series is a great introduction for small business owners looking to either start an Instagram account for their business or to fine-tune their existing Instagram strategy so that it successfully drives sales. The series focuses on practical and actionable guidance that can be immediately applied. By the end of the series, readers will be able to:
- Implement and optimize Instagram Business account
- Define your target audience
- Set meaningful goals and objectives
- Track the right performance metrics
- Share high-quality content
- Grow and engage your audience
Part 1: Instagram Business Account Basics
In a previous post, we explored how social media is The most cost-effective way for small businesses to drive sales by leveraging each platform’s unique characteristics, massive user bases, and a content-focused approach that supports a business’ larger sales funnel. In this post, we are going to dive deeper into Instagram which has over two billion monthly users, is used daily by over 59% of adults in the US, and is taking the ecommerce world by storm with 44% of users shopping on it at least once a week.
When it comes to business then, Instagram is an amazingly powerful tool but it can be difficult to know where to start. The internet is awash with advice from “influencers” and “experts” but few include examples of real businesses actually implementing these approaches successfully, and even fewer include input from actual entrepreneurs.
This series of blog posts, has a foundation built from insights contributed by Phoenix-area entrepreneurs who have successfully used social media to propel their businesses like Shellie Small of Pinspiration Peoria, Ruben Trujillo of Café Emporos and Kathy Cano-Murillo of The Crafty Chica. Part three of this series includes a video recording of the Peoria Forward event, How to level up your business Instagram, that was hosted by Shellie Small and features a wealth of posting tips and strategic insights.
Instagram Business account vs. Instagram Personal account
Instagram Business accounts have a lot more features than Personal accounts and are designed to help you better understand your customers and improve your business’ reach. The most important additional features include:
- Instagram Insights (expanded suite of analytics tools for your post performance and audience demographics)
- Paid Instagram ads (ability to boost post visibility to selected target audience)
- Instagram Shopping (integrated ecommerce storefront and shoppable posts)
- Schedule posts (ability to automate posting for a specified day/time)
- Contact buttons, Action buttons and Quick Replies (additional contact options and links to third-party services like reserving on OpenTable as well as the ability to create/use pre-written replies for frequently asked customer questions)
Who is an Instagram Business account right for?
Shellie is a Peoria-based entrepreneur and has been featured in numerous local publications (like Shoutout Arizona and Voyage Phoenix) for her savvy approach to promoting her crafting studio, Pinspiration, on Instagram.
At a recent Peoria Forward event, Shellie shared that while Instagram used to be primarily an image sharing app, the addition of being able to share video through Instagram Reels has made it much more dynamic. Now, any product or service business can effectively share what they are working on! For example, musicians can now upload music videos and album art to promote a new release. And, while TikTok videos have certainly generated a lot of buzz, Gen Z still prefers Instagram according to the data.
How to create and navigate an Instagram Business account
While the process of creating an Instagram Business account is relatively straightforward (just a few clicks inside the Instagram account page), users are presented with a choice for how they would like to manage it. The Instagram Business account can be managed in isolation through the Instagram mobile app and website. Users who also have a Facebook Business Account, however, can choose to manage both simultaneously through the Meta Business Suite mobile app and website (Meta is the parent company of both Facebook and Instagram).
For the sake of brevity and because the specifics of these processes change as updates to user interfaces are released, we have curated links to step-by-step guides from the official Instagram Help Center and Meta Business Suite Help Center.
- How to create an Instagram account (for those who do not have Instagram)
- How to set up a Business Instagram account (for those who have Instagram)
Account Management on Instagram Mobile App or Website
- Instagram Business Tools Overview
- About Business Instagram Account Insights
- How to view Business Instagram Account Insights
- How to boost an Instagram post
- About Instagram Shopping
- How to set up a Shop on Instagram
- How to add an Action button to your bio
Account Management on Meta Business Suite
- Meta Business Suite Overview
- How to Connect an Instagram Account to Meta Business Suite
- About Account Insights
- How to boost Your Instagram post with Meta Accounts Center
- How to create Instagram Ads from page posts in Ads Manager
- How to boost an Instagram Story using the Meta Business Suite
- Check out Part 2: Optimizing your Business Instagram Account coming in May
- Make your plan, test it, adapt and repeat!
- Stay connected with your community of fellow entrepreneurs. To find support and share your journey, See future events at entrepreneurship.asu.edu/Peoria-Forward and reach out to us at [email protected].