How to use Instagram for business effectively in 2024?

Jun 19, 2024
min read
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Picture this: You’re a medium-sized business owner offering a fantastic service, but your reach is limited to the local region. You’ve tried traditional advertising, but it’s expensive and doesn’t quite hit the mark. Then you hear about Parfumado, another online entrepreneur who started using Instagram, and other social channels, to showcase their perfume subscription. Within months, their follower count skyrocketed, and their sales tripled. How did they do it?

Let's zoom in. With over 2 billion monthly active users, Instagram is a powerhouse for businesses. It is not just a photo-sharing app anymore; surveys show that almost 97.6% of US marketers use the platform due to its diverse, visual, and interactive nature.

So now you know how important it is to learn how to use Instagram for business! 

In this blog post, we’ll explore how you can leverage Instagram for your business, from creating captivating content to engaging with your followers and ultimately driving sales. Get ready to transform your brand’s online presence just like Sarah did!

How to start using instagram for business

Several people have a personal account on Instagram that they use daily. But starting a business account is something else entirely. You’ll need to learn how to use Instagram effectively so that businesses can make the most out of their efforts.

So let's get to how to use Instagram for business, and start here.

This is how you can set up your Instagram business account in 3 simple steps:

1. Creating an Instagram Business Account:

You can create and switch to a business account on Instagram for free. All you’ll need is a personal account if you don’t have one already.

Here’s a step-by-step on how to start using Instagram for business:
  • First, head over to your profile and tap on the three lines in the upper-right corner.
  • From there, tap on "Settings and privacy" and scroll down until you find "Account type and tools."
  • Next, hit "Switch to a professional account" to make your account an Instagram business account.
  • Tap "Continue" a few times as Instagram gives you a sneak peek at the features you’ll get with a professional account.
  • Choose a category that fits your business and decide whether to show it on your profile. Once you’re happy, tap "Done."
  • Pick "Business" or "Creator" (depending on your preference), and tap "Next."
  • Decide if you want to get promotional emails from Instagram for professional accounts with a quick slider, then tap "Next" again.
  • Add or update your contact details. Use the slider to show or hide this info on your profile, then hit "Next" (or "Don’t use my contact info" if you want to skip this part).
  • Follow the prompts if you want to link your Instagram business account to a Facebook business page. This step is optional but super handy if you plan to use Instagram shopping features or run ads.
  • Finally, you’ll see some options to add extra features to your account, like setting goals, adding portfolio details, and growing your audience. If you’re not ready for this, just tap the "X" in the top left corner to close the window and get back to your profile.

And there you go! You're all set to start using Instagram as a business account.

📚: Mastering your Instagram inbox: Tips for customer service managers

2. Enabling Instagram shopping

Next, you’ll need to enable Instagram shopping in your professional account.

  • On your Instagram Business account, go to the “Get Started” page.
  • Click “Create a shop” and once again “Get Started.”
  • If you’re already selling on Shopify or another partner platform, pick that option to create your shop there. If not, select "I don't use these platforms," and click "Next."
  • You might need to choose a checkout method, and the countries you’re shipping to, and add your business email. After that, click "Next."
  • Select your Instagram business account. Then, click "Next."
  • Choose the catalogue you want to use for your shop or create one on Meta’s Commerce Manager  and click "Next." Commerce Manager can also automatically create a catalogue called "Items for (name and ID of your Page).”
  • Just a heads up: the catalogue needs to meet certain eligibility requirements, and you won’t be able to change it later.
  • Finally, review your shop details, agree to the Seller Agreement, and click "Finish setup" to complete creating your shop.

That's how to use Instagram for business, when it comes to setting up shop!

3. Tagging products in posts and reels:

Instagram rolled out a new feature allowing you to tag a product in your reels and stories. This feature helps you link the product page directly in your post.

You can tag up to 20 products in a single image, reel, carousel, or story, and even allow other users such as influencers to do so.

  • To add a product tag to your reel, simply locate the “Tag products” option under the caption and click it to see a list of products you can select from. Click “Add” and finally, “Share” your reel.
  • To add a product tag to your story, tap the sticker icon and click the “Product” link sticker. Choose the product you want to tag and publish your story.

Optimising your Instagram business profile

According to Instagram's official website, over 200,000 business accounts are operating on Instagram. 

So, how do you make yours stand out? By optimising your profile for maximum impact and reach. 

Profile picture and bio:

If you’re wondering how to best use Instagram for business, here are a few tips:

  • Choose a high-quality profile picture that represents you and your brand.
  • Use a keyword with your name that people will most likely search you with.
  • Research and use target keywords in your bio that instantly tell people what your profile is all about.
  • Include hashtags and relevant profile links in your bio to increase your followership.
  • Add a CTA so your audience knows what to do after they’ve visited your profile.
  • Choose the right business category because it shows in your profile.
  • Add contact info and action buttons so your profile visitors can avail your services without leaving your Instagram page.
Vegan - Instagram account

Links in bio:

To add a URL to your bio, simply click "Edit Profile" and enter your URL in the Website field.

Pro Tip: Updating your bio link can be a hassle if you frequently promote different offers. A great alternative is using Linktree to organise all your links in one place.

patmcgrathreal Instagram account

Content strategies for Instagram Business

Posting content on your Instagram Business account without a clear strategy is like shooting arrows without an aim. Let’s learn a few tips on how to properly use instagram for business:

Types of content:

Instagram has introduced several content formats to promote diversity. They include:

  • Reels
  • Single or multiple photo posts
  • Video posts
  • Highlights
  • Live videos
  • Stories

While the order of their reach keeps changing. It is important to know how to use each one of them for your business promotion.

How to use reels on instagram for business

Reels are short and perfect for grabbing attention. Use them primarily to find new audience by making them super engaging and scroll-stopping.

Miley Cyrus Instagram Reel

How to use Instagram stories for business?

Stories are best for starting DM conversations. Since their reach for cold audiences is relatively low, use them to engage and entertain your existing audience.

Instagram story example

How to use Instagram highlights for business?

Highlights can be great for organising and showcasing particular types of content on top of your profile. Use them for FAQs, return policies, client stories, etc.

Tesla - Instagram Account

How to use single/multiple photo posts and video posts?

Photo and video posts are the simplest ways to reach your warm audience and keep them engaged. You can use hashtags to increase their reach to colder audiences as well but hashtags are becoming less and less relevant now.

Single photo by Hotel Instagram account

How to use Instagram live for business?

Live videos are super interactive because you shoot and publish them in real time. Instagram allows you to post these live videos as video posts for later viewing, too.

Content calendar:

Creating a content calendar and using it to schedule your reels, posts, and stories is a great way to stay on top of your content publishing game. It helps with consistency because you can plan your content and post it on holidays, weekends, or when you’re away.

Maintaining a content calendar also keeps your content within predetermined topics, subtopics, and content goals.

User-generated content:

No one likes a brand that only sells, sells, and sells. UGC is an effective alternative where you can still promote your business without coming off as too promotional.

Collaborate with influencers or dedicated UGC artists on Instagram to help create and post user-generated content for your business.

Engaging with your audience

What use is good content if you are just blasting it out to your audience and not engaging with them in return?

An effective strategy is to treat it as a customer service channel. Monitor your DMs, comments, and account mentions for customer service queries, complaints, or requests. Instagram offers an automation feature where you can create preset replies to FAQs using keyboard shortcuts. However, it can still become overwhelming to keep up with all the customer service questions coming your way through DMs, comments, and mentions.

One effective solution is to use an omnichannel platform such as Trengo to keep all your queries and messages organised in one place for seamless communication.

How to use Instagram ads for business?

Your best bet to reach the coldest audience is using Instagram’s paid ads. According to statistics, paid ads reach 96.6% of Instagram users monthly. So your chances for better viewership are pretty high!

Like organic posts, you can use images, carousels, videos, or stories in your ads. The only difference is the little “Sponsored” beneath your brand name.

There are two ways you can advertise on Instagram:

Boosted posts:

These are your feed posts that you choose to show to colder audiences by paying money. Boosting a post is simple but lacks the customisation of running a full-fledged ad.

  • Click “Boost post” under the post you want to boost.
  • Choose whether you want “More profile visits”, “More website visits”, or “More messages” from the post.
  • Define your audience either automatically or manually.
  • Then select your daily budget and the time you want to run the ad.
  • Now review your post and “Boost post” when you are ready!
Ads manager:

Create hyper-targeted, creative, and efficient ad campaigns using Meta’s ads manager.

  • Go to Meta’s ads manager and click “Create.”
  • Choose an objective for your ad campaign from the six options based on your goals.
  • Enter a campaign name.
  • Choose your daily budget and a schedule to start and end the campaign.
  • Choose your target audience by location, age, gender, demographics, behaviours, interests, and languages.
  • Decide where your ads will appear on people’s feed wither automatically or manually.
  • Finally, create and publish your Instagram ad after adding any copy, URLs, or tracking parameters you wish to use.

Measuring success and analytics

Instagram insights:

Instagram has built-in analytics and tracking tools for business accounts. You can use them to gauge which of your posts performs best regarding engagement, conversion, and followership.

Instagram offers these insights:

  1. Recent highlights: Any recent notable activity in your account performance within your selected time frame.
  2. Overview: A bird’s eye view of your total followers, accounts reached, accounts engaged, and total earnings.
  3. Accounts reached: Detailed information about the unique accounts that have seen your content at least once on their feed.
  4. Accounts engaged: Details about the unique accounts interacting with your content.
  5. Total followers: Trends and details across your total followers after you’ve reached 1000 followers.
  6. Content you've shared: A history of all content you’ve posted and boosted in the selected time frame.
  7. Content interactions: Type of interaction your content receives, for example, likes, shares, comments, etc.
  8. Ad: An overview of your ads and boosted posts.
  9. Plays: Number of times your videos were played.

Third-party analytics tools:

Apart from relying on Instagram’s built-in analytics, you can also use third-party social media tools to track your content performance more in-depth. 

These tools help you:

  • Easily set performance goals by seeing all your social posts in one place.
  • Discover ways to boost your results over time.
  • Simplify calculating the ROI of your organic and paid social campaigns.
  • Follow your customers' journey from their first interaction all the way to conversion.

Integrating Instagram with other tools

When you’re using Instagram as the face of your brand, using it for advertising alone is not enough. Successful brands know how to use Instagram for business queries and customer service too.

Customer service integration:

Almost every buyer-focused brand uses Instagram as a customer service tool. They monitor their DMs, comments, and mentions for customer queries, complaints, and feedback. But how do they stay on top of all those channels within a single social media platform?

Simple. By using an omnichannel customer service tool like Trengo. Trengo not only allows you to receive all queries and comments from Instagram in a single inbox, but it also helps you manage and respond to all your customer service tickets from other communication channels such as Facebook, WhatsApp, website live chat, Gmail, and chatbots.

This way you can ensure each of your buyers gets a response without compromising on consistency, quality, and helpfulness.

Best practices for Instagram business

You should know how to use Instagram for business marketing to reap the most benefits. Here are some best practices:

1. Consistency and branding:

Consistency is an important part of your brand image and perception. Your brand tone of voice should be the same across all your content, posts, comments, and DM responses.

The same goes for the visual elements. Your content should “look” yours by using a similar design theme, brand colours, and logos.

2. Staying updated with trends:

The best way to stay relevant is to keep up with ongoing trends. When the movies Barbie and Oppenheimer hit the theatres, many brands used the hype to boost their marketing.

Margot Robbie and Cillian Murphy featured in Variety

3. Compliance and ethics:

You don’t want your Instagram business account to get banned after months of research, posting content, and securing a decent following. Ensuring compliance with Instagram policies and ethical practices is mandatory to avoid scandals and setbacks.

Meet your customers on Instagram

Getting the hang of Instagram for your business is a total game-changer in today's consumer service world. With so many users and powerful multichannel platforms like Trengo, Instagram has opportunities to connect with your audience, show off your brand, and boost your growth. Knowing how to use Instagram for business is key to staying ahead and maximising your service efforts. 

So why wait? Start exploring Instagram for your business today and see what it can do for you. 

Ready to take your business to new heights? Dive in and watch the magic happen!

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