An Instagram business account is an essential part of every organization’s social media presence—it’s one of the top marketing channels.
But how to run one successfully? We outline the biggest do’s and don’ts of running an official Instagram account below.
Do’s of Running a Instagram Business Account
Have an Instagram Strategy
Businesses need to have a solid social media strategy if they are to run a successful account—such as what kind of posts they are going to create, and how often to post.
You also need to identify your target audience for Instagram—will you be creating content for younger audiences, older millennials, or Gen Z?
The kind of content you design—an infographic, memes, or an animation—will be impacted by your audience.
Another area that you should be focusing on, especially on a platform like Instagram, is influencer marketing.
Influencers are huge on Instagram, and you should be looking at methods to collaborate with a few to broaden your reach on the channel.
Before starting up an Instagram business account, ensure you have a strategy in place for best results.
Brand Your Content
Marketers often equate branding with brand logos—but logos are only a part of the brand identity. Colors, fonts, and brand personality are all part of the identity of a business.
And those are all aspects that need to be expressed in your Instagram posts.
Avoid stamping your brand logo on every post—it looks tacky and will drive your audience away. Instagram is about beautiful visuals, so a brand logo will be incongruous.
Instead, focus on highlighting your brand colors in your posts. When creating text posts, use your brand font.
In the captions of your Instagram posts, always maintain your brand tone—consistency is key for retaining your audience and spreading brand awareness.
Use Stories and IGTV
Instagram has greatly expanded from where it began. Marketers need to know that they can’t focus only on Instagram posts—Instagram Stories and IGTV are a huge draw.
Stories, in particular, have been a massive success on the channel—even rivalling the popularity of Snapchat, which makes them necessary for your business development.
The ephemeral posts last only 24 hours and give a sense of immediacy to the brand’s content—Stories are a great way to showcase events or go behind the scenes.
Capitalize on the success of Instagram Stories by creating engaging daily stories—a brand ambassador or influencer can take over the Stories to change up the content once in a while.
IGTV allows users to upload long videos, beyond the 1-minute limit of Instagram posts. If you want to share long-form content on the channel, IGTV should be a high priority.
Have a Hashtag Plan
You can use up to 30 hashtags on each Instagram post, as well as in comments—the impact on reach and engagement is the same.
Do you need to exhaust the hashtag limit every time? Not necessarily—depending on the content of your post, you could make an impact with seven hashtags, or twenty.
A certain amount of testing is involved in creating a hashtag plan—Instagram is something you need to continuously learn about.
However, some aspects of hashtag use tend to remain the same—you should have a brand-specific hashtag which you use on all posts.
You should also try to use at least two extremely popular hashtags—those with millions of posts associated with them.
Alongside mega-popular hashtags, use a few that are more niche—these will help you reach a particular audience and improve engagement.
Use Instagram Advertising
Instagram’s advertising is tied into Facebook—which makes it easier to use and adapt. While you do need to invest money into advertising, the dividends are well worth it.
You don’t need to spend too much—and you can always change tack partway through a campaign if it isn’t working.
Use a marketing budget calculator to define how much you can spend on a campaign.
Choose your target niche carefully and you can create an Instagram ad that will reach the right people and bring you the conversions and awareness you deserve.
Don’ts of Running a Instagram Business Account
Ignore Your Profile
It’s easy to forget about optimizing one’s Instagram business profile—you want to get on with sharing content and building a following.
But your profile image, your bio, and your link need to be planned out before you start posting.
Your display picture is obvious—your brand logo. But it should be high-res enough to be clear even despite compression and the various sizes that it will appear as on the Instagram app.
Additionally, your bio should be short but to the point. If you have a paper writing business, don’t waste space writing a flowery bio—users won’t know who you are or what you do.
Get to the point and write what your business does and where. And always include a relevant link—generally for your website, or a product page, so users know how to find out more.
Forego a Scheduling Plan
Instagram is not like other platforms—you can’t gain more interest by sharing more, unlike on Twitter or Snapchat.
In fact, if you share too many posts on Instagram, you will lose followers because of how spammy it makes you look.
Once a day, or once every couple of days is enough content for an Instagram business account.
Have a posting schedule and stick to it.
Plus, you don’t need to remind yourself to post—there are a number of social media management tools that can do the posting for you.
Avoid Choosing a Theme
Marketers tend to forget that Instagram is about looking good—influencers and celebrities carefully curate their content so their accounts look beautiful and cohesive.
Your business account needs to follow suit—the days of uploading content willy-nilly are gone. The brand account needs to have a consistent theme that is reflected in all the posted content.
Define your theme in advance—are you planning to adopt a certain color palette or filter? Or will you be sharing visuals based around a particular object—such as your products.
The best Instagram business accounts have a well-defined theme that always looks good.
Forget to Engage Audiences
Instagram, like most social media, isn’t a one-way communication tool. Simply sharing posts and Instagram Stories will do nothing for your engagement.
You need to comment on relevant posts, and reply to comments from users on your posts. This back and forth will help humanize your brand on the platform and increase engagement.
Growing a following organically takes time and patience—you won’t earn thousands of followers overnight.
Which is why it can be tempting for brands to buy followers—a number of resources are available online that will give you large followings in no time, for a price.
But this is not the best way to use Instagram—a large following may look impressive, but these followers aren’t real.
They will not engage with your brand, which will hurt your ability to reach your real audience—the more Instagram likes you receive, the better your reach on the channel.
Take the time to grow an organic following and you will have a better Instagram presence.
We have outlined the top do’s and don’ts of running an Instagram business account. By following the suggestions here, you can create an account that will help grow your business.
This is a guest post by Ronita Mohan. Ronita Mohan is a content marketer at Venngage, an infographic and design platform. She enjoys writing about digital marketing, sharing productivity tips, examining pop culture, and championing the need for representation.