Instagram is a fast-growing and promising social media platform that allows you to find more customers for your business and increase brand awareness. More than 1 billion people worldwide use Instagram every month. It means that with Instagram you get access to a great number of potential clients.
A few years ago, Instagram was just a platform for communication, photo sharing, and news exchange, however, now it is a 100% business network. Instagram became a source of new products and services. There, you can book a table at a restaurant, buy airplane tickets, purchase a new dress, and much more. More than 84% of people want to discover new products on Instagram.
Learn more about how to start your Instagram business from scratch and make it easy and profitable.
Create a business account on Instagram
Instagram provides its users with two account options: a personal account and a business account. If you want to sell products or services via Instagram, the first step for you is to create a business account and connect it to your Facebook page.
A business account has many advantages that will help you to grow your Instagram audience:
- Detailed statistics on posts, stories, advertisements;
- Full information about your followers;
- Possibility to add your email address, location, and phone number to facilitate the communication process for potential customers;
- Communication with followers directly through Instagram messages;
- Comments and interactive stickers posting;
- Paid promotion of posts;
- Access to the Instagram Shopping feature and calls to action.
How to set up a business account in Instagram:
Step 1: Download the Instagram app on your device
Step 2: Sign up to Instagram, add all required personal details
Step 3: Create your unique username and fill in the profile bio that will be shown on your profile page
Step 4: As soon as you have created a personal account, you can switch it to a business account in the Instagram settings
Step 5: Connect your account to your Facebook Page (if you don’t have one, Instagram will suggest you create a Facebook page automatically)
Step 6: Choose your business category and update the contact information (it will be displayed on your Instagram account page under your profile bio).
Voila! Business account settings are done! Now you can start selling through Instagram.
Set up your business goals and Instagram strategy
Setting business goals and a strategy is an essential part of a successful Instagram business. If your profile and feed are not unique and attractive for users, it will be difficult to boost sales. You need to have specific and measurable goals with strict deadlines, as well as a short-term and long-term Instagram strategy that may be different from your general business strategy.
First of all, define your target audience. You should highlight 2-4 main categories of your audience and describe their full profile (gender, age, interests, hobbies, profession, location, social status, average salary, and so on). It will help you optimize your advertising on Instagram and create better posts and stories.
To define your target audience you can create a profile of your current customers, analyze your competitors’ audience, check your social media analytics, and research a decision-maker and supporter for your business.
As soon as you know your target audience, you can create a content plan, unique design, and text style.
Secondly, you need to understand what you want to get from your Instagram account: do you want to sell directly on Instagram or use it as a first step to contact potential customers? It depends on your product.
For example, it is easy to sell products on Instagram that are inexpensive and popular (food, cosmetics, clothes, art supplies, etc.). However, for expensive products, Instagram can only be a source of the first connection with customers. In addition, you can use Instagram to increase brand awareness, engage more people in your posts and stories, and boost visitors to your website.
Visualize your brand in a feed
The third step to creating a successful Instagram business is to make regular, unique, and interesting posts and stories. Usually, companies make content plans monthly that include several posts (around 2-3 per week) and stories. All posts should have special visual aesthetics that will distinguish your brand from other accounts. It can be an unusual color palette, templates, frames, etc. And it goes without saying that the photo content should be of high quality.
You should also plan in advance the purpose of each post. Unite advertising, education, entertainment, an announcement, and so on. It makes sense to combine posts with different goals to attract and engage more people. No one wants to follow an account that publishes only advertising posts about their products or services. You should take into account that people want to learn something new, relax and have fun on social media.
Also, it is much easier to meet the deadlines with a content plan. All posts and stories should have deadlines for final production (photos, texts) and publication in the feed. When you have a well-planned content calendar, you can also use websites and software for automatic publication of posts and stories, such as SMMPlanner.
Moreover, in a business account, you can check the most popular days and hours among your audience when they are online. You can find this data in Insights. It will help you to choose the best time for publications to get the biggest organic reach.
In addition to posts, you need to create a unique style of your Instagram profile. For example, you can choose your brand colors or fonts, create highlights with useful information about your company and products, add your unique logo, make a catchy bio with your brand voice, and much more.
Remember that you have only 150 characters to describe your brand in your profile and make people interested in it. You can use line breaks to organize your bio and emojis to make it more attractive. And don’t forget to add the link to your website or online sales channels to drive more traffic.
Business accounts also can create action buttons for followers where they can reserve a table, for example, or book an appointment. But pay attention that this feature is available only to accounts that are one of Instagram’s partners.
Invest in business promotion
Stories are also an essential part of your communication with followers. Over 500 million Instagram accounts use Stories every day and 4 million businesses use Stories ads every month. They are especially useful for accounts with more than 10,000 followers, as they can attach links to their Stories.
Hashtags don’t drive big traffic currently, but it still helps to optimize the searching process for Instagram. You can also create a unique branded hashtag that will help in finding your posts and relevant topics for your followers.
Promotion through other blogs and influencers is the most effective. Influencers and opinion leaders are gaining mass popularity! It is a native advertising tool that lets people know about your product from other resources.
Try to find the most relevant Instagram accounts that match your target market, it will help you to reach to the right audience. They shouldn’t have millions of followers, practice shows that micro-influencers are even more effective. You can also invite the best influencers to become your brand ambassadors. Despite all the advantages, influencers are very expensive and there are no guarantees of the traffic increase.
The last promotion method is to invest in Instagram ads. You can create a campaign, choose your target audience, set up your goals (traffic, engagement, messages, etc.), and budget on your own to promote your posts or stories. Instagram and Facebook allow users to create the ads on the platforms to increase organic reach.
Optimize your e-commerce accounting
Once you receive the first sales, you should think about organizing your accounting. Online sales channels are very profitable and effective, however, they require a special approach to bookkeeping and accounting. First of all, it makes sense to manage your regular payments.
Try to use invoices and payment links to optimize the payment process for yourself and your clients. For example, Synder allows you to create one-time invoices and recurring invoices, automatically send reminders to customers and record them in your books. So, by the end of the month, you just need to open your QuickBooks or Xero to reconcile all transactions and enjoy a full financial report about your sales.
Also, Synder offers a Payment Link feature. You can create a link for online payments and attach it to your Instagram profile bio or website. Unlike with invoices, you don’t need to create a payment link for each client, it is a unified payment channel for all your customers. Once you have created the link, your client just needs to open it and fill in their credit card details. Synder will automatically send you the notification and synchronize this payment into your books. Invoices and payment links are 100% secure, as it is powered by an online payment processor.
Track the Instagram results as a source of sales
When your accounting is accurate and precise, you can track the results of your Instagram business.
The analytic tools of Instagram and Facebook will help you with this. In Insights, you can find general information about the traffic, likes, comments, website clicks, calls, emails, and more. In addition, you can also use other online tools and get more detailed metrics.
To analyze your financial results you can use Synder accounting automation software. It collects all payment data in your QuickBooks or Xero and categorizes them by product, customer, discount, shipping, or location. It helps to prepare precise financial reports, such as Profit&Loss and Balance Sheets. There you will see the most profitable products and locations, all fees and taxes, etc. All this information will help you enhance your business strategy and optimize your finances.
- Create a unique Instagram brand to be recognizable for your clients.
- Make content plans regularly and meet deadlines.
- Enhance your accounting and use online tools to optimize daily payments.
- Keep an eye on the financial results to improve your business strategy.
Book a FREE DEMO in Synder to learn more about how you can level up your business bookkeeping and accounting.