Creating the perfect instagram profile for your small business is an absolute must in this day and age. After all, more than 300 million people share their stories, photos and videos on the platform every single day. One of the things that separates Instagram from Facebook and other social media platforms is the fact that making stories and editing content is so easy. The mobile app is also really easy to use and nearly every aspect of the user experience promotes engagement.
Some of the best tips for creating the perfect Instagram business profile possible are obvious and others not so much. This post will run the entire gamut. The fact is that while most big businesses can outsource their social media marketing and content strategy to an agency, the average small business owner doesn’t do social media or content marketing well at all.
That reality should be music to the ears of any small business owner that is aware of the power of social media and Instagram, because just engaging on the platform actively on a regular basis puts you ahead of the game.
Armed with the tips in the post and the knowledge that the competition likely isn’t doing Instagram right, optimizing for the perfect Instagram profile for your small business should be a breeze.
Instagram Profile for Small Business: Individual vs. Creator vs. Business Account
When social media first became a thing some 15-plus years ago, the average small business owner didn’t know how to leverage the online communities we have access to today. Signing up was also really easy. Sign up for a personal profile and promote whatever you’re going to promote.
Today, Instagram offers not only the option to create an individual or business account, you can also create a Creator account. Let’s break down the benefits and use cases for all three of the above.
This is the easiest and simplest approach to signing up for Instagram. Send direct messages, post stories, photos and videos, and like and comment on the profiles of others. Personal accounts can be made private. It means you can keep people from seeing your content until you agree to let them see it.
An Instagram business profile allows users to focus on three key elements of their social media strategy:
From a business standpoint, standing out means being able to buy advertising and promote posts. It also means being able to embed links in stories and craft and schedule posts in advance. A business profile really does allow you to get a leg up on creating great content. While a personal profile does allow you to do this, a business profile really excels at the second bullet point, gaining insights.
A business profile allows users to see data as far as how many people interact with a given post, what actions they take to engage and more.
Finally, a business profile makes it easy for prospects and customers to get in touch with a business. Making it easy to take action is important, and a good Instagram strategy will act as an extension of your brand.
A Creator Profile
To get a creator profile, a user has to have at least 10,000 followers, so this won’t apply to someone just starting out on Instagram. That said, if your business already has a strong local following or a strong brand in the eyes of their target customer a creator profile has its benefits.
It allows users the following benefits:
The one key drawback of using an Instagram Creator profile is that you can’t connect third-party applications to it as a way to help manage content.
Now let’s get to the good stuff and talk about how to optimize a business profile.
Optimizing an Instagram Profile for Business
Here’s what we’ll cover in defining what it takes to optimize an Instagram profile for your business:
Publish a Quality Profile Photo
More than any other social media platform, Instagram is probably the most visually engaging platform there is. A small business owner with no employees will want to have a picture of themselves doing what they do. Are you a professional freelance photographer? Pick a photo of you taking photos. Are you a woodworking expert? Have a profile picture that shows you building something. Do you run a barber shop? Show off a profile picture of a cool haircut you’re sporting, or a nice style you created for a customer.
Be sure to put up a profile picture that’s centred, high quality and displays a face or human interaction (people naturally gravitate towards human faces visually).
Include Keywords in your Username
Keywords are important in any content marketing, social media or search engine optimization strategy. It’s how people find you. Most people neglect including a keyword in your username or profile description, but it’s a nice little ninja trick. Why? Because when people are browsing a profile and aren’t following you yet (and you probably aren’t following them), they’ll at least see your keyword when they’re searching for similar profiles.
Use a Link in your Bio
If you have an Instagram Creator profile and more than 10,000 followers, you can link to things right in an Instagram story. For most people though, linking in your bio is the only place you can link. This is the most valuable piece of real estate on any Instagram profile. A link could lead to a new blog post on your website, a landing page that captures leads, an important press release or announcement from your company or really anything that you think would drive traffic, engage users or advance your brand. Visitors can’t click a link that isn’t there.
Use Keywords in your Description
If you’re going to have a link in your bio and a keyword as part of your username, the description is yet another opportunity to include more keywords. Just like optimizing any other piece of content for keywords, be sure not to spam all the space you have with random words. Be intentional and do your research to find the best keywords for your niche or brand, but be mindful of making sure you’re offering visitors value and not just trying to slam keywords into their brains.
Use Calls to Action Regularly
As noted near the top of this post, Instagram is predominantly a visual platform. There’s just not a lot of room to communicate in words. Instagram also grabs people’s attention in short bursts. Think about it. How long can a person spend staring at one photo? How long is the average person’s Instagram story? 2-3 scenes maximum maybe? That’s why when you have a chance to communicate in words, it should involve nothing more than a keyword or two, a very short description and most importantly a call to action.
A call to action is what it sounds like. Ask people to do something (I.E. visit your website, click a link, share, like or comment on a piece of content, sign up for something). Use them in your bio and profile description at all times. Be careful to post 7-10 pieces of content otherwise before making a hard sell. Too many calls to action can make visitors zone out. Deliver value a few times and then ask for something back.
Tag, Share and Reply on your Profile and Other Profiles
Ultimately engagement is a two-way street. A strong brand makes people feel connected to the product or service being offered. Making people feel like they’re a part of your brand’s community affects their desire to keep doing business with you. Tagging and sharing content means not only being active, it also means your profile is more likely to show up when people search for hashtags you might be using or content you might be posting.
Using Font, Messaging and Colour Schemes that Match your Brand
Big corporations know their brand well. Whether you’ve built up your company into a conglomerate or you’re just a self-employed freelance writer, you’ve got to develop what corporations would call a brand style or “brand book”. A brand book is literally a document that expresses style guidelines corporate values, fonts, messaging colour schemes and anything else to do with how a company wants to be seen in the public eye.
A solopreneur reading this likely won’t comb through every detail so meticulously, but the spirit of a branding strategy is consistency. Being consistent means understanding not only what your target customer wants, but also being mindful of how to convey that within the confines of Instagram’s set up and algorithms. Business owners who understand their target audience and know that the medium affects messaging immensely will have the biggest advantage.
Now that you’re armed with tips for optimizing your Instagram profile, it’s time to get to work. One of the biggest mistakes people make on social media is that they try too hard to sell, sell, sell. Remember to give, give, give. Be consistent, stay engaged, build a clearly defined brand AND then….sell.
Jack has been in the internet marketing space for 10 years. He enjoys writing and watching the Toronto Raptors.