As the industry grapples with changes in business structure, having an online presence has never been more essential to reaching target audiences. A simple yet effective way to do this is through social media marketing.
According to 2018 research from eMarketer, 75.3% of U.S. businesses are expected to have an Instagram account by the end of 2020. Not to mention, Instagram’s 2019 internal data shows that 90% of users follow at least one business.
When you pair both statistics, there’s no denying that Instagram is becoming more critical for brands and social media managers.
Instagram presents a unique platform for companies to create visually engaging content to promote their services and connect with fans.
If you haven’t created an account on Instagram’s rapidly growing social network yet, now is the perfect time to start.
Not sure how to create a business Instagram page?
Here’s the good news:
We’ll be going over simple and easy-to-follow steps to start and grow your Instagram Business Profile.
You’ll also get a glimpse of some cool eCommerce features for brands with online shops, so you can amplify your marketing strategies on Instagram.
Let’s take a look at how to start an Instagram page.
How to create a business Instagram page
1. Download the Instagram App
There are two ways to download the Instagram app: on your smartphone or through a web browser on your Mac or PC.
Instagram is optimized for smartphone use, so you will experience it best on mobile. However, learning how to open Instagram pages is as easy as typing “Instagram.com” on Safari, Google Chrome, or any web browser available for desktop.
2. Create an Instagram account and choose an Instagram profile photo
If you have other social media accounts, creating and setting up your Instagram Business profile should be a familiar process.
Learning how to start an Instagram account is easy. Simply input the basic information you want to be associated with the account — such as your email address or phone number, name, and brand username.
Note: The email address and/or phone number you add here is meant for account recovery purposes. It is different from the brand contact information you’ll input in step four.
Instagram is a visual-heavy platform, so it’s essential to use high-quality photos consistently. One of the first images you will be asked to upload is your profile photo.
A profile photo is a way for consumers to identify your business immediately. Therefore, your company logo or a professional headshot (if you own a personal brand) are fantastic options.
Keep in mind the display of your profile image will be tiny. The minimum recommended size is 110 x 110 pixels with a one-to-one aspect ratio.
3. Complete your Instagram profile information
Instagram won’t ask you to provide profile information, but it’s imperative to fill out these details — especially if you want to drive traffic to your website or a specific webpage.
To add this information, go to your profile page and tap on Edit Profile. From here, you can add your company description in the Bio section, a website address, and change your name and username.
After typing in your brand’s information, tap Done.
That’s it: Your basic Instagram account is set up!
Now, let’s convert it into an Instagram Business Profile.
4. Convert your basic Instagram profile into a Business Profile
A business account on Instagram will give you more tools to manage and grow your brand on its platform.
The noteworthy benefits of a Business Profile include:
- Adding brand contact information (i.e., phone number, email, and business location)
- Business advertisements
- Built-in eCommerce features
- Access to analytics
These added features are free — all you need is a business Facebook page to connect to the Instagram account.
Note: To avoid any advertising difficulties, converting to an Instagram Business Profile must be done through the Facebook profile of the owner associated with the business Facebook page.
To convert your Instagram account into a Business Profile, follow these simple steps:
- Go to your profile and tap the three-dot icon in the top-right of the screen.
- From the pop-up, tap on Settings > Account > Switch to Professional Account.
- Choose the Instagram category closest to your business product or service.
4. From the Are You a Business? page, select Business.
- Input your company contact information.
- Select the business Facebook page associated with the Instagram account.
- Add additional details about your brand in the provided sections, then tap Done, and you will have successfully converted into a business account.
Pro Tip: If for some reason, your account dictates a minimum age (such as liquor brands) you can implement Age-Gating.
5. Post photos and videos to your Instagram feed
After setting up your account, you can start publishing content to your Instagram feed.
The easiest way to post a photo or video to Instagram is by tapping the + icon located near the bottom-middle section of your screen.
Note that you can also publish content by selecting the + icon located at the top-left of your Instagram Business Profile, then tapping Feed Post.
The Instagram app will conveniently show the most recent images and videos on your smartphone. You can also choose to take a new image or video from within the app by tapping Photo or Video near the bottom.
Video feed-posts must be at least three seconds and no longer than 60 seconds.
When uploading media, you can:
- Zoom in or out of your photos by pinching the screen
- Switch from landscape or portrait by tapping on the two-arrow icon in the left corner of the screen
- Upload up to 10 images or videos in a single post by pressing the overlapping square icon on the mid-right section of the screen
Once you’ve selected the content you want to upload, you’ll be given the option to edit it from within the Instagram app. There are several filters and edit options to enhance your photos or videos quickly.
After editing, tap Next and add the post details. Remember to add an appropriate caption and hashtags to the image. Also, tag any relevant accounts and add your location, if applicable.
If your account is connected to your other social media platforms — like Facebook or Twitter — you can share to those platforms as well by selecting them manually.
Once your post is ready, tap Share to publish.
Congratulations! You have just published your first Instagram post.
6. Find people to follow on Instagram
You’ve made your first Instagram post, but you may have noticed that your feed is empty. To fill this void, Instagram will ask you to Find People to Follow by connecting to your Facebook account (step four), adding phone contacts, or through profile suggestions.
The three options above are the easiest ways to find people, as you can simply tap on a user profile to follow them.
You can also search for friends, hashtags, brands, celebrities, or places on the Explore page. To access this page, tap the magnifying glass icon at the bottom bar on your phone screen.
The Explore page also displays photos, videos, and Stories from accounts that Instagram thinks are most relevant to your brand.
7. Add Instagram Stories and create Highlights
Instagram Stories are images or videos that disappear after 24 hours — similar to Snapchat’s ephemeral content.
Stories are a great way to publish unique, timely, and authentic content without flooding consumer feeds or cramming media onto your Instagram profile. They’re also particularly useful for informing your target audience about live events or posting casual interactions that help humanize your brand.
To add a Story, tap on your profile photo on the Stories feed located at the top left corner of the Instagram app. Your Stories can either be Live, plain text, an image, or a video.
Stand out from the competition by using additional formats like Superzoom or Boomerang, and add stickers.
If you want your Stories to remain on your Instagram Business Profile, you can save it to your Highlights. Unlike Stories, Highlights stay on your page until you remove them.
The easiest way to create a new Highlight is by tapping on the heart icon near the bottom right of your Story after you’ve published your content. Once you press the icon, you can name your new Instagram Highlight and save it.
Instagram Highlights allow you to showcase engaging and valuable information with your followers. For example, if your business is a restaurant, you can tease new menu items.
Some additional examples of potential brand Highlights to create are:
- Engagement metrics
- Audience metrics
- Content metrics
- Conversion metrics
- Competitor metrics
8. Get creative with IGTV and Instagram Reels
According to 2020 data from Statista, the number of mobile internet users in the United States (U.S) is projected to top 295 million by 2025.
With mobile usage consistently trending upward, vertical video optimized for smartphones is becoming more essential to your social media marketing strategy.
Instagram TV (IGTV) and Reels are the social network’s take on YouTube and TikTok, respectively. Both video capabilities were built for vertical consumption.
IGTV is for longer video content, allowing you to upload up to 15 minutes of content via mobile and 60 minutes of content via the web. Videos must be at least 60-seconds.
Instagram Reels are quick spliced videos for snackable consumption, allowing you to upload content in 15-second multi-clips.
To upload your IGTV video from the Instagram app, tap the + icon near the bottom-middle of your screen, then select your long video and tap Next. Once you’ve added a title and description to your IGTV video, tap Post.
To create an Instagram Reel, go to your Story and tap on Reels on the bottom right.
9. Post to Instagram consistently
Instagram’s algorithm is continually changing based on user trends. However, we know that your relationship to followers is a key factor in determining whether your content will show up in their feeds.
One of the best ways to cut through competitor clutter and reach your target audience is by posting consistently at the same cadence to increase engagement. This helps show Instagram that you have a relationship with your followers.
It’s also important to use all of the tools at your disposal, like Instagram Stories, hashtags, and location tagging. These tactics also increase the chances of your posts showing up on Instagrammers’ feeds.
10. Take advantage of Instagram Insights
One of the most valuable tools you get from converting to a Business Profile on Instagram is its free analytics tools.
In your Instagram Insights, you’re able to see essential information about your follower demographics and the times they’re most active on the platform based on the last seven days.
You can also view your top-performing posts and Instagram Stories to get a better idea of the type of content you should repurpose for maximized engagement. Growth Insights also show you an aggregated view of any follower changes.
For a deep dive into what your following looks like across all your social media accounts, try using a comprehensive social media analytics tool.
11. Engage with other Instagram accounts
Social media is an excellent way for brands to build a more personalized relationship with current and potential customers. One way to accomplish this is by engaging with Instagram users through the comments section.
When you find a post you want to comment on, tap the speech bubble icon above the caption. You can also respond to a comment by tapping Reply underneath the original interaction. This is a great way to improve customer service and increase post engagement.
Publishing high-quality content on Instagram is crucial, but engaging with your followers can strengthen your brand presence.
Instagram features for eCommerce businesses: How to start a business on Instagram
Facebook IQ surveys from 2019 revealed 83% of people discover new products or services on Instagram.
To empower small and large businesses alike, Instagram offers an array of eCommerce features for easy in-app discovery and purchasing.
If you have a retail brand, consider implementing the below capabilities to amplify your social media marketing strategy on the platform:
- Shops: Customizable online storefronts allow Instagrammers to shop on your business profile, with direct links leading to specific product pages on your website
- Shopping Tags: Pop-up tags in-feed and in Stories reveal specific product information from your brand catalog, allowing shoppers to learn more
- Checkout: Securely shop directly within the Instagram app, available to eligible U.S. businesses and creators
With all these features, you’ve got a lot of support in learning how to start an Instagram business.
Final Thoughts: How to do Business on Instagram
Instagram is a powerful social media platform for businesses to generate awareness, increase customer loyalty through positive interactions, and drive revenue. With millions of Instagrammers following brand accounts, it is an excellent social network to devote your time and resources to.
Learning how to create pages on Instagram is the first step. Converting your Instagram profile to a Business page is simple and easy, and comes with valuable added benefits free of charge — including impressive e-commerce features.
Follow these 11 simple steps, and you’ll be on your way to reaping the rewards of an Instagram Business Profile.