How to Use Instagram for Business

The Instagram team released a lot of new features last year and continues to surprise its users. It may be possible soon to post long-form videos of up to 60 minutes. Can you imagine watching a film on Instagram?

Apart from the new content formats, there are plenty of features that make Instagram a powerful business tool. We’ve already talked about creating awesome content for your store’s Instagram feed. Today, we’ll look into some of the best Instagram sales-driving features.

Contents:

Understanding Instagram’s Feed Algorithm

Recently, the Instagram team revealed how their feed-ranking algorithm works. It relies on machine learning based on past behavior to create a unique feed for every user. Based on many factors of a user’s interaction with the app, the algorithm chooses what to show exactly. Even if two users follow the same pool of accounts, they’ll get to see different posts.

If you want to maximize the reach of your posts, mind the following criteria:

Interest

Instagram predicts whether a user will care about a post. It is determined by past behavior regarding similar content and potentially machine vision analyzing the actual content of the post.

To help the machines do their work, use only high-quality images and always write detailed captions.

Recency

How recently a post was shared also matters. Timely posts are prioritized over weeks-old ones. Conclusion: if you want to get noticed, post frequently.

Relationship

This is how close a user is to the person who shared the post, with higher ranking for people they have interacted with a lot in the past on Instagram, such as by commenting on their posts or being tagged together in photos. Conclusion here: always respond to comments and don’t be shy to comment and like other accounts with your business profile.

Frequency

This is about how often a user opens Instagram. It will try to show the best posts since their last visit. Optimize your posts for maximum engagement and don’t neglect great photography.

Following

If a user follows a lot of people, Instagram will be picking from a wider breadth of authors, which results in the user seeing less of any specific person. If you follow people with your business profile manually (but don’t exaggerate), chose those with fewer subscriptions.

Usage

How much time a user spends on Instagram determines whether they just see the best posts during short sessions, or whether it’s digging deeper into its catalog.
Refer to Instagram analytics to maximize your posts’ performance. It’s only available for business profiles, just like a number of other tools.

Why Switch to an Instagram Business Account?

To put it simply, an Instagram business page is a type of account that makes it easy for your followers to recognize you as a business rather than an individual. The main features are the following:

Business info

The first thing you can notice is the slightly different interface of an Instagram business page. By switching your account to a business profile you can add variable details such as business address, contact phone, and email using a new button area displayed underneath the initial information.

You can also add the Action button to link your Instagram with third-party services like Eventbrite, Booksy, and others.

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Business page interface from follower’s point of view

Insights

A huge feature of the business profile is an analytics section called “Insights.” Insights provides businesses with information about followers and their actions. Here you can view data on post impressions, reach, website clicks, and follower activity. By learning more about your users’ activity and the demographics of your audience, you can improve your content.

Instagram insights
The analytics section within the app

Promotion within the app

Before the Instagram business account was launched, ads creation was only available through Facebook Ads manager. But now you can promote your posts within the Instagram app by clicking the Promote button.

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Once you’ve switched to a business profile, you’ll see the new ad format too. Click Promote to check

Filter direct messages

Instagram’s business account has a blended inbox where you can star and filter messages to make it easier to manage your interactions with customers.

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Inbox management is available for business page holders

With so many features for selling on Instagram, it’s only natural to wonder, “Is the business account free?” Well yes, the business profile is a free feature.

You can switch to the business profile in the settings, and switch back later if you want. Just remember, when you switch back to a…