How to Use Instagram for Business: New Tools and Proven Practices
The Instagram team released a lot of new features last year and continues to surprise its users. It may be possible soon to post
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
- Understanding Instagram’s Feed Algorithm
- Why Switch to an Instagram Business Account?
- Ad Formats on Instagram
- The Use of Action Buttons
- How to Let People Contact You on Instagram
- How to Schedule Your Instagram Posts
- Product Tagging and Shoppable Posts
- How to Add More Active Links on Your Instagram Business Profile
- How to See Direct Instagram Messages on Desktop
Understanding Instagram’s Feed Algorithm
Recently, the Instagram team revealed how their
If you want to maximize the reach of your posts, mind the following criteria:
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
How recently a post was shared also matters. Timely posts are prioritized over
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.
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.
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.
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:
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
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.
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.
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.
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 personal profile, your Insights data on Instagram will be erased.
Ad Formats on Instagram
You can promote existing posts within the app, as was mentioned before, but you won’t have as many customization options as you do on Facebook Ads Manager.
Using the Facebook Ads Manager, you can run 5 different types of ads:
Single photo ads
They allow you to promote posts with a square or landscape photo. Use stunning pictures of your product to make users tap the
As of today, Instagram allows to download up to 60 seconds of video. Video is incredibly popular in Instagram, but make sure that yours can capture users.
Learn more: How to Create Video Ads for Your Store
With Carousel ads you can show different details of products or promote several products in one ad.
Stories have a
Learn more: How to Run an Effective Instagram Ad Campaign for
The Use of Action Buttons
Since May 2018, business profile holders can add
How to Let People Contact You on Instagram
Depending on your business processes, you can share one way for people to contact you or let your customers choose. For example, if you have a restaurant and customers prefer to call you, you definitely should leave your phone number on your Instagram profile.
In any case, you have to take advantage of the shortcut contact buttons. To set up your contacts, tap Edit Profile and go to Contact Options. Once you’ve set up your phone number, email, and address, you’ll see contact buttons underneath the bio.
This means customers can contact you within the app without additional annoying actions like copying the phone number or address to search the directions. Look how easy it is for customers to call you to place an order or ask a question:
How to Schedule Your Instagram Posts
Instagram has recently added changes to the API that allow businesses to schedule their posts through verified
Currently, the feature only works for single photos and it’s only available through
Here are a few apps to help you with scheduling:
Learn more: 13 Instagram Apps to Increase Your
Product Tagging and Shoppable Posts
This is probably the most exciting feature introduced by Instagram for businesses. You can tag a product on Instagram and let your followers buy it by tapping the tag and going to the product page in your online store.
How to Add More Active Links on Your Instagram Business Profile
Instagram is not very friendly to active URLs that would let users leave the app. That’s a possible reason for the towering engagement rate on this social medium. Businesses that want to convert followers into customers can feel limited by just one active link. Here are all the ways to get more clicks to your online store pages:
Link in bio
The easiest way to share the active link is to put it in the bio. Just edit your profile to set or change the link.
The most popular solution is to update your link in the bio to be relevant to your recent posts. Put the caption Follow the link in the bio to learn more when sharing a picture of a new product. Followers can then return to your profile and click the right link.
But the link will work only for the latest post, which may be confusing for followers who want to browse your feed. So don’t forget to put
The only chance to put an active link in an Instagram post is by running an Instagram promotion. Promoted posts have
Links in Instagram stories
If your business account has +10k followers, there’s a swipe up option for your regular Instagram Stories (not paid ads) that will lead viewers to the URL.
See how Asos.com uses the feature:
The app allows you to create an additional page with a few links. Once you’ve signed up, you’ll be able to create an unlimited number of links on the page. The interface is super easy: just add links with a caption, choose the visual theme, and copy the link for your Instagram business profile.
How to See Direct Instagram Messages on Desktop
Instagram Web doesn’t let users use direct messages. But what if you are away from your smartphone and urgently need to check your DMs? The following tricks will save you.
Instagram app for Windows 10
Instagram has an app on Windows Store. Once you have installed it, you will be able to use all Instagram App features, including DMs.
If you’re not ready to switch to Windows 10, there is another option to install the app version of Instagram — BlueStacks. The BlueStacks App Player allows you to enable Android applications on desktop. Download Instagram from Google Play and use the app as you do on your phone.
Third-party services for Instagram DMs
As usual: demand creates its own supply. Many businesses need the feature to speed up their processes and some
One of them is IG:dm, which is available for MacOS, Windows, and Linux.
What are your favorite Instagram tips and tricks? Tell us in the comments below. Don’t forget to tag your Instagram posts with #ecwid_store for a chance to be featured on or profile.