How to use Instagram for business: a complete guide

A person using their phone to take a picture of a ceramic object that they will be promoting on Instagram

You’re missing out if Instagram isn’t part of your social media marketing strategy. The social media platform is expected to reach 2.5 billion users in 2023. Plus, research shows modern consumers use Instagram to make purchasing decisions: 71% of Gen Zers use Instagram to discover new products — like through influencers.

You can use Instagram to engage with potential customers, learn what they’re looking for, and nurture customer loyalty. Instagram can also drive homepage traffic and potentially boost sales. Convinced that Instagram is worth your time? Good. Now, let’s talk about how you can use social media to support your business’s success in this step-by-step guide to Instagram for Business.



How to set up an Instagram business account

With an Instagram business profile (instead of a personal account), you’ll gain access to analytical tools that let you track engagement with your account. This helps you see which type of content performs well.

Here’s how to make an Instagram business account:

  1. Create a personal Instagram account (you’ll convert it later). Pick an Instagram handle and designate a username and password.
  2. Tap the three lines at the top right-hand corner of the account. Tap “Settings.”
  3. If you see the words “Switch to professional account,” click that. Otherwise, click “Account” and “Switch to professional account.”
  4. Tap “Continue.” You may need to click through a few screens where Instagram shows you the features you’ll get with a professional account.
  5. Select a “Category” that applies to your account and indicate if you want the category displayed on your profile with the slider. Then, tap “Done.”
  6. Select the “Business” option. You can also set up a “Creator” account, which may make sense if your small business is in the creative space — for example, you’re an artist or author. Tap “Next.”
  7. Decide if you want to get promotional emails from Instagram. Use the slider to accept these emails or opt out of them. Tap “Next.”
  8. Complete your profile, including your business name, Instagram bio, website link, profile picture, phone number, logo, and other branding essentials.
  9. If you have a Facebook business page, you can link it to your Instagram account. Because both Instagram and Facebook exist under the broader Meta suite, you can easily connect your Facebook page to other social media accounts.
  10. Tap the “X” at the top left corner to return to your new business profile.

How to use Instagram for business: eight tips

Once you have created an Instagram business account, you will want to start targeting Instagram users and promoting your products or services. These pro tips will help you get the most out of Instagram for promoting your products or services:

1. Research your audience.

Audience research is an ongoing process that will help you tailor your content effectively. These are the best methods:

2. Optimize your content.

Make sure your content is optimized for Instagram. Here’s how:

3. Use Instagram stories.

Instagram Stories are temporary posts you can share on your profile for 24 hours, featuring photos, videos, text, stickers, and interactive elements. Instagram stories only have a 24-hour life span, but you can preserve them by marking them as “Highlights.” These stay on your profile, appearing above the grid as small circles.

Amplify your Instagram stories with story stickers that engage your audience, like quizzes, countdowns, and poll stickers. For example, when creating an Instagram story, add a poll sticker and post a question like “Who’s watching the Super Bowl tonight?”

4. Use Instagram Reels.

Instagram Reels are short, vertical videos you can create and share with your followers. The platform offers creative editing tools, effects, music, and a discoverability feature that lets users discover engaging content in a format similar to TikTok video content.

5. Interact with your followers.

Building a strong and engaged community around your brand means communicating with your followers. They feel acknowledged and valued when you respond to their comments, messages, and mentions, and it also helps you gain valuable feedback and insights about your audience's preferences, needs, and pain points, which can inform your content strategy.

Plus, active engagement boosts visibility and reach, as Instagram's algorithms prioritize content with high engagement, potentially attracting new followers and expanding your brand's reach. The more meaningful the interactions, the more likely they are to lead to the coveted word-of-mouth marketing, further growing your online presence and potential customer base.

6. Sell products on Instagram.

These days, it’s easier than ever to convert Instagram interactions and engagements to sales. Instagram Shops lets you create shoppable posts and Instagram Checkout allows for on-the-spot purchases.

7. Utilize Instagram ads.

Instagram ads let you enhance your business presence and engage with your target audience. Here’s how to use them:

8. Track your results.

One benefit of an Instagram business account is that it includes analytics tools that let you track engagement. This helps you determine which content resonates with your customers and which falls flat. You can then tailor your content, boosting impact.

Here’s how to use Instagram Insights, the analytical tool that makes it all possible.

Instagram Insights is a free tool integrated into Instagram that provides some basic data about your account and its performance. We recommend using Insights through the app — the desktop version has limited functionality.

To access Insights, go to your profile and click the three horizontal lines at the top right corner. Then, click “Get insights.” You should now have information about metrics like:

For comparative analytics, you can set a time frame at the top left (for example, “Last 90 Days”). So, you might see your engagement is up +20% in the last 90 days, or your follower count dropped 5%.

How to grow your Instagram following

Growing your Instagram following means more eyes on your business and, hopefully, new customers. To grow your following, you can’t just post content — you’ve got to engage with people.

When people engage with your content, you create a two-way conversation that captivates users. It means people are stopping to look at your content and digest it instead of just mindlessly scrolling past (hey, we all do it).

Instagram’s algorithm recognizes signs of engagement, such as views and likes, which can boost visibility. Prioritize content that requires engagement, like “ask me a question” stories, hosting giveaways, adding action buttons to posts, and running polls.

Consider reposting user-generated content (UGC) and creating partnerships with influencers. The more you can interact with your customer base and the more you can share content that really resonates with them, the better.

The importance of engaging with your Instagram audience

The right content is just one way to drive engagement with Instagram marketing. Here are some other tips to improve engagement:

Start making stunning Instagram content

A successful social media strategy relies on great content. Creating attractive Instagram content is faster and easier with ready-made templates for posts, stories, giveaways, advertisements, and more.

Make your social media marketing content shine with Adobe Express templates. You can pick a fitting template based on the content type and then personalize details like images, text, font, and colors. By saving templates, you can have a consistent brand that your followers recognize.

Try Adobe Express today