How to use Instagram to promote your small business

Using Instagram paid advertising is a fantastic way to reach a wider audience, boost credibility, and convert more sales. More than 28 million people use Instagram every month in the UK*, and roughly 90% of them follow at least one business. This means that, in 2021, utilizing Instagram to promote your business could help boost your number of clients.

How to open a Business Instagram account

1. Go to your profile and tap Menu in the top right-hand corner.
2. Tap Settings.
3. For some accounts, the Switch to professional account option will be listed directly under Settings.
4. Tap Account.
5. Tap Switch to professional account.
6. Tap Business.
7. Add details, such as your business category and contact information.
8. Tap Done.

With an Instagram Business account, you’ll be able to access insights that can help you understand who is engaging with your business. You’ll also have access to the professional dashboard, where you can track your performance and discover professional tools.

How to optimise your business Instagram profile

It is important to optimise your Instagram profile and make it look eye catching. It’s where your customers will go to learn more about your brand, visit your website or even book an appointment.

Write a great bio
The people reading your bio were curious enough to visit your profile. So, you have 150 characters to hook them in and show them why they should follow you.

Optimize your profile picture
You can decide to use whatever profile you like, whether that being your logo or something relating to your business for example a hairdresser may have a profile picture of cutting hair. However, it is important that your picture is uniform across all social media platforms to ensure brand recognition.

Add relevant contact info
It’s important to provide a way for people to contact you directly from your profile, not just though your direct inbox on Instagram. Include your email address, phone number or physical address (If you have one).

Add Story Highlights and covers
Add finishing touches to your Instagram profile with profile highlights.

What are Instagram ads?

Instagram ads are posts or stories that businesses pay to promote to users’ Instagram feeds. They can look just like regular Instagram posts, but are always identified by a “Sponsored” label. They can also include a call-to-action button to drive traffic or conversions.

How to set up an Instagram Ad

1. Connect your Instagram to your Facebook Account
– In order to run ads on Instagram, you’ll need to have a Facebook ad account and a Facebook Page.

2. Choose a post to promote

3. Set goals and objectives
– Identify how Instagram can help you accomplish your goals. You could apply the SMART framework to ensure your goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.

4. Define your target audience

5. Select Budget

Things to remember

Take thumb-stopping photos
You don’t need to buy a fancy camera; your mobile phone is your best friend when it comes to photos since you can post straight from your device.

Write compelling captions
Instagram may be a visual platform, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect your captions.

Captions allow you to tell the story that makes the photo meaningful. Good captions can build empathy, community, and trust. Or it can just be funny.

Add a Call To Action (CTA)
Want people to click on your link? Tell them why they should.

Keeping tabs on your ads and checking your insights

It can be easy to just leave a recurring advert to do its thing each month without paying much attention. However, monitoring its success can be a good way of increasing its impact. Within the Instagram Insights, it is easily laid out to show you who is engaging with your content and when.

Look at the statistics and then make a business decision on what works and what does not. 

Checking your insights:

1. From your profile, tap Insights.
2. Beside Your Audience, tap See All.
3. Scroll down to Most Active Times.
4. Toggle between hours and days to see if a specific time stands out.

Taking your business up a level

Good social media practice and a positive reputation may lay the foundations to marketing your service but paying out for Instagram advertising can be a beneficial expenditure.

About Protectivity

Protectivity is a specialist in niche commercial, leisure and lifestyle insurance. We cover thousands of individuals and small to medium size businesses across the UK, offering a range of tailored insurance products such as hairdressing, personal training, pet businesses that protect our customers against unforeseen events.

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