• Jamie

How to Use Instagram to Boost Your Small Business Social Media

Updated: Jun 22

Digital marketing is an integral tool for small businesses – and one of the most popular social media marketing platforms is Instagram, which has become standard for most small business digital strategies. Still, many businesses have been hesitant to jump in on social media, whether due to time constraints or not knowing how to start. Maybe they have jumped in but feel overwhelmed. Small business social media doesn't have to be overwhelming. For this article, let's look at instagram and how to best use it to boost your small business social media marketing.


What Impact Does Instagram Have on Small Business?

How important is Instagram for your small business marketing strategy? Retail Touchpoints reports that, “72% of users report making purchase decisions based on something they saw on Instagram.” They also report that over 70% of top brands are already using Instagram. I honestly would have thought that number was even higher. I certainly use Instagram to follow my favorite brands, and yes, I purchased something I saw on Instagram first just a few days ago.


Photo of Neon Sign Depicting Instagram Likes | How to Use Instagram for Your Small Business

As a social media marketing services provider, I help businesses set up their accounts, and develop a strategy. While that is a bit of process, below you’ll find a quick start to your Instagram business profile so you can begin connecting with your audience.


Now that we know Instagram is essential for almost any business, let’s dig in to how to use it for your digital business marketing. First, you’ll need a professional account for your business. If you already have a personal account, you can easily switch back and forth between your accounts with a few taps. (If you don’t have a personal account, just download the Instagram app and head to step six.)


How to set up your Instagram Business Account & Switch Between Profiles:


1. Tap your profile.

2. Tap the 3 lines (top right).

3. Tap Settings.

4. Scroll down, click "Add Account”.

5. Enter a username and pw & log in.

6. Switch to a professional account by clicking “Account” in Settings.

7. Scroll down and click “Switch to Professional Account”.

8. Click continue a few times, select your industry, then click “Done” (You may have to click Ok once more).

9. Now your business account is set up, and you can easily switch between accounts (up to 5) by going to your profile page, then tapping your username at the top left.


How to Set Up Your Professional Instagram Account


After switching your business Instagram account to a professional account, you need to work on a few tasks to help you get your account off to a good start.


1. Complete Your Profile. Make sure to include the most important points about your business – Who you are, what you do, how you do it, where you do it. Your bio is limited to 150 characters – make them count.

2. Get Inspired – Look around Instagram at what other accounts are doing, what things are trending, …

3. Grow Your Audience – Share your profile and connect with contacts

(*don’t skip this step. It can be a great jump start. Also, make sure your current customers and employees know you’re on Instagram so they can follow)

4. Share Content / View Insights – Create your first post and share!

5. Explore Professional Tools – Including my favorite, Insights. Once you get your content going, you’ll find wonderful tools here to help show you what is working and what is not, which will give you good ideas for your strategy going forward.


(If you want a few videos of this, check out our Reels on Instagram)


Instagram Strategy for Small Business Marketing


Now that you’re all set up, it’s time to come up with a strategy. For this, take a little time to brainstorm and research the following:


  • What is your digital marketing goal for the next year, quarter, month? Use SMART goals here (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely). For example, “I want to grow my followers to 20 by the end of this quarter.”

  • Who is your ideal customer or client? Think about what they need, want, and appreciate. For more tips on developing your target audience, click here.

  • What keywords do you need to focus on for your content? This can get overwhelming, so for now keep it simple. Don’t just guess, research, and make a list of 5-20 keywords, then research their statistics and narrow down. For more tips on keywords, visit Wordstream's post here.

  • What’s your plan? How often will you post, what kind of schedule will you keep? How will you manage comments or work on engagement? I highly recommend a content calendar, even something basic will help you think ahead and make everything run more smoothly. It can be as simple as a list, or as detailed as a robust spreadsheet. As far as posting, choose quality over quantity, but keep in mind that consistency is also incredibly important. There are guidelines on how often to post, like these from Later.com.

  • Measure! Making data-driven decisions can help guide your small business digital strategy. I frequently disappear down rabbit holes of the Google Analytics of my website, but you may not be into all that. Thankfully, Instagram gives you a great Insights tool to get a high-level understanding of your content’s performance. Once you hit 100 followers, you can also get interesting and highly useful demographic information.


Social media marketing on Instagram has become essential for most small businesses. It is accessible to everyone, a solid organic strategy only costs your time, and it is a highly effective way of reaching your current and potential customers.


Read Next: Get Started: Breaking Down the Planning Phase of Your B2B Social Media Marketing


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