With the new test release of Instagram shoppable photo tags, now is the time to ensure your account is killin’ it and ready to attract customers.
And even if you’re not worried about that — the numbers alone give you good reason to nail that ish dowwn. There’s over 700 million monthly active users* on Instagram. YUP.
Oh. And they’ve also said they have 300 million DAILY active users*. So almost half of us are checking in on the daily (I mean, I’m happily guilty for sure). [*source]
Which is why you can’t really say “my customer isn’t on Instagram” unless your customer is an 86yr old man like my grandpa who has never even sent an email. Then FINE. But everyone else, they’re on there. We just gotta find them.
So let’s make sure you’re ready with a really strong foundation with my best Instagram tips for business.
(PIN THIS! You’ll want to save this to come back + work through each Instagram strategy)
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase. I only recommend products I love + trust; and appreciate your support of The Shop Files!
(PSST. PIN THIS!)
10 Instagram Tips for Business (now 17)
Setting your Instagram Foundation:
There’s a method to building up a sustainable social media account and starting off with a strong foundation is the quickest path to success. Many times we’re so ready to “GROW GROW GROW” that we forget we need to build something people would want to follow and be a part of. So just in case, let’s go over some Instagram beginner tips.
The first step to Instagram success is to create a feed that people want to scroll through and are instantly attracted to. This is like making sure your house is clean + picked up before having company over. Remove the clutter, spruce up your decor, and help your guests flow in your space.
If you skip this step it doesn’t matter how stiff the cocktails are (okay, maybe it helps), the first impression won’t make them want to return again.
There are 6 ways to creating a beautiful, well put together Instagram feed and getting this right is really your first step. If your feed looks janky or unattractive to your core customer, no amount of hashtags or ‘growth hacks’ will make your followers stick around.
Here’s an overview of 6 ways to create a cohesive Instagram feed:
- Color + Background
- Image Content
- Your Audience
- Create a Schedule
It also goes over a few super helpful apps for editing those photos just right, and there’s a bonus workbook + fun challenge to Find Your Feed. (seriously, you’ll come up with your own 9-grid template in just 3 days, never second guess your posts again!)
The second step is actually getting people to show up. How can you invite people onto your feed day in and day out without actively going out and finding them (because ain’t nobody got time for that)?
Simple answer: targeted hashtags for your business.
In this article, I share my 3 pronged approach (say that 3 times fast) to finding the best hashtags for your business. It’s not enough to throw up the “popular ones” and watch the likes roll in. You’re not in the business of likes… you’re in the business of selling your products to make money.
I break out my 30 hashtags into 3 groups:
- Descriptors/Components of Image
- Customer Centric (the most important!)
- Community/Business Related
If you want to jump start your hashtags, check out the Hashtag Discovery Workbook. It shares the exact research steps I take with clients to find their ideal audience on Instagram, what to look for in picking your hashtags, and how to actually work with the new algorithm to make it work in your favor.
So we got a clean, attractive party going on and guests are showing up. (anyone else sick of this party analogy? Don’t worry, it’s the last one…)
Now that your feed is pretty and you’re starting to attract your customer… make sure they stick around and engage with your brand! Much like O’Doyle rules, engagement rules on Instagram.
No need to make this overly complicated either, there’s just two simple steps to follow.
Why do Instagram comments even matter so much? Well, first of all they’re key indicators to the Instagram algorithm that your post is GOOD and more people should see it. They’re like little baby boosters for your posts! They also help to build stronger customer relationships as you get to talking and actually interacting with your end user. And if your comment game is real strong – they promote your post organically through Instagram’s own way of “sharing” content with others.
Okay. How are we feeling? Hopefully confident because next we’re going to tackle some common Instagram mistakes… if you’re making them, DO NOT PANIC. There are easy fixes to each.
This article reviews 13 common mistakes businesses make on Instagram. Use it as a checklist and work through each – I share fixes for each “mistake” so you can take action today. Most take just a few minutes to fix or adjust for future posts!
Here’s a quick overview:
- Only using hashtags that highlight your shop, not your target customer
- Posting sporadically or taking long (unannounced) breaks
- Posting poorly lit/blurry shop or product photos
- Using text heavy sale or promotional graphics
- Not utilizing a brand hashtag to engage with customers
- Launching your Instagram account without “inventory”
- No link in profile
- Using your homepage or blog landing page as your main link
- Not responding to comments
- Posting only promotional product shots
- Posting too much of the same or repeating images
- Not taking advantage of geo-tagging
- Setting your account to private (seriouslyyyy)
Plus, you can already check #1 off your list because you already tackled it in #2 above. YAY. Look at you.
Eight easy options to make your images stand out, most are even under $10! Plus, go totally hands free with my favorite phone holder (I think it’s better than a traditional tripod).
Background ideas #4 and #6 are my favorites. If I was allowed to drape our entire home in this rug, I would. No question.
Scheduling social media is a no brainer. You’ll write better captions that connect, stress less, and finally nail that whole “be consistent” thing.
Here’s a few benefits of scheduling in advance:
- gives you flexbility
- time to perfect that caption
- batching tasks
- helps you prioritize your more important money making tasks
- vacation – we all need those, right?
- varied, yet cohesive feeds
The best benefit of all? TIME to actually be social + interact with your followers!
Since you’re an Instagram master now, let’s take away the manual scheduling and set you up with an Instagram scheduling tool (fo’ free).
(Seriously, why have you not done it yet?)
NEXT UP: Advanced Instagram Tips for Business
Your foundation is set. Your images are looking fooiiiine as hell and you’re scheduling weeks out in advance like a pro.
No more ‘link in bio’ changes again. Yep, never change your Instagram link in bio again.
Plus, if a customer sees an older post from a few days ago and wants to shop that specific item? She can! This tool will take her to the exact product page so she can just add to cart + checkout!
This is super important as Instagram users are twice as likely to be on mobile versus desktop – and you all know how annoying it is to hunt around a website on your phone. Over a third of Instagram users have used their mobile to make a purchase, so this tool makes it a win-win.
Video is on the rise. There’s no way around it, and that’s good news for businesses that get behind the video marketing trend.
A few video marketing statistics:
- Customers are 64% more likely to buy a product online after watching a video
- YouTube reports mobile video consumption rises 100% every year. Every year!
- 90% of users say product videos are helpful in the decision process
- One third of all online activity is spent watching video
- 92% of mobile video consumers share videos with others
Should I continue? Or do you just want to learn how to use Instagram Stories for your business?
(psst. or take the shortcut I did and stand out on stories with all of Alex’s tips, tricks + app tutorials here.)
It’s not all about a huge list of followers…
So what is it about you ask? Well, you’ll have to read on.
Hint: “Turn on Post Notifications” is the not the answer.
Double hint: It’s not about beating it. Don’t listen to those fear-mongers. You can actually work with it and let it BENEFIT you.
The algorithm’s only goal is to serve content that matters to each individual because Instagram wants everyone to love hopping on and seeing everything they care about or discovering some new accounts they love.
A lot of people make the algorithm sound real shady, like it’s out to get us; but it’s actually a good thing. Because it means if YOU’RE the account who someone regularly interacts with – they’ll ALWAYS see your posts!
How do we get more of our followers to engage with us?
Check out 10 ways to re-engage and work with the Instagram algorithm.
Ohh snap, you know I love a good bonus (or six)… so let’s keep going!
Sometimes you gotta leverage what’s already out there…
The first one is honestly my favorite AND it double counts as the start of smart networking (but like, in the most introvert friendly way).
Try one of these 5 strategies to increase your Instagram reach.
Get inspired with some new ideas and accounts… I’d bet there’s at least 5 you haven’t tried before that could be a game-changer for your feed.
(And I talk about a couple cool tools, like this one, that are inexpensive and will let you be hands freee. Because your hands deserve it.)
It’s so simple you’ll wonder why you weren’t doing it already…
Yes, really. Not as daunting as it sounds when you have a plan. (I promise)
#3 might surprise you… which myth have you bought into? (It’s okay, we’re all a little guilty.)
The first one is so, so important for all these other pieces to come together. Even if you’re not a numbers nerd like myself, you’ll find at least 2 nuggets of useful information.
Review, adjust and grow your Instagram with these simple analytics.
Let’s talk about what it is, how to know if you’re affected, and how to fix + avoid it.
Plus, you can see my great pun skills… like does the Instagram shadowban have you going BAN-anas? 😉
Which of these Instagram tips for business was your favorite?
Let me know below + get started on improving your account today!
PSST> Pin this for later!
If you want to learn more about Instagram hashtags or need guidance on the research process, check out my new ebook the Hashtag Discovery Workbook.
Each business and customer base is unique so while I can’t give a set of hashtags to use, I can walk you step by step through my hashtag strategy, how to maximize your exposure by getting into the Top 9 Posts section, and other tips + tricks on making hashtags work for your business.
Want new customers to find you, like today?!
Uh, yes! Grab the Hashtag Discovery Workbook – learn more here!
If you’d rather not DIY the whole thing, give your work to me! I do custom hashtag packages and would love to help your business get the exposure it deserves.
Discover your brand's Instagram theme!
Find your Feed with this free, 3-day email challenge.
At the end of 3 days, you'll walk away:
- with a clear vision of your feed's brand colors
- knowing the exact types of images you want to create
- with your own cohesive 9-grid template to follow