How to use Instagram for Business: Stories & Videos

Ok so you’re on Instagram but did you know you could be making money from it :
Great News, it’s not too late to start a business page on Instagram.

Why you ask!!!

Let me tell you this, Instagram’s one billion user mark is here, marketers are still hopping on the bandwagon by the truckload.

Still not convinced?

The platform continues to roll out new business-specific features, there’s perhaps no better time than now to build your Instagram presence from scratch.

Fun fact – “Instagram is not Brand specific”

Running an insurance business? A tailoring platform? Or you’re a Sign Language interpreter trying to educate your followers?

Awesome right! On Instagram your Target Audience awaits.

So how do I Use Instagram for Business: Here’s a birds eye view

Initially, figuring out how to use Instagram for business can seem daunting.
“Where do I start and what on earth do I post? REPOST errr, anyway? 10 likes are you serious?”

It may seem a lot and yes Instagram is made from many components from video reels to story highlights and lets not forget Instagram Live. But honestly its easier than you think

Solution = Strategy.

You see by reading this article you’ll learn that it isn’t just about increasing your audience its about getting them to love you, to fall in love with your brand.

Ready for some more!

1. Be absolute with Your Profile from the jump

Tip: you got to start somewhere

Where there is no “right” way to craft your profile, these principles are a solid starting point based on Instagram’s best practices:
• Profile photo: Use your company logo as your profile photo so people can easily identify your brand however a personal photo works to although I would advise saving that for your personal page.
• Account name: Should most definitely be your business name, and please make sure it matches your brand’s other socials.
• Username: Same as above or as close as possible
• Website: Don’t overdo it with clickables here just your website is enough or a link that leads to a list like Linktree perhaps.
• Bio: Go crazy…let your vibe be known it should be captivating intriguing unique. Some similarities such as spacing but its what you say thatll get me to scroll
Bear in mind that you have plenty of room to get creative in terms of how you craft your profile. For example, TED‘s takes a minimalist approach to its profile which goes hand in hand with their branding.

Converting your account to an Instagram business profile is a smart move, especially if your business has a physical location.
Such profiles have access to both in-depth analytics and additional contact and location information for people to get in touch with you. Here’s a good example from
Rather than fall victim to analysis paralysis, simply start by ensuring the small details of your profile are in order. For more tips on setting up your profile, check out our guide on how to write Instagram bios for businesses.
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Boost your profile with a consistent grid that tells the visual story of your brand.
Sprout’s mobile app makes it easy to preview your grid and see how it will look once your scheduled posts go live.
Start a free trial and test out how Sprout can help you optimize your Instagram presence, or request a personalized demo.

2. Build a Dedicated Community

With so many busy users and photos floating around on Instagram, standing out might seem like an uphill battle.
Reality check: you do not need millions of followers on Instagram to be considered a success story.
Instead of worrying about boasting big numbers, it’s best to approach Instagram for business with a goal of creating authentic community.
Start small. Establish relationships. Engage with others one-on-one.
Make no mistake: Instagram is not an “if you build it, they will come” platform. Businesses both big and small should focus on not only building their own followings, but tapping into niche communities where their audience is already hanging out.
How do you make it happen, though?
Uncover Niche Hashtags
Hashtags essentially act as a search function for Instagram to find relevant followers and brands. This rings true for users and businesses alike.
And again, tapping into your target audience means getting specific.
For example, the #beauty tag has literally hundreds of millions of posts behind it. Rather than tackle crowded hashtags, consider how smaller, niche hashtags such as #unicornhair, #bluehairdontcare or #coloredhairgoals exist in which a beauty brand could realistically stand out.

“Think small” is smart advice for brands trying to attract a dedicated following versus swinging for the fences. Oh, and Sprout can help you figure out how to get your hashtags right if you’re totally stuck on how to tag your photos.

Look Toward Your Own Customers
If your fans and customers are already on Instagram, using them as your billboards is a brilliant move given the popularity of user-generated content.
Incentivizing followers to tag you in their photos does double duty of showing off your products and signaling yourself as a brand that listens to its customers.
Shouting out your followers creates a sense of brand loyalty that most businesses would die for. The more you can show off your satisfied customers, the better.
Make Your Activity Count
Running your Instagram for business doesn’t have to be a total time-sink.
Efficiency counts on any social media platform and Instagram is no different.
Serially liking posts. Replying to comments. Following relevant users.
Between these actions as well as your own content calendar, it certainly pays to streamline your activity to save time.
For example, you should have a keen understanding of how often to post on Instagram to maximize engagement and when your followers are going to be online. Similarly, you should stick to a schedule to keep yourself from scrolling through Instagram 24/7.

In short, anything and everything you do related to Instagram for business should be laser-focused on your brand’s goals for the sake of your valuable time.

3. Publish Goal-Driven Content

Speaking of goals, ask yourself: why are you investing in Instagram for business in the first place?
This isn’t a trick question, either. The answer directly influences your entire content strategy.
And with so much diversity in terms of what you can post, pretty much any goal is fair game.
• Are you trying your hand at social selling?
• Just trying to build some much-needed brand awareness?
• Have killer product photos that you’re itching to show off?
Awesome. Just make sure that you post content that speaks to those goals.
Because Instagram is about so much more than random selfies and snapshots, especially given its status the go-to platform to research products.
Posts like this one from GoPro are shining examples of goal-driven content in action:
Eye-popping imagery? Check.
Showing off their product and a satisfied customer as well? Double check.
Providing a specific call-to-action for viewers? Yep, that too.
Haphazardly posting is not a viable strategy when it comes to Instagram for business. Once you define what it is your brand wants to do, you can begin to better speak the language of your followers.

4. Craft Your Brand’s Narrative

What better way to captivate followers than by telling a story?
The common thread between the biggest brands on Instagram is that they have some sort of narrative.
Through imagery, they’re able to speak to the interests and desires of their audience, receiving tons of love in the form of comments and likes.
You don’t need to be a master storyteller to create a narrative: you just need to let your pictures and captions do the talking.
For example, check out Airbnb captivates its audience through adventure-driven, motivational content:
Even something as simple as being a helping hand providing tips to your followers is a smart move as highlighted by the folks at Beardbrand:

The takeaway here is that people should be able to glance at your feed and have a defined sense of what you’re all about. Having a defined narrative makes it easier to craft captions and choose between photos, all the while reinforcing your identity to people who might not be familiar with you.

5. Show Off Your Products

At the end of the day, mastering Instagram for business is ultimately about, well, business.
That is, promoting whatever it is that you have to sell.
As evidenced by the brands above, there are a ton of ways to show off your products without totally shoving them in your followers’ faces.
Creativity counts on Instagram unlike any other platform. Diversifying your content strategy while also promoting your products should be your endgame, and below we’ve highlighted some awesome ways to make it happen.
Of course, straight-up promo posts to announce your latest launch, contest or giveaway are staples of modern Instagram marketing.

From authenticity to connecting with your audience, there’s a reason why even some of the biggest brands on Instagram regularly regram photos from their followers’ feeds.

And again, not every Instagram photo needs to be meticulously planned and edited. Showing products “in the wild” is more than enough to people over.

6. Engage With Influencers

By far one of the quickest ways to rise up in the Instagram ranks is to establish relationships with influencers in your industry that already have a massive following. Getting a shout-out from the right influencer can give your page instant credibility.
Power users get approached by companies on a regular basis because of the value they can provide with a single post. As a result, some influencers offer paid shoutouts while others do so organically.
The good news is there are plenty of free ways to connect with power users and have them mention your company. You can start by commenting on their photos, or tagging them in your posts. When you tag or @mention someone on Instagram, they’ll receive a notification. After seeing your company’s name pop up in their mentions a few times, they’ll become more familiar with you and be more likely to connect.
You can also connect with them on other social media platforms. A lot of Instagram users are also on Twitter, which can be a better option to start conversations. Don’t be afraid to reach out to influencers and introduce yourself with a Tweet. Let them know you’re a fan of what they do and you’d like to connect with them.
Another technique that’s not completely free is to offer free samples of your products or services. This approach is effective because you’re offering value instead of just asking for something. Most of the time, you won’t have to ask for a product placement or shout out. If they try your product and dig it, influencers will more than likely post about it on their own.
That said, be selective about who you send offers to. Look for users who have a history of getting their followers to take action. Also, their audience should also obviously match your target demographic.

7. Tap into the Power of Instagram Ads

Last but not least, let’s briefly talk about the growing “pay to play” nature of social media at large.
Unlike Facebook, it’s much easier to get in front of people organically on Instagram.
However, the numerous Instagram ad types out there coupled with the platform’s robust targeting is tempting for brands with the budget the experiment with ads.
From videos to stories and beyond, sometimes paid real estate is just what you need to pop up in your ideal followers’ feeds.
Although not a must-do by any means, consider how Instagram is continuously promoting new features for businesses. By getting in on ads now, perhaps you can keep yourself ahead of the game before their “next big thing” for marketers rolls around.
No, It’s Not Too Late to Master Instagram for Business
If you haven’t gotten started as a business on Instagram, don’t panic.
With an active, ever-growing user base, Instagram has proven itself as a staple of social marketing rather than a flash in the pan. For brands with a visual story to tell and a desire to grow a base of dedicated followers and customers, there’s still a place waiting for you on the platform.