Instagram 101 For Your Business

Watch the video below or scroll down to read the recap

In this workshop, BEDA staff Savannah Carabin and Faith Blackwell walked attendees through the benefits of Instagram, its features, and how to best utilize it for a business.

 

Things to Think About:

(these are referenced throughout the workshop so your answers will come in handy)

  1. On a level of 0-5, how comfortable are you with Instagram?

  2. Describe 3 things that make your business unique.

  3. Write down (or think of) 3 words that describe your ideal customer or client.

Let's Recap

Why is Instagram so important?

  • It allows you to tell your story – It’s the "coffee shop of social media" as Faith says

  • It allows you to go to where your customers are – It’s the ship that takes you to your customer base

  • It allows you to stand out – It creates space for showing what makes your brand different from others

Business vs. Personal Instagram Account

  • Your business and personal Instagram accounts are directed toward separate audiences (most of the time)

  • Since your business and personal Instagram accounts are directed toward separate audiences, you’ll want to keep the content separate (i.e., you may not want to post a photo of what you have for breakfast on your business account, and you may not need to post about your updated hours of business on your personal account)

  • Business Instagram accounts offer various features that personal accounts do not have like insights, post boosts/ads, contact features, and more.

  • If you’re still using your personal Instagram account for your business and would like to switch to a business account, contact us to help.

Benefits of Instagram

  • It connects you with different users and allows you to touch base with existing customers.

  • It connects you to potential customers across the globe, this expands your reach and attracts new customers.

  • Helps you develop a brand-follower community that can lead to customer return. To learn more on how to build community among your customers through social media, check out our “How to Build Community Presence within your Business” workshop here.

  • It allows you to showcase your business.

  • It helps you better understand and target your audience. Instagram insights for business accounts can help you better understand your customers and how you can better meet their needs.

5 Features of Instagram

Posting: Sharing photos and videos with your audience on your newsfeed

  • Showcase your products and services through your posts

  • Share relevant content

  • Use engaging captions and include hashtags

  • Encourage your followers to like, reshare, and comment on your posts (this prioritizes your post in Instagram's algorithm)

To Post on Instagram: Go to the top of your newsfeed and click the add button or go to your profile and click the top add button > Click “post” > Select the photo(s) (you can select up to 10) of your choice > Edit the photo if needed > Hit “next” > Input caption, add any locations, tag other Instagram accounts or post directly to other social media pages (this requires you to link your other social media channels in your settings) > Click “share” at the bottom of your screen when you’re ready to post


Stories: Filling the gaps in your brand’s story by sharing quick information through photos or videos

  • Stories are shown at the very top of your main newsfeed. Instagram will automatically show you the most recent stories of the accounts you follow. You can view the stories by tapping on one at the top of your newsfeed and tapping on the left and right-hand sides of your phone to go through them. To exit a story, you swipe down.

  • You can share photos or videos to your Instagram story – Videos will split up within 30-second increments if your video is longer than 30 seconds

  • You can add GIFs, Polls, questions, and more to your stories

  • You can use hashtags and mention other Instagram accounts too

To Add a Story on Instagram: Go to the top of your newsfeed and click the add button or go to your profile and click the top add button > Click “story” > You can select any photos or videos you’ve already taken to post on a story OR you can take a photo or video within the open story window > Add any additional elements such as text, GIFs, location, music, emojis, polls, etc. by using the top center menu > You can add a filter to your photo or video by swiping to the right > Add a mention by typing the @ symbol and then the account name OR by selecting the “mention” menu item inside the top menu > Click the bottom right-hand arrow to post your story once you’re done


Videos (Formerly IGTV – the below recap is slightly different from what Faith covers within the workshop since Instagram has recently changed this feature)

  • You can post longer videos, up to 10 minutes in length

  • You can create a "series" of videos under a certain name or title

  • Instagram videos can be found on your main profile page underneath the play button

To post a Video on Instagram: Go to the top of your newsfeed and click the add button or go to your profile and click the top add button > Click “post” > Where the word “recent” appears near the left middle of your screen, toggle this menu and select your “videos” album > Select the video you would like to post > Edit the video if needed > Hit “next” > Input caption, add any locations, tag other Instagram accounts or post directly to other social media pages (this requires you to link your other social media channels in your settings) > If you’d like to select another Cover photo for your video other than what is shown, tap on "Edit cover” and choose a new one > Click “share” at the bottom of your screen when you’re ready to post your video


Live: Connect with followers in real-time video

  • This feature is great for making announcements

  • Once you finish going live, you can decide to post the video, save it to your device, or just simply delete it

  • You can use different camera effects, swap the camera view, and more

  • Examples of what would make great Lives: Clothing try-on session, Q&A with customers, showcasing a special event in real-time or showing how a product works

To go Live on Instagram: Go to the top of your newsfeed and click the add button or go to your profile and click the top add button > Click “live” > When you’re ready, hold on the white record button with the pink/yellow emblem in the center > When you’re finished, click on the X symbol > You can then decide to post the video, save it to your device, or delete it


Reels: 15-90 seconds of engaging content

  • Reels are short and entertaining videos to record or prerecord and share with your followers

  • Allows you to connect with potential followers and people from around the world

  • Super easy to make

  • Currently prioritized in the algorithm - Instagram is moving toward a more video-based platform, so utilizing reels is a very smart move, even if it’s outside your comfort zone at first

To post a Reel on Instagram: Go to the top of your newsfeed and click the add button or go to your profile and click the top add button > Click “reel” > You can take a quick video in the editor, or you can select a video you’ve already taken (note: you CAN select multiple small videos and piece them together inside of the Reel editor) > You can add music, text, GIFs, etc. once you’ve placed your video(s) within the editor > Click “next” > Input caption, add any locations, tag other Instagram accounts or post directly to other social media pages (this requires you to link your other social media channels in your settings) > If you’d like to select another Cover photo for your reel other than what is shown, tap “edit cover” and choose a new one > Click “share” at the bottom of your screen when you’re ready to post your reel


When To Post On Instagram

  • When your followers are most active

  • We’ve found that typically a majority of users are most active in the evenings from 6:00-9:00 pm

  • Post at least once a day, but overall, post at a rate that is sustainable for you. Just ensure that you’re being consistent.

  • Use your insights to inform you of when to post

What To Post On Instagram

  • The aim of posting is to capture your customers

  • Post relevant content that targets your audience ***refer to the 3 words describing your customers to get some insight into who your target audience is

  • Show off your products and services

  • Highlight what makes your business unique

  • Avoid text-heavy content and focus on quality images (and/or videos)

  • Avoid collages and utilize the carousel feature instead (allowing you to post up to 10 photos at once)

To make a carousel post: Go to the top of your newsfeed and click the add button or go to your profile and click the top add button > Click “post” > Select up to 10 photos at a time by clicking the layer/multi-page icon in the middle menu left of the camera icon > Edit the photos if needed > Hit “next” > Input caption, add any locations, tag other Instagram accounts or post directly to other social media pages (this requires you to link your other social media channels in your settings) > Click “share” at the bottom of your screen when you’re ready to post


Hashtag Help: Simple Hashtag Tips

  • Place your hashtags inside a comment underneath your post, this ensures your caption isn’t too long or cluttered

  • Use words that relate to your post

  • Use words that fit your industry, niche, location, or products and services

  • You can use up to 30 hashtags per post

  • Create a hashtag unique to your business (example: We created #MyBluefield for our social media