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71% of businesses in the United States are on Instagram, so there’s no denying that the social network is becoming more important for brands and social media marketers alike. Instagram presents a unique platform for brands to create visually engaging content to promote their services and connect with their fans.

If you have put aside creating an account on this rapidly growing platform, now is the perfect time to start. Below, are 11 simple and easy to follow steps to start and grow your business Instagram profile.

1. Download the Instagram App

First things first, you will need a way to access Instagram via your smartphone or a web browser your Mac or PC.

On your smartphone, you can search for the Instagram app on the Apple App Store, Google Play Store, or the Microsoft Store.

Instagram is a smartphone optimized, and you will experience the social media platform there the best. However, you can easily access the site by typing Instagram.com on Safari, Google Chrome, and just about any browser available for desktop.

2. Create an Account and Choose a Profile Photo

If you have other social media accounts, creating and setting up your profile will be a familiar process. You will need to simply input basic information such as your email address or phone, your name, and username.

Remember that Instagram is an image-heavy platform, so it’s essential to use consistently use high-quality photos. One of the first images you will be asked to upload is your profile photo. The profile photo will be very small, so text is out of the question. Instead, use your company logo or a professional headshot, if you own a personal brand.

3. Complete Your Profile Information

Social Report Instagram Page

Instagram won't ask you to provide profile information, but it's important to fill out these details especially if you want to drive traffic to your website or a webpage.

To add information, go to your profile page and tap on "Edit Profile." Here you can add your page's description and website URL and change your name and username. After typing your brand’s information, simply tap done. That's it! Your Instagram account is now completely set up!

4. Post Photos and Videos

Instagram Example

After setting up your account, you can start publishing content. To post a photo or video, simply tap the "+" icon on the bottom section part of your screen. The app will conveniently show your most recent photos, but you can also choose to take a new photo by tapping "photo" or record a new video by selecting "Video."

When uploading media, you can:

  1. Zoom in or out of your photos by pinching
  2. Switch from landscape or portrait by tapping on the two-arrow icon on the left part of the screen.
  3. Take a new photo by pressing the round, camera clicker at the bottom part of the screen
  4. Record a new video by tapping and pressing on the camera clicker
  5. Upload up to 10 images or videos in a single post by the overlapping square icon on the right mid-right section of the screen.

Once you've selected the images or videos to upload, you will be given the option the edit the image. There will be several filters and edit options to quickly enhance your photos. Play around with them and which ones will make your photos stand out.

After editing, tap next and add the post details. Remember to add an appropriate caption and hashtags to the image. Also, tag the right people and add your location, if applicable. If your account is connected to your other social media sites, like Facebook or Twitter, you will be able to share your posts there too by selecting them manually.

When your post is ready, simply tap share to publish. Congratulations! You have just published your first Instagram post. 

6. Add a Story

Stories are images or videos that disappear after 24 hours, so they a great way to publish unique, timely, or authentic content without flooding other people’s feeds or cramming content onto your profile. They're great for updating people about live events or posting casual interactions that make people feel closer to your brand.

Instagram Stories

To add a story, simply tap on your profile photo on the stories feed located at the top right corner of your screen. Your stories can either be Live, a photo, or a video. To keep your stories interesting, try using additional formats like SuperZoom or Boomerang, and add stickers or text to them.

7. Find People

You've just made your first Instagram post, but you may have noticed that your feed is a bit empty. To fill this void, Instagram will ask you to "Find People to Follow" by connecting to your Facebook account, adding phone contacts, or through profile suggestions. These are the three easiest options as you can simply tap on a profile to follow them.

Share a Coke Instagram Post

You can also search for friends, hashtags, brands, celebrities, or places in the Explore page, which you can access by tapping the Magnifying Glass on the bottom part of the screen. In this page, you will also see photos, videos, and stories from people who Instagram thinks will be most relevant to you.  

8. Convert into a Business Account

If you're using Instagram to market your brand, you may want to convert your account into a business profile. A business account on Instagram will give you more tools to manage and grow your brand on the platform. The added benefits of a business profile are:

  1. The ability to add your brand's phone number, email, or location directly on your profile
  2. Create ads
  3. Access to Instagram’s analytics

These added features come completely free and all you need to have is a business Facebook page.

Important: The conversion of to Business profile must be done using a Facebook profile that has admin rights to that Facebook Page.

To convert your Instagram account into a business profile, follow these steps:

1. Go to your profile and tap the three-dot icon on the top right part of the screen

2. Scroll down and tap Switch to Business Profile

Instagram Business Account

3. Select the Facebook page associated with Instagram account

4. Add details about your brand in the provided sections

Instagram Business Profile

After adding your details, simply tap Done, and you will have successfully converted into a business account.

9. Take Advantage of Instagram Insights

One of the most valuable tools you get from converting to a business profile on Instagram is its free analytics tools.  In Instagram Insights, you will be able to see key information about your follower’s demographics and the time they are most active on the platform. Similarly, you can view your top performing posts and stories, which will give you a better idea of the type of content that your followers find most interesting.

Instagram Insights
Source: Lifewire

If you want a broader image of what your following looks like across all your social media accounts, try using a comprehensive social media analytics tool.

10. Post Consistently

According to Social Media today, a staggering 70% of Instagram posts are never seen by users. That's why it is important to use all tools at your disposal like stories, hashtags, and location tagging to increase the chances of your posts showing up on people's feeds.

One of the best ways to ensure your target audience sees your posts is by posting consistently. That's why scheduling your posts on Instagram is a must. Using a social media management tool like Social Report can help you manage your posting calendar. Here's a quick tutorial on how to schedule posts on Instagram using Social Report's publishing tools. 

11. Engage with Other Accounts

Social Media is a great way for brands and their customers to build a relationship. One way to do this is by interacting with your current and future patrons through the comments section. When you find a post you want to comment on, simply tap on Speech Bubble icon at the bottom part of the post.

You can also respond to a comment by tapping the Reply button underneath the comment. This is a great way to interact with your customers or reply to their questions or concerns.

Publishing great content on Instagram is crucial, but engaging with your followers can help strengthen your brand and build a great relationship with your customers.

Conclusion

With over 700 million active users, it’s hard to ignore the potential benefits of getting your brand on Instagram. Follow these 11 simple steps and start reaping the benefits of an Instagram Business Profile today!