Are you ready to establish your small business on the top photo & video-focused social media platform? Nearly one-third of online adults use Instagram. With 600 million active users, Instagram surpasses major social media players like Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn.
Now, you do need to make sure you have a plan for the media you’ll be using on Instagram before you begin posting. Instagram is a photo and video sharing app, so if you aren’t already in the habit of capturing products and moments in your business, you need to think hard about how dedicated you are to doing so. Using your smart phone for your photos and videos works perfectly fine for most small businesses, so don’t worry about fancy cameras. Your main focus – and likely biggest hurdle – will be to make a new habit of thinking, “I need to capture this for Instagram“.
How to Create an Instagram Account
Instagram is an app-based social media platform so you will need to download and install it on your smart phone. Instagram does have some web-based abilities, including creating your account, but posting photos and videos to your account directly from your computer is not one of them. Since Instagram is natively an app, this post will focus on creating your Instagram account from your phone, within the app.
Like with any social media account, you’ll need to have an email address, password, and username for your account. Instagram usernames max out at 30 characters.
Also, like with most other social media profiles, you are invited to quickly connect with people you already know. You can search your current Facebook Friends to connect with those who are also on Instagram or you can search the contacts on your phone.
Note: Facebook owns Instagram thus the integration is with your current Facebook Friends only. Also, Instagram ads will be set up and managed through your Facebook ads account.
Instagram suggests some popular accounts it thinks you may want to follow in order to have some new posts in your Instagram feed. Following any or all of these accounts is optional. You can go back and decide to connect to your Facebook Friends or contacts at a later time.
Now it’s time to write your Instagram bio. Like with any social media account, you’ll need a profile photo. You can include 1 link in your bio, and have 150 characters to use for your bio.
Some things to keep in mind with your Instagram bio:
- Emoji use on Instagram is very common. Plan to incorporate a few into your bio.
- Instagram currently doesn’t allow you to create line breaks within the app. In order to start new lines, plan to write your bio in a separate app like your Notepad app, and then copy and paste it into your Instagram bio area. Be sure to hit the Return key to force your line breaks. This ensures the line breaks are carried over when you copy and paste.
- Set up your bio link with some type of tracking snippet or with a link to an Instagram-specific landing page on your site to track how many people click through to your site from your bio. You can do this using something like bit.ly or Google UTM tracking codes.
Visit the gear link in the top right corner for additional features of your account. For example, here you can change your password, see what posts you have liked, see users you have blocked, privatize your account, and see what other social media profiles you have linked to your Instagram account. This is also where you can switch to an Instagram Business account.
A Note about Instagram Business Accounts
When Instagram Business account rolled out, they came with analytics and a prominent contact button on their profile page. As a business, there are advantages to setting up an Instagram Business account instead of a regular (now, personal) account. One concern some have with regards to having an Instagram Business account (myself included) is that Instagram is owned by Facebook, Instagram now has an algorithm, and Facebook’s algorithm has changed over the years to purposely reduce the organic reach of business posts. So while none of us know if in fact that’s where Instagram Business accounts are headed, it is a valid concern and something some business owners place a higher importance on than having the analytics and contact button.