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Get Down to Business on Instagram

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How to be successful on Instagram as a business and use the platform to its full potential

The wonderful world of Instagram is a land filled with beautiful people, whacky filters, and endless challenges. But did you know that Instagram is good for more than just making you jealous of that trip your friend took to the Maldives? It’s an awesome business tool, and one any business can take advantage of if done correctly.

As of 2019, there are over 25 million business profiles on Instagram. Compared to the 1 billion users the platform has in total, that’s a pretty small percentage. Many businesses are opposed to Instagram because they think it’s a space reserved for sunset and puppy photos.

What they don’t realize is that Instagram is actually a space for anyone and anything. Seriously. Name a business, industry, or hobby, and we guarantee there’s a hashtag for it. The audience is there no matter which one you’re trying to engage.

37% of American adults use Instagram. It’s the most popular social network among teens; 200 million users visit at least one business page per day, and 11% of users shop on Instagram. That is a huge pool of potential customers just waiting to see you.

However, you can’t just sign up for an account and post any old picture. There is an art to Instagram, and especially one to a business account. Let’s dive into some of the tricks of the trade and how you can leverage them to make your business soar.

Why are you doing this?

Joining Instagram because all the other businesses are doing it isn’t a good enough reason. To have any chance of success, you have to embrace your reason for joining. Are you trying to increase brand awareness? Connect with influencers? Gain more customers? Increase revenue?

The answers to these questions will influence your entire Instagram strategy, including the types of things you post, your tone, and what features you use.

Show the world who you are

Before you ever create an account, you need to decide how you’re going to present yourself on Instagram. A lot of this will be determined by your brand and your style guide. If you don’t know what your brand is and you don’t have a style guide, you might want to press pause on the whole Instagram thing to sort that out.

What tone are you going to use when you post and interact with users? Are you going to stick to a color scheme? Are your posts going to all follow the same template with similar filters?

All of these elements will develop with time. Most businesses have a slow climb to success on Instagram. It doesn’t happen overnight. But having these ideas in the back of your mind will help you be more alert and adjust as you go.

Your business profile is another place you can really shine. Your bio is only 150 characters, which seems painfully short, but it’s set that way for a reason. It’s a tiny window into what users can expect to see from you in the future. Make it pop, and change it up every once in a while.

You should do the same with the profile link. Although it can link back to your website homepage, it’s better to use that space for something more specific. What do you want people to know about your business in that very moment? Link to an upcoming event or an ongoing contest, so people know how to best interact with you.

Show what you do and how you do it

This might seem obvious. Isn’t the whole point of social media to show people what your business does? Yes, but on Instagram, many accounts center around polished and perfect rather than real and raw.

This is also why any business can succeed on Instagram if they embrace their brand and use it to their advantage. Your fans want to see not only what you do but how you do it.

Whether it’s a manufacturing plant or a photo studio, go behind the scenes and show your fans how the sausage gets made. Show whiteboards covered with brainstorming session notes. Post a video of your engineer welding the newest prototype. Show your employees enjoying a fun activity together.

This is where Instagram Stories really come into play. It’s a great place for telling a longer narrative or sharing things that aren’t “shiny” enough for the main feed but are still important to your company. Think about how you can use Instagram Stories to supplement your feed to give your followers a well-rounded experience.

Seeing this type of content helps people feel connected to a business. Don’t be afraid to get a little personal by showing who your staff is and how they make whatever it is you’re selling. It builds loyalty and credibility.

Hashtags and mentions – use them!

As you get into the Instagram business world, you will be amazed at the number of people who don’t utilize hashtags or mentions.

Hashtags are used to expand your reach. Instagram allows you to include up to 30 in one post, but it’s best to stick to a more reserved number. These hashtags should be specific and relevant. Do some research to identify niche hashtags that are getting traffic but aren’t nearly as popular as others. This gives your post a better chance of being seen.

Tag people and other businesses in your posts, so you can start to join and develop a community. This includes customers, influencers, strategic partners, and everything in between. Tagging another account is the best way to be seen, give recognition, and expand your reach.


Instagram is very fun, but just like anything else in business, you won’t be able to identify your wins and losses unless you analyze your performance. Instagram has a great analytics tool built into the app, so you can monitor your followers and engagement. There are endless other programs out there to help you dig into your Instagram presence.

Create goals and strategies in the beginning, so your team knows what winning looks like. Adjust along the way using data to inform your decisions.

Consistency never changes

Users need to be able to explore your account and understand what your business does within a few seconds. An easy way to do this is to stay consistent with your post style, messaging, and frequency.

Creating templates for posts is a helpful time-saver and coming up with a schedule allows you to plan and give thought to each post. Try themed posts like Testimonial Tuesday or Throwback Thursday to get into a rhythm.

Your followers will come to expect certain activity from you. If you’re all over the place with branding, and you post seven days in a row followed by two months of silence, it’ll leave people confused and frustrated.

Do you hear the sizzle?

Whether you’re just getting started with Instagram for your business, or you’ve been at it for a while, it can be overwhelming. Coming up with content to post is half the battle. The other half includes tiny decisions about captions, filters, hashtags, and stories.

ContentBacon offers a variety of subscription services that include building social posts centered around your brand. We will work with you to understand your business through and through, so you can offer a consistent and unique experience on Instagram. Contact us today to get started and check out our packages to learn more.


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