Still, don’t have an Instagram account?
What are you waiting for!
As of June 2018, Instagram has nearly 1 billion monthly active users. You don’t need to be a math expert to know that’s a seriously impressive number. For consumers and companies alike, Instagram is the second most popular social media channel around.
If that wasn’t enough to excite you, consider these facts:
- Instagrammers hit the #Like button 2 billion times a day.
- Instagrammers have high levels of disposable income (95% earn over 30k a year)
- Engagement rates are 10 times higher on Instagram than they are on Facebook.
Ultimately, the people you need to transform your business are already active on Instagram, and they’re ready to engage with you.
All you need to do is figure out how to set up a successful Instagram account.
The good news?
You’ve come to the right place.
Setting up Your Instagram Account Step 1: Choose a Business Profile
The first step in creating the ultimate Instagram account is signing up for the app.
When you do this, it’s essential to choose a Business profile, rather than a personal account. Why?
Because with a business account, you’ll gain access to:
- Instagram Insights: A quick and simple way to see how well your profile is doing on #IG, and what kind of followers you’re attracting.
- Instagram ads: The ads on Instagram are a great way to get your message out to a broader range of people when you need help boosting your Instagram account.
- Extra page features: Business accounts on Instagram come with additional features, like contact buttons so people can reach you without having to look for your email address or phone number.
There’s a reason why Instagram boasts 25 million business accounts worldwide.
When you set up your business Instagram account, make sure that you choose a “category” for what you do. This might not seem like a big deal, but it allows you to tell your customers what you do quickly, without taking up any precious bio space.
Setting up Your Instagram Account Step 2: Pick Your User and Display Names
The first thing you need to know about the user and display names on your Instagram account is that they aren’t the same things. Your username is the lowercase handle that appears in your IG URL. For instance, for Firebox, the URL is https://www.instagram.com/wearefirebox. You can use up to 30 characters to express yourself here, but it’s a good idea to keep your username short and sweet. That way it’s easier to remember.
Your profile name, on the other hand, is the display name that appears on your profile. You’ll have up to 30 characters you can use here too, and you may want to include a keyword to explain what your business does. Or, you might just keep it simple. Firebox only uses their business name to get the job done:
Setting up Your Instagram Account Step 3: Write a Brilliant Instagram Bio
70% of today’s users search for brands on Instagram.
However, when your would-be followers find you, they won’t stick around for long unless you make the right impression. You only have 150 words to make an impact with your Instagram Bio, so make sure that you make them count. When writing a bio for your Instagram account:
- Know and use your keywords: Keywords will highlight what kind of content people can expect to find on your account and make it easier for people to find
- Add hashtags to improve your searchability: Don’t overwhelm your bio with tags – one or two branded hashtags are fine.
- Add line breaks when necessary to spread your bio out.
- Use an emoji dictionary and throw a few universal emojis into the mix to help your personality shine through
- Add a link to your website or product page: You’re only allowed one link in your Instagram bio, so use it wisely!
To make sure that everything shows up correctly on your bio, copy and paste it into a notepad first before you put it onto your profile.
Remember, once you’ve covered the fundamentals of your brand introduction, don’t be afraid to have a bit of fun too. For instance, influencer Lauren Bullen uses the phrase “Let’s Get Wander-fully lost”
Setting up Your Instagram Account Step 4: Polish Your Profile Image
Never underestimate the power of a great profile pic for your Instagram account.
Your profile picture will do various things for your business, including:
- Letting your customers know they’re on the right account: Using the same consistent image across all your social media profiles adds credibility to your IG presence.
- Shows off your team or brand: Whether it’s a picture of you (For entrepreneurs) or a picture of your brand logo, your profile image boosts brand recognition and makes you seem more familiar to your customers.
- Demonstrates your professional nature: A well-chosen, carefully-captured profile picture shows that you’re a trustworthy and authentic person, worth a #Follow
You only have a tiny space for your Instagram account pic, so it’s a good idea not to choose anything too complicated. A high-quality version of your logo or a picture of your face against a contrasting background is a good bet. You can also consider using Instagram filters to give more depth to your image.
If you want your profile pic to tell a story about you and what you do, you can even include props. For instance, photographer Alex Strohl uses a picture of himself with a camera on his Instagram account:
Setting up Your Instagram Account Step 5: Choose a Color Scheme & Theme
Once you’ve got your names, profile picture, and bio ready, you might think that you’re prepared to jump straight into the content part of your Instagram Account. However, be careful not to rush into anything.
Before you start worrying about hashtags and engagement, choose a basic color scheme to guide you in creating a consistent experience for your audience. A color scheme will help to make your selection of images look more like a single curated collection, instead of a jumble of mismatched content.
Figure out what kind of personality you want to convey with your Instagram account, and how you can bring that to life using color. For instance, Joelle Anello uses a pink hue in all of her images for a cute, romantic vibe:
If you’re worried about restricting yourself to a single color palette, choose a filter and a theme instead. Using the same filter in every post will give you the same sense of consistency, and a topic like “beauty” or “fashion” gives your posts direction.
The theme you choose will also help with developing your audience and ensuring you know how to select hashtags as you work on your Instagram account.
Setting up Your Instagram Account Step 6: Discover the Value of Video
One of the prettiest and most effective touches you can add to your Instagram account is that gradient ring around your profile picture that shows followers you have a recent Instagram story.
Instagram stories are a powerful way to build your brand, and they account for about 50% of all the traffic on IG. Whether you use mini videos, or simply join pictures together into a slideshow, your Instagram stories will give your followers a quick sense of your identity and your offerings on social media. You can upgrade your stories with:
- Hashtags to make your content more searchable
- Poll stickers and questions to engage your audience
- Filters and styles (just like with your regular IG content)
If you start to get confident with Instagram stories, you could even look into expanding your content selection with IGTV – the latest channel for long-form video on Instagram
Setting up Your Instagram Account Step 7: Get Verified!
Finally, if you want to make your Instagram account pop, there are few better ways to do it than with verification. Getting verified on Instagram tells your followers that you’re a legitimate business or influencer, and it can even help with growing your following. A blue tick on your Instagram account:
- Shows that your brand is valued: Instagram verification identifies you as an authority in your space. It’s a massive plus-mark for your company.
- Stops identity theft: Having an account impersonate your company can harm your brand. Verification keeps your reputation safe.
- Helps build credibility: Consumers and followers who see a verification symbol know that your account can be trusted.
Getting the coveted Instagram verification symbol isn’t easy. You need to prove to the channel that you’re a celebrity, global brand, or public figure that deserves its seal of approval. However, if you can get your hands on the badge, you’re sure to see your profile explode in no time.
Making the Most of Your Instagram Account
If you’re growing a digital business, the chances are that Instagram is just one component of your online strategy. However, this small piece of online real estate can be crucial to your long-term success.
Using the tips above, you’ll be able to create an incredible Instagram account pronto. Of course, if you want some extra help, the team at Upleap are always ready to lend a hand.