How to Use Instagram to Promote Your Business

By Brittany Thorley

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but can the latest social media phenomenon used by a host of celebrities, budding photographers and snap happy users alike be the key to driving traffic to your website?

The social media sphere has become awash with image-based websites like Pinterest, whilst other social favourites like Facebook and Twitter are making it easier to upload and share your favourite snaps. While 54% of major brands use Instagram for promotional reasons, many growing businesses don’t consider using Instagram to market their products or services.

Using Instagram for business

Getting Started with Instagram

Setting up an Instagram business account and incorporating this social favourite into your social media marketing strategy couldn’t be easier and its features ensure you can get and stay connected with existing and potential customers and clients in a fun and frivolous way that still has your business ethics at its heart.

Instagram takes you through the setting up of your profile step-by-step, covering everything from choosing an account name and filling out your bio to adding other social networks and getting started with their photo editor and sharing features. When deciding on your Instagram account name, we recommend using a name similar or exactly the same as your Twitter handle to make it easier for fans and potential customers to find and follow you on multiple platforms. We would also advise downloading the app to make maintaining and updating your Instagram account less of a chore and more spur of the moment!

Instagram also hosts its own ‘Instagram for Business’ blog, which is regularly updated with tips, news and examples of how other businesses, both big and small, use Instagram to drive traffic and subsequently boost sales.

Striking the Right Balance between Fun and Business

A successful Instagram business profile has a mixture of fun images and business-focused additions; we would advise telling the story behind your brand to make it an engaging and fun journey for your customers that still essentially means business. Use the stories of your workforce to add a personal approach. Instagram has a number of helpful options for tracking engagement and the success of individual images, so test the water in the first few months and see what your audience likes best.

More than Images

In addition to uploading and sharing images, you can also use videos to market your business identity and values. These videos can be embedded into your on-site blog and shared via your other social media platforms to create engaging content, cultivate a following and extend your reach.

Be a Trend Follower and a Trendsetter

Instagram uses the same system as Twitter and uses hashtags (#) so that users can follow trends and be a part of the wider community. Keep an eye on what’s trending and use this to influence what you post, and tell your own story with your own hashtags. Use Instagram’s like and comment features to connect on a more personal level with new followers, ‘like’ other users’ images and engage with them with genuine comments.

How Often Do I Post to Instagram?

Like Pinterest, you don’t have to post on Instagram on a daily basis. In fact too much posting can actually do more harm than good and will over-occupy the news feeds of your followers and lead to quite a few ‘no follows’. Instead use your profile to post whenever you feel that the content is a valuable addition and aim to inspire potential customers and clients with your updates – remember with Instagram and any social media marketing strategy, the focus should be on quality, not quantity.

How are you using Instagram for your business? Post your account handle here, if you’d like to share.

Author’s Bio: Brittany Thorley is a social media marketing expert at Think Big Comms, a PR agency with a difference that specialises in ethnic marketing strategies.


  1. says

    Using Instagram for business and other purposes is really becoming more popular nowadays. Even NASA decided to use it to share some of their exciting photos. I think it’s worth to try every popular platform available to drive key traffic. Who knows? We might be able to unlock a really good potential.

    Thanks rosemary.

  2. says

    Hey Brittany. I have heard of Instagram but really did not know what it was or how it worked. (I know: What do you live under a rock?) Anyway, thanks for laying out the basics and then some. As I already have a Pinterest account, I am not sure how this is different but that can be sad for almost all social media. So I guess I need to explore and establish an Instagram account. Thanks for your insights and practical pointers.

  3. says

    Instagram is fast replacing other social media websites such as Facebook and Pinterest when it comes to sharing images. Many businesses have started using this tool as it offers many interesting features such as the ‘Instagram for business blog’.

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