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How to use Instagram for business

Top tips to build your Instagram following and be more effective

Read in 6 minutes

By Ben Robson

Co-founder, GOAT

Instagram is an opportunity to show off your passions and in business, that means letting people behind the scenes of your company – showing your craftsmanship, showing why your team is a team worth working with – sharing inspirational images that make people take interest in you and your brand.

To be successful on Instagram, consider these six key elements

  1. Creating one or two focuses for your Instagram posts based on your product / service AND your target audience’s wider interests
  2. Take and record beautiful / funny images and video
  3. Let people see behind the scenes – the processes of your business and its people
  4. Tag up your posts with laser focused hashtags to reach your target audience
  5. Follow people in the geographic area you do business in
  6. Follow people who have an interest in / use the same hashtags as you (have an interest in your topic focus).

Let’s get started with some quick-fire tips on how to use Instagram for business – in an effective, engaging, useful manner.

Gram (post) regularly

Aim to post at least once a day, with around 2-5 post a day being optimum.

After you’ve been posting regular content for a few months, consider using IconoSquare to analyse your posts and find out when people engage with it most. Use this data to inform the days and times of the week when posting will most effective for you.

Use super specific hashtags and don’t overdo it 

Don’t let your content get drowned out in the noise of Instagram posts, as a result of using hashtags that are too broad.

Use 4-11 hashtags in each post: Statistics suggest that engagement peaks between 4-5 hashtags and again at 11.

Include a location hashtag whenever you can (when relevant) e.g. a hashtag for the county you’re in, the town, and any associated hashtags there may be e.g. and #SussexLife

If you want to include more hashtags to reach broader audiences, use the comments section below your post to input hashtags. A top tip here is to insert a full stop followed by a line break and do this 5 times in your comment, before writing your hashtags out. This makes your post look less cluttered and users will only see the hashtags if they click to read more of your comment.

Content types to focus on

Behind the scenes video and image content


Tell the story behind your brand, consistently sharing work in progress shots, or even team days out, the office dog etc. Anything that gives people a feel of your brand.

Lifestyle content


Create content that links to your target audience’s interests. Are you a brand that sells sporting goods? You could use your Instagram to post up popular sports team related images and video, or even produce training content to help your target audience become better at the relevant sport.

Perhaps you sell kitchen accessories and your followers would be interested in recipes that they can cook with your products and others.

Branch away from your product offering alone and you’ll build up a wider yet still relevant audience.

Finished product content


Build trust in your brand and the finished product – show off your work with images of the finished product, or a new range that you’re stocking – or even showing off your products at an event. People want to see great work and exciting new product developments, so use Instagram to do just that.

Employee specific content


What did your team look like when they were younger – why do they love what they do? After all, it’s much more appealing for potential customers to work with companies that care about what they do and infuse their passion into it. Consider using #TBT (Throw Back Thursday) to show your team when they were younger.

Share Instagram posts showing what your team is up to on a daily basis e.g. showing a customer around / going to events etc. – Let the customer in to your world.

Post frequency and timing

When’s best for your specific business to be posting on Instagram? After you’ve been posting regular content for a few months, consider using IconoSquare to analyse your posts and find out when people engage with it most.

Use this data to inform the days and times of the week when posting will most effective for you.

How to get more followers on Instagram

Follow these tips to build your following and more importantly, attract attention of people likely to engage with your business

  1. Check out your competitors followers and follow the genuinely relevant account to you
  2. Do a search in Instagram’s search function by topic.
  3. Do a search in Instagram’s search function by location. Then, explore the images of these people in your location and follow the accounts of those posting content relevant to your brand e.g. sporting people in Hampshire (if you’re based in Hampshire and have products relating to sports
  4. FOLLOW PEOPLE WHO ENGAGE WITH COMPETITORS: Search for your competitors, follow the people using their brand hashtags (if applicable)

Re-Gram (Re-post) and comment on posts of people you follow

To repost someone else’s Instagram post on your own account, consider using the app, Repost for Instagram. At the click of a button, the app makes it easy to repost another user’s content and give them the appropriate credit.

Build a relationship with likeminded people. By sharing and engaging with their content, they are more likely to follow you and do the same with yours in due course.

Follow the advice about and your Instagram account and the management of it will be in great condition in no time at all.

Do you use Instagram for business? We’d love to hear your progress, or feel free to ask us anything Instagram related in the comments section below.

For tailored social media advice and recommendations, check out our social media offering.

You can also follow @GOATDigital on Twitter, for all the latest digital marketing news and updates.

Thanks for reading.


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