Social media is an integral part of any business plan, and Instagram is one of the most popular platforms for helping small business owners connect with customers.
Instagram is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms with one billion monthly users and 500 million people sharing stories daily. It also has a pretty even gender reach, with 52% of Instagram users identifying as female and 48% male.
The stats for businesses are sweeter, with 200 million users visiting at least one business profile daily. With the growth the platform is expecting for 2020, we know that startups, home businesses, and established small businesses will be able to capitalize on this development using Instagram ads.
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How to set up an Instagram account for your business
Businesses can use the social platform without a Facebook company page. However, if you’re going to connect your Instagram account with Shopify, you need to have both. Long story short, Facebook owns Instagram and completes business verifications for Instagram through its original social media platform.
Make sure you’re explicitly creating a business account on Facebook. These have more features than personal accounts on both platforms. For example, Instagram offers businesses,
- Realtime story metrics
- Instagram ad analysis and tracking
- Follower analytics to help with branding
- Add business contact information not available with personal accounts
If you have a personal profile and want to switch it to a company profile, the Instagram platform lets you switch to a professional account. Owners can also take the same steps with their Facebook page.
Crafting your business profile
Consumers looking at your Instagram posts will want to check out your business profile. Many small proprietors neglect this area that’s essential to driving traffic from their social media page to their Shopify account.
Here are some key points to include,
- When the business was established
- Why you started the company—Make this as personal as possible to reach consumers
- The type of products you sell
- If you make them yourself, mention something about the process
- Link to your Shopify page
- Contact information
- Add a call to action
When completing the profile, you only have 150 characters for your business’s story, product types, and information about what you sell. It’s essential to keep this simple and use keywords to help users find your page.
Connecting the new Instagram page to your Shopify account
It’s much easier to connect an Instagram and Shopify account because the two companies are working together to offer product tagging and a shop tab linking your storefront to the social media platform.
Once your Facebook business profile is approved, you can connect and verify your Instagram account in a few steps and then instantly link it to Shopify. You will need to remove the password from your Shopify store for the connection to work.
We’ve seen some companies get denied access to the Instagram sales channel with Shopify for not meeting requirements, which include,
- Selling services instead of physical goods
- Not updating the Instagram app
- Trying to connect to a personal account
- Violating Facebook’s merchant agreement or commerce policies
Consumers are easily distracted with all the information available on social media platforms. Consider importing your Shopify product catalog into your Instagram profile. This allows consumers to view products without leaving the page.
You also need to add a picture during this process. Try to use an image that captures the essence of your business. For example, if you’re selling beauty products, consider portraits of models using your products.
As with setting up these accounts, including the storefront is as simple as a few clicks and you’re done.
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Setup Instagram ads to expand your brand’s awareness
We’ve found that most new small business owners can navigate Instagram’s advertising setup with relative ease. You can create your own by uploading images and videos. However, the easiest way to advertise your Shopify store on Instagram is through sponsored posts.
Instagram also offers carousel ads that allow page visitors to swipe to view other photos or videos in your ad, which provides more brand exposure with a single advertisement. Another option for companies is collection ads that allow the audience to browse through your Shopify tab.
You can also place Instagram ads in the app’s explore the feature. This is an excellent way to drive new consumers to your brand who were searching for similar interests. Instagram advertising for Shopify lets you target specific audiences and locations, which is an ideal feature for local-based businesses, such as boutique bakeries, logo printing, and design agencies, and art and antique dealers.
Staying Active with Fresh Content and Organic Interactions
To get interactions, you must interact with followers. The most successful Instagram ad campaign still requires a personal touch, and small businesses are in the best position to make those connections. It may sound like a cliché, but the content is king. For Instagram, this means a few sentences and plenty of images to garner consumers’ attention. You can check this Instagram content strategy.
When creating posts, only use high-quality images. Not only will these drive more business to your e-commerce platform, but they’re also excellent for sponsored Instagram ads. Additionally, by sponsoring posts for advertising, you’re saving a step by not having to create ads and posts. This frees up time for you to devote to growing your small business.
Instagram Marketing for Small Businesses: A Recap
At this point, we’ve explained all the steps for creating your company profile on Facebook and Instagram so you can connect to the Shopify platform and increase your online presence and consumer base. Here are the three most important takeaways:
- You need a Facebook page to create an Instagram business profile
- Pay close attention to detail and keywords in your profile
- Content is King—Make regular updates to your page to keep interacting with consumers
Instagram’s rapid growth is a testament to its potential as a marketing tool for businesses. It’s essential to create a company profile and continue to post regularly and interact with followers to build strong, organic connections and drive business to your Shopify storefront. For more information about how to sell more products on Instagram, click here.