Famous and not at all famous people let you participate in their life. The photographic snapshots are reminiscent of good old family photo albums. And maybe that’s why (in most cases) they’re much more authentic than highly polished gala photos.

And that’s what makes Instagram so exciting for us entrepreneurs.

Unfortunately, many companies are doing it wrong and equate Instagram with Facebook.

That’s why I’ve created this Instagram tutorial for you to skilfully learn how to market your business successfully on Instagram.

WHY YOU SHOULD USE INSTAGRAM

Instagram is perfect for building a personal and emotional relationship with your fans and customers. A photo from your life may say more about you than a long blog article. I still write 😉

In addition, Instagram is one of the fastest growing networks and its popularity is currently hard to beat.

  • 15 million people in Germany are active every month on Instagram
  • It gets even better if your target group is rather younger: 26% of 14-29 year olds with above-average income romp here. (GfK at the Allfacebook Marketing Conference)
  • Instagram has more users in Germany than my beloved Twitter. (ARD-ZDF online study, via  Futurebiz )

Instagram has addictive potential, maybe like Facebook did many years ago. Once started, fast 20 minutes are around. This is also shown by the statistics.

  • Instagram users are particularly active in terms of comments and likes: The interaction rate is 58x higher than on Facebook. ( Hootsuite )
  • On average, people under 25 spend more than 32 minutes a day on Instagram ( Allfacebook )

Instagram belongs to Facebook. That’s why I recommend you use. Because you can share your beautiful Instagram snapshots on Facebook with one click.

SET UP INSTAGRAM

To sign up, you need to create an account through the mobile app. Open the app and click Register. Sign in with your email or with your Facebook account.

Personal profile or company account?

If you want to promote your business with Instagram, I recommend the company account. To the advantages equal more.

Be personal

I recommend you to proceed in a similar way to Facebook. If you are a coach, consultant or have another business related to your person, then set up the profile in your name with your profile picture.

Do you have an online shop, a restaurant, a company with several employees and do not stand as a person in the center of your communication – then create a profile with company name and logo as a profile picture. The process is the same: You set up a personal profile via your mobile’s Instagram app.

Why you should set up an Instagram company account:

Outwardly, an Instagram corporate account looks little different than a personal profile. However, if you want to use Instagram as a marketing channel for your business, the corporate account offers you some benefits that a private profile does not have.

1) contact button

If you have a corporate account on Instagram, your followers can contact you directly by phone or email without having to visit your website.

2) Statistics for analysis

Without statistics, you can only vaguely guess who your Instagram followers are. The “Instagram Insights” show you the impressions, the reach and the interactions for each post. So you see exactly what content is well received by your fans and at what times you get the most likes and comments. This allows you to schedule your future posts more targeted. The “Instagram Insights” also tell you how old your fans are, where they live and what gender they have. So you immediately recognize whether you address your desired customers with your content.

3) Advertising with call-to-action

With the company account you have the opportunity to switch to paid ads in just a few steps. You can let Instagram automatically target your audience or define your own audience. Then you determine the term and the budget and your Instagram ad is ready. Note, however, that you can only use previously posted posts for your ads.

I recommend that you run the ads from the Facebook Ad Manager because you probably already have your audiences here.

How does the transition from personal profile to Instagram corporate account work?

Changing from a personal profile to a corporate account takes only a few seconds. Open your Instagram app and click on your profile picture in the bottom right corner to open your profile page. Then click on “Settings” in the upper right corner and under Accounts select the option “Convert to Business Profile”. A video tutorial can be found here.

6 INSTAGRAM RULES

1. VISUALIZE YOUR MESSAGE AS NICELY AS POSSIBLE.

Use Instagram to visually communicate your brand, values, personality, and message. See it as a supplement to your other content on the blog, in emails and other networks.

SUCCESSFUL PHOTOS ON INSTAGRAM

Instagrammers are a demanding audience when it comes to the visual.

Watch out for really nice photos or use the Instagram filters to enhance your snapshots.

There’s nothing wrong with sharing completely unedited snapshots. With Lady Gaga, if you’re similarly known, the awesome ones are just too. No, it’s ok now and then. But you will see: The more beautiful your picture, the more attention it gets.

Here are some tips for beautiful pictures.

  • Divide for God’s sake no boring and generic Stock Photos.
  • Bad and bad graphics with tips that may go through on Facebook, are taboo here. Did I already say: The quality of your pictures is crucial?
  • Be varied: Share photos and graphics or tips. More about the content later. Unlike other social media platforms, videos on Instagram (at least in the feed) are not quite as successful as pictures.

CREATE INSTAGRAM GRAPHICS

If you share tips, sayings and quotes, take a photo or a nice background and put your quote or saying on it as text.

That goes for example with Canva . Here you can upload found images and then provide them with text and graphics.

For perfect graphics:

  • Create the graphics in your branding to recognize you as the originator. Use your colors and fonts. Canva for Work lets you save your branding preferences. That makes it infinitely easier.
  • Pack your logo and website on the graphic.
  • Use short and easy-to-remember links for your lead magnets or actions. Pack these on your graphics.

INSTAGRAM VIDEOS

You can record and share videos of up to a minute in Instagram. Here are some tips:

  • Can you think of a quick tip that you can share in 1 minute?
  • Does your video work without sound? The videos are silent in the autoplay. The better that goes without sound, the more your followers have. Of course, the one-minute tip is excluded. Or: subtitles!
  • Have fun! Your videos are the best place to share your sense of humor with the world.

INSTAGRAM STORIES

Instagram Stories are the new Instagram, if you like. Stories are videos that automatically delete themselves after 24 hours. The stories are displayed at the top of the home screen, so they are particularly prominent.

You can string together different pictures or videos into a sequence, and if you feel like it, you’ll be provided with all sorts of bells and whistles, such as writing or stickers.

Every day, 250 million people around the world are thrilled to use Instagram stories, and 50% of Instagram businesses have ever published a story. It’s about time for you, right?

How to use Instagram stories for your business?

  • Announce your webinar or live event. 24 hours in advance is the perfect time to create suspense and fill your event with late risers.
  • Let your followers look behind the scenes. Be it in your company, or on-site at an event or congress.
  • Want to tell your loyal fans something that nobody else knows?
  • It’s also a good idea to point out your new blog post or podcast episode.

2. BE PERSONAL AND EMOTIONAL

Instagram is mobile and therefore very personal. Instagram is only really usable as a mobile app and people carry it around the whole day.

Users share snapshots of their lives – be it the skyline, the travel photo or lunch. As an entrepreneur, you should respect this context.

instagram instructions

What’s good for me on Instagram: 50% Personal (Dogs + Travel), 50% Business (How and where I work)

Correctly good Instagram posts arouse emotions.

Always ask yourself if your mail
makes you think
,
inspires compassion, inspires,
motivates, or makes you
laugh.

If your users think afterwards, “You’re so cool, that’s what I want.” Or “I see, we have something in common.” You did everything right.

Note

  • Purely informative posts, like on Facebook and Twitter, do not knock anyone off. Are figuratively so hard to implement.
  • Do not treat Instagram like Facebook, Twitter, and other networks that are more appropriate for “more official” marketing, and where users like to accept such marketing-heavy content.

Dunkin Donuts speaks the language of his fans and often shares pictures without donuts

Dunkin Donuts speaks the language of his fans and often shares pictures in which the products are secondary (like here the coffee)

3. USE THE PICTURE DESCRIPTION

Many people like to read text, even if the pictures on Instagram get the main attention. The text below each picture is called “Caption”. You should use the caption to give additional information about the picture or video. Yes always!

Calls for action calling for interaction are just as pure here. More about that right now.

Without the image description, this post by Attila Hildmann would not be half as motivating.

Without the image description, this post by Attila Hildmann would not be half as motivating.

4. HASHTAGS ARE SEO ON INSTAGRAM

Nothing works without hashtags on Instagram. Because they are the best way to find your posts. View it as SEO on Instagram.

You want to create a list of relevant hashtags that you can use again and again. Follow these 3 steps:

  1. First, think about key words that describe your content. For me that would be social media marketing, blogging, email marketing, success, online marketing, work independent of location, self-employment, etc.
  2. Next, find suitable hashtags: Use tools like Iconosquare and type in the search box above your search term. Now you get a lot of hashtags displayed.
  3. Choose the topic as accurate and appropriate as possible. The more posts you already have for the hashtag, the greater the competition and the worse your chances of being seen. So instead of more general #marketing I’d rather choose #internet marketing or #socialmediamarketing.

Results of the hashtag search "#marketing" - The number behind the hashtag reveals the number of posts.

Results of the hashtag search “#marketing” – The number behind the hashtag reveals the number of posts.

How to use hashtags correctly:

  • If you use Hahtag for actions and events, explain exactly what users should do and what they should use. Do not assume that users know how a hashtag works.
  • You have space for up to 30 hashtags. Take advantage of them.
  • If you think a lot helps a lot, then put the hashtags in a comment on your picture. Then the image description remains legible. Here are the ghosts arguing, which probably like the algorithm better. I say: there are more important things to take care of!

Good tips on how to use hashtags efficiently can be found in this article.

5. BE CLEVER AT THE BIO LINK

The big advantage on Instagram from the user’s perspective is the distraction-free environment. You leaf through the visual photo album without being distracted by links.

However, for you as an entrepreneur this means you have only one way to send people back to your website.

Your profile description is the only place where you can place a clickable link.

  • Create a crisp short description (you have 150 characters) about you and your company and insert a link.

Create a meaningful description and insert a link.

Create a meaningful description and insert a link.

  • Update the link if you want to highlight a specific action, such as a lead magnet, a challenge, a webinar, an offer.
  • Tools like linktree  let you post multiple links in one place. I use the free version and that should be enough for you too.
  • If you occasionally share links to your blog or website, you can also do so in the image description. Since these are not clickable links, they should be short and memorable.

instagram instructions

Cryptic short links do not work because they are not clickable. Use simple links or link only from your profile description.

6. INCLUDE INSTAGRAMMER

The better you manage to engage users, the higher your interaction rate, and the greater the reach of your posts. A few small things are already helping you to actively engage in conversation.

As with any network, if you want something, you have to specifically ask for it.

So that you do not come over like a nuisance, you should not ask in every post for an action, or be varied in your requests.

1. STOP AND ASK A QUESTION.

Questions immediately trigger a response, so amazing that so few brands and entrepreneurs are working on Instagram.

Online Shipping Boden uses funny questions to talk to his followers.

Online Shipping Boden uses funny questions to talk to his followers.

2. MENTION OTHER INSTAGRAM USERS

If appropriate, mention other Instagrammer for example in your image description or comment. Type @ and then its username.

SOMETIMES, it may be appropriate to ask your followers to tag friends that they might like. This is an effective strategy to build more reach quickly. However, I would be sparing so you do not come across as spammers and beggars.

3. SHARE CONTRIBUTIONS FROM OTHER USERS

With the repostapp you can easily share foreign content. I find it clearer to share foreign posts on Hootsuite or Buffer. Instructions on how to do this you will find here (currently only in English).

According to Buffer, it is worth sharing foreign posts. The company has reached 60% more followers by sharing third-party content in 3 months.

Do not forget to name the creator of the post by tagging the user, putting his username behind a @. It is even more polite if you ask the Instagrammer for permission before sharing.

Neckermann Reisen regularly share photos of their followers.

Neckermann Reisen regularly share photos of their followers.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT ON YOUR INSTAGRAM CONTENT

To get a first idea of ​​what content could be successful, follow these 2 steps:

  1. Look at what content your competitors and people in your industry are particularly successful.
  2. Find out which content your audience likes best. This step is almost even more important than step 1. Do not spend too much time on competitive analysis, otherwise you run the risk of copying their contents. Instead, think about what your favorite customers would like to see from you.

You are still not sure? No problem, just start. That’s the quickest way to learn what your people find most exciting.

BACKDROP LOOKS

Get insights behind the scenes and snapshots of your business and entrepreneurial life. Show your life, who you are, what you do. That’s probably the best thing you can do on Instagram. Especially in the Instagram stories.

You can not think of anything?

Here are a few ideas: Show your employees, your office, your office dog, where and how you work, your way to work, events you’ve visited …

NEW CONTENT

Make sure your Instagram followers know when there’s a new blog post from you or a new podcast episode has gone online. Then always link the content piece in your bio.

I also recommend that you refer to your Instagram post in your new post (your new photo, which you have just posted on Instagram). Tell your story-goers that they should look at your Instagram profile because you just shared something new.

HAPPY CUSTOMERS

Nothing sells better than letting customers have their say. Because we’re here on Instagram, you want to share photos with or from customers. In the example here, darling shared the photo of a happy customer with the new shoes.

 

instagram show customer

PARTS PERSONAL

If Heidi and Lady Gaga just share things on Instagram, that’s fine. If you’re not a celebrity, it’s better to stick to the rule: think first of all about your fans and customers, and share personalities in between.

YOUR BUSINESS KICK

GET
THE WEEKLY ONLINE BUSINESS KICK IN YOUR MAILBOX

HERE WE GO

If you’re a coach and only share photos from the dinner and dog walk, that’s nice (I’ve done that for a long time). That brings you little for your business reputation.

Besides, not everything should be about you! The person at parties that only talks about himself, nobody likes …

How much private and how much business is ok to share?

Simple: Do not science, the border on Instagram is flowing anyway. If you share a snapshot of a conference visit, is it private or business?

If you show a recording of your first marathon and betray your secret of success, this can also be exciting for your coaching clients.

Tip: Remember to take pictures of everything that happens in your business. Even if you do not instantly share it on Instagram.

Dranbleib tip: Plan in advance!

To stay connected and your Instagram profile does not fall asleep after a few weeks, plan your contributions in advance. I use it later .

You plan your posts in the dashboard and at the set time the post goes by itself online.

Tip: 1 post a day is a good guide. You will hardly be able to do any more. 😉

HOW TO WIN FOLLOWERS ON INSTAGRAM

Followers come on their own if you share great content and include Instagrammer. Plus, let the world know you’re on Instagram now. Invite fans from Facebook to follow you on Instagram.

Here is an additional tip:

Link your Instagram profile to Facebook.

So you can share your Instagram posts on Facebook. Whether in profile or on the side – you have to decide, it’s only one. The link makes sense in any case, if your Instragram posts from your point of view Facebook-suitable. If you want to share something more personal with Facebook now and then, just take an Instagram post.

Sharing Instagram posts on Twitter does not make sense, because the images are displayed on Twitter as a link and lose their effect.

YOUR NEXT STEPS ON INSTAGRAM

Do not be intimidated by the length of the Instagram tutorial. Ultimately, the same applies to Instagram as to all the content you share: Get out of your favorite client and share things that you like. Only on Instagram you can be much more personal, private and beautiful (visual).

  1. Set up your profile and create a list of content and photos you could share.
  2. Share your first post and schedule more on tools like later.
  3. Have fun and see what the others are doing!