Instagram needs no introduction, but it’s worth noting that more than a billion people worldwide use the social media platform, with over 500 million opening the app daily. From a business perspective, it is one of the world’s largest and most active social marketplaces. Businesses of any size and type can unlock a massive audience by setting up an Instagram business account.

As of March 2022, it’s estimated there are more than 33 million Canadians who use social media networks regularly. The three most popular social networks in Canada are Facebook (77% of Canadian social media users are on the platform), Instagram (58% of Canadian social media users), and Twitter (37% of Canadian social media users).

In this article, we explain how you can start an Instagram business and how to leverage the platform to grow your audience.

Instagram on a mobile phone

How to Create an Instagram Business Account

It may be news to you, but not all Instagram accounts are created equal. To truly benefit your business, make sure you make an Instagram business account rather than a personal account. Business accounts have tools to help you grow your business, including:

  • Providing insights into your posting performance and audience demographics
  • The ability to add a “contact” button to your profile page
  • An option to “boost” posts with Instagram ads
  • The opportunity to create e-commerce posts that allow customers to buy products via Instagram

To create an Instagram business account from scratch, do the following:

  • Download the Instagram app for iOS, Android, or Windows on your smartphone or tablet and click “Sign up”.
  • Enter your email address – it’s best to use your designated business email here.
  • Choose a username and password. Think of your username – it should be professional and recognizable. Ensure you create a strong password and keep it confidential.
  • You now have a basic Instagram account. To make it a business account, go to your profile and tap the icon in the top right-hand corner.
  • Tap “Settings”, then “Account”, and select “Switch to a professional account”.
  • Select your business type from Instagram’s list.
  • You’re all set!

5 Tips for Creating a Successful Instagram Business

1. Make your profile look well-established before you “launch” it

The first people to land on your business profile shouldn’t get the feeling they’re on a page that’s still under construction. Every engagement matters, so make sure your profile is interesting and informative. That way, visitors want to come back to learn more.

Add a short biography that summarizes your business, and include ways to contact you, such as your phone number, email, website URL, and a physical address if you have a location where customers can visit.

Next, create between three to six posts to set the tone for what your future followers can expect from your account. Many businesses like to have an aesthetic to their page. If this applies to you, consider setting a rule for the colours and style of your pictures and the writing style of your content below each post. That way, you’ll be able to maintain your “look” from the very start.

2. Drive traffic to your Instagram account from all sources

For a successful launch, you want to get as many current customers as possible, friends, and family members in the know. When you’re ready to share your page with the world, spread the news via your blog post, newsletter, email marketing lists, and in-person.

To keep the traffic flowing to your page, add your Instagram handle to your website and business card, your email signature, and on printed banners. The list of places you can add your Instagram account is endless.

3. Create (and maintain) a content plan for a good flow of traffic

Posting the occasional image on Instagram won’t get you much traffic. Instagram feeds are full of businesses trying to stand out and gain attention in a virtual network of over a billion users. So how can you captivate your audience? Studies show that the more you post per week, the more unique users will see your posts. As a result, you can expect to gain more likes and comments with a greater reach. This traffic is what can help to generate growth. 

To create enough content, try to plan what you will post in advance. Content planning can be time-consuming, but it helps keep you organized and focused on your goal of attracting followers. To make the process a little less taxing, Instagram allows you to schedule posts ahead of time via their desktop site or a third-party app.

4. Boost engagement by encouraging followers to interact with your page

After you’ve built an Instagram following, you want your followers to be coming back for more. Make your page a place where followers are encouraged to engage and interact. An easy way to do this is to ask your audience relevant questions that prompt feedback. For example, if you run a home-based business such as a bakery, ask your customers which flavour cupcake is their favourite or what they’d like to see from you next. If you run an e-commerce business, you can create an online store on Instagram, making it easier than ever to engage followers, and drive sales.

Additionally, offer incentives that keep followers coming back to your page. For example, offer exclusive discounts that they can only find on your Instagram page or run a giveaway contest for those following you. The discounts and giveaways don’t need to cost you a lot – the engagement should be worth the investment.

5. Safeguard your business with insurance that’s right for you

Every business is unique, but there’s one consistent thing – all companies have risks. Creating an Instagram business account isn’t a precarious move. However, as you’re likely interacting with more people than usual, it can make you more susceptible to specific claims. For example, you could face allegations of libel or slander for publishing your thoughts about a competitor or find yourself with a lawsuit for professional malpractice if you share bad advice online.

Always protect your business with an insurance policy that’s custom-built for you. Fill out an online application to get a free quote. Our licensed brokers search over 50 Canadian insurance providers to ensure you’re getting a great deal on your coverage.

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About the Author: Lauren Barber