It can sometimes seem as though Instagram is a young person’s game, and when it’s your job to think up ideas, you feel the pressure mounting.

Perhaps you post sporadically with no real purpose in order to “get something on there” or you spend hours creating posts in Canva only to get 2 likes.

Whatever your performance with Instagram, these tips can help you make the most of your business Instagram profile and engage with fans.

ONE: Share customer posts in your Stories

“Stories” is a much-underutilised tool by some smaller companies. They are au fait with the basic premise of uploading a photo, but they are not leveraging the power of videos to their full advantage. Every time you add a post to your Instagram profile, you should share it in your Story to increase content views. Also, add a range of images and short videos for variety, including the much-loved Boomerang. This offers a quick snapshot of your business life and personality without demanding too much from the viewer. Using Stories, you can increase engagement through the Questions, Polls and Quiz features. Got a product launch? Include a countdown ticker to drum up excitement.

TWO: Update Stories throughout the day

When you update regularly, there is a chance you will feature near the front of the list of Stories above the post feed. The more Questions and engagement features employed within your stories, the more you will elevate your propensity to pop up in front of everyone else’s Stories.

THREE: Tag customers

Sharing is caring, and acknowledging your clients shows them your love. When you tag people in your Stories, Instagram offers them the chance to include the frame within their own stories. This means your name gets out there to a new potential audience.

FOUR: Get your customers to post your products and designs on their Instagram

When a customer invests in a service or product with you, ask them for a post featuring your company. Make sure they tag your handle so you can then share the post in your Stories. This acts as an endorsement for your brand, but also it means you are giving your customers a little free advertising, which goes a long way to preserving the relationship.

FIVE: Use Story Highlights for each aspect of your business

Stories are ephemeral, which means they disappear after a short time. Immortalise some of the best moments in your Highlights. As a business, it’s a good idea to use Highlights as categories for each aspect of your business. For example, product types or sectors you work with.

SIX: Start your own hashtag

Keep track of customer engagement and monitor posts with a hashtag. Also, use your hashtag for user-generated content campaigns and competitions. This helps you manage the campaign and also promotes brand awareness. Include your hashtag on all your posts and in your bio so your fans know to look out for it and can perform searches to read more about you and your customers.

SEVEN: Use video including IGTV

Video on Instagram is a minute long, but sometimes you have more to say than that. That’s where IGTV comes into its own, with a limit for most users of 10 minutes. Then, you can share your IGTV video to the standard Instagram feed with an option for viewers to keep watching on IGTV once the minute is up.

EIGHT: Prioritise visual

Facebook and LinkedIn tend to be wordier and more knowledge-based platforms. With Instagram, the visual aspect wins out. That’s why you have to have attractive images or text-based graphic that draws people’s eye. Avoid too much text in an image as this risks your feed looking untidy. Opt for photographs, images, short quotes or visually-presented statistics.

NINE: Consider your layout

Images are not in isolation. Each needs to complement the rest to provide a consistent look and feel. Play with the different tiles – A content piece can take up more than one tile too. Tiles can also provide whitespace. Maybe organise the images into columns and rows that contrast with each other. Use a grid-planning tool such as Later to plan out the order of your posts for maximum creativity and to avoid mistakes.

TEN: Tag your products in posts

Instagram is fun to play with and whiles away a few minutes of your working day, but don’t forget that business social media accounts are primarily for relationship building and sales. So why wouldn’t you tag your product? When you feature a product in a post, Instagram Shopping allows you to link viewers to your product page. You have to be approved for Instagram Shopping and submit a product catalogue to enable product tagging. It’s a little technical, but we can help you out.

What are your go-to tips for a business-savvy Instagram profile?