As much as I love using SEO, I can admit you can’t always rely on one strategy alone. My favorite thing to pair with SEO is knowing how to use Instagram for business.
It’s helped me get a few gigs and sales. Plus, I love how you can build a community for your business or brand.
Before we get into the Insta tips, this post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy to learn more.
Start With Your Niche
One of the first things you need to do is figure out your niche. Assuming you already have a music biz, you can use that. For example, my niche is blogging, so I use my Instagram to talk about that and related topics.
If you don’t choose a niche, you’ll have a much harder time growing an audience and using that to grow your business. One of my favorite business quotes I’ve heard is:
“If you confuse, you lose.”Donald Miller
As much as I may want to post a picture of my dogs or some other personal thing, my business Instagram isn’t for that. I might share it in my stories but not in the feed.
Sharing all of that will just confuse people and lead them to click away. So if you want a more engaged audience, you need to focus on one topic or niche.
Write a Good Bio
Once you know what your niche is, it’s time to write a compelling bio. I love how you can make your display name optimized for search. That way, when someone searches for what you do, your profile may show up.
You’ll also want to write the actual bio. You can format it as a paragraph, and you can explain who you help and how. Another option is to list things that you do or about your personality.
At the bottom of your bio, you can also add a website link. A lot of people use link tools, but your website is the best one. You can create a special page like mine so that people visit your site directly.
If you offer any local services, such as in-person music lessons, I’d also add your city. Then, people will know for sure if your business is the right one for them.
Choose the Right Profile Type
Instagram gives us three profile options: personal, business, and creator. I’d recommend either the business or creator profile types. Both come with analytics so that you can see which of your posts perform the best.
I like how with a business profile, I can schedule posts to publish automatically. With a creator account, you can schedule posts. But you’ll get a notification, and you still have to be ready to publish the post yourself.
If you want to run ads, you’ll also need a business account. The account is best for companies or solopreneurs. But the creator profile is best for individuals and creators who want to do brand deals and similar content.
Set a Content Calendar
Without a consistent publishing schedule, it can be almost impossible to grow on Instagram. That doesn’t mean you need to post something to your feed every single day.
I try to publish a new post to my feed at least three times a week. That gives me plenty of new content, but it also leaves room for impromptu stuff. A couple of weeks ago, I was inspired to share an extra post, but that doesn’t always happen.
Having a content calendar or posting schedule can help you stay on track. Then, you can batch create all of your posts for the week or month. All you have to do after that is schedule and post all of the content.
I also like to create stories to go along with my feed posts. But I’ll post stories without planning them ahead as well.
Select Your Brand Pillars
Brand pillars or content pillars are the overarching topics you cover on your Instagram page. They all have to do with the niche you selected back in the first step.
As an example, my main content pillars are blogging, music business, and social media. That means whenever I create a feed post, it’s going to have something to do with one of those three things.
You can create up to five pillars. However, I prefer to stick to two or three. Again, there’s that quote that if you confuse people, you’ll lose them. So the fewer pillars you can get away with, the better.
Make sure your pillars have to do with your business. I’ve also heard that your pillars should lead back to one of your paid offers, like a product or service.
Brainstorm Content Ideas
Now, it’s time to get to my favorite part of how to use Instagram for business: content idea generation. I recommend making a list either in the notes app on your phone or in a program like Trello.
In my content board, I have lists for each of my content pillars. Then, when I get an idea for an IG post, I’ll add the post topic to the respective list. That makes it super easy to fill up my content calendar each week.
I’d recommend using the following tools and websites to find content ideas:
- Google auto-complete
- Facebook (specifically groups)
You can also scan your DMs and emails. Those are perfect because you’ll find questions that people want to ask you, specifically.
Repurpose Your Website Content
If you have a blog, you can use it to help with your Instagram strategy. The way I’d recommend doing so is by repurposing your blog posts. I’ll take my blog post for the week and turn it into an IG post or carousel.
For example, I might share three of the top tips or points from the blog post. Then, I have an easy call-to-action (CTA). I’ll ask people to visit the link in my bio to read the entire blog post.
Not only does this help me create Instagram content, but it also helps me get more free website traffic. Then, my blog post can work to promote my various services or products.
The content for my website has already been created. So I might as well adapt it for other social media platforms.
Use the Right Hashtags
Another one of the most important steps for how to use Instagram for business is to make the most of hashtags. That means researching various hashtags to check for:
- How popular they are
- What content ranks at the top
- How relevant the tag is to your niche/biz
Hashtags can be an excellent way to get new people to see your posts. But that won’t matter if you use the wrong ones. Just like keyword research for your blog, you can look for the best hashtags to use.
I like to use a mix of popular hashtags and more niche hashtags. That way, I can reach more people. But I’ll also be able to target people and businesses who are already interested in what I have to offer.
Engage With Your Ideal Audience
You could post all day and all night, and you may see some results. But as you start to use Instagram for business, you need to do outbound engagement. This is where you find accounts that are your ideal clients, students, or parents.
Like some of their posts, leave a genuine comment, and follow the accounts that interest you the most. Then, you can continue to engage with others on the platform to build your audience.
I try to do a bit of engagement each day. You can mix your engagement with current followers, new followers, and people who don’t follow you at all.
Review Your Analytics
Every month or so, I like to look at the analytics for my account. They’re a great way to tell what content performed the best and if you got more followers. Then, you can use that information to adjust your strategy for the next month.
Look at the specific posts that did well, what days of the week they were posted on, and the content type (regular, carousel, reel, etc.). Take that into account when planning your content.
I also like to review things like follower demographics, website clicks, and any other data I can get. I’ll even track that data in a spreadsheet to review later. Instagram only goes back 90 days, so a spreadsheet helps you track your data over longer periods.
Know How You’ll Monetize
If you want to use Instagram for business effectively, you need a plan for how to actually turn your content into revenue. Consider what the goal of your business is, like to book more private lesson students.
Or maybe you want to promote your latest sheet music release. Knowing how you want to make money can help you ensure you have a strategy for what content to publish.
While I don’t like saying you can make money on Instagram (there aren’t that many ways to do that exactly), I do think it’s a great place to drive traffic to your website where you CAN make money.
Staying consistent on Instagram is hard. I’ve been known to take planned and unplanned breaks from posting. Since my recent break, it’s been hard to get a lot of visibility on my posts.
The more you can stay consistent, the easier it will be to grow and keep growing your account. As I mentioned, you don’t have to publish new content daily. But a few posts a week should be more than enough.
You can appease the Instagram algorithm. And you won’t have to worry about spending time getting back into the swing of posting. Sure, the occasional break is fine, but I wouldn’t do it too often if you can avoid it.
Do You Know How to Use Instagram for Business?
Learning how to use Instagram for business is vital for a lot of music entrepreneurs. You can use the platform to build an audience and a loyal community.
That will make it a lot easier to book lessons or gigs. And you don’t even need a massive marketing budget.
But if you want to learn even more about Instagram for business, I’d recommend the Instagram Marketing and Sales Academy. I’ve learned a ton from the course, and I rewatch the lessons regularly.