Mary-Rose Sutton 02/01/2017

How to Start an Instagram Account for Your Business

After setting up our website on Shopify, designing a logo, naming our store and creating products, it became time to start marketing our business to potential customers online.

At Shopify we have a saying: Go for the lowest hanging fruit first. Creating social media accounts and growing an audience there seemed like an easy first step for generating interest in our products at little or no added cost.

Deciding which social media platform to focus on first was a tough decision and required a little bit of research. We ended up landing on Instagram after learning that Instagram has the highest engagement rates for brands marketing products to their audiences. Although Facebook has more than double the amount of active users (over 1 billion), research shows that Instagram users are more open to interacting with companies selling goods on their social feeds.

So, earlier this month Jane and I created The Stockroom’s Instagram account.

We also created a video to share our own Instagram strategy and some tips on how to create an account that will attract a lot of followers, who you can then turn into customers.

A lot of information is shared in this video so here is a written breakdown of what we cover with links to all the tools we mention:

Consistency

Timing

How often do you post and at what time of day? Finding the optimal time to post your images for the most engagement (likes and follows) then sticking to that routine will help you steadily grow an audience on Instagram

Themes

Sticking to a photography style or subject matter will help minimize unfollows and make your overall grid more attractive to prospective followers.

Two good examples of consistent Instagram feeds are The Gay Beards and Symmetry Breakfast.

Content

Photos

Don’t stress if you’re not a professional photographer or graphic designer. There are tons of ways you can create a great profile without these technical skills.

Influencers

Sending your product to bloggers for free and having them photograph and review your products is an excellent way to source great photography at a low cost.

Frank Bod is a great example of an Instagram account that uses Influencers. 

Curating

Finding existing photos that suit your brand’s aesthetic and using them on Instagram— with photo cred. given to the photographer— is how many successful Instagram accounts source their photographs.

Designing

There are plenty of tools for creating professional looking graphic designs to post on social media. Canva is one of the most popular tools Instagrammers use for layering text over images. We used Adobe Illustrator, but Photoshop or Canva are fine alternatives. 

Captions

Importance

Captions are often overlooked on Instagram, despite being one of the best ways to get likes and comments on your photos. Getting high engagement rates is what leads to your follower’s friends discovering your brand as well—through the Discover or Following sections of Instagram.

Probe for Engagement

Ask questions, encourage comments and liking on your photos through creative copy in your captions. Asking followers to “double tap” (like your photo) if they can relate to what it displays is an excellent way to get those likes pouring in.

It’s Hard Work! These tools make it easier.

Instagress

This software will like, follow and comment on other people's posts for you at astonishingly fast rates, drumming up interest and attention for your account which can lead to more followers.

Webstagram

A powerful analytics tool for Instagram that shows you the top hashtags and user accounts for every category. This is a great place to find the best hashtags to use and top influencers to follow.

Buffer

Schedule all of your Instagram posts in advance so you don’t forget to post everyday. Upload your photos, captions and hashtags into a content calendar and set your social media strategy on autopilot.

Schedugram

Similar to Buffer but Schedugram is a paid service. The advantage is that you won’t ever need to login to Instagram to post your photos to your feed— this software does it all for you.

That’s it! Hope you enjoyed the video. Comment with any questions you might have about setting up your Instagram account or building an online following for you business.

Don’t forget to follow @shopify_stockroom for your chance to win a notebook with additional handwritten tips from us on how to grow your business.

From our biggest failures to our most profitable wins, follow along as we build a million dollar ecommerce business.

6 comments

  • How I made Shopify shopping turn to Instagram shopping

    I felt I must publish this as no clear and detailed instructions I could find neither on Shopify or Instagram

    support sites, and more and more Shopify site owners have become extremely frustrated with it.

    To my experience using iPhones, the marriage between those 2 work with iPhone5 and +. No, it will not work on

    iPhone 4 or less.

    1. Create FB business account (secret code: PITA: pain in the….) on FB

    2. Using iPhone 5 +, log in to Instagram account → Options (gear) → switch to Business Profile

    3. In your Shopify store make sure you selected Instagram sales channel and all your products are added to it

    4. Wait for at least 2 days for Instagram to approve our site…(might take longer if their support sleeps

    until 4 PM he he he)

    5. Once you get confirmation inside of your Shopify store → upload some product images form your site to

    your iPhone image library. I’ve been using iCloud/images on my desktop PC: simply copy from my Shopify Web

    site & paste to my iCloud images folder instead of painfully trying to locate & save images using my limited

    iPhone’s screen

    6. Ha! 1st product to sell → Sign to your Instagram account → go to Options (gear) → Select SHOPPING →

    Products (no you will NOT see your products listed, but don’t panic….)

    NOTE: You have to relate your Instagram account to your FB business one

    7. On your Instagram account home page, tap on SHOP → tap to a product image from your iPhone photo library

    8. Go through until you are prompted to tag it → so enter a tag

    9. Select TAG A PRODUCT underneath the photo → Select product from a list of available products

    NOTE: you may wait up to several days until Instagram list all your products, transfer can be that slow…

    10. SEND → verify if it is shoppable on your iPhone : when you tap on it it should forward to your Shopify

    product’s page

    NOTE: Your product will be shoppoble only on cell phones. If you log in to your Instagram account on a

    desktop/laptop/Mac they won’t be shoppable, just plain Instagram images.

    Check it our on your mobile https://www.instagram.com/freephonestuffnet/ or visit https://topphonestuff.com

    Hop this will help someone.

    Milos
  • How to make your Shopify site Instagram shop ready. 

    To my experience with iPhones, the mariage between those 2 work with iPhone5 and +. No, it will not work on iPhone4 or less.

    1. Create FB buisness account (secret code: PITA: pain in the….) on FB

    2. Using iPhone 5 +, log in to Instagram account → Options (gear) → switch to Business Profile

    3. In your Shopify store make sure you selected Instagram sales channel and all your products are added to it

    4. Wait for at least 2 days for the Instagram approval…(might take longer if their support sleeps until 4 PM he he he)

    5. Once you get confirmaton inside of your Shopify store → upload some of your Web site product images form your site to your iPohne image libaray. I’ve been using a lot iCloud/images on my desktop PC: copy & paste from desktop to my iCloud images section instead of painfully trying to save using iPhone

    6. Ha! 1st product to sell → Sign to your Instagram account → go to Options (gear) → Select SHOPPING → Products (no, you will NOT see your products listed, but don’t panic….)

    7. On your Instagram account home page, tap on SHOP – > tap to a product image from your iPhone photo library

    8. Go through unitl you are prompted to tag it → so enter a tag

    9. Select TAG A PRODUCT underneath the photo → Select product from a list of available products

    NOTE: you may wait up to several days unitl Instagram list all your products, trasfer can be that slow…

    10. SEND → verify if it is shoppable on your iphone : when you tap on it it should forward to your Shopify product’s page

    NOTE: Your product will be shoppoble only on cell phones! If you log in to your Instagram account on a desktop/laptp/Mac they won’t be shoppable, just plain “old-fashined” static Instagram images.

    Check it our on your iPhone: https://www.instagram.com/freephonestuffnet/

    Hop this will help.

    Milos
  • Hey there! Love your video! It looks like the Instagress web service is closed, so you may want to take that off of your list. Thank you for everything you do!

    Amber
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  • Hi, you both have a really nice style & presentation. I like the way you explain things by showing us….good luck to you both I think you will have a lot of success! Thank you for sharing!

    suze

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