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Instagram for Small Businesses

Social media is a vital part of reaching out to customers on an online platform, especially Instagram for small businesses. Here the AMI team will walk you through how to set up a social media account for your business!

Basics of Instagram for Small Businesses

In today’s digital world, entrepreneurs (like you!) have the opportunity to expand their reach with the use of social media: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, and more. The days of the ever time-consuming door-to-door sales and sole word-of-mouth advertising are gone.

Expanding your digital footprint will enable your potential customers and other interested parties (think local news stations or local entrepreneur-empowering organizations like us) to more easily find your business. It helps customers understand what your business is all about, and allows you to establish a platform to more personally connect with your customers.

This tutorial will take you through the basics of building and setting up an Instagram for small businesses.

How to Create an Account

Step 1:

Go to your smart device’s app store, look up Instagram, and download. Use the red circles as a guide if needed.

How to download Instagram for small businesses

If you already have a personal profile, great! However, let’s make a second account specifically for your business.

Step 2:

Select an email and password that you will remember and use often. Select a username that should clearly reflect your business, such as your business name if it's not already taken.

(Hint: if it is already taken, try adding “AZ” to the end of it!)

Tip: Unless your business has a number, try to refrain from using numbers in your username. For example, our Instagram is @azmicrocredit, not @ami480.

How to create an account on Instagram for small businesses

Step 3:

Upload a profile picture—this should be a picture of your company logo.

How to upload a profile picture on Instagram for small businesses

Once your account information is created, you will be prompted with some of the following options. If you have contacts with any current or potential customers, it would be a great idea to let them know you have created an Instagram! Also, you should upload a profile picture of your company logo.

Step 4:

Lastly, you will be taken to your account where you may once again be prompted to sync contacts and/or be given suggestions on accounts to follow.

How to sync contacts on Instagram for small businesses

How to Navigate Instagram for Small Businesses

Home page on Instagram for small businesses
Your profile on Instagram for small businesses

Discover page on Instagram for small businesses

Activity on Instagram for small businesses
Direct messages on Instagram for small businesses
Searching on Instagram for small businesses

Setting up Notifications on Instagram

Notifications on Instagram for small businesses

How to Post on Instagram

Posting on Your Page

Posting on Instagram for small businesses

The next section of this article, “Content Creation Tips,” details what you should post specifically.

Posting on your Story

What is an Instagram Story? Unlike a regular post, an Instagram Story only lasts for 24 hours. You can use this to your advantage by posting about special daily deals or events your business is participating in.

Posting on your story is the same process as a normal post, except you will click on the top left icon labeled “Your Story”.

Content Creation Tips on Instagram for Small Businesses

Branding Your Business

Define your brand.

What is at the core of your business? What are your business’s values and mission? What do your customers value, and who is your target demographic? These questions can guide how you think about your business.

If you run a food business that is centered around delicious meals with a fun and vibrant community, you can showcase your food with bold colors. Occasionally show gatherings of people-centered around your food. If your business is driven by your team and your employees, feel free to showcase your team members and write about the awesome work that they’re doing!

Take and edit great pictures.

Although you don’t need to be a professional photographer to run an Instagram, it still helps to have clear, quality photos. Make sure that your photos are lit properly, not blurry, and focus on the subject that you want your customers to see.

Create compelling captions.

Tell a story through your caption—it makes the photo more meaningful, and if your picture needs a bit of explanation, the caption can give your potential customers clarification of what is in the photo. Captions can carry your personality—make them anywhere from punny, whimsical, down-to-earth, informative.

Building an Audience on Instagram for Small Businesses

Liking, Commenting, Following

Engagement on Instagram for small businesses

Instagram is not just about the content that you produce: it’s about the community that you establish on the platform. To begin growing and expanding your Instagram audience, one simple trick is to Like and Comment on the posts of related IG users, and even Follow them as well.

For example, if your business is located in the Phoenix area, you can follow @downtownphoenix, @downtownchandler, @downtowntempe, and other cities’ pages. If your business sells food, then you can follow Arizona-specific food Instagrams (such as @azfoodie) to start building the base of users you follow.

Interacting with closely-affiliated accounts will help others (your potential customers!) in the community find your business through their Instagram pages as well.


Another way to build your audience is to search and follow hashtags in addition to using them in your post.

What is a #hashtag? A hashtag is a keyword phrase with a pound sign in front of it, and it helps to label and identify your post. It helps other Instagram users find your content easily on that same topic—for example, if you have a food business in Arizona, you can utilize #AZfood #Phoenixfoodie to help steer traffic towards your post.

Additional Resources for Instagram for Small Businesses

We’ve curated a list of some of the best articles that you can continue to read to improve your business’s digital presence.

General Business Instagram Tips

Content Creation

Instagram Stories

Instagram Analytics

Instagram Advertisements

About AMI: Contact Us

Arizona Microcredit Initiative is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that strives to empower the underserved entrepreneurs around the Phoenix valley through business instruction, microloans, and consulting.

If you have any questions or comments about the article/want to learn more about how to leverage the digital world for your small business, please feel free to contact AMI at

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Arizona Microcredit Initiative (AMI) has consulting and microloan support for yourself and your business. If you have any more questions, you can schedule an appointment today through or reach out to us at


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