As Instagram continues to grow in leaps and bounds, many brands and influencers are looking for ways to make the most out of this visual platform. One of the easiest and most effective marketing actions you can take (if you haven’t done so already) is to upgrade your Instagram profile to a business account.
But how do you do it, and why should you bother? Before we answer those questions, let’s take a look at what an Instagram business account entails.
Instagram Business Accounts
In 2016 Instagram introduced Business Profiles. By changing from a personal to a business profile, users were, for the first time, able to access professional features that gave them more control over their marketing objectives. Since then, additional features have been added to make it a must-have for savvy marketers and brands.
Make it Easier to Connect
The business profile gives users the option of including specific contact information and links making it easier for customers to connect. You choose how to set it up and it will provide users with an email address, a physical location or a phone number. This makes it much easier for your customers to get hold of you directly.
The business profile also includes the option to nominate the industry in which you operate, which helps users to understand just what it is that you do.
An additional feature is the call-to-action section in the ‘Contact Options’ in your business profile that can integrate with other apps and sites such as Eventbrite, online scheduling tools and much more. Using this feature will add a call-to-action button such as Get Tickets or Book Now, streamlining the customer experience.
Importantly, a business profile allows users to ‘follow’ your account immediately. There is no ‘follow request pending’ as there typically is with personal accounts.
One of the greatest benefits of connecting as a business is that by upgrading you gain access to Instagram Insights. This useful tool will afford you access to the all-important information on customer demographics and engagement.
The Instagram analytics tool offers business owners detailed data on the demographics of followers and some insights into online behavior. It provides information about which of your content and posts the users find most interesting. This allows you to analyze what works and what doesn’t, so you can focus on the most popular content, saving time and effort.
The valuable demographics available to business profile users include gender, age, location and the times that your followers are most active. The analytics offer real-time information on simple to read graphs and tables, similar to what you would find when using Facebook Page Insights.
Advertising and Marketing with Instagram
Business profiles are able to run Instagram ads or promoted posts and you can use the same campaign tools that you have grown accustomed to using on Facebook. When used well, ads can help you to grow your brand, improve sales and drive traffic to your website. Instagram advertising revenue is expected to reach $7 billion early this year, clearly indicating its effectiveness.
Shoppable Posts is also available to those using a business profile. This feature allows you to tag products. When they are tapped, the users will receive information about the products and links to the websites so that they can buy the item. This streamlines the buying process from research to purchase with no need to leave the platform.
Instagram will allow you, as a business user, to automatically schedule posts using a third-party Instagram scheduling tool such as MavSocial. In this way, you can queue your posts and forget about them. Used along with the analytics you can schedule your posts at the times most preferred by your followers.
If you have managed to build up your number of followers to 10,000 or more, an Instagram business profile will also allow you to add links to your Instagram Stories. Using this feature, you can convert your traffic by using a swipe uplink that will take the user to the point of purchase. You can also include affiliate links and earn commissions.
What are the Disadvantages of Upgrading?
On the downside, the Instagram business profile limits you to connecting to only one Facebook account whereas you can link to an unlimited number of Facebook accounts using a personal profile. The only other feature that you’ll lose with the change is the ability to privatize your posts, but as a business why would you want to do that?
To set up an Instagram business profile you must have a Facebook business page. Some businesses have resisted changing to business profiles fearing the loss of organic reach that they experienced with the Facebook algorithm changes. The many benefits of upgrading to the Instagram business profile are, however, undeniable. If you are not happy with the result of changing to a business profile the action is completely reversible.
How to Change Your Personal Profile to a Business Profile
If you already have an active Facebook business page, it will take you no more than a few minutes to change your Instagram account to a business profile. It won’t cost you anything.
- The Facebook profile that you use to convert your Instagram profile must have admin rights
- Make sure that your Instagram profile is set to public
- Go to settings (click 3 parallel lines at top right of Instagram app and settings it at the bottom of the new window) and select ‘Switch to Business Profile’
- Choose the Facebook page that you want to connect to your Instagram business profile
- Go to the business profile setup page to ensure that the information there is as you want it. Choose a category for your business. Tap ‘Done’.
Now you can start using the business profile feature and Instagram Insights.
Make the Most of the Benefits
25 million businesses now use Instagram Business Profiles. Instagram has over 1 billion users across the globe. Every day around 200 million Instagram users visit business profiles. This sort of reach has the power to increase your traffic, your sales, and your profits – so what are you waiting for? Make the change today.