Not long ago, all Instagram accounts were created equal. There was virtually no difference between business and personal accounts. Though it’s still one of the most popular social media networks on the web today, Instagram lacked crucial features that came standard on other platforms.
After receiving criticism and suggestions from businesses last year, Instagram announced
it would be launching Instagram for Business, a new kind of account packed with special features that would allow businesses to better connect with customers.
If you’re a small business on Instagram and you haven’t switched your profile over to Instagram for Business, you’re seriously missing out. Here’s why.
Features of Instagram for Business
When you switch to an Instagram for Business account, you’ll be able to see all its features from within the app. If you’re not sure if you want to make the switch just yet, we’ve included some of the best features of Instagram for Business below.
- Instagram Insights. Instagram’s own analytics tool is powerful for evaluating post reach, engagement, followers, and website clicks. You can filter your posts by content type, engagement type, and date. This only works for posts you upload after you switch to a Business account, so the sooner you switch, the better.
- Contact button. The only clickable link on standard Instagram accounts is in the bio. But Instagram for Business accounts also benefit from a contact button. This allows your followers to email or call you, or get directions to your business, all from within Instagram’s app. You can also import your contact information from your Facebook page.
- Post promotion. If you’re on Facebook or Twitter, you can pay a few bucks to sponsor or promote a post. This means it will reach more people, and will hopefully attract some new followers and customers. Now, business owners can promote their posts on Instagram, too. They can set their own budget and duration for the promotion, and even the audience they want the post to reach.
- Clickable links on posts. This is part of the post promotion feature. When you pay to promote a post, you can add a clickable link or a call to action button directly to the post. This solves one of the biggest problems on Instagram – the absence of clickable links.
Why You Should Use Instagram for Business
We think the benefits of switching to an Instagram for Business account are pretty obvious. Let’s talk about some of the hidden benefits of Instagram for Business.
- Find out more about your Instagram audience. With Instagram Insights, you can discover the demographics of your Instagram audience and how they use Instagram to interact with your posts. That information is incredibly valuable for any business, particularly those looking to use Instagram to boost their brand.
- Improve customer reputation. So you’re a small business on Instagram, but you’re still using a personal account. Your followers will probably wonder why you haven’t switched to an Instagram for Business account yet. What are you waiting for?
- Find new customers. Post promotion allows you to bring new customers to your site. You can also use information from your Instagram Insights to create content that will attract a specific type of consumer.
- Keep your followers in the Instagram app. Before Instagram for Business, customers had to use a browser, navigation app, or other social network to find contact information and directions to the business. That can turn followers off connecting with a business. Now, they can find all that information from within the Instagram app, which is a lot more convenient for both businesses and customers.
- It’s free. Yes, Instagram for Business is 100% free! The only thing you’ll pay for is post promotion. No need to shell out the big bucks for third-party analytic tools.
How to Set Up an Instagram for Business Account
Switching from an existing account is simple enough. But if you’re new to Instagram, here’s a quick and easy way to set up
your Instagram for Business account.
- Create a new account using your work email or business Facebook page. Using your personal email is okay, but if you want your professional contacts to be able to find you on Instagram, you’re better off using your work email. You can also sign up using your Facebook account. Make sure you sign up with the account connected to your business page if you choose this route.
- Choose an appropriate username. Ideally, this should just be the name of your business. But if that’s already taken, try something else. Consider adding a number or a special character somewhere in the username. Whatever you do, make sure it’s appropriate.
- Add a profile photo. Always use a professional headshot or your logo. Never upload a selfie or a photo that isn’t professional. This will decrease your customer reputation, and your followers won’t take your business seriously. Make sure the photo is high resolution and cropped square or circular for the best results.
- Add all your information. You’ll then be prompted to add your full name and phone number. These are optional, but you should add them anyway to complete your profile. You may choose to use your own name or your business’s name – whatever suits you.
- Find people to follow. You can skip this if you want, or you can follow some similar businesses on Instagram. We recommend waiting to follow people until you’ve completed your profile and uploaded at least one post.
- Click “Edit Your Profile”. Add a link to your business and a unique bio that reflects your brand’s vision. Your bio link is the only clickable link on your profile, apart from the clickable posts you promote. It’s vital that you add a link in your bio – if you don’t, your conversion will suffer.
- Add a post. You need to add at least one post. Otherwise, people might think you’re a spam account.
- Go to your settings and choose “Switch to a Business Account”. It’s as simple as that!
If you change your mind, you can switch back to a regular Instagram account at any time. We don’t know why you would, but the option is there if you need it.
Instagram for Business revolutionized the way businesses use Instagram and interact with their followers and customers. While it’s still lacking in business features compared to other platforms, it certainly has come a long way. Besides, with over 700 million monthly users, Instagram is still one of the most effective social media platforms available today, even if it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles.