In a previous trend of changes mirroring Facebook, Instagram released their own version of Facebook’s brand pages, here you can find out why businesses should use Instagram.
A slew of business features arrived with Instagram’s new and aptly named business profile, and with good reason, sparking a debate on Instagram business account vs personal accounts.
According to Instagram’s Global Head of Business and Brand Development, James Quarles, “fifty percent of people follow a business on Instagram, and sixty percent learn about products and services on Instagram”.
With the business profile update launched, businesses are taking advantage of the access to “insights”.
Let's dive into the discussion of instagram business account vs personal, what features have been added and why your business should switch to an Instagram business profile.
New Contact Button
The business profile doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel and it pretty much works like any other Instagram account. One key feature however, is the “contact” button added to the top portion of the profile.
Before the update, Instagram for small business didn’t really promote dialogue between followers and the owner.
Often it was because questions and comments were buried and lost under the comments section and it was even harder to get followers to an external website.
Of course, users developed a workaround involving shortened links added to the profile to get followers to a site.
But the contact button takes it one step further. It provides customizable contact methods. Including, email, phone number, and even GPS directions to your store.
Multiple ways to contact a business? Check.
Directions to your own store’s doorstep? Check.
Before, Instagram was purely for reputation building and increasing brand awareness but now it has the possibility to directly create conversions and bring followers closer to your brand or store.
Advertise Directly From the App
Another additional feature exclusive for Instagram business profiles is that you can advertise directly from the app now, for many companies, this ends the Instagram business account vs personal debate.
With the new “Promote” button, you can turn your best posts into ads. And then you can promote it for as long as you want, this makes Instagram very helpful for small businesses.
On top of that, you can also personally choose which target audiences you wish to see the ad or you can let Instagram's algorithm choose a suggested audience for you.
Instagram has made turning your posts into ads incredibly easy.
Simply follow these steps to promote a post:
- Navigate to the post you wish to promote
- Click on the “Promote” link on the bottom left corner of the post
- Choose your “Action Button”
- Add your website page link, select your audience
- Select your payment option (you must have a Facebook Ad account setup already)
- Click “Promote” to finalize.
If you are a small business that needs to make adjustments quickly, promoting Instagram posts now couldn’t be easier.
Why should businesses use Instagram? In addition to being able to reach your audience like never before, the business profile comes with a variety of features to analyze and learn about the audience you’re trying to capture.
In the form of “Insights”, you can browse through the analytics of posts and follower activity within the app.
Insights offer multiple ways to understand the current audience and prospective customers and provides analytics for your profile’s posts and followers.
The followers section lets you see their city and country location, their gender, and their age.
The gender ratio is represented on a pie chart and age ranges are displayed on a horizontal bar graph, with a sub category to see the ages of which genders view your posts.
This is the perfect aid for getting to know your demographic and crafting content specific to your target audience.
The followers section even offers data on when your followers are online. Effectively, allowing you to pick the optimal time to post your content and reach the most followers.
Then you can check your total followers in comparison to how many you gained that week. Which makes for a good progress report.
Among the post specific statistics, you can see the top posts for 7 day and 30 day periods. The total number of impressions (total views on your post) is also displayed as well.
The 7 day and 30 day period viewing allows for useful short term and long term content comparisons, allowing businesses to experiment and see the lasting power of their posts.
The other invaluable statistics under Insights include reach (total sum of views by new accounts on a posts), follower activity, and website clicks.
You Must Have a Facebook Page
Another point to take into account for the Instagram business account vs personal account discussion is when converting your Instagram profile into a Instagram Business Profile, you will need to connect it to your Facebook business page (if you do not have a Facebook page for your business, you should create one immediately).
Connecting your Instagram profile to your Facebook page will also aid in promoting your Instagram posts which we talk about further down in this article.
It might be clear by now that this new business profile is a direct response to the needs of smaller businesses.
Instagram is now abundant with features to help growing brands. However, there are some concerns that should be noted.
From non-chronological news feeds to its new business profile, Instagram has been following Facebook’s lead and perhaps that may not be the best thing for businesses. Small and large alike.
Because brands on Facebook reach 6% of followers per post and Instagram currently reaches 100% of their followers per post, instagram for small business is a great idea.
And it’s quite possible that Instagram’s ad algorithms (that were also adapted from Facebook) use the new business profile to limit your reach and influence on users. Just like what happened to Facebook.
Yet, it’s obvious this new profile type is also abundant with features specifically made to help smaller businesses reach out to Instagram’s 400 million active users.
If you need help with managing your account so you can focus on your business, be sure to contact an expert marketing professional to help you with that!