Instagram’s business tools are new this summer, allowing companies to upgrade their accounts to free business profiles, but will this upgrade benefit your business? Though the overall function of business accounts seems to nicely parallel the personal pages companies have been using all along, these new tools can help companies shift from straight promotion to effective brand monetization.
Here’s what you need to know about making Instagram’s business tools work for you.
One concern among businesses that have spent years building their Instagram following is that shifting to a business profile might undo all of their hard work. Your follower list is safe, however, because Instagram set up their new profiles so that eligible accounts are offered the option to upgrade; you won’t need to set up a completely new account. All of your content will also travel with your company if you upgrade to a business profile.
Though a great number of Instagram users attest to the fact that the social network helps them discover new products, before the launch of these new tools, companies were deeply limited in terms of promoting themselves. Your company could only put one external site link on their profile – and trying to advertise on Instagram, though very effective, was less intelligently targeted.
One of the other benefits of promoted posts, compared to the old Instagram ad system, is that when you boost content from your business profile, all of the tools you need are built directly into the app. Before they instituted business profiles, however, you had to make Instagram ads through the Facebook power editor. Yes, Facebook owns Instagram, but it’s far more convenient to build your ads in the app they’re meant for.
Though companies have been using Instagram to build their brands for years, one thing the site sorely lacked – and that other sites instituted far earlier – were analytic tools. Without tools to quantify how many people saw a given post or how many were clicking on profile links, it’s been hard for companies to know the exact power of their Instagram campaigns.
Instagram has remedied this shortfall with their business profiles. Known as Insights, this tool gathers all new profile interaction data and is very similar to Facebook’s analytics tools. Unfortunately, Insights doesn’t work retrospectively, so you won’t be able to compare your page’s performance with the new tools against your old Instagram activity.
Beyond Business Profiles
Though Instagram’s new business profiles are set to transform how professionals approach the site, it’s important for companies to stay abreast of other platform trends. So much of what makes Instagram work in terms of content is available to individual and business users alike, and it’s often young people who set the tone for social trends that later become promotional tools.
Take Instagram stories as an example. Instagram stories are modeled on Snapchat stories, and they aggregate content so that multiple images all appear as a single post. It’s a great way to create an extended narrative without crowding everyone’s feed, and businesses should embrace this feature just as readily as any other business-specific tools.
It may have taken some time, but Instagram has finally embraced its popularity among businesses, and now it’s time for businesses to put these new tools to work. With the added data from Insights and improved advertising tools, it’s an exciting time for digital marketing.