There’s a question that (surprisingly) still pops up from time to time – namely, “should I convert to an Instagram business profile?”. It’s still the case that some brands and businesses believe that switching from a standard profile to a business profile might put their account at risk of lower visibility and engagement. However, there’s absolutely no proof that converting to an Instagram business profile will have a negative impact. In fact, if you’re marketing your business on Instagram, switching to a an Instagram Business Profile is now pretty much imperative!
Instagram first confirmed it was testing business profiles in early 2016, and since then, the number of business profiles on Instagram has soared. By November 30th 2017, 25 million businesses had converted to an Instagram business profile. So there must be something in it! Here’s why so many businesses have made the switch:
1. You get access to valuable insights
Only business profiles get access to key metrics such as impressions, reach, website clicks and profile views on the Instagram app directly. With a business profile, you’ll also have access to insights about your audience, such as age, gender and location, which are a great starting point for building and evaluating your Instagram strategy! With these insights, you’ll be able to see how your content on Instagram is performing, and figure out exactly what your audience wants to see. Of course, native insights aren’t the only option for getting your data. Tools such as Iconosquare can provide even more valuable insights to help you improve your performance and grow your account. However, it’s important to note that as of October 23rd 2018, Iconosquare will only be available to Instagram Business users. Just another to make the switch to an Instagram business profile now!
2. You can advertise on Instagram
Whether you want to grow your followers, boost brand awareness, promote a campaign or generate leads, Instagram advertising is definitely worth considering. After all, ad recall from Instagram ads is 2.8x higher on average than ad recall from other social networks.You don’t need a huge budget to run successful ads – what you do need, however, is a good understanding of your audience, great visuals, snappy copy and, you guessed it, a business profile! With an Instagram business profile, you can apply budget to existing posts and turn them into ads, or you can build an Instagram ad from scratch through Facebook Business Manager or AdEspresso.
3. Converting to an Instagram business profile means you’re easier to contact
With 80% of people on Instagram following a business account (Instagram 2017), you can definitely make the case that converting isn’t going to do you any harm. And, with such a huge potential audience, you want to be able to harness your visibility and make your business easy to contact. Good news, then! An Instagram business profile allows you to display key contact info such as your email address, your actual address (if you’re a brick and mortar store) or and/or your phone number within the mobile app, making it easy for potential customers to learn more about what you have to offer and contact you with the click of a button.
4. You might have the option to become verified
A verified profile is one which Instagram has confirmed is the official Instagram profile of the person, brand or business represented, as opposed to a fan account or a fake ‘scam’ account.
You might already know what to look for to check if an Instagram profile is verified: verified profiles have a little blue tick next to the profile handle – usually, these blue ticks are found next to the names of celebrities with millions of followers, and well-established brands that are already household names. Ok, so if you’re a smaller business, getting verified is actually pretty tough, and there are no hard and fast rules that you can follow to ensure you do actually get verified. However, if you haven’t converted to a business profile, you’ve already taken yourself out of the game!
Why would you want your profile to be verified?
- A verification badge provides credibility and proves to visitors that you’re the real deal. This could be really helpful if you have problems with copycat accounts pretending to be the official Instagram of your brand or business.
- Leading on from the above point, visits to your Instagram profile will increase with the verification badge, as visitors know to choose your account as opposed to any copycat accounts. And more visits = more traffic to your website/more engagement/increased brand awareness.
- Verified accounts often get access to newly released Instagram features first, so they can produce fresh and relevant content that packs a punch before their un-verified competitors even have the features.
Ultimately though, it’s not something you can ask for. You just have to wait for Instagram to verify your profile. So give yourself the best possible chance by converting to a business profile and focusing on growing your Instagram account.
5. UPDATE: Business Profiles can now schedule Instagram posts (without relying on push notifications!)
At long last, Instagram has made changes to its’ API which now allows for business accounts to schedule posts through verified third party tools*, WITHOUT requiring confirmation at the time of posting. This means no more waiting on push notifications when your scheduled content is ready to post! This will come as welcome news for everyone, particularly social media managers who need to post out of office hours, and agencies managing hundreds of client accounts who simply don’t have time to do everything manually. If you’re a one-man-show and running a business that requires you to do a little bit of everything, being able to bulk schedule your posts all in one go and forget about them is a game-changer. Bear in mind though that this is not a feature of Instagram itself, but only third party apps that are official Instagram and Facebook partners, like Iconosquare. Learn more about using Iconosquare’s scheduler for automatic publishing.
6. UPDATE: It’s now possible to track and manage your mentions when you convert to a Business Profile
Another update has just been announced that gives a fresh boost to Business Profiles: it’s now possible to keep on top of your mentions via third party tools with access to Instagram’s API. This means that you can monitor when your profile is tagged in photos, or mentioned in captions and comments, so you’ll never miss an opportunity to network or build your community! It’s also a great way to keep an eye on how your community are interacting with your brand and get a feel for the overall ‘mood’ surrounding your brand – an invaluable insight!
How to Convert to an Instagram Business Profile
To get started, you’ve got to activate your Business Profile option in Instagram settings. As mentioned, this will give you access to Instagram Ads and Instagram Insights (aka ‘native analytics’), and also enable you to add contact buttons to your profile.
It’s really simple – to convert to a business profile on Instagram, all you need to do is go to Options —> Business settings —> Switch to Business Profile.
Bear in mind that your Instagram business profile has to be connected to your Facebook Business page, so make sure you have one set up before you begin the process.
As you set up your Instagram business profile, Instagram will display your business category as it’s set up on Facebook, so check that your settings on Facebook accurately reflect your business.
For a detailed step-by-step guide to setting up a Facebook business page, linking it to Instagram, and converting to an Instagram business account, check out this video from our Customer Education Lead, Jemma O’Leary.
And that’s a wrap! Hopefully you’ve already updated your settings and you’re ready to embrace the benefits converting to a business profile will bring you. If you want to learn more about how you can utilize Instagram to boost your business, check out this article: ‘Small Businesses on Instagram: 9 Tips For Maximum Success‘.
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