It’s not been around as long as the likes of Facebook and Twitter, but with over 600 million monthly active users as of December 2016, Instagram has rapidly become the number one place-to-be for brands who want to reach their audience through a primarily visual medium – and who doesn’t like a visual medium. Around 10 months ago, Instagram Business Profile tools were introduced, bolstering the app’s offering for brands.

Previously, the platform offered no differentiation between a business and consumer profile, with a website link in a bio about as good as it got. Check out the difference between a (fantastic) consumer profile and a (sensational) business profile below.

Example of Instagram account
Pace Communications on Instagram

However, despite business profiles being around for some time now, we still see plenty of companies who are yet to make the switch. Find out below 1) how to make the switch and 2) what the benefits of an Instagram business profile are.

How to switch to an Instagram Business Profile

1

Gear yourself up

When viewing your profile on mobile - Instagram is designed predominantly for mobile - click on the gear icon in the top right-hand corner. From here, scroll down and select “Switch to Business Profile”.
2

Link your Facebook

Next, you’ll be asked if you want to link your Facebook page to your Instagram profile. Facebook bought Instagram for a hefty $1Bn back in 2012, displaying its belief in the app's value to customers and brands alike. You don’t have to link the two accounts, but it is more effective to do so if you are aiming to grow your following across multiple platforms. Go for it.
3

Check that data

Finally, you’ll be presented with contact information pulled from your Facebook page, including an email address, phone number and address (or if you didn’t link it, you’ll have it all to fill in). Check and amend this data, and you’re ready to go.

So sure, that seemed easy, and now you’ve got some nice shiny new contact buttons, but what of it I hear you ask? Here’s what.

1

The contact buttons have become your call-to-action

This is a positive in multiple ways. Customers can now email, call or find your location with one click, rather than having to leave the app and go to your website to do so, consequently simplifying and speeding up the customer experience. This feature also offers you a degree of control – you can dictate how you would like your customers to get in touch by only filling in the contact fields relevant to you. If you would rather your customers text than call, you can make it happen.
2

Insights offer basic analytics information

Next to that lovely gear at the top-right of your profile, you will now see a graph symbol, and the graph symbol is your friend. Here you can find analytics information about who your followers are, how they behave (e.g. what times they’re most active), and which posts resonate better than others. The information here is detailed enough to be valuable, but simple enough to be easily understood by anyone.
3

The ability to promote extends your reach

With your new business profile, you can now easily turn your posts into ads within the app, giving you the ability to reach an audience larger than your existing following. When viewing your post, you will see a button encouraging you to ‘promote’. From here you can add a button encouraging people to take an action, and create a target audience based on location, interests, age and gender (or you can let Instagram do it for you). Your posts can be promoted for as long as you choose, with the platform offering estimates for the number of people you can reach within the selected target audience for your budget.

If this blog has met its brief, then you now know everything you need to know about Instagram Business Profiles.

However, if you’d like us to take over the whole Instagram process – from content strategy through to publishing and ad management – then get in touch at digital@pacecomms.co.uk.