With more than 200,000 companies using Instagram to promote their businesses, it was inevitable that Facebook would unveil tools to help these users. The tools even look similar to Facebook’s own page insights tool, with reach and impression numbers shown alongside fan growth rates.Facebook clearly feels that its business users would use both Instagram and Facebook, since the tools are so similar.
If you have an Instagram account, you can now “switch” your account to be a “business” Instagram account. This means you will have access to tools, and analytics that can help you increase engagement, and promote posts. This is currently only available in America, Australia and New Zealand but will be available worldwide throughout the second half of this year.
Business profiles are a free feature for accounts wanting to be recognised as a business on Instagram. With a business profile, businesses can choose how they want their customers to get in touch with them: call, text or email with a tap of the contact button as well as get directions. Business profiles also unlock access to insights and the ability to promote.
While the posts will look identical to those coming from regular accounts, the actual profile page will be the only component that will change. This new change fixes a major problem that has been frustrating business owners from the beginning – how to take interest sparked on Instagram and quickly convert that into an action. Now, if consumers happen to see something that they like on a clothing shop Instagram page, for example, they can contact the business with a single tap and inquire about an item or make a purchase.
Following in the footsteps of Twitter and Facebook, Instagram will now offer business users analytical data that shows how their content is performing. Insights on Instagram give businesses actionable information about who their followers are and which posts resonate better than others—all from within the mobile app. By learning more about the behavior and demographics of your audience, you can create more relevant and timely content.
The ability to promote lets you turn well-performing posts into ads right within the app—helping you connect with even more customers. Simply pick a post you’ve already shared on Instagram and add a button encouraging people to take action. You can select a target audience or allow Instagram to suggest targeting for you. After that, your post will be promoted as an ad for any length of time you choose.
I’m certainly looking forward to these new features being rolled out to all, and Instagram have said they will be available worldwide by the end of 2016. So, now may be the time for your business to get on Instagram, if you aren’t already!