INSTAGRAM FOR BUSINESS AND HOW TO MAKE IT WORK FOR YOUR BRAND

If you’re a business owner, you’re probably already using Instagram to connect with and build your audience (if you’re not already using Instagram, stop reading this post and create an account). And although Instagram has been an amazing platform for businesses over the last few years, it just got a whole lot better with the launch of Instagram for Business!

You may have already noticed a pop-up appear in your account that asks if you’re a business and if you’d like to switch to a business account rather than a personal account. Before making the change, let’s discuss what this change will mean for your business and what new features you’ll have access to.

Before we dive into the new features, I want to point out that since Instagram is now owned by Facebook, in order to switch to Instagram for Business, you will have to already have a Facebook Page set-up for your business. If you don’t have a business page created, take a few minutes to go into Facebook and set one up. If you don’t want to post to it, that’s totally fine, but you at least have to have one created. Ok, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s dive into the new Instagram features and what they mean for you!

Business Profiles

What is it?

A business profile is a free feature for brands that want to be recognized as a business rather than a personal account. With a business profile, you’ll be able to streamline the way that your audience can get in touch with you. Whether you want potential clients to email, text or call you, it will all be under a new “contact” button on your profile. You can even set it to show directions to your physical business address.

Best way to use this feature:

Think about how your clients are currently reaching you. Do most people call you? Or do they find it easier to shoot you a quick email? Also, think about the nature of your business and which method makes the most sense for you. For example, if you’re an online retailer and you don’t have an office space that you want people coming to, it would make the most sense to share a phone number or email rather than a physical address. However, if you’re a local shop, you would probably want to include directions for new customers who might not know exactly where you’re located.

Insights

What is it?

Insights on Instagram will give you information about who your followers are and what posts resonate most with them. You’ll be able to see all of this information right inside the app itself!

Best way to use this feature:

The best way to take advantage of insights is to mix up the content that you post. Post different types of images, post videos, vary the length of the captions, try asking questions to your audience, etc. Then take a look at your insights and see what type of content your audience is most receptive to. Remember, your audience is made up of your current and potential customers. The more you’re able to connect with your audience and give them the type of content they want, the more likely they are to keep coming back for more!

Promoted Posts

What is it?

Promoted posts allow you to take your Instagram posts and turn them into paid ads. The cool thing about this is that you’re able to do it really simply within the app, rather than having to go online to do it. Paid Instagram posts will allow you to reach a wider audience than just the people that follow you.

Best way to use this feature:

Let me start by saying that I think you should always focus your energy on building an organic following rather than paying for posts. You can have a really successful Instagram account without paying a single penny, so this shouldn’t be your main focus! If you're going to use the promoted posts feature, make sure to only promote posts that have seen success in the past. If you posted an image last month and you only got a few interactions on it, don’t spend money promoting it! If your organic followers weren’t into it, a paid audience won’t be into it either!

So, after learning about these new features, is Instagram for Business right for your brand?