Instagram is the place everyone looks to for beautiful photos of anything you might imagine, from random dogs to knitting projects, but it turns out that it’s also an exceptional platform for businesses with something visual to sell. With the new business profiles, doing business on Instagram will be easier than ever.
Even though companies like National Geographic, Coca-Cola and Staples have been long time residents of this picture perfect social network, Instagram is finally rolling out formal tools for businesses large and small.
Businesses approached Instagram with a big problem: using Instagram for business didn’t really stand out from the personal profiles on the service. Instagram took this simple problem and created a suite of tools to make it possible for any business owner to easily turn their business’s ability to attract attention up to 11.
“We’ve grown to 200,000 active advertisers on Instagram, and the vast majority of those are small to medium businesses,” James Quarles, Instagram’s Global Head of Business and Brand Development told TechCrunch. “Fifty percent of people follow a business on Instagram and sixty percent learn about products and services on Instagram.”
A Few Tools to Boost Your Brand on Instagram
The tools Instagram is adding for businesses might seem familiar, but that’s probably because they are.
Instagram business profiles will provide basically the same tools you get on any social network, but as with any social network, they’re going to need to be applied slightly differently in order to attract the type of user that happens to frequent Instagram and your brand’s media there.
These are the tools you should get familiar with right away:
- Your Instagram Business Profile. Without activating your business profile, you’re still just manning a standard Instagram account. Once you’ve activated this option, however, you can connect your Facebook page, add contact information like email, a phone number for calls or texts and your location if your business is physical. Add or remove the contact information that works best for you, but marvel in it, because you now possess the only type of account that allows direct contact on the site.
- Instagram Insights. Being the sister site of Facebook, the King of Insight, it should come as no surprise that Instagram for business has some pretty nifty insights into who’s checking out your posts. See details like gender, age, location and user time zones, as well as the traffic broken down by time of day and the day of the week.
This might not sound awfully exciting, but you can save a lot of effort by running the right ads for the right audience at the right time using insights like these. Instead of running an ad targeting 25-year-old women at 6 pm on a Thursday, your Insights may tell you they’re much more likely to see your ads at 3 pm on Wednesday—you just saved a bunch of energy and made your Instagram marketing significantly more effective.
- Instagram Advertisement. You don’t have to be content with simply posting to your feed and hoping for the best. With an Instagram business profile, you also get access to the world of Instagram Advertisement. Using a scaled-down version of Facebook’s paid post app, Instagram will allow you to choose your budget, your audience, their location and dial them in even further based on their interests. Targeted social media posts are a highly effective way to market your goods on other networks, provided that your advertisement matches the expectations of your target audience, and there’s no expectation that it’ll be any different on Instagram.
- Linking Your Accounts. This isn’t a tool as such, but it’s an important ability that you absolutely should take advantage of right away. Just because someone finds you on Instagram doesn’t mean that’s where they really want to see you—they may just be passing through. Give them the option to interact on other social networks where they might be more comfortable or where your marketing might speak to them better. You’ll also be able to share your Instagram posts across multiple platforms with this option enabled, so it could save time if you find yourself in a pinch.
Boosting your social media presence by using Instagram for business with the new branding tools is a simple trick if you pay a little extra attention to your audience. If your company provides a service or a product that’s better shown than explained, Instagram business profiles are definitely for you. Take a few minutes to see everything this platform can offer your company.