Instagram has always been kind of “too cool” to emulate the other popular social media platforms like Facebook in Twitter which have long been vehicles for ad revenue and an extra step in the sales funnels for the new digital marketplace. With analytics, advertising, and the endless ability to shamelessly self-promote, boost posts, and engage your audience, those two biggies (Facebook and Twitter) have always been about the bottom line (at least for businesses… the same can’t be said for those who use it for personal social interactions).
But that’s all changing. Since Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram there have been a number of changes that are bringing Instagram right into the front lines of digital marketing. For one, Instagram is strictly a visual medium, so it has an edge on Facebook and Twitter which can be “information” heavy.
For a long time Instagram didn’t bother with pushing content into your feed — who you followed is what you saw, and there was not burying of posts or favoring one person you follow over another. Facebook notoriously filters posts through it’s infamous algorithm, but Instagram was different — It effectively had no algorithm (it’s algorithm was a chronological one, the most recent posts were at the top of your feed, plain and simple), but they’ve changed that and they now have a system similar to Facebook with posts that are more popular, or that they think you’ll enjoy more, are pushed to the top of your feed. Now users have to compete in order to get in front of people.
The last feature that Instagram has adopted which you could already find on Facebook and Twitter is analytics (also called insights) which is detailed information about your posts: how many people does it reach, how many clicks does it receive, how long do people watch your videos before turning to something else, etc. You used to be able to get gain some Instagram insights through third party programs, but Instagram itself was pretty hands off, until now, and that’s where Business Profiles come into play.
Business Profile in a Nutshell
So, what exactly is the Instagram business profile, and what makes it different from a normal profile? Don’t tell anyone, but here’s the secret: it’s a profile… for businesses! Any profiles can convert to a business profile, it’s a pretty simple process — and any business profile can convert back to a personal profile at any time. There are really only 3 major differences between a normal profile and a business profile:
Contact You can now add a contact button to your profile! Call, text, email… your preference, but the button will show up right on your page. This is really helpful for business because it means one less click a customer has to make in order to get in touch with you. Profile descriptions still only allow for a single link, so the addition of an additional button on top of your website url is great! No longer are the days where they were required to click a link in your profile to go to your website, navigate the site to your contact page and finally get in touch with you.
Insights Probably the best addition with business profiles. Insights means data which means you can start monitoring trends, target them, and optimize your sales funnels. Customers really like it when you post pictures of cats? You should probably post more cat pictures! Of course, the Instagram insights are a lot like insights on Facebook or Twitter and utilizing the data will take your business to the next level.
Promote Have a post that’s doing particularly well? You can instantly promote it from right inside the app now. Promoted posts look a lot like boosted posts on Facebook, so if you’re familiar with boosted posts then promoted posts should be relatively easy for you to wrap into your current workflow. Once a post is promoted it will still look like a normal post with a few additions: it will have a “sponsored” tag on it, you can add a Call-to-Action (CTA) button to the post, and they’ll always be the square format. It’s important to note that promoting a post is different from advertising on Instagram — ads ≠ promoted posts. If you want to advertise on Instagram you still have to manage that through your Facebook profile, so no real changes there.
Business Profile Account Management
If you run a small business and have Facebook and Twitter pages then you probably already know how much work it can be to manage those profiles. Running advertisements, responding to customers, engaging with fans, pulling analytics and reporting on them… it’s all pretty time consuming and shouldn’t you be focusing on running a smooth business operation without the worry of the internet getting in your way.
That’s when a content management company becomes invaluable. At FEAD we specialize in that kind of thing… it’s sort of what we do best. Feel free to contact us and we can help figure out if an Instagram business profile is right for you.