Recently Instagram announced they’re launching upgraded business pages for their business users. The new profiles come with enhanced features not available in standard profiles, such as ad management, insights, and more.
“We’ve grown to 200,000 active advertisers on Instagram, and the vast majority of those are small to medium businesses,” says Instagram’s Global Head of Business and Brand Development James Quarles, explaining to TechCrunch the demand for specialized tools that business owners could use to amplify their presence on Instagram. Quarles went on to emphasize the importance of providing these new, sought-after services to business owners, “Fifty percent of people follow a business on Instagram, and sixty percent learn about products and services on Instagram.”
If you’ve already registered for a business page on Instagram, here are some things you should keep in mind while making the best use of the new space:
1. Make It Easy to Get in Touch
Instagram’s new business pages make it easier for your fans and prospective customers to get in touch with you. At the top of the page, there is a button labeled “Contact.” If a user clicks this button, they’ll see a pop-up with three options:
- Send Email
- Get Directions
This works similarly to local listings in search for mobile users, so it’s important to publish all your contact information on your page when you set it up. Make it as easy as possible for your followers to engage with you on multiple channels.
For an existing Facebook page, Instagram mentioned in its announcement that users will be able to import their contact information into the new profile.
2. Optimize Your Location
Location optimization is very important. Given the growing number of Instagram users (over 400 million active users), this tool is useful for local businesses that are actively using Instagram but struggling with local promotions due to an inability to include location information.
Users will now be able to click on the location tag of your business, which will launch a map interface that shows your pin on the map. In addition, the “Get Directions” option under the contact menu will route the user directly to your business.
This is a good way to supplement your local SEO efforts to make sure people can easily find you no matter what channel they’re searching on.
3. Monitor Insights
The recent addition of insights will give you a lot more control over your Instagram marketing strategy. Rather than playing the guessing game with content, you’re now able to track which of your Instagram posts are performing well. You’re also able to examine the reach, impressions, and engagement around individual posts.
Audience demographic information is available, including age, gender, and location. You can use all of those insights to enhance your audience research and start crafting more targeted content that is likely to have a greater impact.
4. Mobile-Ad Creation on Instagram
Instagram already had some 200,000 advertisers on their service, with ads being created and deployed from within the Facebook ad manager. The new business pages also provide tools for mobile ad creation.
You can now promote well-performing posts on Instagram in a method similar to sponsoring posts on Facebook, which turns your content into ads.
Unlike the most robust ad platform of Facebook that offers deep insights, ad management, and power editors, the mobile ad manager of Instagram is designed to be quick and easy. You’ll be able to deploy ads with just a few clicks, but that simplicity means you’re more limited in what you can do with your ads.
5. Tie in Your Facebook Audience
Although the mobile ad tool in Instagram doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of Facebook mobile ads, I love that business owners can still benefit from the integration of Facebook and Instagram. You can define audiences within Instagram to some extent, but you can also draw upon your audiences from Facebook.
If you have a business page and you’ve been leveraging the ad platform to create custom audiences, and you’ve used a Facebook Pixel to grab consumer data on your website, those custom audiences can be carried over to your Instagram account.
This gives you an edge over the competition with a newly refined audience for any Instagram post you transform into an ad.
6. Categorize Your Business
Take note of the new ability to categorize your business when you setup the business profile on Instagram. These categories work very similarly to the way Facebook categorizes business and professional pages. This is useful for letting prospects and page visitors know what kind of business you run.
Likewise, if the “Explore” segment expands in the future, it could be even easier for users to find you as they explore business listings by category or location.
7. Links Are Still Limited
Instagram still doesn’t allow the insertion of links in the captions of images, but that shouldn’t stop you from directing traffic from Instagram to your site or landing page. You can place a link to your site in your business profile bio, which can be updated at any time.
Put in a URL for your current campaign and use calls-to-action within your image captions to drive clicks on those links. I recommend checking out this clever post on how Mashable used a URL shortener to make better use of bio links.
8. Use Branded Hashtags
Tried-and-true tactics still work well on Instagram. Make sure you’re using branded hashtags linked to your campaigns. Place those hashtags in relevant image and video posts, and remember to put the primary hashtag in your bio.
When followers click the hashtag in your bio, they’ll see all the relevant posts from you, as well as user-generated content from followers. This makes it easy for them to dive in and join the conversation.
9. Get Creative with Products and Services
Even with the addition of business pages, don’t forget that Instagram is still driven by visual content. Make sure you’re using the platform to leverage user-generated content in addition to promoting your products and services in a visually attractive way.
Brainstorm some unique ways you can use images to tell your brand story, push the benefits of your offer, and make your value proposition clear.
Don’t just push products though; focus on how they benefit people. Photos on Instagram that show faces get 38% more likes than photos without people in them.
10. Connect with Power Users and Influencers
If you’re just coming onboard with Instagram or you’re in the middle of upgrading your profile and need to drive more traffic to your page, I recommend finding a power user to help build your visibility. Influencers in your industry or users with a large targeted following can be leveraged by asking them to give a shout-out to your brand, or you can post images and video with well-known users talking up and showing off your products.
This can drive a ton of targeted traffic back to your new business page and depending on the influencer, this could cost far less than native advertising on Instagram.
Do you have one of the new business pages on Instagram? What techniques are you using to grow your following and engagement? Share your tips with me in the comments below: