What is Instagram Business Tool?

The photo-sharing app became an instant hit with “sociorazzi” since its inception and has garnered more than 400 million active users (more than even Twitter!) till date. As has the trend been with other social media platforms, Instagram started appealing to businesses in their quest to attract more and more followers and create a brand reputation. Many businesses have used Instagram innovatively and with great success.

Businesses wanted more from the platform and the good folks at Instagram listened to them. Three key needs became clear. Businesses want to – stand out, get insights and find new customers. With these needs in mind, Instagram launched their new Instagram Business Tools.

How can you make an Instagram Business Profile?

If you wish to be recognized as a business on Instagram, you can do so with a business profile which is a free feature. Only those who have a Facebook business page can create a business profile on Instagram.

To access your Instagram Business Profile, make sure that you have the latest update of the app. Once you’ve updated the app, visit your public profile on the app and tap the settings wheel (gear) icon at the top right to access your account settings.

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Tap on Switch to Business Profile and tap Continue as to connect your Facebook account. You can connect one Facebook page to your business profile. (If you have multiple Facebook pages, it is worthwhile to connect the page that you use the most to share updates and connect with your followers.) Make sure that you are listed as an Admin on your business page; else you might not see your Facebook page from your Instagram account.

Once you are connected, your Instagram profile will automatically access the information on your Facebook Business Page. Make sure that you have a physical address, phone number and email address for customers to connect with you. You can edit the information that appears on your business profile anytime you want.

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How does a business profile look different from public Instagram profile?

Once you’ve set up your business profile, you’ll see a “Contact” button that helps your followers access the contact information that you had previously added while setting up the profile.

Also the business type (that you selected within the Facebook Business Page) is visible on your Business Profile. At the top right, next to the “Settings” (gear) icon, you’ll see your “Insights” icon. A visitor on your business profile can immediately recognize you as a business and with the tap on the “Contact” button can see your contact details and choose to contact you directly.

They can also get directions to your physical location through a linkable location tag (that appears on the bottom bar). You can remove the address if you do not wish customers to visit you. These are the differences between a normal public profile and a business profile.

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Instagram Insights becomes active from the moment the Business Profile is activated; it cannot pull historical data.

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What type of images work well for business?

Even though you have a business profile doesn’t mean that you cannot have fun on Instagram. In fact, Instagram is meant to have fun with. You need to keep a healthy mix of fun images and business pictures.

Your pictures need to showcase your brand values and at the same time should highlight customer experience. The idea is to tell a story and create a brand reputation and not to treat Instagram like a product catalogue. Brands which use the platform as a promotional tool often fail on Instagram.

Instagram is the best place to showcase your company’s values through pictures. Like, if you are a fun-loving group of people who treasure customer satisfactions above all else, show this through pictures of your team and your customers having fun. Take the example of Virgin America, whose tagline, “A breath of fresh airline,” says it all!

No discussion on the best brands on Instagram could possibly be complete without including National Geographic. A brand formed way back in 1888 and known mostly for its print magazines with all those amazing pictures, it is an example of how a century-and-a-quarter old brand can still keep pace in an evolving marketing world. It has close to 43 million followers and mostly posts contributor photos from around the world.

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What are the features of Instagram Business Tools?

Apart from giving the ability to potential customers to contact you – through call, text or email – a business profile also gives you access to insights and the ability to promote your business.

Insights give businesses actionable information on their followers, and which posts are getting better traction. This can help businesses create relevant content. Insights will have metrics like top posts, reach, impressions and engagement around each post. It will also give you information on your followers like age, gender and location. The following is a snapshot of how this will look on iOS.

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Follower location can be viewed according to country and can be narrowed down to city which gives you abetter sense of the time zones you should be posting in to reach the maximum number of customers.

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Once you post something, you’ll be able to see the metrics of how the post is doing.

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To see metrics for individual posts, tap on See More. Each post will display the image and the number of current engagements. There are links for Impressions, Reach and Engagement for every individual post.

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If you click on the See More link of your followers, you’ll see breakdown by gender, age, location and the most probable times they are online. You can also create ads out of your best performing posts by selecting it and adding a CTA button. You can select your audience and the length of time for ad promotion. Post promotion is similar to that in Facebook (remember, Facebook owns Instagram), where you simply tap on the post and then tap on the Promote link.

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You can choose your Call to Action button, and then enter the link of the page where the button will take the visitor to and then you can set the audience, budget and duration of the promotion.

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Once you’re done, you get to review your promotion and edit it if necessary. You have to add your payment method and submit the promotion for review.

Once the review is done, your promotion is good to go and it will start running according to the settings. You can check how the promotion is doing by checking its Insights.

Conclusion

Instagram Business Tools are just another way brands can engage with followers. But unlike other socialplatforms, where promotion is encouraged, Instagram is a more subtle way to create fans out of followers who then, eventually, become paying customers and remain loyal for life. How you use these tools to tell your brand story is up to you.