Today, there are more than 25 million businesses using Instagram to promote their brands.
With more than 1 billion people active on Instagram as of 2019, it makes sense for your company to join the ranks of countless corporations discovering the benefits of Instagram. However, it’s fair to say that you can’t get the most out of your Instagram advertising campaign using just your standard personal account.
If you want to access advanced analytics, unlock new promotional opportunities, and reach out to a broader range of customers, then you’re going to need a business account. The question is, how do you start designing the kind of account that speaks to your target audience?
Don’t worry, we’re here to help.
Creating your Instagram Business Account (from Scratch)
If you’re new to Instagram , then the first thing you need to do is download the Instagram app either from the Apple Store, or Google Play store on your smartphone. This shouldn’t take long, as long as you have a good internet connection.
Open the app and tap on the “Sign Up” option, then type in your email address. If you haven’t got an Instagram account, but you do have a Facebook profile, you can also choose to sign in with Facebook. This can save you some serious time when it comes to importing contact details, pictures, and other useful information. Don’t worry, if you decide not to sign up with Facebook, but you want to connect your account later, you can do that at a different time.
Once you’re finished entering all of your business details, you’ll have a standard personal account – the same kind of profile that anyone on Instagram can have. To transform that account into a business account, you’ll need to take a few additional steps.
Switching to a Business Account
Log into the app and tap on the profile icon (the thing that looks like a little person) to go to your account page on the app. Tap the three lines in the top right corner of the screen and click on “Settings.”
When your Settings menu pops up, scroll down to the tab that says, “Switch to Business Account.”Click on this option and tap “Continue.” At this time, you can once again choose to connect your Facebook business page to your Instagram account. This is a good idea if you want to invest in some cross-promotional campaigns later.
Instagram will guide you through the process of linking your Facebook account step-by-step – or you can skip straight through to adding your contact information. For your Instagram account to be a business account, you’ll need to give an email address, physical address, or a phone number (or all three). Hit “Done” when you’re ready, and you’ll be on the path to Instagram success.
Setting Up Your Instagram Business Profile
With your Instagram for Business profile set up, you can start to take advantage of some of the special features that come with this kind of account. We recommend making the most of these features when you start filling out your business profile:
- Contact information: As a business, you’ll be able to add additional contact options to encourage customers to get in touch with your brand. You can add a phone number, email address, and even a physical location for your business.
- Category: This is the information that appears under your name to show people what your business does. It’s a great way to provide more insight to your followers, particularly when you consider the limited space that you have in your Instagram bio.
- Call-to-action buttons: With an Instagram business profile, you can set up call-to-action buttons that allow you to interact with your followers. These buttons give people the option to make reservations, buy tickets, and book appointments within your Instagram profile.
Instagram’s range of unique features for Business users makes it easier to capture audience attention with a variety of fantastic capabilities. Aside from these initial solutions, you can use to upgrade your Instagram profile, here are some of the other things worth exploring on your Instagram business account.
Instagram Insights: For Business Analytics
With a personal Instagram profile, you probably don’t need to know where your followers are located in the world, or what time they get online. You won’t even need to know which of your posts get the most responses or engagement – although that information is pretty interesting. On the other hand, as a business, every data point you can access on your Instagram business campaign is valuable.
A business profile on Instagram gives you direct access to Instagram Insights, the in-built analytics tool for the social channel.
Instagram Insights offers a behind-the-scenes look at your Instagram performance, including the new followers you’ve gained, the impressions that you’ve got, and the number of posts you’ve made over time. You can even check things like how many people have clicked on your bio link to back to your website.
Instagram Ads and Promoted Posts
Another major bonus of having an Instagram for Business account is that you get the option to promote your posts and boost the chance that you’ll reach a wider range of customers. Because Instagram belongs to Facebook, you get the same advanced range of targeting options in your Instagram ads that you get on Facebook. You also get to use the same step-by-step solution that you’d use to set up things like Facebook Carousels and promoted posts, on Instagram.
While it’s rarely a good idea to rely entirely on promoted posts and paid advertising to get your message across on Instagram, you can gain a lot of extra followers this way, particularly when you’re just starting. Make sure that you explore your options when it comes to things like photo ads, Stories ads, IGTV ads, and live video ads:
Instagram Shopping and Checkout Functions
Speaking of all the opportunities you have to boost your chances of conversions on Instagram, did you know that a business profile gives you the option to tag products directly in your posts? With shopping tags, you can share content that gives your audience a direct link to the product pages that you want them to visit – boosting your opportunities for business-transforming sales.
Your account will need to be approved before you can start accessing the “Shopping” features on Instagram, and this can take a few days. To get started, go into your “Business” tab in your Instagram Settings and tap on Shopping, then click “Continue.” Select the product catalog want to add to your Shopping feature, then just wait to be approved.
If you have more than 10,000 followers on Instagram, you can also add links to your Instagram stories if you have a business profile. This allows your users to swipe up when they see a product they like in your Stories and visit your product pages directly.
Instagram Quick Replies
Another handy function that comes just for people with Instagram Business profiles, is the “Quick Replies” function. This is less of a feature for sales opportunities, and more something intended to help you manage your customer service via Instagram.
If you’re a company that tends to receive a lot of repetitive direct messages on Instagram, the Quick Reply function saves you some serious time. You can use it to create messages that respond to your most frequently asked questions, so that you can reply to followers with a single short-cut word. All you need to do is go into your profile and tap the button with three lines at the top right corner of your screen. This will open the menu that takes you to your Instagram Settings.
Tap on “Business Settings” and choose the “Quick Replies” option. Hitting the plus button on this page will allow you to create quick replies and assign a shortcut to them.
Once you have a bunch of Quick Replies set up, whenever someone slides into your DMs with a common question, you can respond in seconds. Just remember that you might not be able to use quick reply for absolutely everything.
Instagram Branded Content Approval
Instagram’s business accounts are designed to help companies make the most out of their time on the social media channel. Part of this involves making sure that you can manage the kind of image you build online. With a business account, Instagram will give you the option to restrict who can tag you as a content partner in their posts. This prevents Instagram users from falsely claiming that they have endorsements from your company.
Once again, to make the most of this feature, you’ll need to go into your profile and tap on the button with three lines at the top-right of your screen. In your Business Settings, click on “Branded content” and toggle the button that says, “Require Approvals.” Whenever someone tries to tag you as a branded content provider, you’ll get a notification asking you to approve or deny the tag.
You’ll also be able to set a list of “Approved Accounts” that can automatically tag you without approval.
Creating your Instagram Business Profile
An Instagram business profile is one of the easiest ways to take your company’s presence on Instagram to the next level. Once your account is set up, people can follow your business account, just like a personal account. The main difference is that you have a lot more control over how you boost your visibility as a brand and manage your content.
If you’re advertising on Instagram and you haven’t made the switch to a business profile yet, what are you waiting for? Go and get your hands on some extra Instagram features!