Instagram for business profiles appeared in the social media world in 2016.

Ever since, people setting up their #IG accounts have asked themselves whether they need a business account, or whether they can still get the results they need with a personal profile.

There’s something comfortable about using personal Instagram accounts. They’re simple, straightforward, and don’t have any extra bells and whistles to worry about.

However, if you’re using Instagram for a particular reason like you want to attract customers for your website, or improve engagement, then learning how to use Instagram for business is in your best interests.

There are more than 25 million business profiles on Instagram today- they can’t all be wrong.

Do You Need an Instagram Business Profile? Ask These Questions:

An Instagram business profile gives companies investing in social media marketing more bang for their buck.

However, they’re not right for everyone.

If you’re just going to be sharing pics of your #Starbucks drinks with friends, or uploading shots of your favorite kale salads, then a personal account will be more than enough.

So, how do you tell if you need an Instagram for business profile?

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you have more than 10,000 followers? Whether you’re a brand, an influencer, or an individual, the more followers you have, the more you need an Instagram business profile. Accounts with more than 10,000 followers get exclusive perks like the option to add “Swipe up” links to their stories, so you can’t afford to miss out.
  • Could you benefit from Instagram analytics? Need to know which of your posts get the most engagement, or where your audience members come from? Instagram analytics can help with that. However, you can’t access your “Insights” without a business account.
  • Do you want to promote your posts? Ever wished you could just get your content out to a few extra people? If you’re willing to “pay to play,” Instagram business accounts can boost and promote their content to encourage more responses from IG users. However, personal accounts can’t use paid advertising on their profiles.

The three questions above will give you a basic insight into whether a business account is something you have to have. Answer “Yes” to any of those queries, and it’s time to make the switch.

How to Use Instagram for Business: Setting up an Account

If you decide you do want an Instagram for business account, you might be wondering how to get started. After all, this could be your first time going pro.

The good news is that switching is simple.

Start by opening the Instagram app (we’ll assume you already have it downloaded) and go to the drop-down menu on the top right of the screen. On that menu, click on Settings.

Here, you’ll find an option that says Switch to Business Profile

Click or tap on that, and Instagram will ask you a handful of questions, such as what kind of business you run, what your Company name is, and so on.

Don’t panic; you can always undo the process if you change your mind.

On the same Settings menu, after you’ve set up your business account, you’ll see a “Return to Personal Account” option.

If you already have a Facebook account set up for your company, don’t forget to link the two profiles while you’re setting up your Instagram for Business presence. This will ensure that anything you share on Instagram automatically gets posted on your Facebook account too.

Linking Instagram and Facebook is an excellent way to boost your engagement and attract new customers or followers via cross-channel promotion.

The Top Benefits of Using an Instagram for Business Account

Remember, you don’t need to pay anything to use Instagram for business unless you decide to run a paid promotion. With that in mind, there’s very little risk involved in switching.

Additionally, as Instagram becomes more wide-spread among businesses, users are beginning to expect professional companies and brands to have an official business account.

Showcasing your commitment to your company, or your Influencer identity with an Instagram business profile can help you to appear more credible, without risking the loss of followers.

Engagement with brands on Instagram is much higher than on any other social channel, and at least 50% of users already follow brands.

Still not sure if Instagram for business is right for you?

The following benefits might just convince you.

1.     You’ll be Able to Use Instagram Business Insights

For most companies on Instagram, the biggest reason to switch to a business account is that they’ll have access to Instagram Insights.

Instagram Insights is the analytics engine that’s built into your business profile. It shows you everything you need to know about your content strategy, including which of your posts gain the most attention, how people feel about your brand, and where your traffic comes from. Some of the handy things you can learn from Instagram Insights include:

  • Where your audience comes from (Location), and when they log on (time)
  • What customers are saying about your brand
  • How much traffic you’re getting from your bio link
  • How much sales and revenue you got from your last paid campaign

Whether you’re researching your target audience, creating customized campaign, or you just want to make sure your Instagram investments are working, Insights is where you’ll want to get started.

2.     You can Manage your Schedule

If you’re going to be successful on Instagram, then you need to make sure you’re getting your content in front of the right people, at the right time.

If you’re at the head of a busy marketing team, running a company, or just living a fast-paced life, you might not have the time to jump on your Instagram account at the same time every day. Fortunately, Instagram recently made changes to their API that allows companies to set up automated posts through third-party apps like Later.

With access to a scheduling tool, you’ll be able to run a far more consistent and reliable Instagram campaign, perfect for building deeper bonds with your target audience.

3.     You’ll be Able to Build a Better Profile

Having access to an Instagram scheduling tool is a great way to improve your IG profile. These apps often allow you to play around with your grid using a visual calendar so you can make your feed look more attractive. However, there are other ways that you can improve the appearance and functionality of an Instagram for business profile too.

When you’re set up as a business user, you’ll find a number of new features on your account that you didn’t have before. For example, you can set up a “Contact” button that will allow customers to click on your IG profile to reach you. The contact button can be set up to share your email details, phone number, or even a map to your location.

Followers can tap the “Get Directions” option on their Instagram app to figure out where you are.

This is particularly useful for companies that want their customers to reach out to them for quotes, visit them in person, or just start a conversation.

4.     Place links in your Instagram Business Stories

Above, we mentioned that if you have more than 10,000 followers on Instagram already, then you should definitely consider learning how to use Instagram for business. That’s because most Instagram profiles will only get one option to place a link on their account, with an URL on their bio.

However, if you’re a business user with more than 10,000 followers, you can also add swipe-up links to your Instagram Stories. This means that you can automatically send your followers straight to the products you’re showing them in your Stories, improving your conversion rate, and your engagement levels.

If you’ve been struggling to build the traffic on your website, or you’re trying to improve the sales of your eCommerce products, then Instagram Stories links could be the perfect solution. In January 2019, 500 million people on Instagram were using Stories every day!

5.     Run Paid Promotions and Boosted Posts

A link in you Instagram Stories is great – but it will only reach the people who are already following your account, and a handful of customers who find you on the Instagram Explore page.

The good news?

If you’ve got something particularly important to share on Instagram, like details of an upcoming sale or some new products, then you can improve your chances of reaching more people with a paid promotion. An Instagram for business account gives you access to ads, which you can manage through the Facebook Ads Manager platform.

There are a bunch of different kinds of ads available, including Photo ads, Stories ads, Carousels, videos, and so much more. Additionally, because you’re setting your promotions up through Facebook, you’ll also get access to the company’s incredible targeting services too. That means that you can make sure you’re connecting with customers from the right niche and background for your business.

Since you also have Instagram Insights as a business user, you’ll also have the opportunity to track the performance of your campaigns and measure your ROI.

6.     Sell More with Shoppable Posts

Having an Instagram business account also means that you can sell your goods directly from the world’s favorite visual sharing platform. If you’re running a company that’s totally #Instagrammable – such as something in the fashion, food, or jewelry industry, then it could be the perfect place to ramp up your sales.

Shoppable tags on your posts mean that your users can click on the products that they like when they’re browsing through your content and buy anything that they’re interested in there and then. You can include a link to your website on the shoppable tags, as well as a price and the name of the product you’re selling.

Remember, you’ll be allowed to tag a max of five products per image, and up to twenty products in an Instagram carousel. You’ll also be able to fill out the “Shop” section of your Instagram profile, for customers who miss the shoppable content you post directly to your feed.

7.     Get the VIP Treatment

Now, let’s be clear – there’s no direct evidence that a business profile will get you new features faster than a personal profile. However, it seems likely that Instagram would be more likely to test new offerings with businesses, brands, and influencers who are committed to their profiles, than random users.

Instagram is frequently improving it’s algorithm and rolling out new solutions for the social media audience of tomorrow. If you have a verified business account, then you might discover that you end up on the #VIP list for people to be given early access for new services.

In the past, tools like swipe-up links and IGTV have been exclusively rolled out to businesses with verified accounts. Since you can only get “Verified” if you have an Instagram business profile, you’ll need to upgrade to improve your chances of early access.

Ready to Use Instagram for Business?

Switching from a personal profile to an Instagram business account might seem daunting at first.

However, it could also be the best decision you ever make for your social media strategy.

When you sign up for an official business account, you open the door to countless new features that aren’t available for standard Instagram users. Not only can you improve your chances of worldwide exposure with paid ads and shoppable links, but you can also learn more about your followers through in-depth analytics too.

Unless you’re a #Casual Instagram user who only logs on to share pictures of their favorite foods, there’s no downside to learning how to use Instagram for business.

You’ll unlock endless new opportunities, and you can always switch back to your personal account if you think that the pressure of going “Pro” is too much.