I’m not surprised about Instagram’s latest announcement earlier this month. As a company who was bought by Facebook, it was only a matter of time before we’d see Business Profiles. Instagram's been going through some changes lately (not to mention their logo, which I can't decide if I like yet). We saw the algorithm change in their newsfeed that had many freaking out, and now you’re tempted to freak out about this change too. You’re left questioning whether you should make the switch to these new Business Profiles once they're rolled out. What should you do? Is it worth it?
At first glance it seems like there are only pros for switching over, and that may be the case. Instagram is pulling out all the stops to give businesses better tools to for success online. Instagram wants you there, and they want their users to enjoy interacting with you too. It makes sense that they’re upping their game. But is it worth it or is it hype? These pages have yet to go live, but here’s what we know about them now.
How Are Instagram Business Profiles Different?
In the blog post from Instagram, they go over three new tools that switching over to Instagram’s business page will give you. The idea is that these tools will make your experience on their platform better. They want to see you succeed. I’m going to quickly discuss all three then go over how and if this is really crucial to your business’ success on Instagram.
The first thing you will have to do is select to turn your profile into a Business Profile. Once you do this, you’ll unlock three new tools: contact button, insights and promote. Let’s take a little deeper look at each.
With a Business Profile, there will be a new contact button within your bio where customers can easily contact you through. What typically happens now is someone will comment on a photo a question. Scanning through these comments on every post can be a bit daunting, and maybe unrealistic if your business has a lot of activity. This new tool clears away that clutter. Even more, you get to decide how you want people to reach you: call, text or email. Pretty neat feature and one I believe is worth having. You want it to be as easy as possible for customers to reach you, and you definitely don’t want anyone to be overlooked. This option makes it easy, and I like the idea.
I am an avid fan of knowing who your audience is. Without knowing this, it makes it that much harder to deliver relevant content. I’m eager to learn more about this tool. From what Instagram is describing it as now, it seems like you’ll be able to see which posts are performing better and who your audience looks like all in one place. Learning the behaviors and demographics of your audience is powerful. I’m not sure how in depth this feature will be, but if it’s everything it says it’ll be…I’d give it a double tap.
What I hope doesn’t happen is that either the data is too confusing or not useful. We already know what posts do when (or we should) by taking a look at the likes and comment amounts. What I’m curious to see is the whole demographic side to this new feature. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it’ll be specific. On Felipe’s Instagram page, I have little clue who likes my pictures the most.
You may or may have know that you can run ads on Instagram. I’m not seeing a lot of this being done, although I do suspect this will definitely increase—and even more so with this new tool. Sometimes it’s the lack of knowledge and understanding of how to get your posts promoted that stops you from promoting them. This feature is described to solve that by making promoting a post only a few taps away. I’m in favor of things being easy, and for that, I like this.
What I hope doesn’t happen is a swarm of people promoting posts and for posts from Business Profiles having to be promoted to be seen.
The new launch of Instagram Business profiles seems to be a great tool for businesses on Instagram. They mimic the great tools that make Facebook Business pages ideal. However, I do have a few cautionary notions. The first is me questioning the difference in reach. Like with Facebook pages, will switching over your profile page to a Business Profile have an impact on your overall reach? Maybe, this is something we’ll soon find out. If this turns out to be the case, will the tools outweigh the impact? Will you ever use your Insights panel? If not, it may not matter at all if you make the switch or not—at least not at the moment. Just like with Facebook Business pages, I bet eventually if your business doesn’t have an actual Business Profile, it’ll make you look unprofessional. That alone is reason to switch.
Eventually, businesses should likely all make the switch. For now, you get to decide how soon that is (although I wouldn’t wait too long!).
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