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Instagram and Your Business: So Much More Than Just Selfies and Shelfies

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Instagram and Your Business

By Melanie Yunk | April 9, 2017

Recognizing the value of—and for—businesses, Instagram has recently launched increasingly more functionality and insights for business. Instagram for Business, which debuted about 10 months ago, allows a business to switch to, or create, a business profile and then leverage insights and other tools within the application. Here’s the lowdown on some of the capabilities available to businesses on Instagram.

Enhanced Profiles

Switching from a traditional account to an Instagram business profile allows an organization to include business and contact information on a profile, such as a phone number, an email address and physical address. This profile detail makes it easier for people to verify that a profile belongs to an actual business and to reach out and touch someone directly from the app.

Note that to upgrade, a business must also have a Facebook Page and connect the two profiles; the business contact information will be imported from the business’ Facebook Page (but the information is editable once in Instagram).

Has your business upgraded to a business profile yet? If not, check out Instagram’s blog post on how to create a business account and get going and reap the rewards!

Insightful Analytics

Once a business upgrades to the the enhanced business profile, it is afforded all the scoop: new insights and analytics on posts and stories are available through Instagram’s Business Tools. Insights include data such as:

  • Impressions: The total number of times a post or story was seen
  • Reach: The number of unique accounts that saw a post or story
  • Website Clicks: The number of accounts that tapped the web link on a Business Profile
  • Follower Activity: The average times followers are active on Instagram on a typical day
  • Video Views: The number of times a given video was viewed for 3 or more seconds
  • Saves: The number of unique accounts that saved a given post

Additionally, insights on stories include such deets as:

  • Replies: The number of times people send messages through the “Send Message” option
  • Exits: The number of times a user swiped from one of your stories to someplace else

Powerful, useful data on how followers engage with a business! According to Instagram: By viewing these insights, you can learn how to create more relevant content that resonates with your audience. At Roaring Pajamas, we love to dig into these statistics and use them to inform what, how and when we post.

Easy Advertising

Instagram business profiles also offer users the opportunity to easily turn high-performing posts into Instagram ads directly from the app. This feature allows a business to connect with even more potential followers and customers faster than ever before. According to Instagram, to take advantage of this feature, “simply pick a post you’ve already shared on Instagram and add a button encouraging people to take action. You can select a target audience or allow Instagram to suggest targeting for you. After that, your post will be promoted as an ad for any length of time you choose.” Easy, right?

Note that a business needs a Facebook ad account and a Facebook Page to run ads on Instagram.

Simple Shopping

And, finally, announced just at the end of March, Instagram’s starting to up it’s shopping game! Instagram invited about 20 business to test out shopping functionality last year. Some of the business trial users included J. Crew, Warby Parker, Kate Spade, Macy’s and MVMT Watches. Perhaps you noticed? Turns out, the trial proved successful and now Instagram announced it is expanding the program to many more additional brands in the apparel, jewelry and beauty worlds. In addition to rolling out the shopping capability to more businesses on Instagram, the platform improved usability for brands to more easily tag shoppable products and decipher how well shoppable posts perform.

Now, when an Instagram user taps on a tag on a shoppable post, the user will access these key pieces of information to help him or her shop an item:

  • Product image
  • Product description
  • Product cost
  • Link to the website where the product may be purchased

How long have we been waiting for this bit of awesomeness?

Is your business up and running with Instagram for Business? Are you leveraging the insights and power of Instagram’s Business Tools? Are you in a space that can now leverage shopping on Instagram? We’d love to hear what you think and what you are doing. And, as always, keep an eye on our blog. We promise to keep you up to speed on all the most social media, SEO and marketing news for your business.

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