Instagram, since its creative conception in 2010, has gone through significant transformations and is now more than just the platform you use to post carefully filtered photos of your donuts. As one of the most effective marketing tools out there, the app has evolved from just a platform we use to compulsively compare our lives to the rich and famous, celebrity dogs, and the Kardashians, to one that now plays an integral role in building a brand.
Instagram remains an easily accessible first impression maker to your audience. With a highly engaged global community of more than 500 million active accounts, people gravitate to this visual platform for inspiration and content consumption. And since it’s highly engaging to the Millennial population, who represent a fourth of the entire population with $200 billion in annual buying power. #swagmoney.
With that kind of hashtag math, what’s clear is three things: Instagram remains a key component to branding; Millennials have a large influence on consumer trends; we can’t pull off saying #swagmoney.
Earlier this summer, Instagram launched their Business Profiles, a new way to authenticate and label businesses on the platform. These profiles were accompanied by a brand new set of analytic tools (similar to the ones available on Facebook) to help companies better understand their audience and the impact that their content makes.
Here’s how you can leverage the Business Profiles feature to grow your Instagram follower count and online customer base.
Connect With Followers
When you switch over to a Business profile, you give your followers the option to engage with you beyond just liking or commenting on your posts. The addition of the ‘Contact’ button means that your followers can email, call, or pinpoint your location. This is a big leap. Previously, the only way to get in touch with a brand on Instagram was by clicking their website link to their profile. And since Instagram has such heavy traffic for content consumption, making contact easier with your followers opens up more doors for your audience to communicate with you.
Until this summer, the only way to monitor analytics on Instagram was through the use of third-party apps, such as Squarelovin’ or Simply Measured. Instagram’s new business analytics tool introduced a more efficient way to measure your brand’s performance of your content. While Instagram’s analysis, or “Insights”, is by no means comprehensive, it provides an easy and convenient way to gauge how well your content is being received. You’ll see analytics for impressions, reach, and follower information under the new Insights tab on your profile; top posts, a breakdown of specific days, and the total results for each post, including age range, top locations of your followers, and your followers’ most active hours during the day.
Businesses can now create and publish ads on the platform separate from Facebook ads. Previously, ad creation could only be completed through Instagram’s parent, Facebook. It was kind of akin to being 13 and asking your mom if you could go to the movies with your friends – the waiting for permission sort of killed your vibe. Now, under the new ‘Promote’ button, you can individually boost your brand’s posts on your business’ page. From there, Instagram takes you through all the usual steps of ad creation, from selecting a Call to Action button, choosing an ad budget, a target audience, and a time period to run your promotion.
Business Profiles from Instagram is changing how and when your users see your content. Upgrading your brand’s Instagram account to a business profile not only helps your brand become more visible, it gives you a clear understanding of what content is working and what isn’t, effective for increasing your engagement and upping your #swagmoney status.