lady takes photo of a hanging plant

Every month, 1 billion users are on Instagram interacting with visual content. That’s why in order to catch the attention of current and prospective customers it’s no longer enough for businesses to just have a profile on Instagram. Once your profile is up you need to curate your feed, manage your audience, engage with other profiles, monitor your results and more. That’s where Instagram Business Profiles come in.

Unlike a personal profile, Instagram Business Profiles give you access to a series of tools that make it easier to connect with your target audience. At Enplug, we work daily with companies that share social media on digital signage. In fact, we’ve seen first-hand that the most successful clients use all the tools available to them –  including the benefits of Instagram’s business features – to actively grow more awareness and engagement for their brand.

So, what makes an Instagram Business Profile better than a personal one for growing your company?

Instagram Personal Profile vs. Instagram Business Profile

Both personal and business profiles on Instagram are free, link to Facebook and allow you to share image, video, and story posts, but there are a few differences you’ll want to know:

Business profiles offer access to Instagram business tools.

Business owners have access to tools that enable them to promote their posts to a wider audience, see how their content is performing, turn their posts into shoppable catalogues and make it easy for customers to contact them. Plus, Instagram’s Insights provide a wealth of data that can be used to understand your target market’s tastes and demographics. In the app Instagram divides these insights into three categories: Activity, Content and Audience. Below, we’ll dive into how the data can help you grow your social media presence.

Grow the number of followers who share and interact with visual content that relates to your business.

Business profiles permit users to integrate third-party content management tools.

With a major overhaul of its API in December 2018, Instagram changed the way external apps can access and interact with data on the Instagram platform. Now, users who want to use Instagram post scheduling and sharing apps and content and community management programs like Buffer, Later and Enplug can only do so with an Instagram Business Profile. Users with personal profiles are limited to scheduling, commenting and sharing directly through the Instagram app.

Personal profiles can be private. Business profiles are public.

With a Business Profile account, everything you post on Instagram is visible to the public. If your goal is to get more people to learn about and interact with business, then this limitation is by no means a drawback.

Personal profiles can link to multiple Facebook pages.

In contrast, business profiles must link to a single Facebook page. Luckily, for businesses that find a Facebook page isn’t beneficial or feasible for their brand, it is possible to link to an unpublished Facebook page.

3 Instagram Business Profile Features to Use for More Awareness & Engagement

You might be wondering why you would want more features when social media content strategy and planning already takes up enough of your time. But, if you’ve already covered the basics of creating a great account, like choosing a recognizable profile picture and posting content regularly, then Instagram’s business tools can help you get better results in less time.

Part of the secret is the “Insights” tab which includes data that can help you make better choices every time you post. With more information at your fingertips, where do you start?

Here are 3 features you should take advantage of from the moment you start posting to your Business Profile:

1. Use Instagram Insights to identify the best time of day and days of the week to reach and engage your audience.

Access your Instagram Insights by selecting the menu in the upper-right hand corner of your Instagram Business Profile page.

How audience insights helps your business:

You can read as many articles as you want the best times to post to social media, but nothing beats using your own data to make decisions. With the information in the “Followers” section you can see the times and days when your audience is most likely to be on Instagram. Even better, this data is updated more frequently than any blog post, so you can adjust your schedule as your audience’s habits change. Just keep in mind that the data in this section represents averages, so you should take into consideration holidays or special events that might affect routines.

How to view your audience insights:

Go to your Business Profile and select the menu in the top right. Tap on ”Insights” and then select “Audience” and scroll to the “Followers” section at the bottom of the screen. To see the time period your followers are most likely to be active in the Instagram app select “Hours” and then use the arrows to navigate through different days of the week. To see the days of the week your followers are most likely to be active select “Days.”

2. Use Instagram Insights to identify and create content that will get you more engagement.

How content insights help your business:

For the average instagram user, understanding what content works and what doesn’t is mainly matter of trial and error. Thankfully, with a Business Profile, you have access to data that makes your performance – and what your audience responds to – even clearer.  Sort your posts in decreasing order of the metric that matters the most to your business and look for patterns. Is there a color, layout, topic or hashtag that’s common to your top performing posts?

How to view your content insights:

Go to your business profile and select the menu in the top right. Tap ”Insights” and then select “Content.” When looking at individual posts you can sort your highest performing posts based on comments, likes, telephone calls and more.

See what posts are performing the best for your business goals and promote content from the Instagram Business Profile Insights tab.

3. Promote your posts for greater reach and engagement with Instagram ads

How promoted posts help your business:

Part of growing your business is reaching new potential customers. When you promote a post on Instagram you’re sharing your existing content with new audiences who otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity to see it. Similar to boosting a post on Facebook, you’ll likely get the best results if you promote a post that has already earned likes and comments from your existing audience. And the best part is, when you promote your post on Instagram, you have control over the characteristics of the audience you will reach.

How to promote a post:

Go to your Business Profile. Tap Promotions. Tap Create Promotions. Choose a post you’d like to promote. Add a button with a call to action, Fill in the details of your promotion. Tap Create Promotion.

Ready to make the switch from a personal Instagram profile to a business Instagram profile?

Follow these instructions from the Instagram mobile app:

  • Select “Settings” > “Switch to Business Profile”
  • Select the Facebook Page associated with your profile
  • Add your business details
  • Tap “Continue”