Instagram is arguably the best social platform to raise awareness for your business. With over 400 million users it remains a unique way to visually tell your brand's story and to capitalize on mobile domination.
It makes sense that the social sharing platform would develop Instagram Business Tools.
Armed with insights and hundreds of interviews with business owners, Instagram developed new features. “With so many companies using Instagram, and many people on the platform interacting with them, there was a desire from our business community to do more. So we listened,” they said via their blog. The company said that three needs became clear: businesses want the ability to stand out, get insights, and find new customers.
Here’s how they are addressing those concerns, as well as the pros and the cons.
For companies that want to be recognized as businesses on Instagram, the platform is now offering a free “Business Profile” feature. “With a business profile, businesses can choose how they want their customers to get in touch with them: call, text or email with a tap of the contact button as well as get directions. Business profiles also unlock access to insights and the ability to promote.”
PRO: It’s free to change your profile from personal to business and changing your profile will give you access to other bonuses listed below.
CON: Unlock is a key word above. Instagram is essentially forcing your hand in labeling yourself as a business in order to get those analytics. Who isn’t going to want those analytics? Sure you could go to apps like Iconosquare or Plano.ly, but those aren’t free. The question is: is $X/month worth not being labeled as a business? If you have more of a brand than a business, you might be better off not labeling yourself as such. (I.e. if you're a blogger with a larger following.) Followers don’t want to be sold to.
“Insights on Instagram give businesses actionable information about who their followers are and which posts resonate better than others—all from within the mobile app. By learning more about the behavior and demographics of your audience, you can create more relevant and timely content.”
PRO: Pretty much everything listed above. Creating relevant and timely content will help you organically grow your following and create deeper engagement with your followers. Businesses want simple ways to get insight and refine their marketing strategies. Instagram is offering a solution that doesn’t require a third out-of-app step.
CON: As stated above, you only get insights if you’re listing your profile as a business. There are no cons however about understanding your analytics. You don't want to turn a blind eye to what's performing well and what's not.
PROMOTE YOUR CONTENT
Much in the same way Facebook does, Instagram is offering a way to promote content. You pick a post you’ve already shared, add a button “encouraging people to take action,” and then select a target audience. You can also opt to have Instagram select a target audience for you. That post is promoted for the length of time desired.
PROS: Whether we like it or not, the IG algorithm is changing. Businesses need Instagram to attract new clients and in order to attract new clients you have to get that content seen.
CON: It’s an ad and will be labeled as such. You will be getting more eyeballs on your content, but nothing beats organic marketing.
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