In May 2016 Instagram announced the launch of business accounts and they claim that over 25 million businesses have created business accounts (as at November 2017). If you, like many small business owners, are still running your Instagram posts through a personal account, we recommend that you upgrade to a business account as soon as possible. The good news is that it’s free and very easy to make the switch.
Why you should switch to Instagram Business
There are a number of reasons why a business account is better than a personal account. However, you might be concerned that switching might hurt your profile or engagement levels. From what we have seen, there doesn’t appear to be any reason to worry – switching doesn’t seem have any negative impact on your engagement levels or your existing Instagram followers, posts, likes, etc.
On the flip side there are quite a few benefits to upgrading to a business account.
1. Supercharge your Instagram profile
Firstly, you will be upgraded to a Business Profile page, which enables you to add additional information about your business that is not available to a personal account.
In the example above you can see that in addition to your profile description and website link you can add your business address, a link to your Instagram shop, your business phone number, email address and driving directions.
Why should you do this? Because consumers have short attention spans. Why risk losing a prospective customer by making them tap on your website link to go through to your website and tap again at least once to view your contact details? Providing your business phone number will make it very easy for a prospective customer – all they have to do is tap on the call link and it will automatically launch the dialler on their smartphone. Similarly, providing your contact email means a customer can tap on the email address link and it will launch the email client on their smartphone.
2. Get smarter with Instagram Insights
A second reason for switching to a business account is that you will get access to Instagram Insights.
Instagram Insights lets you view and keep track of useful data such as:
- How many people have visited your Instagram profile
- The number of people who have seen your posts and stories (“reach”)
- How many times that your posts and stories have been seen in total (“impressions”)
- How many impressions each of your posts and stories have received
- How many clicks to your website you have received
- The number of followers you have and how many you have added or lost in the past week
- The demographics of your followers covering gender, age range and geographic location
- The hours and days when your followers engage with your posts and stories
Note that you require at least 100 followers to see detailed information about your followers (items 7. and 8. above).
Having access to all this insights data will help you better understand which types of stories and posts are working best with which audiences and at which times so you can get smarter with your future posts and stories to maximise your reach and engagement.
You can read more detail about Instagram Insights in the Facebook Help Centre.
3. Increase your business visibility with Instagram Ads
Thirdly, having a business account gives you full access to Instagram Ads and ad insights.
I hear you ask “why would I want to pay to advertise on Instagram when I can post for free?”. For the simple reason that posting to Instagram doesn’t mean your post will be actually seen by your current followers let alone new prospective customers.
According to Instagram, there are more than 95 million posts published every day, which makes it easy for your post to get lost in people’s feeds. Furthermore, users don’t see 70 per cent of what’s in their feed, due to Instagram’s changes to its algorithm in 2016 to highlight the posts it thinks each user is most likely to enjoy.
So even if you have a lot of followers you will only be able to reach a minority of them with each post or story. To reach more of them and find new followers or customers you need to advertise. Instagram (Facebook) likes it that way!
Now you know it’s a no-brainer to upgrade to an Instagram business account, we’ll show you how to go about switching.
How to change your Instagram personal account to a business account
If you don’t already have an Instagram account you should first download the Instagram app to your phone or tablet from the App Store, Google Play or the Windows Phone Store and sign up for a free account. Once you are logged in to your Instagram account:
1. Go to your Instagram profile and tap (iPhone) or (Android) in the top-right corner to open up your settings.
2. Scroll down the settings screen, make sure that Private account is switched off and tap Switch to business account. Note that private accounts can’t be changed to business accounts.
3. Tap Continue on each of the four screens that follow.
4. Tap Choose Page and select the Facebook page you would like to connect your Instagram account.
5. Confirm your business contact details. These will be imported automatically from the Facebook Page you connected. You may edit these as you see fit. As discussed at the top of this article it is smart to include your business email, phone number and address/city to make it easy for people to contact you directly from the Instagram app.
That’s it. You’re done! You should see a welcome message as shown below.
If you would prefer to watch how to set up a business account, Instagram has a video walk-through for you.