Businesses have been using Instagram for branding purposes for years now, most of them successfully. By 2017, Hootsuite predicts Instagram to bring in almost $3 billion in mobile ad revenue, which more and more businesses are starting to sink their toes into. Even with the expansion of advertising to all businesses on Instagram, businesses want more flexibility with the social network. Analytics are hard to measure and with the newest notification settings, engagement is hard to reach.
On June 1st, Instagram announced in a blog post that they are finally ready to take things up a notch and give businesses the flexibility they need with Instagram’s new Business Tools. The photogenic social network interviewed hundreds of business owners to ask what exactly it is the business community wants from the social network.
“First, businesses want the ability to stand out on Instagram. Many companies, including a furniture store in San Francisco, shared that it would be easier for customers to email questions because comments are hard to track and take time to sift through. Second, businesses want a simple way to get insights. A retailer in Austin explained that many analytics are overwhelming and hard to apply to its marketing. And third, businesses want to reach even more customers. A do-it-yourself craft shop in New York City mentioned it’s always looking for quick ways to fill seats in class.”
To help accommodate each of these wants and needs, Instagram is releasing a set of enhancements called Business Tools. These new Tools are free for businesses and designed to enhance the experience for both followers and businesses on Instagram.
What Are the New Business Tools?
Similar to a Business Page on Facebook, Instagram will soon have Business Profiles to separate a business profile from a regular user. This new type of Instagram profile will allow followers to connect with a business easier from Instagram with the option to call, text, or email by clicking a “contact” button. Instagram users can also access directions to a business directly from the Business Profile, giving users less and less of a reason to leave the social network.
Another key feature for businesses with this type of profile layout is the analytics that come with it. Having an account that is designated as a Business Profile gives businesses the ability to track performance and engagement, which leads us to the next Tool.
Using the mobile app, businesses will be able to access performance insights for post performance, follower information, and advertisements. Stats will be available to give businesses better insight to the best time of day to post for engagement and which posts are receiving the most impressions. Demographic details will also be available to locate where most of the followers are from, as well as the most common age, gender, and activity.
The Promote Tool is a simplified version of Instagram Advertising using the mobile app. Instead of creating an Instagram Ad through Facebook, businesses will be able to quickly promote a previously published post. Each Promoted post will have a call to action button and targeting options. Either Instagram will select an audience to target or you can choose a specific demographic to reach the Promoted post with.
Over the next few months, the new Instagram Business Tools will slowly roll out to the US, Australia, and New Zealand. The Tools will be available to the rest of the Instagram world by the end of the year.
How do you plan on using these new tools for your business? Comment below with your thoughts on Instagram’s Business Tools.