Let’s jump into answering the question, “Should I switch to an Instagram Business Profile?” by addressing the elephant in the room: conspiracy theories. I’ve talked to many a business owner that is nervous to switch to a business account because they are worried it is a ploy to fish out the businesses on Instagram, and crush their reach (along with their spirit!).Your business needs to switch to an Instagram business account for two huge benefits. Click To Tweet
My take: Let’s assume the worst. That yes, Instagram is trying to find you and beat you down. But do I think it will take a business profile to do that? No.
Quick Algorithm Lesson
“Algorithms” are everywhere in our day-to-day life, and are responsible for much of our data security and processes. You and I usually talk about them in terms of reach and engagement on social media, but that’s just a tiny, tiny tip of the iceberg of what “algorithms” are capable of. On dating sites, algorithms are used to help you find your soul mate. The results of your last Google search were determined by algorithm. When Amazon suggests products that you may like, it’s the work of an algorithm. (Hat tip to this Gizmodo article on algorithms for the examples.)
My point here is that Instagram (Facebook) does not need you to switch to a business profile to figure out that you are a business. They have the capability to figure out if you are a business or not based on your behavior, the context of your caption and comments, and the link you put in your profile (among other things, I’m sure). If they really want to crush your reach, they will, with the help of a fairly simple algorithm.
All this to say that, yes, conspiracy theories aside, you should switch to a business profile if you are a business.
Benefits to Switching
There are two main benefits to switching to a business account:
- The Contact button, which gives people the ability to contact you directly via phone or email (you choose), instead of having to DM you (direct message).
- Analytics! You can’t improve what you don’t measure.
The Contact button gives people direct access to you. Instead of having to direct message you, and hope you see it, they can click the button and either call you directly or email you. I don’t know about you, but I check my email much more often than my Instagram direct messages. Timely response to customer inquiries is an important component of great customer service.
Instagram’s analytics are different than any third-party analytics out there. Third-party analytics tools will show you what your post popular posts are based on likes and comments, and even what time of day your fans are on Instagram, but Instagram’s analytics will tell you what your actual reach and impressions are.
Without the analytics, you are just blissfully unaware of how many people you are truly reaching. Don’t you want to know? If you are unhappy with your Instagram results, wouldn’t you like to know that it’s because only 347 of your 5,000 fans are actually seeing your posts and calls to action? You need to watch trends and behaviors and be able to adapt your marketing.
How to Switch to an Instagram Business Account
So now that we’ve decided that it’s in your best interest to switch to an Instagram business account, how do you do it? It’s dead simple:
- Navigate to your profile.
- Tap the gear button in upper right.
- Scroll down under “Account” and tap “Switch to Business Profile”
- This will prompt you to authorize your Instagram connection to Facebook
- Every Facebook page you are an admin for will appear in a list, select the correct page.
- Enter your email address, phone number and physical address. If you don’t want your street address (like if you run your business from your home), you can just put city and state.
That’s it! You are well on your way to a better understanding of your audience and reach. So your next question is probably how to make sense of what you are looking at inside your Instagram account stats. Download my quick guide on how to read your Instagram account stats (below.)
Guide to Reading Your Instagram Account Stats
You just switched to a business account and now you have all these analytics...but you don't know what to do with them! This guide will show you what you're looking at and what's most important to measure.