Instagram business profiles first arrived in 2016.
Since then, companies, brands, and influencers alike have debated over whether they should invest in a business profile or stick with their personal accounts.
On the one hand, personal profiles are comfortable and #familiar. You know how to use your standard IG account, and there’s no need to waste time learning how to use new features.
On the other hand, Instagram business profiles are packed full of useful capabilities that you can only access if you take the plunge.
An Instagram business account offers access to everything from insightful analytics, to paid advertising opportunities. So far, more than 25 million business profiles have popped up since 2016, and the number keeps growing every day.
So, should you switch to a business profile?
Let’s find out.
What’s the Difference Between an Instagram Business and Personal Account?
The most significant difference between a personal account on Instagram and a business profile is number of features you have access to.
A standard Instagram profile lets you share #Instagood photos with your followers whenever and wherever you like. However, beyond that, you don’t have many options. You’re unlikely to be one of the first people to test the latest Instagram updates on a personal account, and you won’t have access to Insights, Ads, or any of the other solutions designed for #business users.
In simple terms, your Instagram business account is a super-charged version of your typical Instagram experience. It’s everything you know and love about #IG – plus a bunch of special extras.
Since you don’t have to pay anything to have a business account on Insta, and signing up only takes a matter of minutes, the real question is why you would restrict yourself to a standard account, when you could have so much more?
How to Set Up an Instagram Business Account
To launch your Instagram business account, you don’t need to be a social media #Pro.
Simply log into your existing profile on Instagram and tap on the little cogwheel that represents the Settings menu. From there, you’ll see a tab underneath Options that says, “Switch to Business Profile.”
You will need a Facebook business page to sign up for an Instagram Business account. So, if you haven’t already got an account on Facebook, go and get one now. When you return to Instagram, you’ll be able to choose a category for your business to help people see what kind of company you run. You’ll also be prompted to fill out some basic details like your phone number, email address, and business address.
The Benefits of Switching to a Business Instagram Account
Now that you know how to switch to an Instagram business profile, and you know how it differs from the standard account, let’s examine the benefits you can expect if you swap over.
1. Access to Instagram Insights
Perhaps one of the most significant benefits of an Instagram business profile is that you’ll have access to more information. If you’re currently relying on a personal account to gather new followers, then you probably don’t have a lot of data on which of your Instagram posts and stories are the most popular, or how different content performs.
Fortunately, when you make the change to an Instagram business profile, you get a lot more information thanks to a nifty tool called Instagram Insights. Instagram Insights is the native social tracking tool that Instagram uses to provide you with data on impressions, engagement, audience demographics and more.
The more you track your results on Instagram Insights, the easier it will be for you to optimize your posts base don what you learn about your audience and engagement levels.
2. Upgrade Your Profile
As mentioned above, an Instagram business profile is an enhanced version of your standard profile. That means that when you upgrade, you get a host of new features that you can use to make your account more compelling. For instance, one great feature for businesses that want to increase their number of Instagram followers is the option to add a “Contact” button:
The contact button provides details on how your customers and followers can email you, call you, or find your location. It’s a great addition to your profile since you can only add one clickable link to your bio.
You can also show off your industry on your business Instagram profile, which helps your audience to determine whether they’re following the right person.
3. Run Paid Instagram Ads
Even if you’re a small business without much budget to spend on Instagram ads, it’s good to have the option available. Ultimately, if you want to gain followers on Instagram fast, there are few options better than paying for the highly-targeted ads that Instagram offers.
As more social media channels become “pay to play” in nature, paid ads are one of the best ways to overcome the changing algorithms and ensure that you capture the attention of your followers, regardless of where you are.
While there are many steps involved in running successful Instagram ads, the first step is switching to an Instagram business account. You won’t have access to Instagram’s paid ads feature without it.
4. Get Instagram Verified
Instagram verification is something that countless Instagram users want, but only a few get.
There are a lot of complicated steps involved in getting “Instagram verified,” but it’s safe to say that you’ll have a much easier time getting that little blue tick if you have an Instagram business account. Simply put, this extra step shows Instagram that you’re committed to your social profile.
If you start to gather attention on your business profile (enough to earn about 10,000 followers), then you will also be able to access additional features with your business profile – including the option to add links to your Instagram stories.
This option is only available to a few companies for now, but it’s a great way to give your stories strategies a better ROI.
Stories are currently some of the most popular content solutions on Instagram. If you can add links to your stories, then you can potentially send your customers to product pages and other valuable sites in your online portfolio. This instantly makes your business-level stories more effective than your standard Instagram posts, which don’t allow clickable links.
5. Be the First to Know About New Features
Finally, while there’s no substantial evidence that suggests people with Instagram business accounts will access new features before the rest of us, it’s safe to say that Instagram is more likely to roll features out to dedicated business users than standard #Grammers.
Instagram continually tests new features with smaller beta groups before delivering those capabilities to the masses. If you’ve taken the time to sign up for a business account, that may be enough to show Instagram that you deserve to be one of the #EarlyAccess accounts in their test.
Time to Get an Instagram Business Profile?
While personal Instagram profiles benefit from simplicity and familiarity, they can’t offer the wide range of features that you can access with a business account.
If your only aim on Instagram is to share pictures and record an account of your daily meals, then you probably don’t need anything more than a personal profile. However, if you want to earn followers with your account, sell products, or even develop influence, then you’re going to need more than a personal account can offer.
At the end of the day, if you don’t like your Instagram business account, you can always switch back to a personal profile instead.
If you need help making the most of your Instagram business profile, sign up for your free Upleap trial today! We’ll get you up and running in no time!