It’s official: Social media marketers can get more from Instagram.
On Tuesday, the Facebook-owned platform announced that it’s giving business owners the chance to have a different type of presence, similar to its parent company’s offering.
Business profiles will roll out in the coming weeks and offer analytics tools that give brand managers a better sense of how well their posts are performing.
In a company blog post, Instagram explained its push to offer marketers more:
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. And, after hundreds of interviews with businesses, three key needs became clear—stand out, get insights and find new customers.
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.
The changes include a “Contact” button on the profile page, which enables consumers to get directions as well as email or text a business. Instagram is also offering metrics for follower demographics, engagement and impressions, along with the ability to quickly and easily promote posts within the app.
Brand managers might like the added features, but recall that Facebook once took a similar approach.
Facebook first made all posts and profiles equal, then it rolling out brand pages, later changing its algorithm to suppress brand posts. Ultimately, Facebook made it easier (and more necessary) for brand managers to pay it money to have more people see posts.
To use the new features, brand managers must convert their existing Instagram account to a business profile, which is free.