From the surface, it looks like there are only 3 things that change once you switch to an Instagram business profile:
- A “contact” button
- An analytics section (called “insights”)
- A “promote” button to turn your posts into ads
But changing to a business profile can be bad for your business. So before you make the switch, make sure you weigh the pros and cons first.
Free analytics? Amazing for small businesses on a tight budget.
But we’ll get to that in a minute.
It’s easy to use
It’s so easy to set up. You’re ready to roll under 5 minutes.
You’ll make it super easy for your potential customers and collaborators to get in touch with you. Depending on how you set it up, they can contact you by:
- In person (because they can get directions to your shop/office)
Overall, you will get to know your audience (are they the ones you expected to meet?).
You will also know what your top and least performing posts are. You will know exactly what type of content you need to spend your time and energy on. Brilliant insight.
You will know who is listening to you and what information they love to hear from you.
The insights include:
- Total impressions for the week
- Top 7 recent posts
- Impressions, reach and engagement for each of the top posts of the past week, month, 3 months, 6 months, year or 2 years.
- What days of week and times of day your followers are on Instagram
- Gender breakdown of your following
- Age range of following
- Top locations of followers
You can create an ad directly from Instagram to grow your business (single photo, carousel or video ad).
Thanks to the insights, you’re able to accurately target your audience.
Higher quality content
You will just improve your content drastically thanks to the insights.
Expect to share higher quality content in the long run. Because you will know what posts people like the most.
And you will also be able to produce content that target a broader target market (if you want to reposition your product or service some day).
Overall, I think switching to a business profile will give you more flexibility and potential for growth.
Being labelled as a business
Do you want to be labelled as a business?
Having a business profile can take the social out of “social network”. Be wise with your decision. Like the people at Create Cultivate say: “Instagram is essentially forcing your hand in labeling yourself as a business in order to get those analytics.”
The beauty of Instagram is building a community (not a business). A community of people who love to see what you share and say. And eventually want to buy what you share. And if you built your community well enough, they will find a way to contact you whether it hails or shines.
Pro tip: Focus on building a community, not a business.
You might lose visibility
You might lose your brand visibility if you switch to a business profile.
Facebook has made it clear that it values an update by a friend more important than an update by a business.
So if you tell Instagram that you are a business, it is likely your posts will be given less preference to an individual’s posts.
Goodbye organic reach
Think about it: the main source of income of Instagram/Facebook is advertising.
So if you switch to a business profile you become their primary target market. You need to pay.
Why would they let you free ride, use the awesome “free” analytics if you’re not going to pay for any ads? Better make sure you don’t appear in your followers’ feed so much anymore… so you can buy ads.
Moral of the story
Instagram’s business profile isn’t so free anymore, is it?
I love this expression: “There is no such thing as a free lunch”.
So make sure you weigh the pros and cons of switching.
Yes the insights and the contact button are amazing. But do you really need those? Does it really add value to your business?
What can you do?
I have four immediate tips for you:
- Make the switch
- Switch to a business profile and see how you go for a month or two.
- See if your account is still growing, if you engagement rate is going up, etc…
- Learn as much as you can from the free insights. If you feel like your account isn’t growing as much as before you made the switch, just go back in your settings and revert.
- Seek alternative analytics providers:
- Do you hashtag research
- Hashtags are free marketing.
- Create and save hashtag groups in Preview.
- It is now all about trial & error until you find which hashtag groups work the best for your business.
- Seek feedback from your people
- Ask what they like to see.
- There is no better way to improve than actually talking with people.
I hope you have found this article useful.
Until next time, see you on the gram!