Instagram is a place where people can turn their passions into livelihoods. For instance, handmade accessory business JACKSON AND HYDE started an account a year and a half ago to raise awareness of its wares. “Instagram has been critical for brand exposure, dialogue with new and potential customers and being discovered by partners and retailers,” Genevieve Monroe, the CEO and co-Founder tells us. And other companies, like eCommerce business Caeden, are taking advantage of Instagram advertising to expand beyond their current following and find new customers.
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 its always looking for quick ways to fill seats in class.
With these insights in mind, we set out to make Instagram work even better for businesses. So today, we’re excited to unveil our new Instagram Business Tools.
Business profiles are a free feature for accounts wanting to be recognized as a business on Instagram. With a business profile, businesses can choose how they want their customers to get in touch with them: call, text or email with a tap of the contact button as well as get directions. Business profiles also unlock access to insights and the ability to promote.
Insights on Instagram give businesses actionable information about who their followers are and which posts resonate better than others—all from within the mobile app. By learning more about the behavior and demographics of your audience, you can create more relevant and timely content.
The ability to promote lets you turn well-performing posts into ads right within the app—helping you connect with even more customers. Simply pick a post you’ve already shared on Instagram and add a button encouraging people to take action. You can select a target audience or allow Instagram to suggest targeting for you. After that, your post will be promoted as an ad for any length of time you choose.
With these new business tools on Instagram, the furniture store in San Francisco can receive emails from customers saving valuable time responding. The retailer in Austin can better understand its audience, tailor its content and refine its marketing strategy—even beyond digital. And the do-it-yourself craft shop in New York City can quickly fill a seat, move a product or get people into its store with ads on mobile.
These business tools are just some of the ways we hope to make growing a business on Instagram that much easier. Business profiles, insights and the ability to promote will be rolling out in the US, Australia and New Zealand in the coming months, and will be available in all regions globally by the end of the year.