One of the first things Nikki Lemler, AAF, did this week after returning home from SAF Maui 2016 was to convert her Instagram account to a business page.
“I heard about the idea on Saturday at ‘The ABCs of Social Media Advertising,'” an educational session at the Society of American’s annual convention, Sept. 21 to 24 in Maui, led by social media marketing pro Crystal Vilkaitis. By Wednesday night, Lemler’s new business page for Welke’s Milwaukee Florist was up and running — and Lemler was digging into the site’s business tools.
If you’re thinking, “Wait. Instagram business page?” you’re not alone. The business profile option is new, but it’s loaded with tools aimed at helping small business owners better leverage its potential to connect directly with customers who want to buy goods and services, not just peruse pictures. (A business profile is free and you can convert an existing account to a business profile — no need to start from scratch.)
“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,” according to an Instagram blog announcing the change. “So we listened. And, after hundreds of interviews with businesses, three key needs became clear — stand out, get insights and find new customers.”
Benefits of a business profile include:
Easy contact. “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,” according to the blog, which includes step-by-step instructions on how to convert an existing page.
Insights. “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,” according to the blog. “By learning more about the behavior and demographics of your audience, you can create more relevant and timely content.”
Promote. “The ability to promote lets you turn well-performing posts into ads right within the app — helping you connect with even more customers,” according to the blog. “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.”
For Lemler, the switch already is paying off through the addition of all that new information — and she hopes the new page will lead to new sales and leads soon.
“I honestly cannot report any [results] yet, but it’s cool because I can see the stats now, where we couldn’t before,” she said.
Read more about the benefits of switching your page to a business profile.