Alright friends, there’s been a lot of talk happening around the Insta-world lately in anticipation of the new Instagram algorithm. Now, I’m not going to focus on that in today’s post. However, if you’re interested in learning all there is to know about the new algorithm– check out our Instagram workshop!
What I find to be very interesting is the timing of all these new updates. Our friends at Later (who we’ll be co-hosting our workshop with) broke it down for us…
- February 2016 – Multiple login feature launches (finally!)
- March 2016 – new Instagram algorithm being tested on smaller accounts
- May 2016 – New Instagram logo + app redesign
- May 2016 – Instagram cracks down on API rules
- June 2016 – Instagram business profiles begin to roll out (to a few lucky someone’s)
Instagram business profiles– say what?!
It’s no coincidence that all of these changes are happening around the same time. My hunch is that Instagram is trying to ease their community into this new world where personal accounts are separate from business accounts. Similar to Facebook Pages, Instagram Business Profiles will allow brands (who mean business) to access a special set of tools allowing them to measure how their posts are performing, see what their Instagram community “looks” like in terms of audience demographics, and offer brands the potential to pay for more attention to their content.
First reported by The Next Web and confirmed by The Skinny Confidential (see screenshot below) who met with Instagram earlier this week, Instagram will gradually be rolling out these business profiles over the next several months.
Image via The Skinny Confidential
As of right now, we have not seen the ability to switch to a business account available to us. What we do know is that to have a business profile, you MUST have a Facebook Page. Once we have this option available to us, we will update this blog post + help show you how to set it up.
So, what will these business profiles look like + should you make the switch? (Assuming they will give you the opportunity to choose.)
Instagram Business Profiles
Instagram Business Profiles will have some similar features to Facebook Pages. As of right now, we know these profiles will offer brands three new tools:
For those of you who have struggled to fit all the details in your 150-character Instagram bio, this will be your life-saver! Now you will have the option to set a location and add a point of contact for your audience. These new features will reside outside of your actual “bio” which will free you up for more room to share important details, call-to-actions, etc. Wondering what the heck a call-to-action is? Join us for our free Instagram workshop next week!
For your point of contact, you can choose either an email or a phone number making it super simple for your audience to connect with you on the spot! I suspect, that Instagram will auto-populate the contact details you already have in your Instagram settings. To prep for this change, make sure to have your “Private Information” set up appropriately. Meaning, now’s the time to switch your email@example.com email to something you actually check frequently! Not that I ever had that email… I mean, I wasn’t the world's biggest fan of GC in 7th grade or anything...
How this affects you–
No more wondering where you reside + where you do business. Your audience will always know (without having to ask) how + where they can find you.
Easy point of contact– if someone has a question about your products or your services, they can get their questions answered right away (which in return could equate to more sales for you!)
If you have a physical location, the ability to add an address will mean more foot traffic coming in the door, straight from Instagram! Just be sure to add your hours of operation in your bio so your Insta-audience can pop in during open hours!
Similar to Facebook Insights, Instagram Insights will allow you to see valuable information in relation to who your engaged audience is on Instagram as well as how your posts are resonating with them.
Image via Instagram
You will be able to see the following (and maybe more, we have yet to see this on our end)...
Best times for you to post when your audience is online
Your top performing posts
Weekly account metrics (impressions, engagement, etc.)
According to Instagram, all of this data will be available on the mobile app.
How this affects you–
When you know who your audience is, you can validate whether or not you are hitting the mark with your marketing messages. If you’re not, it’s time to make some tweaks to your strategy, we can help! >>> Empower Your Brand + Refine Your Audience
In this post, we wrote about the importance of posting at optimal times when your audience is online. Using this data can help you ensure that your posts will potentially be seen by more people, therefore giving you a better chance to get your message across!
If you know what type of content your audience enjoys seeing (i.e. flatlays verses landscapes) then you can take that information to heart moving forward anytime you are creating new content to share on Instagram. Need help with this? We have you covered!
You may be tempted to stop using third-party analytic sites like our favorites, Iconosquare + Squarelovin but it's too early to tell if the native Insights offered by Instagram will provide you with as much data as you're used to. My advice, wait it out before tossing the baby out with the bathwater! That being said, they may offer you more precise metrics, but again, we just don't know yet!
Just like on Facebook, Instagram Business Profiles will allow you the “opportunity” to promote already published Instagram posts. Essentially, you will be able to add a call-to-action button that encourages your audience to act on any given post (that has been published). You will be able to target your audience or allow Instagram to target for you which is really interesting! I’m anxiously awaiting to see how this will work. It’s something Facebook does not offer right now in their ad platform.
At this point we do not know if you will have the ability to change the amount of money you put behind your ad per day, but you will be able to select the time you want to promote.
How this affects you–
You will be able to easily set up an Instagram ad in a few clicks. If you’ve been wondering how to do it up to this point, it’s not easy! There’s a lot of steps involved and a somewhat complex system you have to work with. My fear is with a system this easy, more and more business owners will be tempted to toss money into ads without having a real strategy in place.
Save yourself the money + the headache by asking yourself these four questions before getting too ad-happy! Ads are not the solution to low engagement or poor return! Social media ads should be used as an extension of your social media strategy– not a replacement for lack of having one!
Overall, we are really excited about the new Instagram Business Profiles! With all these updates unfolding, it’s vital that you have a system + a plan in place for using Instagram strategically as a means to grow your brand online. If you’re feeling overwhelmed + a lack of direction, this workshop is for you!
During this interactive virtual workshop, you'll discover how to use Later to refine your Instagram style, how you can "schedule" your Instagram posts, and we'll be giving you action items for increasing your Instagram engagement right away! Take the guessing out of Instagram + embrace the algorithm today!