Did you know that Instagram’s potential advertising reach is 1.16 billion users (or 19% of the global adult population)? There are also 130 million Instagram users tapping on shopping posts each month. Plus, 50% of users are more interested in a brand after seeing an ad for it on Instagram. What does all of this have to do with choosing whether or not to use an Instagram Business Profile? Well, all of these conversion-driving benefits are only available to you if you use a Business profile. From shoppable Instagram posts to audience insights to ads, Instagram Business Profiles score a stack of lucrative features that other account types don’t. But, there are some important considerations to weigh up before you make the switch. If you’re wondering how an Instagram Business Profile works and whether it’s worth your while, you’ve come to the right place. In the blog, we’ll be covering off: What is an Instagram Business Profile A step-by-step guide to creating an Instagram Business Profile The pros and cons of switching to an Instagram Business Profile + more Ready to dive in? Let’s do this. What is an Instagram Business Profile? In a nutshell, an Instagram Business Profile is an account type you can select on Instagram. It comes with a bunch of business-specific features and handy functionality that can help you get a better understanding of your audience, target your ideal customers and even turn your Instagram Feed into a shoppable online store. But first, let’s walk you through all the Instagram account types you can choose from: Personal accounts: this is Instagram’s default account type, and a personal Instagram profile is designed for individuals who want to share content and connect with family or friends. Creator accounts: this is a new account type designed for influencers, public figures and content creators, with a focus on creator-specific new features, insights and analytics. Business accounts: this is the best account type for brands looking to market their business on social media. It gives you access to ads, audience insights, clickable contact buttons, Instagram Shopping and more. And it’s not just you that will notice the difference. For users, an Instagram business profile comes with a stack of recognisable features that make it easy for your followers to recognise that your Instagram account is a business (not an individual). Similarly to how you’d look for a blue checkmark to identify a verified account, the fastest way to tell whether or not a specific Instagram account is set up as a business profile is to look at the bio. If you see any buttons that give you the option to contact the company directly (such as “call” or “email”), that particular brand is using a business profile. Plus, if users notice Shoppable Tags, high-quality sponsored posts or ads from your business, these are another clear indication that your brand is using an Instagram Business Profile. Wondering what it takes to switch your account type? Let’s walk you through the steps you need to follow when creating an Instagram Business Profile. How Do You Create an Instagram Business Profile? Making the change to a business profile really couldn’t be easier (and, it’s also free!). On your phone, view your existing Instagram profile and then click Edit Profile and then Switch to a Professional Account. You can also access the settings by clicking the three lines in the top right corner and going to Settings > Account > Switch to Professional Account. You’ll be able to choose between a Creator account and a Business account. Select Business. Click continue and you’ll be able to connect your Facebook Page to the account (which you should definitely do if you have a FB Page). Click Next or Don’t Connect to Facebook Now. Next you will choose the category that best describes what your business does. Click Next and Instagram will ask you if you want to convert your profile. Click OK. Then just review your contact information and click Done. Want more information about making the switch? This page from Instagram will take you through the process step-by-step. The Pros And Cons of Switching your Instagram Account to a Business Profile Now that you’ve got the basics down pat, it’s time to weigh your options and decide whether or not an Instagram business profile would be the right move for your brand. Much like any other digital marketing activity, people have strong opinions about this. Some people swear by business profiles and all of the good things they can accomplish for your business, while others claim they aren’t worth all of the hype (and can impact your brand’s organic reach and engagement). So, let’s take the opinion out of it and just look at the facts and features to help you make your most informed decision. Instagram Business Profile: Pros Let’s hold off on the Instagram Business Profile cons (for now) and jump right into the good stuff! 1. You can supercharge your Instagram bio. Any marketer knows that you’re pretty limited on space when it comes to your Instagram bio. With a standard account, you only have 150 characters and the option to include one clickable link—meaning it can be tough to determine just what you should include in that valuable real estate (as well as what you should cut!). But, with an Instagram business account, you have a little more wiggle room to really maximize the effectiveness of your profile. With a business account, you score clickable contact buttons that allow users to email and call your businesses’ phone number in a tap. Plus, you can also include a button for followers to get directions to your business (if applicable) as well as your business address. That saves you valuable characters in your Instagram Bio, meaning you can focus on explaining who you are and what you do with search-friendly keywords and hashtags instead (which can help to boost your visibility on Instagram). And of course, you also get a clickable link in your profile that you can connect to a website of your choice. While most businesses use this to link to their homepage, taking advantage of the Sked Link link-in-bio feature might be more beneficial. What it does is set up a branded redirect URL as your profile link, which can be pointed towards any web page you like when you publish a post. It makes it really simple to send people to different landing pages, blog posts, and promotional offers without having to change your profile link. You can also link your grid so that clicking on a post from your feed redirects users to a URL. 2. You can run ads and drive users from discovery to purchase. When it comes to Instagram for business, advertising is a powerful tool you can use to supercharge your results and drive meaningful ROI from your Instagram efforts. Just take a look back at the first Instagram ad from Michael Kors, for example. That ad received four times the number of likes when compared with a non-promoted post from the brand. But, here’s the thing: according to Instagram, you need two things in order to be able to run ads on the platform. Those two things are: A Facebook page An Instagram business profile By switching from a personal Instagram account to a business profile, you have the option to run all sorts of ads and drive potential customers and followers to your page. Having a business account also gives you the option to promote specific business posts from directly within the app. And here’s what Instagram ads are so valuable to your business: Detailed audience targeting: unlike organic Instagram content (that is dictated by the algorithm), paid Instagram ads allows you to pinpoint the exact demographics and users that see your content (including specific genders, age groups and users in particular locations). Reach new customers: with targeted Instagram ads, your brand can easily reach and tap into new audiences on Instagram (rather than sharing content to your existing network of followers). From brand awareness to conversion, ads are what will enable you to grow, scale and succeed on Instagram as a business. Drive meaningful engagement: from feed posts to IGTV content, each Instagram ad comes with a specific objective and the perk of a clickable call-to-action button, allowing you to drive traffic to your website, push users to your eCommerce store or even encourage them to follow your brand on Instagram. Another valuable feature only available to business accounts is the option to add links to your Instagram Stories. As a feature that was first only rolled out to verified accounts, it’s now been expanded to include business profiles with more than 10,000 followers. Including links with your stories can be incredibly effective. In fact, Instagram story links get 15-25% swipe-through rates for publishers and brands. 3. You score in-depth insights and analytics tools into your followers. Insights and analytics are some other helpful features you can enjoy if you convert to an Instagram business profile. From understanding what times of day your audience are most active to drilling down into what types of posts garner the most engagement, Instagram insights allow you to refine and review your Instagram marketing strategy to get the maximum impact from your social media marketing. So, what kinds of insights will you score with an Instagram Business Profile? Audience Insights: this includes a breakdown of follower growth, the top locations of your followers, their age range and gender as well as their most active times (both across each day and across the entire week). Content Insights: this includes a breakdown of your latest content interactions on both Feed and Stories posts as well as your top posts based on metrics such as reach, engagement, conversions and more. While these insights don’t cover everything, they do offer businesses valuable insight into the behaviour of your audience as well as what content is and isn’t’ resonating with your followers. For Sked users, the link-in-bio feature also lets you track every click your profile link gets from each post. It’s a great way to figure out what types of content work best for your audience. Sked also offers more in-depth Instagram Analytics that can help you fine-tune your Instagram strategy. Access engagement and reach, audience demographics, Stories insights, the best time to post and so much more. Instagram Business Profile Cons Obviously, there are stacks of reasons why your business can benefit from switching to an Instagram Business Profile. But, what about the other side of the coin? Ultimately, there are very few cons to using an Instagram Business Profile. In fact, there’s only one on this list. But it can be a sticking point for many brands, so it’s worth covering it off in case this is a deal-breaker for you. What is this major con? Here it is: You might hurt your engagement rate. Instagram typically remains pretty tight-lipped about all that’s involved with their algorithm. But, if the platform follows in the footsteps of the parent company, Facebook, then we know one thing for certain: they want people to pay for ads. It’s where they make their money. Think about it this way. When you switch to a business profile on Instagram, you’re signalling to the platform that you are indeed a business eager to get your brand and products out in front of prospective customers. That act alone labels you as one of Instagram’s target customers—a business that would be ripe for some advertising. As a result, Instagram might very well make some adjustments that mean that less and less of your followers see your posts in their feeds. And when your engagement numbers start to dip? You’ll be far more inclined to foot the bill for some advertising. Plus, as more and more brands are present on social networks, the algorithms almost always assume that users will value a post from a friend or individual more than a sales message from a brand—which makes it that much tougher to get your content seen. While it’s tough to find any specific statistics that speak to the engagement nosedive that brands experience after making the switch, many do suspect that changing over to a business profile can have a negative impact. Over to You From analytics to the option to run ads, there are plenty of Instagram business profile cons and pros associated with changing your brand’s account over to a business one. However, the potential lack of engagement is also something worth thinking over. If you can make up for the one Instagram Business Profile cons, you’ll be on your way to reaping some great advantages! Ultimately, it all comes down to personal preference. Think about your own brand, weigh these pros and cons, and then figure out what would work best for your account moving forward. Remember, there isn’t one right answer! Now that you know all the Instagram business profile cons and pro, why not start carving out hours in your social media workflow, by signing up for Sked’s 7-day trial. Our all-in-one Instagram scheduler allows you to automatically post images, carousels, Stories, videos and more. Tag locations, users and products and manage all your hashtags in one place to save 5+ hours every week.