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Instagram open platform up to businesses – three changes you need to know about

  • 5th July 20165/07/16
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Known for millions of selfies, thousands of pictures of food, and shots of beautiful holidays, Instagram hasn’t been particularly business friendly until now. It’s a great way to share images and create another contact point with your visual brand, but it’s never been very practical when it came to monetarising those likes and comments into cold hard cash for your business.

So is that all about to change?

Here’s what Instagram have to say for themselves…

 “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” Instagram said in a blog post announcing the new tools.

Change one: Business profiles

Instagram has only ever had one type of profile, which can make things more difficult for businesses who want to stand out. On Facebook you’ve got your standard personal profiles, then your business pages – simple, easy, effective.

Now Instagram (who are owned by Facebook) are creating business profiles. This will help users recognise you as a business, and you can also choose how your customers can contact you. You can let them call, text or email with the tap of a contact button.

You can also enter your location and customers can easily view directions to your business premises (perfect for businesses that have a designated geographical storefront).

Change two: Insights

Information makes the digital world go round; Facebook know this better than most which is why everything about their platform is used to encourage you to spend those pennies on boosting posts or your page, and then justifying what you’ve done and who you’ve reached.

Instagram had nothing, and that’s been a big problem for businesses trying to justify not only spend, but also time spent.

They’ve decided to add insights – great. And they’ve decided to keep those insights simple – even better.

With this new feature, business profile users will be able to learn about their demographics, view which posts resonate better, and learn from this to create better and more relevant content.

A step in the right direction without doubt!

Change three: Promote

The third and final feature is another which has been around on Facebook and Twitter for some time. Instagram have decided to bring in promoted posts. All you’ll need to do is pick one of your posts, add a button calling users to action, select your target audience, decide how long you want it to be promoted for and go! If you don’t want to pick an audience, you can just let Instagram make suggestions for you.

Now I know what you’re thinking…. This all sounds a little familiar doesn’t it?

That’s because it is; logic seems to have been if the wheel is already round, then the job has been done.  So expect to see a system that’s very similar to that you’re used to on Facebook, because, well, if it isn’t broken Instagram aren’t going to go and fix it!

Instagram says that these new features will be available globally by the end of the year.

We’ll keep you up to date on when they’re available and suggest some ways to use them to your advantage.

For more information on how we can boost your online presence give us a call on 01566 784860 or email hello@mihidigital.co.uk

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