Instagram has approximately one billion users each month, with five hundred million of those watching Instagram Stories every day. Two hundred million users visit at least one business profile a day, and one-third of the most viewed stories are from businesses. To summarise, Instagram has a vast audience, just waiting to be utilised.
Whether you’re setting up an account from scratch or working on improving your existing Insta-strategy, it’s essential to take a moment to think about what you’re trying to achieve when using the platform. If you’re looking for a Social Media platform to connect with friends, family and businesses, then you should start by creating a Personal profile. However, if you’re an influencer or marketing a business, then a Professional account is what you need.
Instagram Personal Profiles
When first creating an Instagram, whether it’s for yourself or a business, you will automatically start by signing up to a personal profile. Here you can include a Name, Username, Website URL and Bio.
Build your account by following relevant people, such as friends and family, and posting to your grid. Instagram Stories and Hashtags are both excellent ways to build engagement.
Instagram Professional Accounts
If you want to change a personal profile to a professional account, follow these steps:
- Open your Instagram app and log in.
- Click on your profile picture on the bottom right of the screen, and this will take you to your ‘grid’.
- Click on the three horizontal lines on the top right of your screen.
- Click ‘Settings’.
- Scroll down and click on ‘Account’
- Scroll down slightly and select ‘Switch to Professional account’.
You will then have to select whether you are a ‘Creator’ which is best for public figures such as influencers, or a ‘Business’ which, of course, is best for businesses.
A Creator Instagram account is almost like the middle ground between personal and business. You will have flexible profile controls where you can choose to hide or display information such as contact buttons, as well as a simplified inbox allowing you to manage requests and engage with fans easily. You will also receive more advanced insights.
Professional Instagram accounts will give you more call to action buttons and space to provide contact details and your business address, which will ultimately increase your customers’ ability to get in touch.
You will now be able to connect your Facebook Page to your Instagram account. Linking your accounts is essential if you utilise a scheduling tool that can schedule directly to Instagram, as they will require a professional ‘Business’ profile over a personal or creator account.
There are, however, some features that you will notice you no longer have access to when changing to a Professional account that you need to consider before making the switch.
It may not seem like an important feature, but it’s worth noting that if you’re looking to have a private Instagram account (and therefore not grow your brand and exposure), then you can only do this through a Personal Instagram profile.
Personal Instagram accounts tend to have a higher Organic Reach than Professional ones as it’s Instagram’s way of putting their consumers first. Businesses are expected to ‘pay to play’ and invest in the platform if they want to increase their reach.
You may notice that Instagram business and creator accounts do not have access to the music sticker on Instagram Stories. Although Instagram hasn’t directly commented on this, it makes sense that with copyright and licensing laws, businesses would be unable to utilise other artists music for their marketing purposes.
Top Tip: although the majority of videos on Social Media are listened to with the sound off (use subtitles where you can), Instagram Stories are often played with the volume up! Be careful to avoid any distracting background noise when recording a video or going live.
Professional Instagram accounts will allow you to view ‘Insights’ into your content, activity and audiences. On the Insights tab you will be able to view your Reach, Impressions, Interactions, and follower demographic to improve your Instagram engagement and exposure continuously.
You can also track your Overall Growth and whether anyone has followed or unfollowed you. Use the information provided by Instagram Insights to post more of what your audience enjoy seeing.
Setting Up Your Instagram Business Profile
A business account on Instagram offers more options for public business information and call-to-action buttons than a creator profile. An Instagram business profile should be set up and optimised with your marketing goals in mind; you need to decide which call-to-action button will benefit your business most.
Once you have chosen to switch to a Business profile, you can begin by clicking the ‘Edit Profile’ button on your account. This section of an Instagram business profile will allow you to input vital information that your customers will want to see, such as your website address, email, phone number and what your business is all about!
Optimise Your Instagram Business Bio
Instagram only provides businesses with 150 characters in their bio so you must include only the most important information there. Your bio should include a sentence that summarises what your business is about and a call-to-action statement such as ‘click the link below’.
Even though Instagram Business allows you to place buttons on your profile for call-to-action, writing something that asks potential customers to take action in your bio is another great way to work towards your goal.
Emojis in a bio are also a good idea depending on your business, as they not only look more appealing but have been proven to increase interaction online! Set out your bio in a clean, organised way so that your Instagram business account looks professional, but also fun.
Add Public Business Information
Once you have added basic information such as your business name, website and bio to your business account you can get started on adding public business information.
In this section, you can connect your Instagram business account with your Facebook page (which is highly recommended), select a category that your business belongs to, choose which contact details you will allow users to view, and select a call-to-action button, if necessary.
Plan and Post Content
After your Instagram business account has been set up, you can begin planning and uploading quality content such as images, videos, reels and stories.
The best thing to do is have a grid of around 6 to 9 posts uploaded on your Instagram business account before you begin following others and communicating via hashtags.
This is because Instagram users are much more likely to follow your business account if you have content there already waiting to be viewed. An empty business profile is likely to turn customers away.
Setting Up An Instagram Creator Profile
If you are an influencer or blogger then it is best to set up an Instagram creator profile, rather than a business account. A creator account provides a more varied insights tab that allows Instagram creators to see which specific content lead to changes in following or engagement.
Additionally, Instagram creator profiles do not require as much information as business accounts, such as contact details and an address. Even if you do not own a business, you still might have a marketing plan for your Instagram creator account in order to boost your followers.
Enter Basic Information
Information such as your name, bio and contact details can also be displayed on an Instagram creator profile so make sure you enter the information you would like followers to see, and hide the information that you don’t want them to see (e.g. your phone number).
Your bio can be less professional than a business account and gives you the chance to add a little personality!
Start Posting Content
The key to an Instagram creator account is content; you are a creator and should have an effective content plan in place. Similarly to setting up a business profile, your Instagram creator account should have a few images uploaded and ready before you begin following and engaging with people.
Even 3 images can make a difference on a started creator account, compared to an empty grid where people are unlikely to follow you back.
Follow and Interact with Other Creators
Following and interacting with other Instagram creators will not only open you up to a wider audience but can also give you inspiration on what to post. Engagement is one of the most important factors to Instagram so make sure you like, comment and share others posts to gain recognition and create relationships online.
If you already have a personal Instagram profile and want to switch to a business or creator profile, you can simply change the information in your bio, if necessary, and add the contact details once you have switched over. Here at thesocialnetwork, we offer social media training and consultancy to help you grow your business online. If you are looking to switch over to a business account but find yourself struggling, we can help.
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