Do you really need an Instagram business account? I’ve been going back and forth with myself for ages on this question. I blog full time now, but I used to work professionally in social media, and I always had my clients switch to a business account for the obvious business reasons – easy contact button for customers, different reporting abilities other platforms can’t give, swipe up in stories, etc, not to mentioned it’s easy for users to recognize you as a business.
But when it came to my blog Instagram account? I wasn’t sold on it, for two key reasons. First, I didn’t (and still don’t) like how a business account has that “email” button on the profile. Basically, I feel like you stick out as a business that way (duh) but my blog centers around me – a person – not a company. I never want my followers to feel like I’ve sold out and am just shoving sponsored posts down their throats, ya know? My business is myself, so I always want to stay personable.
Secondly, I’m still to this day paranoid that Instagram is going to pull a Facebook and in a year you have to pay to play the game. Facebook business pages used to have an organic reach of 100%, then Facebook changed it to 6% to encourage businesses to boost their posts for $5 here or there. Now, they changed it to almost 0% of your business posts can reach fans organically. 0%!!!! You now have to pay to play the game, and I’m really worried that Instagram is moving in that direction with business accounts. The risk just never seemed worth it.
But, I finally switched to a business account a couple of months ago. So, why did I make the change and why do I now think that all serious influencers need to also switch to a business account?
The analytics are worth it now.
They weren’t always worth it. At first, the only real benefit seemed to be the swipe up feature and the ability to see Instagram Stories views even after they hit their 24-hour expiry mark. But now, the reporting is invaluable to influencers. You can see profile views, reach stats, amount of times your post has been saved and even how many people found you through hashtags or the explore page. “Data-Driven Decisions” is a buzz word you’ll hear a lot in San Francisco, but it’s a powerful concept that not enough influencers are getting behind.
Data doesn’t lie. It doesn’t sway to your personal emotions. Successful businesses thrive when they implement data-driven decisions. If you are smart about your blog, you make content decisions based on data. You know which blog post drives the most traffic, then you make more like that. You know which type of photos do best on Instagram, and then make more like those. The data an Instagram business account now offers is vital in helping bloggers learn and grow their account.
How can you grow your business if you don’t truly know what’s working? That’s the power of data.
Use data to get more branded campaigns.
Data is also incredibly useful in brand campaigns and sticking out among the crowd. Let’s say you do a campaign with a lipstick brand. After you post, the brand can obviously see how many likes the post has and how many comments it got, but their data points stop there. 99% of influencers simply send along a link to the post and ask for their check. The smart ones, though, look at the reach, the impressions, the save rate, the story views, etc, and pass that information along to the brand. This makes the brand happy – they now have more information to pass along to their bosses, more data to prove that their project is working. You’ll also stand out because most bloggers don’t like sharing that information, so the brand will trust you more and next quarter when it’s time to launch another lipstick campaign, they’ll probably come to you right away.
I’ve talked to a lot of influencers/bloggers, and I’ve learned that data scares a lot of people. I can’t tell you the number of girls I know who don’t even have Google Analytics installed on their blog! That seems crazy, right? I now think it’s that same way with Instagram and the business account. If you’re serious, you have Google Analytics installed on your blog, AND you have a business account.
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The most important data points.
There’s a LOT of data points that Instagram offers you now. These are the most important ones to track.
- Story views: If your views go down over time, maybe it’s time to switch up what you are sharing on Stories to get more views there.
- Discovery (impressions, reach and discovery via hashtags): Knowing how your content is discovered and how many people are seeing it is really important to know.
- Profile views: You profile is a chance to sell users on your content to hopefully get a follow.
- Follower activity (aka, what time they are online so you can post when they are using Instagram)
What are your thoughts on the Instagram business account? Do you have one? Will you switch if you don’t?
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