Any local marketer who has interacted with Instagram has probably asked three questions:
- How do I know my posts are being seen by the right people?
- How can I tell if my posts are being seen at all?
- How can customers easily identify me as a business and then contact me quickly?
For a long time, these questions had gone unanswered by Instagram, but thatâ€™s changing, thanks to the Facebook-owned platform releasing their newest feature, Instagram Business Tools. The three toolsâ€”which Instagram has named Business Profiles, Insights, and Promoteâ€”are a big departure for Instagram, as the platform has always been a “consumer first” platform. But like Facebook before it, local business is going to get its due.
For too long, businesses were lost in the shuffle of the Instagram photo stream. While the platform has long avoided the fate of Facebook’s tailored news feedâ€”where you see what they think you want to seeâ€”Instagram has kept with its ways of showing you the images you want.
But what were local businesses to do once a customer found them? Were they supposed to leave the app to go open a browser and find more information? That’s an unlikely solution, mainly because Instagram users don’t want to do that. They want to view an image, see who posted it, and interact quickly. No clunky steps. With these new tools, that’s exactly what you’ll get.
Of the three new tools that will be rolling out to businesses in the coming months, two stand out as the best for local business: business profiles and promote.
Business profiles will give local businesses the steps between finding an image a customer likes and getting in contact with them, all without forcing them to leave the app. When Business Profiles roll out, you’ll be able to choose how a customer gets in contact with you directly from your Instagram profile. They’ll be able to call, text, or email by just hitting a â€ścontactâ€ť button.
Along with being able to capture more customers easily from your profile, the Promote tool takes the other tool, Insights, a step further. With Insights, you can see how many people saw an image or liked an image, as well as when peak traffic times are. But when you choose to promote, you can take a post that’s already performing well and turn it into an ad.
This is a big step for marketers using Instagram. Before, you were stuck creating an ad through Facebook Ads Manager to place on Instagram. This could cause you to send the same image twiceâ€”once from your profile, once in an adâ€”and it was difficult to easily check how the post was performing. Now, you’re just turning a good post into a great post. Connecting with more people, in more places, at any time.
Instagramâ€™s new tools, on the surface, seem to be everything local businesses have been dying to get their hands on through Instagram. With this set of new tools, how customers interact with businesses on the platform wonâ€™t look drastically different. But the way in which businesses interact with customers? It’ll feel like a brand new day.
Read more about these tools on the official Instagram blog.