When a company told me I needed to have a business account to participate in a sponsorship opportunity, I shuddered in fear. Like you, I’d heard all the rumors about business accounts’ engagement taking a nose-dive because they want you to have to pay to play.
I can without a shadow of a doubt say these rumors are completely unfounded. My engagement stayed exactly the same and now I have the tools to improve my posts. Instagram business profiles offer valuable insights about your followers and content I would never have had without their in-app analytics.
Third Party Apps Aren’t Perfect - I used to think that you could get the same audience and media insights from any app with an API integration. This is far from true. In fact, most of the apps out there only take a small sample of your data to formulate conclusions so if you have a huge audience, that random sample could be highly inaccurate.
The biggest problem is with apps that track “ghost” followers as they’re generally looking for users who don’t post but listen and lurk. This group of people may not share their own content, but might still be interacting frequently with your posts. For example, my mom has no profile picture or any posts on her own account, yet she frequently likes posts of mine. To these apps, she would’ve looked like a ghost account so if you block her in hopes of improving your engagement rate, you may accidentally be deleting one of your biggest fans.
Learn about our recommended apps here
Links in Stories – If you have over 10K followers, you will automatically be able to add links to your Instagram stories. Not only is this valuable for promoting clients and partners, but you can also direct visitors back to your own site to begin using Instagram as a real source of referral traffic. I have fairly mutually exclusive audiences on my blog and Instagram so the more I can cohesively link my brand together to cross-promote content, the better.
Invaluable Analytics – Since switching to a business account, I look at my analytics obsessively. For posts, this means analyzing which photos did the best so I can produce more content that my audience reacts to. You can view insights for each individual photo to see where the visitors came from – your hashtags, homepage, or other to try to optimize for discovery. You can also see how many actions visitors took on each post – liking, saving, following you, etc. For stories, this means comparing your impressions to your reach to try to formulate some educated guesses about why people viewed each item or swiped away so again, you can produce more content that people like.
You also have access to follower insights so you can begin to understand the demographics of your audience - age, sex, and location (A/S/L - old AOL joke) to determine what they’ll respond to, when they’re the most active, and provide this info in a media kit.
People say content is king, but I’d argue that data is queen.
Have you switched to a business account? What do you think?