How to Create an Instagram Business Account and Why You Need One
This post was last updated on September 26th, 2022.
It used to be that Instagram was a place people would go to post pictures of their pets and expensive lattes. But, fast forward just a few years and Instagram is its own fully-fledged community where creators, brands, businesses, and personal users co-exist. If you’re trying to carve out a little slice of the platform for your own business, the first thing you should be doing is making sure you’re using an Instagram business account.
Whether you’re just now creating a website for your new business or getting your existing company up-to-speed with its social media strategy, having the right type of Instagram account can help you succeed online.
One way is by using relevant and high-quality content, which requires an entire strategy on its own. Another is by simply choosing the right category for your account. A business Instagram account will allow you to be easily identified by others on the platform as a business, and it will also give you extra tools that aren’t available to personal accounts. Let’s take a closer look at how to make the switch to a business account and why this easy switch can have a huge effect on the success of your online presence.
How to create an Instagram business account
Switching to a business account is fairly simple and can be done in just a few quick steps on either your mobile device through the Instagram app or on a desktop.
Convert an existing Instagram account:
Step 1: From the app, navigate to your profile page.
Step 2: Click on the menu at the top right-hand corner. It looks like three short-stacked lines.
Step 3: From the menu, select “settings.”
Step 4: Once you’re in the settings menu, click on “account.”
Step 5: From here, you should see at the bottom of the account menu that there are highlighted options to switch to a business account. Click on it, and you might be asked to fill in extra missing details or just prompted to switch over right away. That’s it.
Create an Instagram business account from scratch:
Step 1: Download the Instagram app to your iOS, Android, or Windows device.
Step 2: Launch the app and sign up by filling in your details. Make sure you’re using an administrative email address if multiple people will have access to this account, or you can opt to log in with Facebook to easily link your Facebook business page.
Step 3: Select a username and password, complete your profile details, and finish logging in.
Step 4: When you open a new account, the default will be a personal account. So, from here, you’ll continue with the steps for switching your Instagram account to a business profile, as we mentioned above under “convert an existing account.”
How much does an Instagram business account cost
When setting up your Instagram business account, you will be asked to choose from several different plans. For those just starting out, the ‘Starter’ plan is a great option as it provides basic analytics and one profile link along with one call-to-action button. However, if you are looking for more advanced features and want to be able to promote your posts, the ‘Business’ plan is recommended. This plan includes more features such as detailed analytics, advanced scheduling capabilities and Instagram ads.
When creating an Instagram business account, there are several different price points to consider. For those just getting started, the ‘Starter’ plan is available for free and includes features such as basic analytics, one profile link and one call-to-action button. However, if you are looking for more advanced features and want to be able to promote your posts, the ‘Business’ plan is recommended. This plan includes advanced analytics and up to 10 profile links for $10 per month.
Instagram business account vs personal account
There are several key differences between an Instagram business and personal account. Personal accounts are used by individuals to share content with their friends, family and other followers. This is different from a business account which is used primarily by companies and businesses to promote products or services, while building relationships with their customers.
The accounts also have different features. Business accounts have Instagram analytics, they can also be used to create and promote ads on the platform, and they can add to their content contact buttons.
You can convert a personal account to a business account, as we laid out above. But you can not convert from a business to a personal account.
Choosing an Instagram business account name
When it comes to finding the right name for your Instagram business account, it's important to follow many of the same guidelines that influence choosing a business name, or a domain name. The main thing to remember is that the character limit on your Instagram handle is 30, so you may have to choose or adjust your name accordingly.
Lead with your brand, something that accurately reflects your company, what you do and what you stand for. Many organizations use their company or business name as their Instagram handle. Instagram is a great place to be creative, so you can always opt for a unique name that reflects the content you plan to post.
Make sure to check your name for misspellings, because once chosen for an Instagram business account it can't be changed.
Linking an Instagram business account to Facebook
Your Instagram business account can be linked to a Facebook page. Linking the two accounts allows you to manage your Instagram business presence directly from your company Facebook page. This means you'll have the ability to post, respond to comments, and view analytics. By linking the two accounts, you'll be able to run Instagram ads through Facebook's ad manager, which provides additional targeting options and insights.
To link the two accounts, businesses go to your Facebook page settings, select Instagram, and then enter their Instagram account information. Once the accounts are linked, you'll be able to easily switch between them by selecting the account you want to manage in the top right corner of the Facebook page.
10 Benefits of using an Instagram business account
The switch from a personal to a business account is quick and easy, but the benefits that come along with it are a lot more long-lasting and will have a noticeable effect on your Instagram marketing strategy.
What you’re able to do with your account, the Instagram features you have access to, how you interact with your followers, and how you collect data will change for the better with a business account. Here are 10 noticeable benefits of using an Instagram business account:
1. Get taken more seriously
As a brand, it’s important to come across professional online, and that’s easier to do with a personal Instagram account. For instance, new features in your Instagram bio can elevate your professionalism with different fields you otherwise wouldn't have. You can add a clickable address that opens to Google Maps so clients can find you easily. You can also use contact buttons so clients can call or email you directly from your Instagram profile. Your profile page will also display your industry’s category right under your name, so users navigating to your profile can instantly tell it’s a business and what it is you do.
When deciding whether to create a business or personal Instagram account, there are several elements to consider. If you’re creating an account for a business or brand, it’s important to design your page in a professional manner that is consistent with the branding of your business. This includes selecting a custom profile picture and cover photo that accurately reflect your company or product. Additionally, you should create a profile bio that speaks to your target audience, as well as include relevant hashtags and keywords in your posts.
When choosing a name for your Instagram business account, it's important to consider several factors. Firstly, the name should be easy to remember and spell. It should also be specific enough to differentiate your account from other businesses in your industry. Additionally, it should be reflective of the product or service you offer while remaining unique and creative – making sure to avoid any potential copyright infringement.
2. Help customers find you
By adding your industry and business category to your profile, you can become searchable on Instagram and search engines such as Google. If you’re looking for the keyword “photographer” and that is what you listed your business as, potential customers can arrive to your account. Once they arrive at your page, make sure you have a link to your professional website in the bio to help you get more bookings and leads.
Another discoverability tip is to add a keyword related to your product or service in your Instagram name. This will even further boost your SEO. An example is John Smith Photography, adding the keyword “photography” at the end is the key.
3. Access rich insights
With a business account, you get access to analytics in order to see how your page and posts are performing. This data is a great way to keep track of your growth and gain information on your audience and the success of your content.
You can access the analytics of a post by clicking on the ‘insights’ button on any post on your profile. Here, you’ll see information such as your reach, profile visits, replies, and how your post was discovered.
If you want to view more general analytics of your entire account, head to the menu from your profile in the right-hand corner and click on the ‘insights’ tab. In this section, the data is broken down into how many interactions you get, accounts reached, number of new followers, and more. You can see information on how your posts and stories are performing, as well as broken down data on metrics like button taps, interactions, follower demographics and active times, and more.
4. Run Instagram Ads
One of the biggest selling points of switching over to an Instagram business account is that you'll be able to run ads that people outside your follower's list see. Instagram Ads is definitely one of the Instagram tools you want to utilize if you plan to promote a product or an event or simply want to create more brand awareness. Furthermore, using promoted posts is a great way to reach new audiences, increase engagement, and get more followers who are interested in your brand.
To start advertising, you can click on any of your existing posts, tap the ‘promote’ button, and go through the steps of creating your promoted post. You can set where you want people to go when they click on your post, define your audience, and set your budget and the length of your promotion.
You can also create Instagram ads on your Facebook Ad Manager account. The process and metrics are similar, but Facebook has some more options to target your ads. Additionally, if you also run ads on Facebook, you can make sure they’re in sync on both platforms and get an overview of all your campaigns in one place.
5. Add clickable link stickers in Instagram Stories
You’ve probably seen influencers or brands on Instagram add clickable link stickers to their Instagram stories. Whether it’s to link to an article or webpage of a product, clickable links are another great way to improve engagement and also increase traffic to your website. The clickable link is so important because normally, Instagram only gives you one opportunity to display a link that is in your bio.
Links in stories provide additional opportunities to directly take your followers on Instagram to where you want them to go, such as your website. For example, you can display a product in your stories and then add a link for followers to shop for the item.
One more important detail to keep in mind is that in order to use links in your stories, you need to have at least 10,000 followers.
6. Implement Instagram Shopping
When you switch to a business account, you can make your posts shoppable so that users can browse and purchase directly from a post. This feature is great for eCommerce businesses who sell tangible products, like jewelry, accessories, or clothes.
With the shopping feature, you can tag products in a post to display a price and link directly to the page where a user can order it on your website. You can tag multiple items in a post as well, and when users navigate to a product's page, they can checkout and complete a purchase without ever exiting the Instagram app.
7. Partner through branded content
Aside from an Instagram business account helping you out with your own posts, it also allows others to tag you as a partner in their posts. If you begin working with influencers and they upload posts with your products or promoting your brand, they’ll be able to tag you and mention the post is partnered with or sponsored by your brand. If you don’t want just anyone to have the power to do this, you can restrict who tags you in branded content posts, so you’re assured only your approved partners have this exclusive tagging ability.
8. Save time with the Quick Replies
As your account starts to grow, you'll likely get more and more messages from customers with questions. This increase in contact can be tough to manage if you're a small team, and you don't want any clients falling through the cracks. With an Instagram business account, you can set up a quick replies feature to make it easier to answer all your direct messages and also save you time.
You can set up the quick replies feature in your settings and create shortcodes, which can be just a word, that are linked to template answers to your most common questions. For example, each time someone sends you a DM on Instagram asking about your services, all you’d need to do is type in your shortcode, click the quick reply icon that pops up, and your entire saved message will be sent so that you don’t need to type out your answer from scratch every time.
9. Stay organized with inbox management
Another excellent tool for managing your inbox when your account gets constant and regular DMs is the inbox management feature. With an Instagram business account, instead of just having one inbox for all your messages, your inbox is divided into three sections: primary, general, and requests.
Primary messages are usually messages Instagram thinks you’ll want to see first. They’re either from people you follow or accounts you interact with frequently. General messages are usually from accounts you don’t follow or don’t interact with as often. You can easily move messages between these two inboxes in order to organize your inbox. Maybe you want to keep certain messages in your primary inbox and move them over to general once they’re dealt with, or leave one inbox for client inquiries and move everything else to the second inbox.
10. Schedule posts ahead of time
Once you have an Instagram business account, you can connect it with your Wix website to schedule posts to your Instagram feed. The built-in Wix Social Posts tool allows you to create posts and schedule them for a set time to go live. This will help save time and will enable you to publish at the best times and days, even when you can't be on your device to hit publish. By planning posts ahead, you're able to make your entire social media teams' lives easier and help you stay on top of your social media content calendar.
Instagram for business and the limitations
For many businesses, large and small, Instagram is a great way to connect with clients, raise brand awareness and sell products. However there are some limitations to the platform that businesses planning to use it should be aware of.
Instagram business accounts are a great way to share unique, branded content. However the account itself has limited options for personalization, or ways to make it stand out.
The algorithm. Instagram's algorithm changes and updates fairly regularly, so what once worked to reach a target audience may not after an algorithm update. You'll have to keep testing and pivoting your Instagram business strategy and the content you create to stay on top.
The cost of ads can be high for small businesses especially. Set a budget, and your KPIs or ROI for your ad spend and stick to it. At the same time, as the platform increases in size, organic reach becomes more competitive - meaning you'll need ads to compete with bigger Instagram players, at least at first.
Instagram analytics is improving all the time but doesn't necessarily compare to SEO or website analytics tools you may have been using. This makes it harder to pull insights on what's working for you on the platform or not. Combined with limited customer service, even for business users, navigating Instagram for business can be tricky.
Create a custom Instagram strategy
Switching to an Instagram business account is just one way to optimize your social media. Still, you'll also need a solid social media marketing strategy to make the most of it. Your Instagram approach should be customized to your brand, your audience, and your goals. Here are a few things to keep in mind when crafting an Instagram strategy:
Define your target audience: Do some market research to understand who your audience is so you can understand what they like and create content that appeals to them, specifically.
Check out the competition: Take a look at what your competitors are doing on their Instagram business accounts. This doesn’t mean you should copy their strategy. Rather, you can look for gaps in their content so that you know where to focus your efforts or ensure that you stand out enough against your competitors.
Create quality content: Your content should be thought-out and high-quality, whether it’s professional videos, images or meaningful captions, make sure each post has a purpose.
Build up your style: Many feeds have a certain aesthetic. Create your own by using similar filters on each photo, using Instagram templates with similar color palettes, and generally staying true to your brand’s overall identity.
Set a consistent schedule: Post your content regularly and consistently. The frequency you upload posts and stories is up to you, but whatever amount you decide on, map out a schedule and stick to it.
Track your performance: Determine your goal with each post, ad, or story and then track how you’re doing over time using the insights tool or a more robust Instagram analytics tool. Your performance will depend on what goal you’ve set, such as increasing your follower count, getting more traffic to your website, or converting Instagram followers to paying customers.
By Lena Sernoff
Senior Digital Marketing Expert & Writer