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Reviewing Instagram's New Tools for Business

This week, Instagram announced the introduction of Instagram Business Tools, a suite of features designed to help businesses better connect with consumers. Included in these tools are business profiles, promoted posts and insights/analytics.

That’s right, I said it. Insights. Just don’t get too excited yet. Here’s a quick review of the tools now available to your brand:

Business Profiles

With the switch to business profiles, brand pages take on a look that clearly sets them apart from personal user accounts.

The redesign and its much larger header graphic also include new profile fields, such as industry category, profile description, website and an address. In addition, there’s a “Contact” button that allows businesses to choose how users reach out – call, text, email or get directions.

TIP: Under this redesign, your business’ contact information could easily be lost in the mix. To prevent this from happening, condense your business description, focusing on need-to-know information.


For every social advertiser that’s longed for more information on post performance and audience demographics, this is a pretty exciting (and long overdue) announcement. Businesses will now have the opportunity to see stats broken down into three sections: Reach and Impressions, Top Posts, and Follower Insights.

Follower insights include all of your favorite basics – gender, age range, top locations, and followers’ most active time and days. But let’s be honest, for anyone who has already looked at Audience Insights on Facebook, it doesn’t tell us much that you haven’t figured out at this point. That said, exact numbers and visuals are always a welcome addition as far as we’re concerned.

The Reach and Impressions feature provides businesses with post data, such as impressions, reach, engagement, likes and comments (not follows yet – seriously) by posts and even set time periods from the last seven days to the last two years.

If you’re clambering for historical data, don’t get too excited just yet. Instagram has not released stats for retroactive posts, leaving businesses frustrated with big picture insights that are slightly out of reach.

Promoted Posts

The feature we’ve been expecting since before the announcement of Instagram’s algorithm – promoted posts -- is finally here.

Businesses can now “boost” existing posts with the objective of encouraging users to visit their website, or call or visit the store. Similar to promoted posts on Facebook, advertisers are required to select a time frame, budget and audience.

To the average Joe, these changes might not seem like big news. However, as a consumer who recently purchased some sweet Doctor Who leggings and found a new brow designer all because of a couple of Instagram photos, I’m literally walking proof that Instagram can bring businesses and customers together.

And it’s not just me. Sixty percent of users have learned about a product or service on the app. So, even though these tools don’t meet all of my expectations (yet) as a social marketing manager, it excites me to know Instagram is working to give businesses the features to help make these connections happen.

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