Instagram is all business as it launches new tools for SMBs

1 Jun 201616 Shares

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New Instagram tools keep businesses in the picture

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Social media platform Instagram has launched new tools for businesses, including new business profiles, analytics and the ability to turn Instagram posts into ads via the Instagram mobile app.

The Facebook-owned photo-sharing site has more than 200,000 active advertisers and the vast majority of these are small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

Alongside Snapchat, Instagram is the mobile app of choice for today’s teenagers and 20-somethings, beginning to eclipse forerunners like Facebook and Twitter.

‘With so many companies using Instagram, and many people on the platform interacting with them, there was a desire from our business community to do more’
– INSTAGRAM

Last September, Instagram topped 400m users, overtaking micro-blogging site Twitter, but still some ways behind Facebook itself, which has 1.6bn users worldwide.

Keeping businesses in the picture

Instagram for business

But now Instagram has emerged as a platform increasingly used by businesses to be part of the conversation.

“With so many companies using Instagram, and many people on the platform interacting with them, there was a desire from our business community to do more,” the company said in a blog post.

“So we listened. And, after hundreds of interviews with businesses, three key needs became clear—stand out, get insights and find new customers.”

To stand out, the social app has launched Business Profiles, a free feature for accounts that want to be seen as a business on Instagram that adds in contact information as well as unlocking insights and giving them the ability to promote posts.

Insights provide businesses with the data they need to find out more about their followers and discover which posts resonate and as a result create more relevant and timely content.

Promote enables businesses to turn well-performing posts into ads from within the mobile app by adding a button to encourage users to take action. Within the app, businesses can target their audience or allow Instagram to suggest a target audience.

“With these new business tools on Instagram, the furniture store in San Francisco can receive emails from customers, saving valuable time responding. The retailer in Austin can better understand its audience, tailor its content and refine its marketing strategy—even beyond digital. And the do-it-yourself craft shop in New York City can quickly fill a seat, move a product or get people into its store with ads on mobile,” Instagram said.

Instagram image via Shutterstock

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com