How to Set Up an Instagram Business Profile

Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms, surpassing 1 billion global users at the end of 2020. Whether you haven’t taken the plunge and joined Instagram, or you just haven’t put much time into marketing your brand on the platform, there’s one key element of Instagram marketing: the Instagram business profile. In this article, we will cover the pros and cons of business vs. personal profiles, how to set up an Instagram business profile, and some simple tips for marketing on Instagram.

Let’s get started.

How to Set Up an Instagram Business Profile

How you create your Instagram business profile will depend on whether you have an account set up already. If you’re already rockin’ the personal account game and want to switch to a business account, you can skip to step 3. If you don’t have an Instagram account set up, follow these steps:

1. Go to the Instagram Account Set Up Page

If you’re on a desktop or laptop, head to Instagram.com. On this page, there will be a login box where you can enter your phone number, email, or username, and your password. Under these options is a separate box with text that reads “Don’t have an account? Sign up.”

instagram login page on desktop with new account sign up option circled

In this box, select “Sign up,” and you will be taken to the account set up page.

2. Enter Your Account Information

On the account set up page, you are presented with two different options for creating an Instagram account: signing up with your Facebook account or signing up with a mobile phone number or email address. You can choose whichever option works best for you.

instagram account set up page on desktop

You will also be asked to enter your full name, username of your choice, and password of your choice. Once you have filled in all of the required information, click on the “Sign up” button.

instagram account set up page on desktop with sign up button circled

After you have clicked on the “Sign up” button, you will be asked to enter your birthdate and a verification code that will be sent to your mobile phone or email address. Once you enter your birthdate and verification code, you will be taken to your new Instagram account.

Because you have just made a brand new account, the first page that will likely appear is simply a list of suggested accounts for you to follow. Until you follow one or more accounts, you will not have any photos or videos in your Instagram feed. For now, let’s ignore the account suggestions and continue setting up our business profile.

3. Switch from a Personal Profile to a Business Profile

When creating an Instagram account, it will automatically be set up as a personal profile. To switch to a business profile, go to the toolbar at the top right of your screen, and select the “Profile” icon.

instagram desktop toolbar with profile icon circled

Once you have clicked on the “Profile” icon, a drop-down menu will appear. In this menu, select “Settings.”

instagram profile drop down menu with settings option circled

On the left side of the screen there is a menu with several options for updating your account privacy, notifications, and more. To set up your Instagram business profile, select the option at the bottom of the menu that reads “Switch to Professional Account.”

instagram profile settings with professional account option circled

4. Configure Your Business Profile Settings

After you have switched from a personal account to a professional account, you will need to configure some settings. First, Instagram will ask which best describes you: a creator or a business. Select the “Business” option, and then click on the “Next” button in the bottom of the dialogue box.

instagram creator profile vs instagram business profile option

The next page will provide you with some of the pros of choosing an Instagram business profile, but we’ll get into those in more detail later on. After you have read through the business profile highlights, click on the “Next” button in the bottom right of the dialogue box.

Now you will be asked to select a business category. It is not required to show the category on your profile, but it is required to choose which category best describes your brand. If you want Instagram users to see your business category on your profile, check the box that reads “Show category on profile.” If you don’t want users to see this on your profile, you can leave the box unchecked.

checkbox showing show category on profile option

You can choose an option from the auto-populated list that Instagram provides, or look for a different option using the search bar. The Instagram-provided list of options includes Personal Blog, Product/Service, Art, Musician/Band, Shopping/Retail, Health/Beauty, or Grocery Store. Select the option that best describes your brand by clicking on the circle to the right of the category name. Then, click the “Done” button in the bottom right of the dialogue box.

list of business categories on instagram business profile set up

The last step in setting up your Instagram business profile is to review your contact information. Here you can provide your public business information, including your email address, phone number, and physical address (if you have one). Once you have entered this information, click the “Save” button in the bottom right of the dialogue box. Or, you can skip this step by clicking on the “Don’t use my contact info” button in the bottom left of the dialogue box.

instagram business profile contact information page

Woohoo! Now your business profile is ready to go!

instagram business profile ready screen

Business Profile vs. Personal Profile

So, we’ve covered the how of Instagram business profiles, but what about the why? Why should you switch from a personal profile to an Instagram business profile?

There are a number of reasons that your brand should be using a business profile on Instagram, but here are a few of the key points.

Analytics

One of the most important features of an Instagram business profile is analytics. Personal profiles do not have access to Instagram insights, so they cannot measure engagement or user behavior other than likes, follows, or comments. Business profiles have an integrated analytics dashboard to help you measure how well your posts are performing, the number of impressions on your posts, when your followers are most active, and a breakdown of your follower demographics.

Insights can help you understand who your audience is, which kind of content performs the best with your current audience, and what you can work on to find new followers and increase your engagement.

Story Links

Another exciting feature found on Instagram business profiles is the ability to add links to your Instagram story. Typically, it’s difficult to add links on Instagram. For those with a personal profile, you can only have a link in your bio. However, if you have a business profile, you may have the option to add a “Swipe up” link to your Instagram stories.

Whether you want to showcase a product, get new email subscribers, or highlight a new article on your blog, the Swipe Up story link feature is a great way to get your site in front of people and increase website visits or conversions.

Quick Contact

When setting up a business profile, you can add your contact information, including your email address, phone number, and physical address. All of this contact information will be visible on your profile, and users can quickly call you, send you an email, or see a map of your location, all without leaving the Instagram app.

The quick contact feature makes it easy for users to learn more about your brand, or get in touch with questions.

Advertising

The last business feature is Instagram advertising. When you sign up for a business profile, you can create and run advertisements on Instagram, including in-feed ads, story ads, or single post promotions. You can either create your own ad audience or choose an automated audience list from Instagram’s algorithm. In addition to running ads, you can review your ad performance and determine which ads are engaging users and which are not.

Instagram ads are an excellent way to reach new users or retarget users who have visited your profile without following or completing a conversion.

Tips for Marketing on Instagram

Now that we’ve covered the how and the why, let’s talk about the what. What do you need to get started with Instagram marketing?

While Instagram changes and adds new features over time, there are a few best practices that have stood the test of time. These simple steps are perfect for any brand looking to build up their presence on the app.

Take Advantage of Stories

500 million people use Instagram stories each day. 58% of people say that they have become more interested in a brand or product after seeing or hearing about it in Instagram stories. That means there’s a really good chance that someone in your target audience is browsing through Instagram stories at least once a day.

Even as a small brand, you can use stories to answer questions, introduce products, show off your company culture, and even more. With story highlights, you can create space on your profile for important stories to live, like FAQs, employees, or just some fun facts about your brand! Whatever you use Instagram stories for, it is a terrific tool for connecting with followers and telling stories.

Use Hashtags

This one might seem obvious, but using hashtags on your Instagram posts can really put your brand in front of new people. Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags per comment or caption, and it’s best to use all of them. That doesn’t mean that you should add popular or trending hashtags to a post that doesn’t represent that topic. That means that if you can find 30 hashtags relevant and fairly commonly used, you should take full advantage of every hashtag. You can even start your own branded hashtag that you and your followers can use to group posts about your brand, products, or services.

Create Video Content

Much like on Facebook, video content is king. Users really engage with video content on Instagram, whether it’s an in-feed video, IGTV video, or an Instagram Reel. Videos allow brands to tell stories in detail, whether it’s a product showcase, a compilation of fan-submitted videos, or a silly dog video.

Video may sound like a huge undertaking, but as long as you have a phone camera and decent lighting, you can start uploading videos on Instagram. If you’re just starting with video, try recording a how-to video with instructions on using your product or a behind-the-scenes look at your office or company get-together.

Need Instagram Strategy Advice?

If you’re feeling overwhelmed with Instagram or need some help kickstarting your marketing efforts, get in touch with us! We’re here to help you understand the importance of an Instagram business profile and how you can step up your Instagram presence.

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