No matter what kind of business you run, it's important to have a professional social media presence where you can build your brand recognition and connect with potential customers. The default option when creating an Instagram account is a personal profile. But when you create an Instagram business profile, you get access to all kinds of helpful tools and features to help grow your business. \r\n\r\nWhether you're already a small business owner or you're considering starting a new business, here's everything you need to know about why you should switch to a business profile on Instagram. \r\nWhat's the difference between a personal profile and an Instagram business profile?\r\nMaybe you're thinking about creating a business profile on Instagram, but you're not sure exactly what the difference is or why it's worth making the switch. Having an Instagram business account gives you access to all kinds of features that are specifically designed to help you grow your business. Just like a personal account, an Instagram business account is free and easy to set up. \r\nInstagram business profile features\r\nHaving a business account will allow you to access features like linking your products in your posts and stories, which can help to convert your Instagram followers into paying customers. You'll also be able to use Instagram's analytics to find out how your posts are performing with your audience so that you can adjust your marketing strategy as needed. A business Instagram account also lets you list important information about your business on your profile, such as email address, phone number, website, physical location, and operating hours. \r\n\r\nWe'll get into the details of these features and more below. \r\n7 reasons to switch to an Instagram business profile\r\nLet's dive deeper into seven reasons why an Instagram business account can benefit your brand.\r\n1. Appear more professional\r\nWhen you're running a business on Instagram, it's important that visitors can immediately identify exactly what you sell and how they can purchase from you. After all, a social media profile can only lead to sales if it's easy for consumers to make a purchase. This means sharing information about how to get in touch, using calls to action to encourage followers to engage, and linking to where someone can buy your products or services.\r\n\r\nAccording to statistics, 90% of accounts follow a business on Instagram. It's a competitive market, so you need to make the effort to create a strong, recognizable brand identity that's reinforced by the aesthetic of your Instagram feed. Make sure you're using high-quality photos and paying attention to how your profile will look as a whole.\r\n2. Access to Instagram insights\r\nOne of the major benefits to using an Instagram business account is you'll gain access to business analytics tools. Instagram uses real-time data from your account to determine what kind of content works with your audience. These insights can help you adjust the type of content you post, so that your marketing strategy is more efficient at reaching your target audience. \r\n\r\nWith a business account, you'll be able to look at insights for each individual post or story created, as well as a more general overview of your audience insights. Account insights are broken down into three categories: content reach, content interactions, and total followers. Here is a brief explanation of the information included in each of these categories.\r\n\r\n \tContent reach—Learn how many times your posts are seen and how many profile visits, website clicks, and other activities your posts received. You'll also be able to see which posts, IGTV videos, and Instagram stories performed best.\r\n\r\n\r\n \tContent interactions—See how many likes, comments, saves, and shares your posts received over a set period.\r\n\r\n\r\n \tTotal followers—These insights show your overall follower growth as well as how many follows and unfollows you got in that time frame. There's also a graph to give you a more visual understanding of your progress. You'll also be able to see a breakdown of where your followers are located, their age group, and gender, so you can effectively create content that speaks to your target audience.\r\n\r\nYou can also see insights for each individual post you make. You'll also discover where people saw your post to determine if your hashtag strategy is effective. \r\n3. Add a CTA and contact button \r\nAnother feature of an Instagram business account is the ability to link to your website and use a call to action button on your profile. This way, you can give your followers an easy way to check out your online store or get in touch without having to leave the Instagram app. Other action buttons available on a business account include "book now," "reserve," and "order food."\r\n4. Add links to your Instagram stories\r\nAccording to statistics, over 500 million accounts use Instagram stories every single day. As a business owner, you can add links to your Instagram stories and increase customer conversion by making it easier for interested followers to purchase from you. \r\n\r\nIf you have a verified account or over 10,000 followers on Instagram, you can add website links to your Instagram stories. Before you post your story, you'll see a link icon at the top of your screen, where you can paste your website link, a specific product page, or any other link you want to share with your followers. \r\n\r\nIf you don't have 10,000 followers, you can't access the link function, but you can still link to your products if you use Instagram shopping.\r\n5. Tag products in your posts\r\nTagging products on Instagram is yet another way a business account makes it easier for you to convert your followers into paying customers. First, make sure you meet the eligibility criteria for Instagram shopping. Next, connect your Instagram business account to a Facebook page. In order to tag products, you can either upload your products one by one or use a certified e-commerce platform partner to upload your entire inventory all at once. \r\n\r\nYou'll also need to submit your Instagram account for review in your app settings before your product listings become visible to your followers. Once you're approved, turn on “shopping” in your settings and you'll be ready to start tagging your product in your Instagram stories and posts.\r\n\r\nWhen you're making a post, you'll see the option of tagging products in the same area as you would tag another Instagram account. In Instagram stories, you'll find this option with the other stickers and interactive buttons.\r\n6. Take advantage of Instagram advertising\r\nInstagram ads can be great for driving traffic to your website, especially considering that 50 per cent of people visit a website to make a purchase after seeing a product or service. With a business account, you can instantly promote a post or story. When you promote content on Instagram, you get to choose what your goal for the promotion is, whether you’re aiming for more profile visits, website visits, or messages. Instagram automatically targets an audience based on your followers so that you can create an ad in a matter of minutes with no experience necessary. If you're looking for more control over your advertising techniques, opt to create your own target audience for your ad by entering specific demographics related to your ideal client. Throughout your Instagram ad campaign, you'll be able to track your advertisement performance and cancel ads at any time.\r\n7. Schedule your posts ahead of time\r\nWith an Instagram business account, you'll be able to use a third-party social media app to schedule your posts and automatically publish them, so you don't have to worry about remembering to post at specific times. This method is especially helpful if you like to batch your content preparation ahead of time. You'll be able to see your entire Instagram feed at a glance and move posts around to create a cohesive, professional look for your business.\r\n\r\nBesides all of these amazing features that come with an Instagram business account, you'll also be able to increase your engagement and connect with your followers using interactive story stickers. When you include elements like polls, questions, and countdowns for your next product drop, your followers are more likely to interact and take action.\r\n\r\nNow that you know how an Instagram business profile can help you grow your business, it's time to get started.