Photo-sharing platform Instagram has targeted small business users with a host of new tools that will enable owners to create a company profile, interpret consumer behaviour and market their brand online.
According to a post on the company’s official blog, Instagram revealed its three new “business tools”. Firstly, users wanting the platform to recognise their page as a small business can set up a business profile for free. Owners will be able to choose how they want customers to get in touch with them, with a call, text and email function enabled with the tap of a “contact” button, as well as directions to the business’s location.
Another of the app’s new built-in tools – dubbed “insights” – will provide small business owners with usable information about who their followers are and which posts resonate better than others. This information can be used by owners to create more relevant Instagram content.
Finally, the “promote” tool will allow small business owners to automatically turn well-performing posts into ads and connect with more customers. Users handpick audiences to target, or the app will suggest user demographics itself, and users can subsequently promote a post as an add for as long as they choose.
Instagram’s business profiles – rolled out first to the US, Australia and New Zealand in the next month – will be available to British users before the end of the year.
The blog post read: “With so many companies using Instagram, and many people on the platform interacting with them, there was a desire from our community of business users to do more.
“We’ve listened. And after conducting hundreds of interviews with small business owners, three key needs became clear – stand out, get insights and find new customers.”
Instagram could well-be the next go-to social media platform of choice for owners of smaller firms, who are increasingly apprehensive about the usefulness of developing online marketing strategies via Twitter or Facebook.
Research released in October last year found that two-thirds of the UK’s small business owners thought that their efforts to develop social media strategies on these platforms had bought little success.
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