Instagram business profiles 101

Facebook has made a lot of changes to the Instagram API over the past few weeks, most of them unexpected. If you work in social media, you’re probably scrambling to figure out what to do. You’re not alone!

What’s changed with Facebook and Instagram data?

There’s a lot changing and likely more to come. One thing we know for sure right now is that Facebook is locking down public data and putting more emphasis on better quality insights into your owned profiles. So, let’s talk about how you can take advantage of one thing that’s actually getting better in terms of Instagram analytics and monitoring – insight into your authenticated accounts.

The old Instagram API is being deprecated, so you can no longer rely on it for hashtag monitoring or analysis of public Instagram accounts. Facebook is moving over to the new Graph API, which includes a ton of great insight into Instagram accounts, but there’s a catch. First, this only applies to business Instagram profiles. Second, you have to have admin access to those profiles to access the data.

So you need to convert your brand and company Instagram accounts to business profiles, if you haven’t already. This goes for your clients too; encourage them to convert. The good news is this is actually really easy to do – it’s just a matter of converting a regular Instagram account to a business account.

What is an Instagram business profile?

If you convert to a business profile, you’ll gain several things and only restrict your account in two (official) ways. First, Instagram business accounts must be public. Second, once you convert, you’ll only be able to share Instagram posts from that account to one Facebook page (the one you’ve designated in business account setup). However, we’ve also heard that it’s possible your organic reach is restricted as a business profile, to encourage you to buy more paid placements. We can’t confirm this is true, but it’s one thing to consider.

Regardless, what you gain is really, really useful if you’re a business on Instagram, especially given recent changes to how Facebook supports Instagram data. The most important benefit is access to Instagram Insights – the only true way to see how your content actually performs on Instagram. More on that in a second. But if you convert to an Instagram business account, you’ll also be able to add contact info to your account for customers to access, as well as the ability to have multiple admins for your account, making it easier to manage across your team.

If you decide it’s not the right setup for you, you can always change back. There’s really no downside for a brand or business to convert their Instagram account to a business profile. So, how do you do it?

How can you convert to an Instagram business profile?

In the Instagram app on your mobile device, go to your profile and click on the gear icon near the top right for your account settings. Once there, scroll down to the Account section, and toward the bottom of that section is the “Switch to Business Profile” option. Click it, and follow the on-screen instructions.

Once you do that, you’re in! You’ll start collecting new Instagram insights data right away. So this is the best part – all the great data you get access to. There are some limited insights in the Instagram app, but even more available through the new Graph API, which is what we use at Union Metrics.

What insights are available for Instagram business profiles?

There’s so much useful data available for brands in the new Graph API. For example, you’ll get insight into:

  • True reach and impressions
  • Story engagement
  • Follower demographics
  • Detailed engagement metrics, including saves
  • Mentions and tags
  • Video metrics, including views

If you’re interested in these metrics on your Instagram business profile(s), try a Union Metrics subscription! We provide ongoing analysis and archival of all the metrics above, plus many more. Learn how your content performs, what hashtags are working to extend your reach, how followers interact with your stories, how your stories impact your overall impressions, and more. Our plans start at just $29 per month for profiles with fewer than 20,000 followers.