How to Switch to an Instagram Business Profile + 10 Benefits

How do you know I’m serious about sharing information about setting up Instagram Business accounts? I had “Taking Care of Business” playing in my head the entire time I was writing this article and didn’t even complain once.

Yes, it’s annoying to have Canadian legends Bachman Turner Overdrive essentially living in your brain.

Yes, some might call me “hero” for overcoming this distraction to get you all the gritty details about Instagram Business profile management and maintenance.

But I don’t need your pity or your praise. I just need you, my Instagram-using brethren, to have the facts to make an informed decision about Instagram business profiles.

So don’t let my earworm-suffering be for nothing. Read on to learn which type of Instagram account is best for you, and whether you’ll be taking care of a business account (every day, every way) in the near future.

Bonus: 14 Time-Saving Hacks for Instagram Power Users. Get the list of secret shortcuts Hootsuite’s own social media team uses to create thumb-stopping content.

10 benefits of an Instagram business profile

On the surface, an Instagram business profile seems like it’s an exclusive club, but really, anyone can join up.

It’s free to have an Instagram business account, and there are no specific requirements in terms of followers or content.

But if you need 10 reasons why you should consider giving it a whirl, good news: I am just itching to do a countdown here.

1. Your Instagram bio gets an upgrade

Instagram Business profiles look slightly different from a standard personal account.

Instead of just a brief description and URL, business accounts also have the chance to add an identifying industry label if they choose (like “Clothing Brand” or “Hairstylist”).

Birds of North American Instagram Business Profile page
Source: @BirdsofNa

Business profiles also feature contact information. Add your email address, a phone number and a business address to help followers connect with you outside of the app.

Finally, business profiles have a call to action button — a place to prompt followers to “reserve” or “call us.” Want some help brainstorming a compelling CTA for social? We’ve got our helpful how-to guide right here.

2. You can schedule posts

With the help of a third-party scheduling app like Hootsuite, Instagram business accounts can actually plan and schedule posts in advance. Get the full run-down on how to schedule posts for Instagram here.

A little planning goes a long way to create a consistent schedule that engages your audience — not to mention it’s going to save your social media team some serious time. (Perhaps they’ll finally get a chance to hone their recorder skills?)

Schedule posts with Hootsuite

3. Access to Instagram insights

Knowledge is power, they say. In that case, Business Profiles are the most powerful of them all: they’re brimming with data thanks to the Insights function.

With Insights, you’ll get a deep breakdown of profile views, reach, impressions and clicks, plus demographic and activity information about your audience.

For example, looking at my own reach from the past week, I can see that my “fans” (a.k.a. my mom) were extremely active on Instagram on Wednesday. Good to know for future mom-centric content!

Instagram Insights data

But in all seriousness, these metrics offer an incredible opportunity to analyze your profile’s performance and success. For more information on how to make Insights work for you, check out our Instagram analytics guide here.

4. Set up an Instagram Shop

Instagram Shops are a newer offering from Instagram, and only Business or Creator accounts have access to this feature. Ooh la la!

With Shops, you can upload a product catalog, tag your goods, and (in some cases) even process sales directly in the app.

Take a cue from this vintage boutique, and finally make your credenzas internet famous.

Instagram Shops

Source: @fabpadvintage

Here’s more information about how to set up your Instagram shop and get that product flying off the digital shelves.

5. Access advertising options

Want to give your message a bit of a boost? Business accounts have access to Instagram’s advertising options. (Dive deep into our guide to Instagram ads here.)

Plan a campaign of posts or stories to drive traffic or conversions, build your following or spread brand awareness…just like this company that is constantly encouraging me to buy its anti-odor cream. (What are you trying to say?!)

Advertising options for business accounts

Source: @nuud.care

6. Create quick replies

Business accounts have access to a feature called “Quick Replies.” Essentially, this enables you to create standardized responses and connect them to a shortcut word.

With this tool, customer service can more efficiently help users with frequently asked Qs. Just type in the shortcut word, and your autoreply will pop up.

This trick will save you time to work on your actual business, for example, carving sculptures out of ham, as seen in this very realistic and inspiring example below.

Quick reply feature

7. Approve branded content tags

Users with business accounts can restrict strangers from tagging your account as “branded content.” It’s a way to shut down any false endorsements out there, or people who might be using your name inappropriately, without permission.

To set up branded content approvals, just open your profile. Tap the menu button, then settings, then business, then “branded content approvals.” Here, you’ll be able to toggle “Require Approvals.”

You can also create a list here of “Approved Accounts”—these are partners who are able to tag your account without explicit approval every time.

I just approved Kettle Chips to tag me any time they want, as an example for this article… but also as a way of putting my dream of being a chip influencer out into the universe. This could be the start of a beautiful partnership, though at this point in time I do realize they may not “know” or “care” who I “am.” A girl can dream!

Approve branded content tags

8. Add links to Instagram stories

Business accounts with 10,000 followers have access to Instagram’s most highly coveted feature: links! Glorious links! (Though only in your Stories, but let’s focus on the positive here.)

Once you reach that audience sweet spot, you’ll be able to add in one URL to any Instagram story. Users will have the option to swipe up to open the link.

Add links to Instagram stories

Congratulations on this newfound Instagram superpower, you business boss, you!

9. Manage your messages better

With an Instagram business account, your DM inbox gets sorted into three different categories, which can help you sort through large volumes of messages that may come your way.

You’ll find one section for “requests,” another for “general” messages, and yet another for “primary” ones.

I’m hoping they add a category for “love connections” and “fan art” in the future but for now, these distinctions should allow your brand plenty of wiggle room to keep on top of your correspondence.

Manage Instagram DMs with business account

10. Gives your profile some gravitas

Yes, anyone can create a business Instagram account — it’s free, and you don’t need to even prove that you have an official registered business.

Nevertheless, having a business account still helps make your brand look serious and professional.

Smash Comedy Fest account homepage

Source: @smashcomedyfest

Instagram business profile vs. personal profile. vs. creator profile

Here’s how personal, creator, and business Instagram profiles are different.

Personal profile: This is the default profile you receive when you register for Instagram. You can set this type of profile to “private,” and link it to multiple Facebook pages. You unfortunately don’t have access to analytics or advertising features with this style of account.

Creator profile: Designed for influencers, content producers or public figures, a creator profile has access to audience insights and Instagram’s Shops feature. Posts can be scheduled with Facebook’s Creator Studio (though not with third-party scheduling tools like Hootsuite.) Creators can also add labels to their profiles, to identify them as a blogger, an athlete, a musician, or other specific titles.

Business profile: Business profiles are the best option for brands or companies selling products or services, because of all the reasons listed in the previous section: great advertising options, the opportunity to add links, the ability to schedule posts, access to insights and analytics, and more. The main downside is that business profiles cannot be set to private… but you want the world to see what you have to say, don’t you?

  Access to advertising Access to Insights Ability to schedule posts Ability to post shoppable content More robust profile details Links to multiple Facebook accounts Can set account to private
Business Yes Yes Yes, with Hootsuite or Facebook’s Creator Studio Yes Yes No No
Creator Yes Yes (some) Only with Facebook’s Creator Studio Yes Yes No No
Personal No No Yes, with mobile notification workflow on Hootsuite No No Yes Yes

How to switch to an Instagram business profile

Ready to take the leap into a business profile? Here’s your step-by-step guide.

Hot tip: before you get started, your profile should be set to “public.” Private accounts are unable to be converted into business accounts.

1. Open up your Instagram profile, and select the menu at the top right corner (the icon of three horizontal lines).

2. Tap Settings.

Use Settings to switch to Instagram business profile

3. Tap Account.

4. Tap Switch to professional account.Switch to professional account

5.Choose a descriptor for your business — whether that’s a grocery store, an artist, a band, or a clothing brand. You’ll have the option to display this on your profile or not.

Select category for business

6. If you’ve selected a category that may be considered a business, you’ll be presented with the option to self-identify as a business or a creator. Select business.

7. Review your contact information, which includes your phone number, physical address and email. These will be publicly visible on your profile, but you can edit or remove at any time.

Review public business contact information

8. Connect your Instagram account to your business’ Facebook Page and click Next. (Note that you’ll need admin access to the Facebook Page in order to do this.)

9. You’ll be prompted at this point to complete your profile, invite friends, and share photos and videos. Your business account is all set to go.

Congratulations! Your Instagram account is now officially open for business. But the work doesn’t stop here. Now it’s time to figure out a strategy for engagement, content and promotion… or if you’ve got a few minutes to spare, singing a few bars of “Taking Care of Business” with me.

Check out Hootsuite’s guide to mastering the art of Instagram for business here, and we’ll see you on the ‘gram soon.

Manage your Instagram Business Profile alongside all your other social media profiles using Hootsuite. From a single dashboard you can create and schedule posts, engage followers, monitor relevant conversations, measure (and improve!) performance, and much more.

Get Started