June 4, 2018

Getting Professional on Instagram

Happy June! 2018 is flying by, am I right? This month we are going to continue the conversation about Social Media, but let's switch gears to my favorite channel and arguable one of the best options for artists – Instagram! As a visual platform, it's a great place to share your work, find inspiration, ask for feedback and more. If you've already set up an account, follow Crafting Exposure so I can follow you back. If you're new to this channel and need recommendations for getting started, check out my Instagram 101. Over the course of the next few weeks, we'll be talking about best practices and opportunities. But first, let me ask you an important question: Do you have a professional presence on Instagram? This is an important step to representing yourself well so you'll be taken seriously as a creative entrepreneur.

#1. On the one hand, having a professional presence means separating your personal posting from business content. For example, I have four different Instagram accounts to keep things segmented. As I've said before, there can be some overlap when you want to share major life updates so your audience can relate to you as a person, but if you plan to post daily about your kids, pets, meals and more, that belongs on a personal account (which you may keep public or private). The Instagram app will let you sign in to multiple accounts and jump back and forth pretty easily. Plus, your personal account feed can be filled with friends and family while your professional profile should follow only relevant peers, industry leaders and the like. That way you are engaging with an end goal in mind.

#2. The second, and even more valuable reason to have a professional account on Instagram is the Business Profile option. It was actually a year ago this month that Instagram rolled out this new feature, allowing business to differentiate themselves and get access to special features for promoting their goods or services. Let's talk about what makes a Business profile special and whether or not you may want to convert your account. The good news is that you can switch any time without impacting your past posts or followers.

CONTACT INFO FOR LEADS: Business Profiles are able to include more information about the company and how to get in contact. You can list multiple touch points and pick from several Call to Action buttons like "Get Directions" or "Call" so they can reach you directly from Instagram.

INSIGHTS FOR MEASUREMENT: Business profiles give you metrics not available with personal accounts. You can see how many people your posts are reaching, engagement levels, where your followers are coming from, what your audience looks like and so much more. You no longer have to guess what's working or assume that Post Likes are the only indicator of success. Find out the best time of day to post, the people who you're reaching, whether different types of content do better. There's lots of easily digestible data to dig into.

INSTAGRAM ADVERTISING: While Instagram is a free channel, Business Profiles included, if you want to expand your reach, you can put money behind your content. When you switch to a Business profile, you will have to connect to a Facebook Page, either one you already have or a new one you create in the process. Then you can run Ads for Instagram through your Facebook account. The added bonus of these Ads is that they can actually have a clickable link which standard posts don't have. So if you need to drive more traffic to your website for example, running Ads is a great option.

Call me a bit of a nerd, but I was sold on the Instagram Business Profile when I saw the metrics. I love knowing which posts reach people and get engagement. I also really enjoy seeing the composition of my audience to be sure I'm reaching the right people. The more you know, the better you can do. You can find out more about the steps to switch when you're ready. If you're new to Instagram and need help making the switch, let's chat.