On Wednesday morning, Instagram announced that it has a series of new business tools on the backburner, waiting to be released in the coming months. While this is new information to most of us, the updates have been rumoured for a while, so the official announcement is a long-awaited development for some.

The updates will transform how you use the platform for business, so buckle up and listen to how easy your social strategy is about to become.

What’s new

If your business relies on Instagram for website traffic, you’re in luck. With the launch of the new upgrade Instagram will introduce business profiles, analytics and the ability to turn posts into adsInstagram business tools directly from the app.

The new business profiles will allow a subset of Instagram users to upgrade accounts in order to gain access to expanded set of features. These include the ability to let customers reach out via call, email or text. Business profiles will also include map and directions to the business.

How will it affect your small business’ marketing strategy?

There’s two new differences that will change how you target customers through Instagram. These will seriously improve your business’ marketing strategy and reduce the amount of guess-work you have to do.

Insights

If you’re already running a Facebook page, you’ll probably already be familiar with Facebook Insights. These show you exactly who your content is reaching, where they’re based and if they’re engaging.

Considering Instagram was bought by Facebook in 2012, it was only a matter of time before Insights made it over to Instagram. And while we dread Instagram becoming too much like Facebook, there’s no doubt that this feature will help businesses reach the right audiences.

You’ll be able to track which of your posts are performing well, and check your audience demographics. Insights will be mobile-first, so you’ll need to have your smart-phone handy in order to keep on top of your social strategy.

Mobile Ads

If you’re interested in branching out into Instagram ads, then it just got a lot easier. The platform will be debuting mobile ads with the launch of its new business tools. If you’re worried about it getting complicated and time-consuming, don’t be.

All you will need to do is pick one of your best performing posts and turn them into ads from within the app. You can also receive recommendations about the audience and budget, so you don’t have to feel like you’re on your own.

When can I use the new features?

If you’re itching to get started, you might have to wait a little while. Insights will begin being tested with verified accounts and those with large followings, then will be rolled out for the wider community.

Not everyone qualifies as a business on Instagram, as only those businesses who already have a Facebook page will be able to. If you’re a self-promoter, you won’t be allowed to use the new tools – although this could change if the new features are successful with businesses.

If you have a verified account or large following, the new features will reach those in the U.S., Australia and New Zealand first, and will then be made available to the rest of us by the end of the year.

Are you looking forward to trying Instagram’s new features? Or are you happy to continue using the platform as it is? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!

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