If your business doesn't already use it for publicity, then you should seriously consider it.
Recently, Instagram added more features to web profiles that allow you to add more information and make them more attractive to both search engines and your potential customers.
How Instagram Web Profiles Benefit Your Business
You're probably familiar with the mobile app that made Instagram famous. You may even use it.
Web profiles extend that app useability to the web. Users don't need to be using the Instagram application to comment, follow, like or view photos anymore.
That means your business and your brand both benefit from having a filled-out web profile so that people outside of the Instagram app can interact with you.
Instagram Web Profile Features
Right now, web profiles are missing a number of the features that users find the most useful. A short list is below.
- There's no search feature for users to find hashtags or users.
- Hashtags don't act like they should. In other words, they're not links.
- Followers and following lists aren't displayed on web profiles, but you can see a follower and following counts.
- There's no photo map feature available yet. All geo-tag information is shown directly on photos.
- Profile pictures can only be changed by using the Instagram app.
If you plan to promote your web profile, then you'll want to use a third-party website like Statigram or Webstagram. These both allow you to promotional mediums like insights and contests.
Steps to Improve Your Web Profile's Effectiveness
It should go without saying, but you need an Instagram profile to even begin reaping the benefits of Instagram for your business.
To access your web profile, log into Instagram's website, click on “Your Account” and then click on your profile image in the top-right corner of the page. You'll be able to view your web profile from there.
Step One: Re-value Image Links
Twitter recently dropped the ability for users to see images within tweets. Now, users have to click on those links to view them.
That means you have more opportunity for interaction with your users.
Likewise, users that are signed into Instagram while browsing can now comment, like and share your Instagram pictures.
Step Two: Link To Your Website in Your Instagram Web Profile
The more visible your website is, the more likely that users are to visit it. Now users on Instagram viewing your web profile can see it if you have it added in to your profile.
To do so, edit your profile and add in your website's URL. It's that simple.
You can have your web link be to your business's website or another page of your business, such as a Facebook fan page. The decision is your own as to where you want your users to go.
Step Three: Fix Your Privacy Settings and Ensure People Can See Your Whole Profile
Depending on how your Instagram profile is configured, users may not be able to see it.
If your profile is set to private, then only users whom you have approved will be able to view your profile. This means only a select group from the Internet will be able to view your profile, and this group excludes anonymous people like search engine spiders.
Within the Instagram Mobile App ensure that your profile and photos are set to be viewable by anyone. Do this by clicking on "Edit Profile" within the Instagram app and then scroll down to the very bottom where it states "Photos Are Private" - make sure this is set to "OFF".
Step Four: Get an Instagram Badge and Put It On Your Website
To promote the recently revised version of web profiles, Instagram has released something called “Instagram Badges.” They allow people to click and see your web profile.
Add this to your website so that your web visitors know that you have an Instagram web profile that they can browse.
Step Five: Don't Forget About Your Mobile Users
Web profiles allow for a large group of people to view your Instagram efforts, but you need to remember that the majority of your users will come from mobile devices.
Continue to tag your photographs with hashtags and geo-tags. If you take advantage of all you have, you'll see that you end up ahead of your competitors.
With all that being said, the sooner you take advantage of the Instagram web profiles, the more results you'll see. This is especially true right now when there are fewer users utilizing them and even fewer with optimized profiles.
You may even be able to pick up more mobile users if you combine a time-tested Instagram strategy with a little effort being put into your Instagram web profile.