One of the great aspects of Instagram is that users have the choice of using either a personal or business account, depending on how they want to use their account. Those that simply enjoy sharing photos with friends and family can stick with the simplicity of a personal account, with all the standard features.
Those who want to grow their account into a viable, money-making business can also choose to switch to a business account. This account type has more features and allows users to have access to more options when trying to build a following.
But, there has been a lot of talk in recent months about whether using one of these accounts is actually a good move or not. So, let’s take a look at why you should, and shouldn’t, be using a business account on Instagram.
Why you should use a business account
When you switch to a business account, you instantly get access to a range of free features that you have to pay for on many other sites. These extra features can be integral in helping you to grow your account quickly and effectively.
The most useful feature you get access to is their built-in analytics tools. These analytics will tell you a whole range of information about your followers, and how they are reacting to your content.
You can see a breakdown of your follower’s demographic - where they’re from, how old they are, and what their interests are. This kind of information helps you to plan future content based on their profiles, and will also help you when working with brands, as you’ll be able to show exactly who is seeing your content.
You also know how well each of your posts is performing with these tools. The analytics will tell you how many people saw each post, how many engaged with it, and how many new followers it brought you. Again, this information is invaluable for planning future content. You can see what kind of posts and content your followers are responding to, and which ones are falling flat.
Read more: Understanding Instagram’s Built-In Analytics
Aside from the analytics tools, you also gain the ability to create more conversions from your account to your blog, website, or sales page.
With a business account, you can place a link in your bio, your stories, and create contact buttons right there on your profile. These all help to attract more people to your external site, and will also help brands to use you as an influencer, leading people to their product.
Once you reach 10k followers, you can use the “swipe up” feature in your stories - placing a link directly in there to send people to wherever you want. And, since stories are becoming more and more popular right now, this can be invaluable for getting the most out of your account.
Finally, those contact buttons you can place on your profile will give brands a nice, easy way to get in touch with you. And the easier it is to do that, the more likely it is to happen!
Why you shouldn’t use a business account
But, it’s not all positives when it comes to using a business account on Instagram. In fact, a lot of influencers are actually switching back to personal accounts because of some of the issues they’ve apparently been faced with by using a business account.
Thanks to the recent algorithm changes on both Facebook and Instagram, reaching more people is harder than ever before - especially for businesses. We already saw that the changes to Facebook this year have severely cut the reach for business pages unless they’re investing money into ads and sponsored posts.
And now, the same seems to be happening on Instagram.
Mark Zuckerberg - who owns both platforms - is working hard on trying to cut down on fake news and automated “bots”. And, instead, bring the focus back to being about real interactions and meaningful conversations.
In doing this though, he has made it more difficult for brands and business to reach people in the way they did before. Instead, they are favouring personal accounts to try and bring the platforms back to their roots.
Users have also reported that when they use a business account, they appear in the “top posts” section much less often - as well as the explore page. Both of these are incredibly useful ways to have more people see and interact with your account - and grow your following because of it.
This may or may not be true, but it would make some sense when we consider the move to more personal content over brands and businesses.
Finally, one of the most talked about topics this year for influencers has been the Instagram “shadow ban”. The jury is still out on whether this was a real thing or not - but it worried a lot of people on the platform nevertheless.
The “shadow ban” reportedly hid certain users posts from appearing in hashtag searches and was usually associated with business accounts using multiple hashtags in every post. This worried people enough that some stopped using hashtags altogether. If this is the case, then having a business account would definitely affect whether you experienced a shadow ban or not.
Business vs Personal
So, should you make the switch, or stay with a personal account?
Many of the worries around using a business account have not been proven, and may just be gossip and worry. On the other hand, the benefits that these accounts bring to users can be very effective tools to help them grow their accounts and become successful influencers.
Because of this, we recommend switching to business accounts if you’re serious about growing your account on Instagram.