Business or personal? Which type of Instagram account should I choose?

Communication
November 23, 2021

Ready to do more to promote your business on Instagram? Welcome aboard! According to Statista, Instagram “reached 1 billion monthly active users in mid-2018. In 2020, there were over 114 million Instagram users in the United States and experts project this figure to surpass 127 million users in 2023.”

Because Instagram is growing into of the most successful social media platforms on the planet, it’s important to understand the best way for your business to use it.

That can be especially challenging for small businesses that are growing past the point of relying on a personal Instagram account for promotions and customer outreach. If you’re trying to decide whether to stick with a personal account or switch to professional, this post will help you consider:

  • The two main types of Instagram accounts and what they’re best for.
  • Advantages and disadvantages of business and personal Instagram accounts.
  • How to switch accounts from one type to another.

Instagram business account vs. personal account

Instagram has two types of accounts — personal and professional. The personal account is for individual use. The professional account can be either a business account or a creator account. A business account is for those who have a product or service to sell. The creator account is for high-profile content creators, so they can use their Instagram account data to grow and connect with their audience.

Pros and cons of using your personal Instagram for business

The main pros of having a personal account are:

  • You can keep your posts private – but why would you do that if you want to reach new customers?
  • You have access to the Instagram music library for Reels and Stories.
  • You can link your Instagram account with multiple Facebook pages.
  • You can use your Instagram account to have personal conversations, express your personal opinions, and shop for things you want.

Sounds pretty good, yeah? However, there are some things you miss out on when you promote your business through your personal Instagram. Most importantly, you don’t have access to any of the benefits and features that you have with a business account or creator account. These tools include:

Post scheduling. This matters because it’s easier to create posts in batches and automate their delivery than it is to sit down and create a new post from scratch every time you want to share content.

Facebook Creator Studio resources like the Sound Collection for Instagram post audio, post-testing to see which versions of your content perform better, and messaging management.

Analytics to help you track the content that delivers the best results for your business.

Calls to Action, including Instagram’s Contact Button, Action Buttons, and Gift Card/Delivery Button. These CTAs help convert followers to customers so you can grow your revenue.

Link stickers in Stories. These replaced the Swipe Up function in mid-2021, and they help drive traffic from Instagram to your business website.

Pros and cons of an Instagram for Business account

One of the main benefits of an Instagram business account is that you have access to the premium features we just covered. Access to Facebook Creator Studio is especially useful for businesses because it provides a range of tools to manage your posts, track their performance, and access third-party analytics.

Those analytics are key to knowing your audience better. That’s because they show you which content they engage with most and which ads are the most effective. Instagram analytics include metrics such as:

  • Reach and impressions
  • Content interactions
  • Total followers
  • Audience demographic information

Are there any disadvantages to having a business account on Instagram? Only a couple.

1.    Instead of being able to link your account to multiple Facebook pages like you can with a personal account, you can only connect your Instagram for Business account with one Facebook page – and that must be a Facebook business page.

2.    You cannot have private posts like you can with a personal account. You’ll need separate accounts if you want to share stuff with a private group of followers and friends.

3.    Business account owners don’t have full access to the Instagram music library like personal account users do. They only have access to the royalty-free music and sound effects in Sound Collection.

How to switch Instagram accounts from one type to another

If you’ve decided that you’d be better off using a different type of Instagram account to promote your business, you don’t necessarily need to start a whole new account – especially if your existing content and follower base aligns with your business goals. Instead, you can just switch account types and carry on with more tools or more privacy, whichever approach works best for your business.

How do you make the switch? After logging into your Instagram account, select the Profile icon at the bottom right corner of your screen. Then:

  • Select the menu icon at the top right of your screen.
  • On the drop-down menu that appears, select Settings > Account > Switch Account Type.
  • Select the new account type you want.

Now you have successfully switched accounts.

Is it OK to keep switching back and forth between Instagram account types?

We get it – it can be hard to decide which approach is best for your business until you’ve tried them both. And that’s OK; it’s why Instagram makes it easy to switch. But don’t get too carried away. Switching accounts frequently can potentially delay certain features from functioning on your Instagram account. For example:

  • If you switch from a personal account to a business account, Instagram may temporarily hide access to Insights – the analytics you need to optimize your Instagram marketing.
  • If you switch from a business account to a personal account, you may have delayed access to the full music library.
  • Finally, too much switching back and forth between accounts can cause Instagram to flag your account as having spam-like behavior, and they may clamp down on your ability to use your account.

Now that you’ve read about the advantages and disadvantages of the different Instagram account types, you should be able to decide with ease the account that best fits you. Still not sure which one to choose and want our opinion? Here it is:

The Instagram account type that you choose depends on your primary purpose for being an Instagram account holder. If your primary purpose for having an Instagram account is to socialize with family and friends and have access to the latest retail products, then go with a personal account. However, if your intent is to sell your products or services, connect with customers and grow your business, then you’ll want to go with a professional account.

Further reading

Ready to learn more about using Instagram to grow your business? Slide into our post about using Instagram DMs for smart marketing.

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