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

Communication
Nov 23, 2021
10
min read
Written by
Pim
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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 a professional account and personal Instagram accounts.
  • How to switch accounts from one type to another.

What to pick: an Instagram business account vs. personal account

Instagram has two types of accounts — a personal account and professional account. 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. With an astounding 90% of its users actively choosing to follow business accounts, Instagram has solidified its status as the preferred platform for commercial engagement. 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 business account

The main pros of having a personal setup 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 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. There's a lot to discover on the Facebook page that can help.

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 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 the Facebook page and 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 one, you can only connect your Instagram for Business account with one Facebook page – and that must be a Facebook business account page.

2.    You cannot have private posts like you can with a creator 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.

4.    You can also access your Instagram with multiple users, like you can access WhatsApp with multiple users too. But there are different ways to do this, some easier than others! Check out how to use one Instagram business account with multiple users.

💡And what about quick-replies? They can help your team out tremendously in busy periods. You can for instance set up welcome messages when you want to make a great first impression and respond immediately. That's why I've already written a couple of Instagram quick-reply examples for you to copy.

What's an Instagram business profile and how do you use it?

An Instagram business profile serves as a dedicated hub for consumer service businesses to establish a strong presence and effectively engage with their audience on the platform. Unlike personal profiles, an Instagram business profile offers a range of specialised tools and features tailored specifically for businesses.

Including: 

  • Insights: Access to detailed analytics and metrics about your audience demographics, post reach, impressions, and engagement.
  • Contact information: Easily display your business's contact details, including phone numbers, email addresses, and physical addresses for convenient communication.
  • Business categories: Specify the type of business you operate, helping users understand your services or products at a glance.
  • Action buttons: Add customizable action buttons such as "Call," "Email," "Directions," or "Book Now" to encourage direct interaction and conversions.
  • Instagram shopping: Showcase products and tag them in posts, stories, and your profile for a seamless shopping experience for your followers.
  • Promotions: Create and manage sponsored posts and ads directly from your business profile to reach a wider audience and drive conversions.
  • Professional dashboard: Access a centralized hub for managing your account, including insights, promotions, and account settings.
  • Profile Optimization: Optimize your profile with a compelling bio, profile picture, and highlight reels to attract and engage your target audience effectively.
  • Verification: Apply for verification to gain a verified badge, enhancing your profile's credibility and trustworthiness.
  • Creator Studio Integration: Seamlessly manage and schedule your Instagram posts and content alongside other social media platforms using Facebook's Creator Studio.
  • Instagram Stories Highlights: Curate and feature important stories on your profile for extended visibility beyond the typical 24-hour lifespan of stories.
  • Direct Messaging: Respond to customer inquiries, feedback, and support requests efficiently through Instagram's messaging feature.
  • Collaborations and Partnerships: Connect with other businesses and influencers through collaborations, partnerships, and tagged posts to expand your reach and network.

An Instagram business profile is a vital part of your Instagram professional account, and really helpful for businesses seeking to leverage the platform's reach and engagement potential.

With an Instagram business profile, businesses can unlock access to insights that provide valuable data on audience demographics and behaviour. Additionally, an Instagram business profile allows for seamless integration with e-commerce functionalities, enabling businesses to showcase products and drive sales directly from their profile.

By optimising your presence with an Instagram business profile, you can work on your brand visibility, connect with their target audience more effectively, and ultimately foster growth and success in the dynamic realm of social media marketing.

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 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 professional 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 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:

Whether you choose an Instagram business account or a personal account depends on your primary purpose for being an account holder. If your primary purpose for having an Instagram account is to socialise 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 an Instagram business account or Instagram as a channel to grow your business? Slide into our post about using Instagram DMs for smart marketing.

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