Should you switch to an Instagram business account? It’s a tricky question. In fact, when I asked my online community they gave me a pretty divided answer:
It’s easy to see why both established influencers and new accounts alike are struggling with this decision. There are a lot of benefits, like free Instagram analytics, but there are also a lot of rumors that some side effects may be more detrimental. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons.
Free Analytics and Insights
Wait a minute – am I really telling you that you can view your total impressions for the week, your reach and engagement, a gender breakdown and age range of your following?! YES. It’s marketer’s dream. These numbers are incredibly insightful into your content and can tell you all sorts of things about your content and what works for you.
See When is Best to Post
This is part of your analytics and insights, but I love it so much I gave it its own little section. Knowing when your audience is online is key to a post’s success. Obviously, you have a much higher chance of great engagement if you post when the majority of your followers are scrolling through their feed as opposed to when they’re, say, sleeping. Analytics tells you both what days are most active and what hours on those days are best.
Swipe Up – Adding a Hyperlink in Instagram Stories
I’m sure you’ve experienced the ease of swiping up on someone’s story to check out their latest blog post, giveaway, or video. You’re probably wondering how this magic happens and how you can add a hyperlink swipe up to your own Instagram story.
I hate to break this news to you, but it’s confirmed that the swipe up feature is only available to users that have both business accounts and over 10k followers. I love it because I know that we as humans can be inherently lazy. You are a lot more likely to swipe up and view my blog post than you are to exit my story, find my profile page, and then click a link in my bio. Chances are, you’re not going to take that many clicks. I’m just being honest with you. And that’s okay! I know this and I do the same thing. I really have to like somebody to click a link in their bio.
Direct messages are great but I prefer that collaboration requests come through email. It’s just easier for me to keep track of and schedule posts that way. On a business account there is a handy little contact button that links straight to your email.
Connects to Facebook Business Page
If you know me at all, you know that I’m an Instagram girl. I’m not a huge fan of Facebook, but that doesn’t mean I can neglect it. Whether I personally enjoy the experience or not, it’s a fantastic blogging resource.
An easy way for me to keep up with Facebook posts is to share the occasional Instagram photo. It’s made much easier when my Facebook business page and Instagram business account are linked. It only takes about two clicks.
You can always switch back to Personal
If you try having a business account and you hate it, it’s easy to switch back with the click of a button. So, don’t feel too much stress if you want to give this a try. It’s a breeze to switch back and forth.
You Might Lose Visibility and Engagement
Facebook has made it very clear that it will give preference to personal-to-personal interactions over personal-to-business interactions. You’ve likely noticed this change while scrolling through Facebook. Facebook Page posts are generally kept separate from your feed, even if you like them, and businesses are essentially forced to pay for engagement.
Because Facebook now owns Instagram (*shakes fist*) I believe this fear has transferred over. However, I have managed many social media accounts professionally and don’t see the same level of separation on Instagram as there is on Facebook.
I’m sure there is some truth to this fear, but I don’t think it is significant enough to cause worry at this point in time. As Instagram continues to grow its ad campaigns and more big-name brands switch over, this may change. It’s certainly a topic bloggers should be aware of and pay attention to during updates.
Will You Be Forced to Promote Your Posts to Get Engagement?
This ties in to my previous point quite nicely. To reiterate, Facebook business pages are essentially forced to pay for anyone to see their posts, even those people who already like and follow the page. It makes it very difficult to grow a community, which is why so many Facebook influencers have started to use Facebook Groups instead. You’re probably wondering why I’m talking about Facebook so much, but the fact of the matter is that Facebook and Instagram are now inherently connected and we should expect the patterns of change to be similar. Educate yo’self.
Naturally, there is an inclination that Instagram business accounts will now require the same paid promotion costs as Facebook pages. However, I did not find this to be true during my time as a business account. At least, not yet.[clickToTweet tweet=”Should you switch to a Instagram business account? Pros/Cons from an influencer who’s been there.” quote=”Could this article help your friends and followers? Click here to tweet it.”]
I did notice a bump in engagement on Instagram after I promoted a post on Facebook. This leads me to believe the algorithm may connect the two. If the algorithm is aware that I have spent money on Facebook promotions, does it encourage me to also promote on Instagram by slightly increasing my visibility? This is something to think about and not something I have seen a lot of discussion on as of yet.
I want to be very clear that I do NOT promote my Instagram posts. And I don’t think you should either. I don’t believe in it. I think it is a complete contradiction to building a community the Instagram way. In fact, if I’m scrolling through my feed and notice a promoted post I will NOT click like. It’s a silent rebellion, I know. I don’t think promoted posts work on a platform where individuality and authenticity are so highly praised, especially not for bloggers.
TRIED & TESTED
I switched over to a business account pretty soon after the option rolled out. Working in public relations and social media marketing has made me somewhat of an analytics junkie. I also like how easy it is for brands and collaborators to contact me, the easy link to my Facebook page, and knowing when is best to post.
However, when I started to notice a significant low point in my engagement and visibility, I wondered why.
Likes and comments are much less of a guarantee in the post-algorithm world. We spend almost as much time trying to find a way to break the system as we do on creating our content. What effect does switching over to a business account have on our Instagram engagement? Was it to blame for my low numbers?
I switched back to a personal account for about a month in an effort to find out. My verdict? It doesn’t make a significant difference.
The change did not seem to affect the natural stem and flow of my visibility on Instagram. The variation in likes and comments was much the same as when it was a business account. The algorithm may like you one day, and hate you the next – these are the very whims we are trying to understand and control with articles such as these. As of now, I don’t believe those whims are significantly affected by your account type.
TEST, TEST, and TEST AGAIN
I have decided to switch back to an Instagram business account, feeling that the positives outweigh the negatives. I’ll be paying close attention to my stats and engagement over the next 1-2 months. I’ll take that data and compare the results with my time spent as a personal account. You can check back here for an update and see if my findings are the same. Hopefully, I will still enjoy all the benefits of a business account without being too seriously affected by the cons.
UPDATE: I stand by my previous decision to maintain my Instagram under a business account. I find the positives far outweigh the negatives. However, I have heard from a few other bloggers who have experimented back and forth and found there are negative consequences. The only way to find out for your own account is to test and find out.
I AM BUT ONE BLOGGER
I would be very curious, as I’m sure is the rest of the blogging community, as to what effects you may have noticed between a business and personal Instagram account. Share your findings in the comments and hopefully together we can find a better path forward.
OF NOTE & FURTHER QUESTIONS
166 of the 438 people I follow have an Instagram business account.
Does it matter what type of business account you choose? Blogger, Personal Blog, Arts & Humanities, etc.
Does promoting posts on Facebook have a positive impact on your Instagram business account, assuming the two are linked?
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