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Should You Make the Switch to an Instagram Business Account?

promoting your products
phone showing the instagram homepage

In 2016, Instagram announced the ability to transform personal accounts into business accounts. This lets users grab hold of new features, like statistics, quick contact information, and the ability to schedule posts.

From the get-go, many small business owners were leery of the new account option. They opted to stick it out with a personal account. The biggest fear was that telling Instagram they were a business, rather than an individual, would negatively affect their ability to reach fans and customers.

And that's not surprising! Instagram is owned by Facebook nowadays. Facebook has slowly decimated organic reach for Facebook pages over the years. But does that mean you should shoot yourself in the foot and miss out on the features of an Instagram business account? Let's talk it out!

What makes an Instagram business profile so special?

If you are just getting started on Instagram or have been waiting it out with a personal account, you might wonder what the benefits are of having an Instagram business account. Here are the main features that should catch your eye:

 Highlighting the main differences between an Instagram personal account and an Instagram business account.

Access to Instagram Insights

First, and foremost, an Instagram business profile hands you statistics on a silver platter. Those stats provide super helpful insight into your social media efforts that a personal account just can't touch. The launch of Instagram Insights makes it easier to understand how you are doing on building up your Instagram profile. And you never have to leave the app.

Instagram Insights gives you information about your total account metrics (including impressions, reach, website clicks, and profile views). You get info about your posts, followers, and stories, too.

Sure, you could use third-party software for Instagram analytics. Iconosquare, Socialbakers, Simply Measured, or Squarelovin are options. But most of these services will hit you up with a monthly fee to get anything better than what Instagram already offers for free.

Plus, many services have bit the dust over the years. Instagram has a relatively strict set of rules on its API and terms of use. The last thing you want is to rely on a third-party service for fundamental information and see them go *poof* in the middle of the night.

Third party services are great additional tools to rockin' an Instagram business account. However, they shouldn't be your only method for collecting data and analyzing your strategy. (I do have to say that I try not to throw all my eggs in one basket. Using the built-in Instagram Insights and a third-party service will really round you out.)

Access to Quick Contact Information

Using an Instagram business account will also allow you to add contact information to your profile. I promise you it's a valuable tool!

If you own a brick-and-mortar storefront for your bath and body business, you can add your store's address to your Instagram account's contact information. When someone finds your brand on Instagram, they can quickly and easily get directions to your store.  They don't have to leave the Instagram app.

Not a store owner? It's still a valuable feature for your biz and customers! Listing a telephone number on your Instagram business profile provides a handy "Call" button. It instantly dials your phone number when clicked. You can also add the option to text or email.

These quick contact buttons make it easier than ever for customers to get in touch with you, without having to copy and then paste your information outside of the app to complete the action. You can also edit the contact information on the fly. Use the address field for craft shows and festivals with a quick call-to-action in your bio!

Access to Easy Promotion

If you use paid advertising, having an Instagram business account makes it easy for you to accomplish that right in the app. The quick "Promote" button lets you to fully set up an advertisement on your Instagram business profile. Plus, each individual post on an Instagram business profile includes a quick access button to promote a post. It's similar to boosting a post on Facebook.

This Instagram business account feature isn't going to turn heads for anyone who doesn't regularly purchase advertising on social media. But for those of us who do, it makes it a lot easier!

The Instagram Algorithm Debate

The features that you gain access to with an Instagram business account make it seem like a no-brainer. If you're a business, you should totally jump on this! So, why aren't folks making the switch?

The most common reason I've heard from fellow small business owners is that they are afraid the switch will result in reduced reach unless they pay for advertising, just like on Facebook.

First, we've talked about fear before. As a business owner, you can't just do things that would be better for your business because you are afraid. Fear isn't a good enough reason to cripple your efforts. It's important to learn to identify when fear is preventing you from making waves and being better than you were yesterday.

Second, even if not switching to an Instagram business account is fear-based, is it founded in logic? Well, kind of.

Facebook's organic reach for pages has gone downhill over the years. And Facebook does own Instagram now. However, if you truly understand how to use social media for your business, the algorithm very rarely negatively affects you and your social media efforts. Algorithm changes are often made to prevent spamming and folks who game the system. They aren't put in place to directly hurt you as a small business owner.

Compared to Facebook, Instagram's algorithm is far more personal. It places a heavy weight on an individual's actions and interests. If your followers regularly interact with your content, you won't be pushed out of their feeds. Posting high-quality and engaging content is always the key to success on social media.

And even if Instagram's algorithm gets harsher (and it will), do you really think ticking a box to make the switch to an Instagram business profile is the only way Instagram can tell that you are a business owner? If tech engineers can guess what you do in real life based on your social media actions, I assure you they can tell if you are using social media for personal use or business use!

Are you ready to make the switch to an Instagram business account?

If you're ready to get your hands on the features of an Instagram business profile, it's easy to make the switch. Here's how:

  1. Open up Instagram and navigate to your profile page.
  2. Click the Settings (three dots icon) on the top right.
  3. Scroll down and choose Switch to Business Profile.
  4. Select the Facebook page you would like to associate with your Instagram account.
  5. Review your business' contact information and click Done.
  6. Start enjoying your new Instagram business account!

Your Instagram profile will instantly give you access to the extra features and start tracking your metrics. When you make the switch to an Instagram business profile, you won't get metrics for posts made before the switch, but it will start to build up immediately.

If you don't love the extra features of an Instagram business account, switch back to a personal account. Go back into your Settings and choose Switch to Personal Account. But I have a feeling that you'll fall in love with the extra features that make it easier to rock your Instagram strategy!

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