Instagram Profile: Business vs. Personal
A guest article by Myron Goldsmith, Marketing Director at F13 Works. They work to unite leading brands with influential online stores. Myron is also the Digital Marketing Specialist at ProductPro, and they are launching a new Shopify app soon.
Instagram continues to serve as one of the most popular platforms for online retailers engaged in social media marketing. With features like Instagram Stories, live video w/ guests, and multiple photo/video posts, it’s easy to see why so many online store owners are turning to Instagram to reach new customers. In early 2016, Instagram announced they were introducing a new business profile feature for users. This year, over 15 million users have switched over to a business profile. Wondering if you should make the switch? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of a business profile to help you decide if switching over is the right move for your brand.
Instagram Business Profile: PROS
One of the key features that a business profile offers is access to the app’s built-in analytics tool. As you’ll notice in the images below, the analytics tool offers an in-depth look at follower growth, demographics, and activity, as well as post impressions, engagement, and reach.
In addition, Instagram’s analytics tool offers a look into when your followers are most active and how many profile views and link clicks you’re getting from other users.
Although an Instagram account is not needed to run ads on Instagram, having a business profile does allow you to boost posts from within the app. Once a post is chosen, your options are getting more profile visits, getting more website visits, or reaching people near an address. After choosing an objective, users are able to choose an action button and set their audience, budget, and ad duration. While the ad is running, users can view results within the analytics tool.
Business profiles have the option of adding contact buttons on their profile. Buttons include an email address, directions, and/or phone number.
Links in Instagram Stories
Perhaps one of the most attractive features of a business profile is the ability to add links to Instagram Story posts. However, this feature is only available to users with at least 10,000 followers. When creating a story post, there will be a link icon that allows users to include a link to the story post. Users are able to view how many followers use the link by reviewing their story post analytics.
Instagram Business Profile: CONS
This may not be considered a downside, but users who want to switch to a business profile on Instagram must have a Facebook page connected to their account.
The biggest downside is the rumors circling around that switching to a business profile will hurt organic reach for Instagram users. This stems from Facebook’s News Feed change in 2014, where the algorithm that decides which posts Facebook users see in their news feed focused more on content from personal accounts. This left users with Facebook pages to deal with a huge loss in organic reach, effectively forcing them to pay for sponsored posts.
While nothing is confirmed for business profiles on Instagram, users have complained about drops in organic reach and engagement on their posts.
No Private Profiles
Business profiles lose the ability to switch their account to private. A feature that some consider useful for creating a feeling of exclusivity on their profile.
Loss of Authenticity
For many retailers, the dream scenario would be to connect with customers and followers on social media without actually being perceived as a business. This is one reason influencer marketing is so popular today. Personal profiles do offer a more authentic and organic touch for those who have not switched over to a business profile. Having contact buttons and links in every story post could be perceived as “salesy” to some users, but that is up to retailers to decide on an individual basis.
Final Verdict: Business Profiles Win
The pros simply outweigh the cons. Having access to the built-in analytics tool alone is enough for online store owners to switch over to a business profile. Adding links to story posts is another feature that most marketers find extremely beneficial, even with the 10,000 follower wall.
At the end of the day, retailers should strive to gather as much data as possible when it comes to social media. How fast is our account growing? Which posts earn more engagement? Where are the majority of our followers from? Answers to these questions can only be found with the tools and features offered by switching over to a business profile on Instagram.