If you’re using Instagram for business, you’ve probably asked yourself this before: should I switch to an Instagram business profile?
There’s pros and cons to having an Instagram business profile, and many people are scared to switch to an Instagram business page because they don’t want their engagement to drop like it has with Facebook pages.
But is there any truth to that? What about the advantages of switching to an Instagram business profile?
Find out if a personal Instagram profile or business Instagram account is right for you, plus we show you how to create an Instagram business profile if you decide to switch:
Personal Instagram vs. Instagram Business Profile
Back in early 2016, when Instagram first confirmed that it was testing new business profiles, everyone was eager to know what it was all about: How do they work? Are they free? Can I get one?
Fast-forward to July 2017 and over 15 million businesses have made the switch to an Instagram business profile (up from 8 million in March)!
It’s a pretty amazing feat—although not entirely surprising. With an Instagram business profile, businesses of any size can get analytics about their followers and posts, have a more professional looking profile, and promote Instagram posts as ads.
Wondering if you should switch to an Instagram business profile? Find out with our handy flowchart:
Did you end up with an Instagram business profile? Now’s the time to get serious about using Instagram for Business! Sign up for Later to start scheduling Instagram posts, planning your feed, and optimizing your performance with analytics – for free.
Want to know more about why you should follow our flowchart? Here’s a look at the different features of personal and Instagram business profiles:
Personal Instagram Profile Features:
While business profiles offer a number of advanced features, such as analytics and ads, personal Instagram profiles are way more simple: you get all the basic features without any of the extra baggage.
That being said, there are two features that are exclusive to personal Instagram profiles:
Okay, so this might not be the most exciting feature, but it’s worth mentioning. While Instagram business accounts can’t be set to private, personal accounts can.
Technically, you would only ever set your account to private if you were worried about strangers seeing your posts—but if social media privacy is really important to you then it’s probably a good idea to stick with a personal Instagram profile.
Linking to Multiple Facebook Pages
A second feature that’s exclusive to personal profiles is the ability to connect multiple Facebook pages. That’s right, while Instagram business profiles can only link to one Facebook profile, with a personal profile you can link to as many Facebook pages as you like!
Instagram Business Profile Features:
Whereas personal profiles are all about the basics, with Instagram business profiles users get access to a ton of advanced features, like contact information, Instagram Insights, and promoted posts.
One of Instagram’s best business features, Insights is the app’s built-in analytics tool that provides detailed information on who your followers are, when they’re online, and more. You can also see Insights for specific Instagram posts and Stories to see how they performed and how people are engaging with them.
Instagram uses the same powerful advertising tools as Facebook, so you can set up, run, and track campaigns the same way you do with Facebook ads.
Like Instagram ads, once you’ve set up a business profile on Instagram, you can promote your posts from within the app. It’s a lot like boosting a post on your Facebook page.
An Instagram business profile also includes a “Contact” button near the top of their profile. With the contact button, you have the option to include directions, a phone number, and/or and email address.
Add Links on Instagram Stories
Have you always wanted to add links to your Instagram Stories? Well, now you can! Instagram is now letting all business Instagram accounts with 10,000 or more followers add links to Instagram Stories. Before, this feature was only available to verified Instagram accounts.
Should You Switch to an Instagram Business Profile?
You’ll be able to tell if an Instagram profile is a personal or business Instagram page thanks to a small “category” in grey under your Instagram “name.” This category is chosen by the category of the Facebook page that you linked to.
Wondering if your profile should be a personal or business Instagram profile? Let’s take an example of a small business owner:
Casa Joshua Tree is an Airbnb in Joshua Tree, California and it’s owner Lindsay runs the Instagram account to promote bookings. She also has her own Instagram account where she shares content related to her work as an artist and designer, and sometimes she posts about Casa Joshua Tree as well.
You’ll notice that she has chosen to separate her business Instagram profile from her personal Instagram profile — Casa Joshua Tree is solely focused on marketing and growing her business through Instagram, so she has a business Instagram account.
Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons of both types of Instagram profiles:
Pros of Personal Instagram Profiles:
Despite lacking in advanced features, personal profiles are pleasantly uncomplicated. No column charts, wheel graphs, or pop-ups asking you to promote your posts.
And while simpler isn’t always better, the fact is that if you don’t intend to use any of the features that come with a business profile, it makes more sense to stick with your personal one.
A second possible benefit to using a personal profile is that you have more freedom to post what you like. This is especially important if you’re a personality-based brand (like a blogger or Instagram influencer) and feature both personal and business content on your account.
Some people fear that by switching to a business profile, they’ll be labelled as “sponsored” or “inauthentic” and lose their organic brand identity. If you’re really worried about appearing “less personal,” it’s probably best that you stick with a personal Instagram profile.
Pros: Instagram Business Profiles
Most of the benefits that come from switching to an Instagram business profile are rooted in users’ ability to learn about and connect with their followers.
Take Instagram’s Insights feature, for example. The simple ability to track your impressions, reach, and engagement from within the mobile app is hugely valuable for businesses! That being said, there are other Instagram analytics tools out there, including Later’s Free Instagram Analytics feature.
One of the biggest advantages of an Instagram business page is the ability to add links to Instagram Stories (if you have over 10,000 followers). This is a huge Instagram trend right now, and can help you grow your email list, sell products, drive traffic, and more!
There’s also the fact that business profiles can run Instagram ads, which are a super effective way for businesses to generate sales and build engagement. In fact, according to a recent report from Locowise, 75 percent of Instagram users take action, such as visiting a website or making a purchase, after looking at an Instagram ad!
Really what it comes down to is business profiles offer a better marketing experience on Instagram, whether it’s getting actionable information about which posts perform best or reaching new followers with targeted ads.
Cons: Personal Instagram Profiles
What makes personal profiles so simple and straightforward for non-business users is also what makes them so inadequate for businesses. Indeed, the biggest downside of sticking with a personal profile on Instagram is the fact that you miss out on so many great features!
The fact is that if you’re using Instagram to achieve some kind of marketing goal, whether that’s getting more followers, driving engagement, or even making sales, it’s a much better idea to use a business profile.
Cons: Instagram Business Profiles
Other than the hassle of actually setting up a business Instagram profile (you must have a Facebook page for your business before you can make the switch), there aren’t many downsides to switching to a business profile.
That being said, there are a lot of users who have expressed their concern that switching to a business profile could cause you to lose organic reach with your posts—similar to what happened on Facebook in 2014.
Back in 2014, Facebook made an update to their News Feed that would limit the reach of business pages, and populate feeds so users could “see more of what they want.” This change essentially forced businesses on Facebook to pay to have their content seen as sponsored posts, even by people who were already following a page.
If the same were to happen on Instagram, businesses could see an even bigger drop in their Instagram engagement.
The Winner? Instagram Business Profile!
As a business on Instagram with clear marketing goals, the benefits that come from switching to a business profile completely outweigh the negatives!
And while the possibility of losing your organic reach is certainly a scary one, engagement on Instagram is already dropping across the board for both personal and business profiles, which is why it’s more important than ever to enlist the help of Later, a free Instagram scheduler!
Plus, at the end of the day, you can always switch back to a personal profile from a business profile if you decide that you don’t like features.
Taking 30 minutes to an hour one day to schedule Instagram posts for the whole week will not only make your life less stressful, but it will also leave you more time to actually engage with your Instagram community, which is so important if your goal with Instagram marketing is to make sales or generate leads.
How to Create an Instagram Business Account:
Now that you’re up-to-speed on the benefits of Instagram business profiles, it’s time to make the switch! Luckily, switching to an Instagram business account is actually very simple and can be done within the mobile app:
Go to your profile and tap the “gear” icon.
Tap “Switch to Business Profile.”
Select the Facebook page that you’d like to connect to your Instagram business account. If you don’t see your business’ Facebook page as an option, make sure that you’re listed as an admin in the settings menu. Once the correct Facebook page appears, select it and tap “Next.”
Make sure your profile is set to public. Private accounts can’t switch to business accounts.
On the “Set Up Your Business Profile” page, review your business’s contact information, including your phone number, physical address, and email. Once everything looks good, tap “Done” to save your Instagram business account settings.
Now that your business account is set up, your customers can contact you directly through your profile. You can also view follower Insights and promote your posts, all within the app!
Good luck on your start to using Instagram for Business, you’ll find everything you need to know about growing your business through Instagram here on the Later blog!