Company Profile? Instagram Business Account vs Personal

July 31, 2019 Abby Zufelt

To business or not to business, that is the Instagram question. Whatever your current status is with Instagram, considering an Instagram business account vs personal account can be a big decision. With the constantly changing algorithm, any move you make on the platform can be a major risk – or major reward. 

The real question to consider is: do you want a private account or a public account? Yes, non-business accounts can be public BUT all business accounts must be public. We’re putting the options head-to-head below in this Instagram business account vs personal account breakdown.

Instagram Business Account vs Personal Account

Content Reach

There has been a lot of debate on account reach over the years when it comes to Instagram business account vs personal. When business accounts were initially launched, there was a lot of fear about reach decreasing because the app would view you as an advertiser and make it a “pay to play” game. 

However, it has not been confirmed that this is true. Instagram itself debunked this rumor in mid-2018 saying that they don’t favor a business account vs personal account. But this is still a common debate amongst users. Search “business profile limits reach” in Google and you’ll see lists of Reddit threads from people who believe their reach is suffering from a business account.  

This may stem from the fact that private accounts can sometimes see higher engagement because of that “request to follow” option. Having to ask to view content (asking to follow a private person) means that you may be more interested in their content. My theory is in some small way it tells Instagram that this person really wants to see your content because they voluntarily clicked “follow” on your private account knowing they have to be accepted by you. Also, the chance of unfollowing is low, because you’ll have to ask to follow again. Instagram has been pushing the idea of showing “content that you care about” which would align with that theory.

Overall, this theory is true for some and false for others. Reach is dictated by a number of factors. In general, reach is not limited because you’re a business account. 

Anyone Can View Your Content

With a business account, everyone can see your content. As stated before, business accounts have to be public. This is great if you’re a business because you want the exposure. But if you post personal images and are not utilizing Instagram for any sort of business reason, you probably would want to keep your profile private.  

Easier Growth

Business accounts are generally easier to grow because you can follow without waiting for a follow to be accepted. A person can see what they’re getting into before following. This means that business accounts need to focus on creating content that’s worth that prized follow.

Lack of Crowd Control

Anyone can follow a business account which means even bots or ghost followers can join your audience. Yes, a business account is good for growth but since it’s harder to control the influx of followers, spam accounts can join in. This isn’t too big of an issue because you can still block accounts as a business account if you’re receiving spam. However, if you get too many ghost accounts following you that never engage, it could throw off your engagement rate. But, the chances of that many ghost accounts following you are slim (unless you’re buying fake followers). A lack of crowd control is not detrimental but something to keep an eye on. As long as you’re posting high-quality and niche content, your right audience will find you and stay engaged.

Insights

Arguably one of the most beneficial aspects of having a business account is access to your account’s analytics. Instagram Insights provides access to profile views, email clicks, call clicks, how your account was found and more. One of the most valuable tools in Insights is the Follower Demographics section. It displays where your followers are from and what time of day your followers are on. As a business, this is very valuable to help you know when to post. Insights also allows you to view highs and lows of engagement, which is especially important for businesses working with influencers and wanting to capture an ROI. Insights are a huge win for business accounts in the debate of Instagram business account vs personal account.

“Public Figure” Status

A business account has the opportunity to apply for Instagram verification. What’s that? Have you ever seen that blue checkmark next to an Instagram username? That’s a verified account. Verified accounts have access to the “swipe up feature” no matter the follower count. Normally, you need 10k followers to swipe up on stories. Account verification increases account trustworthiness and helps cut down on copy accounts.

Review these pros and cons as you decide between a business account vs personal account. In short, if you’re a business owner or attempting to tap into the influencer space, a business profile is for you. Stick with a personal account if you’re on Instagram to share with family and friends and don’t want your content for the world to see.

Abby Zufelt

Abby Zufelt

Abby Zufelt is the director of social media at the digital marketing agency, Markitors, where she helps build the relationship between brands and audiences online. She is a graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. When she’s not at Markitors, you can find Abby attempting to speak French, scouting out the best restaurants in Phoenix with her husband, working on her blog, or dancing ballet.