Instagram appears to be a natural place for certain businesses to attract followers, prospects, and customers. Photographers, for example, can show off their work on a regular basis. Other businesses, on the other hand, have never considered using the social media platform as a marketing tool. For many years, having a business account on Instagram has been up for debate. Is it really required? Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages? While these are both fair concerns, I think it is critical to compare the advantages and disadvantages of Instagram business accounts to determine which Instagram account type best suits your needs. Nobody can disagree that Instagram is a powerful marketing tool, with Instagram for Business being the turbocharged version. However, business owners should be mindful when creating an Instagram business account and examine the pros and cons before proceeding. While many of Instagram’s business features are appealing – and it may seem self-evident that businesses should have a business account – switching your account also comes with some disadvantages. To help you make an informed choice about the best path for your business on Instagram, let’s start by looking at the advantages of an Instagram business account.
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What are the advantages of an Instagram business account?
You can make the most of your Instagram bio
Any marketer knows that your Instagram profile has a limited amount of space. You can only have 150 characters and the option of including one clickable link with a personal account, which can make it difficult to determine what to include in that little area. In addition to the standard content options like email and phone, a business account allows you to offer a button for followers to receive directions to your business and your business address. This may not seem much, but those extra features come in handy when you are still stressed out from trying to cram all of your key information into your Instagram bio. In your bio, you may also provide a clickable link that you can use to connect to any website you like. Although the majority of businesses utilise this to link to their homepage, The Sked Social link-in-bio option may be more useful. Whenever you post a message, it creates a brand redirect URL that you can use as your profile link to point to whatever web page you like. It allows you to direct people to various landing pages, blog posts, and promotional offers without having to change your profile connection.
You might run advertisements to raise brand awareness
When it comes to advertising for business on Instagram, it is certainly successful. Take Michael Kors’ very first Instagram advertisement, for example. The ad received four times the number of likes as a non-promoted post from the brand. But here’s the real thing: According to the site, you’ll need two things to run advertising on Instagram. These two things are:
- A profile on Facebook.
- A corporate account on Instagram.
By moving to an Instagram business account, you can run a variety of adverts and drive potential clients and fans to your page. If you have a business account, you may also promote individual posts from within the app. Business accounts can pay to promote high-performing posts or advertise on followers’ feeds. The former can assist generate visitors to your site and enhance purchases, while the latter can help increase engagement and awareness.
You learn more about your audience
You will have access to additional features like insights and a powerful built-in analytics tool if you switch to an Instagram business account. Instagram insights can tell you how well your content and profile are performing, as well as who your target audience is.
You will also have access to the following data:
- The total number of impressions for the week.
- Top posts from the previous week, month, three months, six months, a year, or two years in terms of impressions, scope, and interaction.
- The amount of time that your Instagram followers are actively posting.
- The gender split of your followers.
- Positions of top followers.
These data points will allow you to understand what is working well for your profile, so you can fine-tune your strategy better to reach your objectives.
Customers can shop in-app
Instagram launched an in-app checkout feature in 2019 that allows customers to make purchases without ever leaving the app. On the Instagram Explore page, there is now a Shop button where users may browse things for sale from their favourite businesses. Before activating Instagram Shopping, accounts must meet certain criteria, have a connected Facebook page with a product catalogue, and receive permission – but it is absolutely worth a shot. With each additional step in the checkout process, you lose customers, so this feature ensures that more customers finish the purchase.
Swipe up links in stories
Swipe-up links can be added to Stories by verified accounts and businesses with over 10,000 followers. This is much more effective than asking your followers to visit your profile link in your bio, which is currently the only option to link to an external website on Instagram. However, if you cannot get verified and do not have 10,000 plus followers, there is a clever workaround. See how Instagram is now Expanding Sharing Links in Stories to Everyone.
Bios on Instagram are limited to 150 characters. That is not much, especially if you want to make it easy for your followers to contact and find you. You can add contact links to your business accounts, such as your phone number, email address, and directions to your business. Customers may contact, email, or discover you by just tapping the link.
It is completely free
It is free and simple to switch to a business account. You can always switch back to a personal account if the business one isn’t working for you. Find out today and read our post on How To Set Up and Optimise An Instagram Business Account.
What are the disadvantages of an Instagram business account?
Less visibility and less personal
Business posts and advertisements appear lower in users’ feeds than posts from friends and family. Switching to a business account will automatically lower your score in the algorithm. After moving to a business account, many users claim a dramatic decline in interaction, with some reporting a drop from hundreds of likes to single digits. Because social media is all about connecting with others and engaging with them, an Instagram business account may cause followers to engage with you less frequently than a personal page because they may consider your account as promotional.
Less organic reach
Always keep in mind that Instagram, like most social media platforms, is designed to make money from advertising. Switching to a business account makes you a target customer for Instagram’s promoted posts, which is how they generate most of their money. Without paying to play, your potential to grow and engage will be limited. Instagram makes it easier for users to see posts from their friends and family because it keeps them scrolling long enough to see the adverts that Instagram sells to business accounts. It is vital to keep this in mind if you are selling on Instagram DM – perhaps start with a personal account first. The Explore page on Instagram is where a lot of organic discovery happens, with hundreds of posts from accounts a user is not following that Instagram thinks their audience would appreciate. It is difficult (if not impossible) for business accounts to appear naturally on the Explore page.
It is not a business-centric platform
While Instagram for Business has some useful tools for business owners, it does not change the fact that Instagram’s platform is not really built for commerce. Being a business account has an impact on not just how your content is distributed and how others engage with it, but it also signals to viewers that you don’t really fit in. The tone of Instagram is more informal, and the business label can make you appear more serious and buttoned-up. That can feel out of tune on the normally laid-back platform. Also, consumers are less likely to engage with content that appears to be professional. For e-commerce brands, for example, photos taken on a phone surpass professional studio shots. However, if you have strong user-generated content and/or your posts have a friendly, homemade feel to them, this phenomenon can work to your advantage.
Ads are pricey
If you want to escape out of algorithm purgatory, it is going to cost you. Instagram is one of the most expensive advertising platforms on social media. The average cost-per-click (CPC) on Instagram is around £0.35- £0.75, which is prohibitively expensive for many businesses. To make matters worse, according to AdEspresso, the most expensive CPC age groups are 18-24 and 24-35. For many, the purpose of being on Instagram is to target these age groups, so seeing how expensive it is to capture their attention can be dispiriting. On the plus side, according to the same study, Instagram advertising has a good return on investment (ROI) if your business can afford to invest in them.
Limited features for smaller businesses
The most compelling incentive to convert to a business account can be summed up in two words – Swipe up. Businesses love this feature as it allows people to click straight to a link from your Instagram story. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to use this useful tool until you reach 10,000 followers.
You have more insights but so do your competitors
Instagram has a bad habit of revealing all the activities that you do on the platform. Many Instagram stalkers have been caught after mistakenly double-clicking on an old photo in someone’s feed. This transparency is something that businesses should be aware of. Your competitors can see everything that you do. They can figure out which hashtags you are attempting to rank for and which audience you are trying to reach if they really want to. Competitors can see who follows you by just clicking, something you can’t restrict with your privacy settings as you can with a personal account.
It is a mobile-exclusive app
You can’t utilise all of Instagram’s features on your PC unless you install a third-party app or make certain browser adjustments; several only works on a mobile device or tablet. This may cause complications with other platforms as well as the marketing tools you use to schedule and coordinate your posts. It also means working from your phone, which is something that not every employer wants its employees to do. Note: This applies to all Instagram accounts, not just Instagram for Business.
So which is right for your business?
It depends, as it does with most business decisions. Choosing which type of Instagram account to use is a case-by-case decision, so weigh the advantages and disadvantages against your business goals. Keep in mind that the best results on Instagram come from building a community and nurturing relationships, regardless of the sort of account you utilise. That is something that no tool or account criteria can do for you.
Keep in mind that there is not a single correct answer. Only you know which of the following advantages and disadvantages listed above are more important to you and your business. You will, however, have access to everything listed below:
- Free insights and analytics.
- Instagram Story URL.
- Direct contact with followers via phone, email, or directions to the location.
- Easy to create promos.
- Mobile In-app shopping experience and more.
Does this balance some of the disadvantages, such as diminished organic reach, consumer impression, and so on? Try out the Instagram business account for a few months and see what you learn from the analytics. Before you start, keep track of your monthly follower growth so you can compare the results. Compare and contrast personal and professional development and engagement. If it turns out that personal progress and engagement were higher, switching back is straightforward.