Having a business account on Instagram has been up for debate for many years.
Is it truly necessary? Do the pros outweigh the cons? Will your reach be limited in an attempt to force you to “pay-to-play”? While these are all valid questions, I think it’s important to take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of Instagram Business accounts side by side to see which Instagram account type suits your needs.
Advantages of the Instagram Business Account
First, let’s talk about the good that comes along with having an Instagram Business account.
All businesses benefit from analytical data and your Instagram account is no exception.
With your Instagram Business account, you’ll get access to Instagram Insights where you’ll be able to see things like:
- audience demographics
- audience behaviour
- analytics for your posts
- analytics for your stories
Using data to guide your Instagram strategy will help you grow your account and create content your audience wants to see.
Another advantage to an Instagram Business account is the contact option buttons you can automatically add to your Instagram profile.
You can make it super easy for your audience to figure out how to get in touch with you via phone, email or your physical address.
When they click on “Contact” on your profile, the options you have set for contact information will show. Your follower can then choose the method they’d like to use to get in touch with you:
Paying for Instagram ads or boosting an Instagram post can help you grow your account and make more sales.
With your Instagram Business account, you can create ads right within the app.
Currently, the only place for a clickable link on Instagram is within your bio.
And this doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon.
Instagram doesn’t want people leaving their platform, but luckily, accounts with over 10,000 followers are able to add a link to their Instagram Stories.
If you receive a lot of Direct Messages around the same subject, you can craft Quick Replies which is essentially a pre-drafted message that you can call up through a shortcut word.
Disadvantages of the Instagram Business Account
While there are many pros, there are also disadvantages of the Instagram Business account you should take into consideration before making the switch.
Cannot Limited Direct Messages
Even though Instagram Business accounts allow you to provide ways for your audience to contact you, direct messages must remain one of those contact methods.
Unlike Instagram’s Creator account, where you can limit who is able to message you, you don’t have that ability to do so through an Instagram business account.
In my opinion, this is a major disadvantage of Instagram Business accounts.
Facebook business pages allow the page to turn off messages, so why isn’t that featured offered to Instagram Business accounts?
Managing different inboxes and message platforms can become incredibly time-consuming, and with so many places for your followers to message you (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, E-mail) there is a good chance you might miss a message.
Being able to streamline your point-of-contact helps eliminate the off-chance that you might miss a message.
Unfortunately for business accounts on Instagram, the ability to limited direct messages is not an option (yet) but hopefully it becomes one soon.
Pay to Play
There is no evidence that supports this theory, but there is also no evidence that disproves it, so I believe it’s worth mentioning.
Instagram users have been speculating for years now that their reach on business accounts is limited because it will force them to pay for ads, which is what “pay to play” means.
Something similar happened on Facebook years ago when business pages began noticing their reach was severely limited and the only way to reach their audience was to boost posts.
Lower engagement on Instagram Business accounts could come from many different things (such as increased competition, more people on the platform, etc) so it’s hard to pinpoint the exact reason why so many businesses face this problem.
Features Not Available to Everyone
One of the most sought-after features of an Instagram Business account (aside from Instagram Insights) is the ability to include a link within your story in the form of a “swipe up”.
However, this feature isn’t available to accounts with less than 10,000 followers, making it unusable for small businesses that aren’t able to invest the time and money into growing their accounts.
Competition Can Gain Insight
Social Blade is a popular tool for analyzing social media account growth.
However, Social Blade can only access data for business and creator accounts on Instagram.
Although the data from Social Blade isn’t much, it still paints an accurate picture of how many followers you gain/lose each day, how many accounts you follow or unfollow in a day and the number of times you post to Instagram.
You might not think of this as very useful data, but it can tell your competition a story about your strategies.
For example, if your data shows a sudden spike in followers, your competition might dig through your content to see what it was that caused so many new followers. Did you post something really insightful? Did you hold a giveaway? Are you running an ads campaign?
Once your competition is able to pinpoint what caused you to get new followers, they might try to replicate your success.
You Can’t Go Private
As a business, you probably don’t want to set your account to private however, if there ever comes a time when you need to take a break from social media or want to limit your reach, setting your account to private is not an option with a business account.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the price of an Instagram Business account? There is no price for Instagram Business accounts. It is free to make the switch.
- What is an Instagram Professional account? Instagram Professional accounts are business accounts and creator accounts.
- What type of Instagram account should I make? After you weigh the advantages and disadvantages of Instagram Business accounts, you should be able to understand which account fits your needs.
After you compare the advantages and disadvantages of Instagram Business accounts, hopefully, you’ll have a better idea of what account is right for you.
If after making the switch, you find the Instagram Business account is not what you need, you can easily switch back to a personal account.
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