After a not so enjoyable experience with advertising through Instagram, I decided it would be best if I switched back to a personal account. From what I had read there seemed to be an overall push toward doing this to help increase visibility, but since doing so I have found even more to love about the personal account. One month in here is what I’ve learned and why I’m sticking with it.
Before I get into the specifics of my own experience I want to lay out the details from a user experience between having a business or personal account for those of you who aren’t familiar.
Business vs. Personal Instagram Account
With the Business Account
1. You receive free insights in the app. These insights give you detailed metrics about how many individual people you reached, the number of impressions and combined total of engagement per post. You can also track your followers – this dives into the number of new followers you received that week or month, when your followers are the most active and where they are located. In addition to this you can see how your content is doing overall based on whichever metric you’d like to measure (impressions, engagement, reach, etc.)
2. You have the ability to add your contact information to your profile. If your business has a physical address I’m sure this is invaluable, but if you’re an online business like I am it was just a matter of having an email button. Which, to be totally honest didn’t get too many pushes per week.
3. You have the swipe up option available to you in your stories. If you’re a business that is selling tangible goods, if you’re a blogger that’s using affiliate links or just wanting to share direct links to other pages this is extremely cool. I squealed a bit when it first came out, but I realized that more often than not I was just linking to my site which was already in my profile.
4. You have the ability to purchase advertisements for your business or page. You can read the details of this on a past post I shared. I wasn’t happy with my experience, but I’d love to hear from someone else who has had better luck with it!
With the Personal Account
Your account operates almost identically to a business account with the exception of those four points mentioned above and from what most people speculate, Instagram prioritizes your friends (personal accounts) over business accounts so the belief is that you will hopefully show up more in your followers feeds with a personal account.
My Experience with Making the Switch
1. I have a healthier relationship with social media. To be totally honest with the business account and everything that comes with it, it was much easier for me to get sucked into the app for far longer than I’d like to admit. Recently I established some healthier habits with Instagram and apps in general and I can’t tell you how positive the change has been for me.
2. I’m not obsessing over analytics. While these are great when working with brands, I’ve found they aren’t necessary for most and when it comes to spilling my heart about something to do with my family I don’t really care about how many people saw it vs. liked it. Just my personal opinion. What I have been doing, since this is part of my business, is once a week I’m taking a look at my analytics from an overarching view. I’ve been taking note of my follower count to track growth, which post did the best, which post did the worst and what my average engagement has been weekly.
3. Engagement has actually increased. I’ve noticed about a 10% increase in engagement each week since I made the switch. I had heard that it dipped a little bit initially when making the switch back, but I didn’t notice this too much. Week one my average likes were 929 per post, week two my average likes were 1000 per post and week three they were 1144 per post. We’re in the midst of week four so I’ll keep you posted!
4. Followers are continuing to increase. I thought that by potentially switching back my growth might begin to slow down, but things seem to be better than ever when it comes to new followers.
Like anything with social media I don’t believe there’s one recipe for success. Here are a few things that could have boosted engagement and growth for me aside from making the switch back to a personal account.
1. A new location. It’s possible that people just really prefer seeing images of Croatia over images of Berlin!
2. Our photography is improving. Since we started our travels Zack has taken over most of the photography and he’s growing as a photographer every day. It’s possible that the images are just better than they were a month ago.
3. A feature. Our Brooklyn home was featured on Glitter Guide last week and it’s completely possible that there was an influx of engagement because of that.
4. A different perspective. Maybe because I have adjusted my stance on where I’m at with social media things just feel more authentic overall for my followers.
I’m going to stick to a personal account for now, but I’m in no way trying to encourage anyone else to do the same. Like I mentioned, there are plenty of benefits to the business account depending on your type of business. For me this just feels like the right fit right now. I am still avoiding using hashtags as a way to increase engagement too, so I am unsure if this lifts the shadowban, but I feel really great about my headspace and my business in this particular space.
I’d love to hear more about your experiences with the business and personal accounts! What do you like about each? What do you use?
**Update: Since writing this post I have switched back to a business account. Instagram has made some updates to their policies for influencers and content creators which require a business account. Stay tuned for an updated post!
Suits from Swimzip & Madewell.