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Updated Apr 10, 2024

Pros and Cons of an Instagram Business Account

Wondering if an Instagram business account is worth it? Check out these pros and cons of personal and business accounts.

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Kiely Kuligowski, Senior Writer & Expert on Business Strategy
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If you’re using Instagram for your business, you might wonder if creating a business account is worthwhile or if a personal account will suffice. While personal Instagram accounts work well for some small businesses, Instagram added vital features to business accounts to help companies run and grow their operations. We’ll outline the differences between personal and business Instagram accounts and share their pros and cons to help you decide how best to approach the platform for social media marketing and other purposes.

What is an Instagram business account?

An Instagram business account tells Instagram you’re using the platform for marketing and business purposes. You’ll build brand authority and gain access to essential features that make it easier to market your business and analyze Instagram activity.

Did You Know?Did you know
To engage millennials on Instagram, use your posts to show them you're passionate about your business, create captivating videos and encourage user-generated content.

What is the difference between a personal and a business Instagram account?

Most people agree their business should be on Instagram. However, they may wonder whether they should take the extra step of creating a business Instagram account. The primary difference between a personal Instagram account and a business Instagram account is that a business account provides additional features not available in a personal account. 

Some of these extra features include the following:

  • The ability to add swipe-up links to Stories (if the account has at least 10,000 followers)
  • The ability to boost posts
  • Shoppable posts
  • Instagram Insights
  • Promoted posts
  • Contact links
  • Post scheduling
  • Auto posting

If you’re weighing an Instagram business account, consider your company goals and what you want to accomplish through the platform. Are you using it to share content about your business and connect with followers? Do you want a full-featured marketing tool with analytics, insights and other robust features?

Which account type fits your marketing plan and will better help you accomplish your goals?

FYIDid you know
Businesses need a social media presence to boost brand awareness, drive traffic to their website, promote content and connect with customers.

Pros and cons of a personal Instagram account

Most of Instagram’s more than 1.6 billion registered users have personal accounts. However, businesses often have different Instagram goals than personal users, so considering the pros and cons of each account type is crucial. 

Although using a personal account for your business has a few benefits, this approach has some serious drawbacks.

Pros

The benefits of using a personal account for your business on Instagram include the following:

  • Organic reach: The biggest benefit of using a personal account as a business is knowing that if your content does well, it’s because it’s reaching your followers and they genuinely like and want to see it. All engagement is natural and organic. You don’t have to wonder if a paid ad or boosted post is the cause.
  • Ability to connect to multiple Facebook pages: With a personal profile on Instagram, you can connect to multiple Facebook pages. In contrast, a business account allows you to link to only one. If your business has more than one Facebook page ― say, for multiple locations ― a personal Instagram profile may be better for your business.
  • Choice of going private: Another potential advantage of a personal account is that you can make your profile private. With a private profile, Instagram followers must request to follow you and you must accept that request for them to see your content. If you have a private profile, your content won’t appear in the Explore tab, and your Instagram posts will not appear in relevant hashtag searches. This can be a benefit if you want to remain private and potentially entice your followers’ friends to join your follow list. However, it can be a major detriment if you’re trying to expand your reach and increase brand awareness.

Cons

Using a personal Instagram account for your business brings several limitations, including the following: 

  • Lack of features: The biggest benefit of an Instagram business account is its wealth of features designed specifically for small businesses. If you use a personal account, you can’t access these features. This can limit your growth potential and reduce your chances of increasing brand awareness.
  • Lower credibility: When people search for a business, they expect to see a business account. It can be off-putting to discover your business is using a personal account. It can also make your business look less professional and cause people to question if you’re a real business.

Pros and cons of a business Instagram account

An Instagram business account provides multiple features that can increase your digital marketing return on investment. However, business accounts have a few potential drawbacks. Here are the pros and cons of an Instagram business account.

Pros

Instagram Insights is one of the top Instagram business account benefits. Instagram Insights is a data analytics tool that provides detailed analyses of the following metrics:

  • Audience information
  • Post performance
  • Story performance
  • Hashtag analytics
  • Reach
  • Follower count
  • Paid ad performance
  • Best time of day to post
  • Click-through rate
  • Visitor information

Instagram Insights can help you tailor your Instagram posts and content to better suit your audience and reach your goals. For example, you can use Insights to determine which campaigns are the most effective, which posts perform best and which stories result in the most follower engagement. These insights can help you drive more traffic and sales. 

Other Instagram business account benefits include the following: 

  • Contact button: A business account provides a contact button in your account bio to add an email address, phone number or physical address. This information lends your business credibility and makes reaching you easy for potential customers.
  • Links in stories: If your business account has at least 10,000 followers, you can add swipe-up links in your stories. Followers can swipe up to any link you provide, such as a link to your website, a product or a review. Story links make it easier for you to direct followers to other sites instead of instructing them to click a link in your bio. 
  • Instagram ads: A business account lets you create paid ads that you can track using Insights. An Instagram ad is an excellent way to increase brand awareness, extend your reach and target specific audiences.
  • Boosted posts: Boosting or promoting posts ― another feature unique to business accounts ― allows you to amplify a successful post, sending it to all your followers, a recommended audience or a targeted group you choose. A boosted post appears as a sponsored post on your followers’ Instagram feed.
  • Scheduled posts: A business Instagram account lets you schedule posts in advance, saving time and effort. 
TipBottom line
Businesses can use Instagram Stories as a tool for better brand storytelling using behind-the-scenes images and videos about employees, processes and events.

Cons

Although the cons of business Instagram accounts are limited, keep these potential drawbacks in mind:

  • Less-personal feel: Social media for business is all about engagement and making connections. But followers may feel less inclined to engage with an Instagram business profile than a personal account. They may see your business account as promotional.
  • Potential for decreased visibility: Some followers’ feeds may be filled with businesses and Instagram influencers trying to sell their products or services. They may become overwhelmed and frustrated with the lack of organic content and unfollow business accounts. Avoid this by limiting promotional content and striving for an organic, natural tone when partnering with an influencer to market your product.

More work: Business accounts require oversight and consistency. If you hire a social media manager, managing a business Instagram account can also get expensive. You can update a personal account whenever you feel like it without a business reputation and potential customers at stake.

Did You Know?Did you know
Working with Instagram influencers can help you build trust with online customers. They promote your brand without being overly promotional and help you expand your social media reach.

FAQs

If you still have questions about Instagram business and personal accounts, take a look at the answers to some of these frequently asked questions.

Does Instagram penalize business accounts?

No. Instagram does not penalize business accounts. Instagram says there’s no difference in the feed presence of business and personal accounts, meaning having one or the other does not affect reach.

Does an Instagram business account hurt reach and engagement?

No. A business account won’t hurt your reach and engagement. On the contrary, a business account can provide valuable data to inform your Instagram marketing strategy and ultimately result in more growth and engagement.

Should you create a separate Instagram account for your business?

Yes. Creating a dedicated professional Instagram account is a good idea. It gives your customers a designated place on social media to reach and interact with your business. It lets you focus on promoting your business instead of mixing business content with personal content. It also helps you appear professional and reinforces your brand. 

Do Instagram business accounts get more followers?

Follower counts depend on many factors, including your reach, brand awareness and marketing efforts. Your account type will not determine your follower count.

What time is best to post on Instagram as a business?

The best posting time depends on your business and your followers’ time zones. Use Instagram Insights to see what time of day your posts get the most engagement and try to post around that time.

What content does the Instagram algorithm prioritize?

In 2023, Instagram updated its algorithm, giving more priority to:

  • Photos: In previous versions, video content was given a higher ranking. However, now photos are equal to videos.
  • New content: It’s more crucial than ever to create new original content consistently. Reposts and shares are ranked lower.
  • Conversation starters: Spark conversations by asking followers for their opinions and making bold statements.

What if you are an influencer? Should you have a personal account?

If your goal is to earn money through your Instagram following, you’ll benefit from having another Instagram account type called a creator account. Creator accounts are made specifically for influencers.

How much does an Instagram business account cost?

Instagram business accounts are free. The only time you’ll get charged is if you buy advertising.

How can I help potential followers find my Instagram business account?

One nice professional account feature is the ability to choose a category. Instagram lists over 1,500 business categories. When you initially set up your business account, you will be prompted to choose a category. Once you choose it, the category will be displayed in your Instagram bio and help you appear when users search for that category or the category and location. Categories are not available for personal Instagram accounts.

In addition, you must promote your Instagram profile on your website and other social accounts and via email and signage.

If you already set up a personal Instagram account for your business, can you switch it to a business account?

Yes. In the Instagram app, go to your profile. From the menu at the top right, tap Settings and privacy > Account type and tools > Switch to professional account. Choose a business category and select Business. Note that your personal account must be public to switch to a professional account. 

Jennifer Dublino contributed to this article.

author image
Kiely Kuligowski, Senior Writer & Expert on Business Strategy
Kiely Kuligowski is recognized for her expertise in project management and business software. With a strong background in project oversight, she excels in defining project scopes, monitoring timelines and ensuring high-quality deliverables for a diverse range of clients. In addition to her proficiency in project management, Kuligowski also possesses experience in product marketing and has made valuable contributions to business fundraising endeavors. In the realm of business software, Kuligowski has reviewed a number of modern digital tools, such as email marketing services and document management systems, and advised business owners on purchasing decisions and usage best practices. Recently, Kuligowski has focused on sustainability software and project management at IBM, further establishing her as a respected authority in her field.
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