Anyone who follows my personal page on Instagram can attest to the fact that I am obsessed with the workings of Instagram for Business. As someone who has managed brand accounts on the platform, I have been quite interested in understanding what practices work best for brands on Instagram. When Facebook announced the new features accompanying Instagram for Business, it was a relief for some, while some users like me raised an eyebrow.
It was super cool to be able to measure real time analytics, and to see what content worked, and what content did not work, and so every brand manager opted to make the switch from using personal accounts to setting up business profiles for their brands on Instagram.
I was one of those brand managers who was excited to make the switch, in fact, I think I might have been one of the first to make the switch in Nigeria (Haha, yes I am that fast). However, I noticed a few things which I will now proceed to share in the remaining part of this post.
The first time I made the switch was in December 2016; Instagram had only just introduced the new update, and I was so excited to make the switch for the brand account I managed. It took me almost an entire month of using the business profile and its attendant features before I realized something very alarming; my followers were NOT growing!
At first, I was confused as I had already prepared a kickass social media strategy for the year, and in my mind, there was no reason why I was stuck with a 100+ new followers every week, a departure from the 200+ new followers I got weekly. Running out of options and constantly feeling the pressure to grow my numbers, I decided to switch back to a personal account for a while, just to see if that would help in any form, and to my surprise it did! I went back to making 200+ new followers weekly with a noticeable increase in the total number of followers I had.
After my first terrifying experience using Instagram for Business, I decided to stay off making the switch for a while. I resorted to running my Instagram adverts via the brand’s Facebook page, and also employing innovative methods to engage fans and increase fans/followers on both platforms simultaneously.
I decided to give the switch another try in November 2017 and this time, I made use of my personal Instagram account solely to closely observe what differences a switch would make on my account. Here are a few things I noticed in the short time I made the switch:
- – My follower count sort of increased : I guess this happened because I began to post more on my personal page, and I made use of hashtags relevant to the type of content I had on my page. Before I made the switch, I had a little above 300 followers, and by the end of my experiment, I had a little over 400 followers, not bad right?
- I got to see more insights on my page : Now, it is common knowledge that you can only see your page insights on Instagram once you have made the switch to a business profile, and this is super cool because you get to see how many page visits you have gotten on a daily basis, and this is valuable information that can help you redefine your content strategy.
- Beware of Bots : So, making the switch was cool and all because of the first two reasons above, but its really not cool if all you have is new bots following your page. You need more active individuals following you and engaging with your content. Sticking to a personal profile for your brand might be the most organic way to keep bots away.
- Branded Profiles vs. Instagram Algorithm : Now, I am not trying to delve into any technical jargon here, but as an active Instagram user, I have seen Instagram’s efforts to curtail the number of times brand profiles appear on people’s feeds, and your profile becomes an easy target when you make the switch to a Business profile.
Making the switch from a personal profile to a business profile on Instagram is really only cool because you get to see your page insights.
Here’s a fun fact, as soon as I made the switch back to my personal profile, I made a very random post about an ongoing event with the usual hashtags, and in a few hours, my follower count grew from 400+ to about 590.
I will conclude this post by saying I have nothing serious against making the switch to a business profile on Instagram. I only think it would give you more ROI to operate an Instagram account for your brand as a personal profile, its not a bad idea, especially for small time brands who are concerned about visibility.