Ever since announcing Instagram Professional Accounts in 2016, brands have asked, “should I switch to an Instagram business profile or keep my personal account?”
For a lot of organizations, converting their account was an easy decision. In fact, there are over 25 million business profiles connected at the moment. However, some brands are on the fence because they’re concerned about how it will affect their profile and whether or not they’ll see a drop in engagement after switching.
We get it. With all the news about Facebook’s algorithm prioritizing content from friends and families over brands, you can’t help but wonder if Instagram is going to be affected too.
However, all the evidence suggests that switching to a business account will only help you. With access to analytics and other features unavailable to personal accounts, it’s all upside. So it’s no wonder why Instagram is nudging brands to switch.
In this post, we’ll dive into the benefits of switching to an Instagram Business Profile, as well as show you how to convert your account if you’re currently using a personal account.
What’s the Difference Between a Personal & Professional Instagram Profile?
The major difference between an Instagram Business Profile and a personal account is access to features like Instagram Insights, contact information, Instagram Ads and more.
Before Instagram Business Profiles were a “thing,” brands relied on tactics like pack their bio with all their contact information or make assumptions about who’s their target audience. But when you switch to a business profile, that’s all taken care of.
Think of an Instagram Business Profile as a “beefed up” version of a personal profile. Sure, you technically could manage your brand’s Instagram account with a personal profile. But why limit yourself when you can switch to a business profile in a matter of seconds, and get so much more?
With that being said, let’s take a look at how to actually make the change.
How to Switch to an Instagram Business Profile
Here’s how to switch to a business profile on Instagram:
- Login to your Instagram account and go to settings.
- Tap “Switch to Business Profile”.
- Instagram will prompt you to connect to a Facebook business page (note: you need to have Admin access to the Facebook page in order to convert to an Instagram Business Profile).
- Choose a category for your profile/business.
- Fill out your contact details (email address, phone number and address). You need to fill out at least one of these.
That’s all there is to it! Instagram also has a video walkthrough that shows you the process step-by-step.
Manage your Instagram presence with Sprout Social
Sprout makes it easy to plan, schedule, post and track your Instagram content from desktop or mobile.
You can share single posts without an extra mobile publishing step, plus you can publish content across multiple profiles and networks.
Start your free trial today and find out how Sprout can streamline your Instagram efforts.
How to Switch Back to an Instagram Personal Account
If for some reason you switch from an Instagram Business Profile back to a personal account, that’s simple to do as well.
- Login to your Instagram account and go into settings.
- In the “Business Settings” section, tap “Switch Back to Personal Account”.
- Instagram will give you a prompt to make sure you want to switch to a personal account. Tap “Switch Back” to confirm.
Keep in mind that you can always switch back to a business profile. We highly recommend sticking to a business profile if you’re a brand, however.
Now that you know how to switch, we’ll go over some of the benefits of using an Instagram Business Profile.
Benefits of an Instagram Business Profile
As we mentioned, some people are slightly hesitant about swapping to a business profile. But the benefits are hard to ignore. Seriously, check out these six benefits to an Instagram Business Profile:
1. Access Instagram Insights
This is probably the number one reason brands switch to an Instagram Business Profile.
If you’re currently using a personal account, you likely don’t have much data on how well your Instagram posts or Stories are performing. At best, you’re probably just manually monitoring the number of likes and comments your content receives.
When you switch over to a business profile however, you get access to Instagram Insights. This is Instagram’s native analytics platform that gives you data on engagement, impressions, audience demographics and more.
Insights is a great start, but at some point you’ll likely want more data. For instance, tracking your top performing hashtags for the month or doing some competitive analysis. You’ll need a separate tool in order to get that level of analysis.
Once you’ve switched to a business profile, you’ll have the ability to connect your Instagram account to third party tools like Sprout Social, and get all the reports and analytics your heart desires.
Basically what we’re getting at is if you want more data (what marketer doesn’t?), you need to switch to an Instagram Business Profile.
2. Run Instagram Ads
Advertising is all about getting your message in front of your target audience wherever their attention is. Instagram has a lot of that attention right now, which explains why brands are seeing so much success running Instagram Ads.
In fact, Instagram’s ad revenue is expected to reach nearly $7 billion in 2018, up from $3.6 billion in 2017.
With numbers like this, it makes more sense than ever to start running Instagram Ads. The first step is to switch to a business profile since Instagram Ads isn’t available to personal accounts.
For more tips, check out our Instagram ads guide.
3. Post on Instagram From a Desktop
Earlier this year, Instagram announced their API would allow users to publish photos from a desktop, through select third party platforms. Sprout Social is one of those partners, which means you can publish content directly from Sprout to your Instagram page—as long as you’ve converted your profile from personal to business.
This is a huge time-saver and efficiency booster for brands. You no longer need to rely on notifications to remind you to post on Instagram, or have your phone on-hand. Plus, if you use desktop software to create or edit your photos before posting to Instagram, you don’t have to worry about uploading the edited version to your phone. Just log into Sprout, upload your image, write out your caption and hit send.
So if you’ve been looking for a way to post to Instagram from a desktop, the wait is over. Switch to a business profile and use Sprout to post right from your computer.
4. Beef Up Your Instagram Profile
Another benefit of Instagram business accounts is you get a few extra features on your profile page. For instance, contact buttons so people can easily get in touch with your brand without having to search for your support phone number or email address.
While it may not seem like a huge deal, consider this: Social media is people’s top choice for customer care.
That means when your customers have an issue with your company, the first place they head is social media, not your website. You need to make it as easy as possible for people to get in touch with you about potential issues so your comments aren’t filled with irate customers.
Adding an email or tap-to-call button on your profile can go a long way toward getting customer support issues handled outside of your Instagram feed.
5. Potentially Get Access to New Features Early
Here’s a benefit of switching to an Instagram business account that a lot of brands overlook. The potential to test new features early.
Instagram is constantly testing new features, and before rolling them out to the masses they usually test them with a smaller group of users first.
While there’s no guarantee that you’ll get early access to any features, you won’t even have the option if Instagram doesn’t know you’re a business.
6. Keep Your Promotions & Partnerships Compliant
It’s no secret that the FTC has been cracking down on paid sponsorships and deals between brands and influencers. If you’re paying influencers or publishers to create a sponsored post or ad, you need to disclose it in each post.
Instagram has been trying to make the process easier with their branded content feature. Branded content adds a “Paid Partnership” snippet in any posts from influencers you work with.
One of the biggest benefits of using this feature, aside from avoiding costly fines, is it gives you insights into the content’s performance. Instead of relying on the publisher to provide you with data on how much engagement or reach the post they made for you received, you can see it right from your Facebook account.
If you plan on doing any influencer marketing or partnerships with other publishers, you definitely need to switch to a business profile.
It’s Time to Make the Switch
Hopefully we’ve helped shed some light on the whole Instagram Business Profile debate. If you’re a brand on Instagram, we highly recommend switching to a business account. The benefits are too good to pass up and it takes less than a minute to do. Make the switch and thank us later.