I’ve heard stories about blogger conferences in the past, some good, some side splittingly funny and some that left me scratching my head asking “Why?”. When I heard that BConnected Conference would be held in Toronto I decided that I needed to go. If I couldn’t create my own legendary story at least I’d come away with valuable information, do some networking, or at the very least, make some connections. The good news was that I was able to achieve all of those things!
I really didn’t know what to expect since this was my very first blogger conference. There were many speakers talking about topics that ranged from Affiliate Marketing to Blogger and Brand Relationships to Jetpack and its suite of features. (By the way, if you don’t have Jetpack installed on your blog, you’re missing out on a whole bunch of FREE features that will help your site to run super smooth. #NotSponsored).
One of the sessions that caught my eye was the one called ‘Snapchat and Instagram Strategies for your brand’ and was presented by social media guru, Dani Gagnon. I’ve been more active recently on my own Instagram page trying to build my followers by engaging with others and following people whose photos interest me. I don’t do this “Follow me and I’ll follow you back” nonsense because, quite frankly, some people’s photos don’t interest me, or their account is filled with duck faced selfies.
Most people in the room used Instagram, so Dani focused her talk on that app. One of the things that she said that intrigued me was that we should all switch our accounts from personal to business accounts. I knew that Instagram offered business accounts but I’ve never thought about switching. I didn’t know if this type of account would work for me so I decided to do my own research and decide whether or not I should switch from my personal account.
Reasons To Make The Switch
1) Access Instagram Analytics
As the saying goes: “Know your numbers, know your numbers, know your numbers.” Anyone involved in social media and who’s trying to build thier brand, regardless of the platform, would need to know and track their analytics. These numbers provide valuable data such as Follower Counts, Impressions, Reach, Profile Views, Mentions and more.
Apart about offering data about your posts, they also provide demographic information about your audience so you can focus your message. You can see your audience’s gender, age, location, the average time your followers are on and even days that they’re most active.
Even though the amount of data can be overwhelming the way it’s presented is very simplistic, but in a good way.
2) Ease Of Contact
Nothing annoys me more than when I need to reach out to a business than having to click and search for contact information. For business accounts, Instagram gives the audience three options for contacting the business: phone, email and directions, it’s all right there up by the bio.
3) Post Promotion
Before Instagram introduced business accounts users needed to go through Facebook ads to promote their posts, but now they can do it directly from the app. After posting a photo the user is given the option to promote it. They click on the ‘Promote’ button, target their audience, set their budget and send that puppy out. This is definitely a time saver.
4) You Can Switch
Just because you’ve switched over to a business account doesn’t mean that you’re stuck there forever. Instagram allows you to switch between business and personal accounts and it’s totally free to switch.
Reasons To Stick With Your Personal Account
1) Being Labelled A Business
Many people have built their Instagram following very organically, meaning they’ve engaged with their followers, followed accounts that related to their own, liked and commented on other people’s photos, and responded to comments left on their own photos. Basically they’ve had many conversations with both followers and non followers.
By switching to a business account some people fear that they’ll be labelled “a business” and they will lose that organic brand identity they’ve worked so hard to create for themselves. They’ll seem “less personal”,
2) The Dreaded Instagram Algorithm
In the good old days posts appeared in chronological order. Since Instagram introduced their new algorithm it has caused smaller brands, bloggers, and the average Joe who switched to a business account to face some hurdles in getting their photos seen.
The algorithm benefits personal accounts who have a strong organic following, and, bigger brands with a hefty marketing budget because they can afford to pay to promote their photos for an extended period of time. I can understand the business reason for doing this. Instagram is in business to make money and if they can get accounts to pay to be seen you can bet your last dollar that they’ll exploit that and eventually “encourage” more and more people to go that route. If these smaller brands with business accounts want to stay successful on Instagram they would need to up their engagement rate, post more often, and pay to boost their posts.
What Should I Do?
There is no right answer to this question as there are compelling reasons to switch and also to stay as a personal account. The choice will have to be yours. You would need to decide what your end goal is, how much time you have to engage with your followers and build up a following, and finally, if you have the means to boost your posts.
For me, I’ll be sticking to my personal account. Knowing my numbers would be fantastic but I don’t have a huge following and I don’t have a budget for boosting my posts. I try to engage as much as I can but life often gets in the way and my engagement tanks.
If you’ve made the switch from a personal account to a business account, or the other way around then please let me know by leaving a comment below. I’d love to hear your thoughts and what your experience has been.