ep23 - Should You Switch to an Instagram Business Account?

ep23 - Should You Switch to an Instagram Business Account?

show Sep 08, 2021

Instagram offers three different types of accounts: Personal, Creator and Business. Watch this week’s episode to help decide which one is right for you!

I cover:

  • Which features are included in each account type
  • Benefits for businesses
  • How to make the switch to a different account type

And I answer one of my most frequently asked questions: How do you get access to the music you want on your account? 


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Hello and welcome to Megan's Social Media Marketing Show. I'm so happy to have you here today. We are here to talk about whether or not you should change your Instagram account to a business account. Now you may have hit play because you're not sure what kind of account that you need, you may have hit play because you weren't even aware that there are different kinds of accounts, and you're wondering, what's this all about? Do I need this business account, she speaks of? So today we are answering that question.

 Instagram does in fact have different kinds of accounts. The one that most everyone is familiar with, and most everybody signs up with is a personal account. This account is perfectly wonderful if you're interacting with people personally, but if you're a business, then Instagram gives you two other options and those fall under the umbrella of a professional account. 

Now I do want to say before we move on to all the different options afforded a professional account, I want to tell you that, only personal accounts can be private. Now, when you are thinking about promoting yourself, on Instagram or your business. I would hope that your account isn't still private. I know I get this question a lot from people who are maybe just starting to think about starting a business, or just starting to create things to be shared publicly and they're scared to change their account from the private account it's been, to a public account. 

So I do want to tell you, though, if you are planning on doing that on promoting what you do or having a business online, I'm just going to tell you right now, definitively it has to be a public account because if you are posting things with a private account, then it is not visible.

In the hashtag feeds if you're using hashtags on your posts, if people share a post from your account to someone else that other person has to be following you to see it, or else they get this error, it's like, sorry, you can't see this. And that just doesn't feel wonderful and lovely and inviting does it? So that is my one caveat right here is that if you decide not to change to a business or a professional account, for some reason, please, please, please make it public. 

So the two options that are afforded you, if you changed from a personal account to what Instagram calls a professional account. Now professional is an umbrella word for two different types of accounts.

There's the creator account and the business account. And there's not a huge amount that's different from them. But if you are trying to sell physical products, or if you are trying to use outside apps and third party tracking solutions, then, it is a big deal to you. So, I want to say, like I said before, if you are a business on Instagram, I wholeheartedly believe that you need a professional account, whether it be creator or business, because these accounts are meant for you.

They are packed with goodies Instagram has given you specifically, so I've seen no reason not to switch to them. There is a myth out there that if you switch to one of these accounts, then your engagement or your reach will be limited. You won't get seen by as many people, but that is a myth. I have not seen that happen for any of my clients. I think that there is literally zero negatives to switching to a professional account. 

So these are a list of things that your professional account gets, whether or not it's creator or business. You get the professional dashboard, which is filled with links to tools and educational information that Instagram curates for you.

I've just started to explore this a little bit because they've been adding lots of more goodies in there and it actually curates content for the different type of business or the specific type of business you are, or what niche that you're in. I don't know how Instagram knows this, but it does. And it's pretty cool.

So check out the professional dashboard. This also includes insights. This is my number one top thing. I just don't understand how people can try to grow an account on Instagram and not know actually how their posts are doing and insights is how you do that.

Insights are stats. They're telling you how many likes, how much reach each post is getting, how many shares, how many comments? Now we know that a little bit from looking at the individual posts, but what does insights tab does is accumulates all that information, analyzes it and spits out reports for you based on the things that are important for your business to know. You don't have to be a mathematician or a stats geek to get this, but it is for me, the reason above all that you would want to switch to one of these accounts.

Another one is linked permissions. This means that you'll be able to link if you have a Facebook page to your Instagram account, and that gives you lots of others tools in your toolbox, which I'll go into in a moment. Contact information is another thing that professional accounts are given. You can put in your email, you'll kind of a button for your phone number or to book a call or to make a reservation.

In some cases, which is very handy as a professional, you also get a category label, which helps people to understand what kind of business that you are. And then, and then there are these messaging features, which I wasn't even aware until researching for this episode that you don't get as a personal account.

As a professional account, you are able to sort and rank your DMS, your direct messages. So this means that you get two inboxes, essentially, that you can say this, this is just general junk stuff, kind of like you do with your email inbox. And these are things that I really want to see, and you can also hide things that go into a different folder.

You don't have to open, even if, if you don't want to, but, this is very handy because it enables you to really manage those DMS, like a boss. And then you also get these safe replies. It's a little plus button at the bottom when you're in a DM. And that enables you, if you have links that you frequently send people to share, to save them there and then just shoot them off to somebody.

If they ask for it. It is so time saving. I mean, hours and hours of my time have been saved with those two features alone. I really appreciate them. I think everybody should have them. So one of the things by linking accounts that I mentioned earlier is, well, actually you don't even have to have a Facebook page for this, but any professional account on Instagram gets access to the creator studio.

What is the creator studio? It is a free scheduler with a whole bunch of other tools that you can schedule your feed, post your IG TVs. You are able to load everything ahead of time, schedule them out when you want. It also gives you some insights and stats. And this is one of my favorite parts.

It also allows you to respond to comments and messages within the creator studio. So sometimes if you have a very active account, it is hard in that notification tabs on the app and Instagram to catch every time, somebody comments on your posts, especially if it's an older post, but in creator studio, you can systematically go through every one to even check them off as done. It's so lovely. So that is a wonderful benefit of the professional account. 

Another one is you have to have a professional account to get the swipe up feature. You also have to have 10,000 followers or be a verified account to get that feature. But it's not even an option. If you're unaware of what the swipe up feature is, it is in stories and it gives you the ability to link to any website link to that story. So if they click on it, then it automatically goes and opens their web browser and it goes to it. So valuable for businesses. It gives you another option because we only have one link in our profile. It gives you another option to send them to other places, very specifically what you were talking about.

So that swipe up feature. And I will tell you that as of this recording, Instagram is switching from a swipe up or kind of a little box at the bottom of the story to a sticker. So it will not be the swipe up sticker, even though no one's swiping anymore. Okay. And the last thing that again is huge. If you are a business on Instagram, at some point, you're going to want to advertise or use paid promotions, and you just can't do that unless you have a professional account.

Now, there are some minor differences between a creator count and a professional account. The creator account was intended, as the title says to be for people who are influencers who want just to get their art out there. So they did not give creator accounts as much capabilities, uh, with API access, which is what I mentioned earlier is having third-party scheduler tools or tools that give you great stat reporting that is not available, but the big thing, the big thing, if you sell products physical products, you cannot have a shop. You cannot have an Instagram shop. You cannot have shoppable posts unless you are a business account specifically on Instagram. So keep that in mind. That shop feature also allows you to have unlocks a whole bunch of other fun things like product launches and shop partner permissions and live shoppings when you go live. They can, people can, purchase right from a live video. It's pretty cool. 

One question I often get or is discussed, and I think there's lots of myths around is music access. So since it's now been over a year, since REEL’s, Instagram Reels have been on the scene and it's been a big point of contention on who has full music rights, meaning they just don't get the royalty free limited stock library, but they get all the options for sounds and this, it really largely depends on the licensing agreements in your country. I know here in the United States, it said that the creator account has access to all the music and the business account has a more restricted library, but it really does just depend. So take that if you will, if you do not have music access and you are willing to switch to a creator account to try it.

You can do that, but it may not make a difference. Unfortunately, I'm here to say. So I hope that through our time together, you've gotten a picture of how cool the business and creator accounts are and could be for your business. So if I've convinced you that you need to switch accounts, I'll tell you number one, how to check which account you have and how to switch.

So, first thing you need to do is go to settings and hit account. Settings or from what they call the hamburger, the three lines up on the top, right of your account, go to account. After you hit settings, then scroll all the way down to switch account type. It's a blue hyperlink. And if you click that and it says switched professional account, that means you currently have a personal account.

So once you hit, switch to professional account, it'll give you an option of creator or business. Now, if you already have a creator or business account, it will say switch to personal and creator or personal in business, whichever one you don't currently have. So it's really that easy to switch accounts. It's no trouble at all, I promise. And you can switch back and forth. I wouldn't suggest you do too frequently, because then your account could get flagged. But if you find that there's a feature on one account that you don't have, that you would like on another, then feel free to switch at any time. 

So I hope this really clears up why and how I think you should switch to a professional account on Instagram. 

 Thanks so much for being with me today. I will see you on Instagram.