I was asked about the benefits of a business account from an artrepreneur and thought other creatives would benefit from this post. I outlined the common questions about Instagram business accounts and laid out some pros and cons to consider before making the switch.
When is it time for a business account?
If you have been debating about changing your account from a personal, to professional (or business) account. Here is where you should start.
A business account on Instagram is something you should do if you are beginning to take yourself seriously as an artist, especially if you are working to grow from a hobbyist and wanting to grow either your sales or your network. You do not need to be a formal business entity to have a business account.
Another reason why you might want to do this is for security reasons. Social networks are great to connect with friends and family but when you desire to keep your personal life private but your creative life in view, it can be difficult to adjust your privacy settings, accept new followers, follow strangers and openly share your artwork. A great way to balance this dilemma is to create a personal life account where you turn up the privacy and a public business account where you can openly post.
What are the Pros & Cons of Business Accounts?
1. Insights – Audience Analytics
Pro – Analytics will provide you with information about your audience that can help you tailor your marketing and approach. You can see what time of day your audience interacts with you the most, your engagement rates and more. This data can help you implement your marketing strategy.
Con – the data from Insights is one-sided information. Specific audiences tend to utilize Instagram more than other social networks. Know that the insights to your Instagram audience are going to be skewed due to that audience that uses it. Your insights for your Instagram account will be different from the audience who subscribes to your email list, or who take your workshops. So the data provided by Instagram insights is helpful for knowing more about marketing using Instagram, but maybe less helpful to your overall understanding of your audience.
2. Connection to Other Social Networks
Pro – You can directly link to other social networks though Instagram business accounts. You can easily post a photo and caption to multiple social networks at the same time.
Con – The ease of this feature is usually the downfall of its use. I would caution to say that every single post should not be shared with every network. Some of your most favorite fans are going to follow you on multiple networks, so you don’t want to over-communicate daily posts. Save the cross-promotional posts across all networks for big launches, projects, and announcements.
3. Ability to Sell Online
Pro – You can use Facebook and Instagram Shops to directly sell to audiences without having to funnel to your website. Instagram is the number one social network for shopping and sales, so if you are selling your art or have a product-based business this is a great opportunity.
Another pro is that this is a great option for artists who don’t yet have an e-commerce site or shop up.
Con – This takes a bit of time to set up, although not difficult. It may be challenging for those who already struggle with the growing technology curve. It would also be difficult if you didn’t already establish your product and pricing.
4. Easy to Find You
Pro – It’s easier for your audience to find you through the ability to display contact and business information on a business account. You will notice on business accounts, there is a “contact” button near the bio. For artists in a larger studio building, this is great to list the location of your creative space. This feature can also benefit creative entrepreneurs who have a brick and mortar space.
You can also determine your business niche or industry. For example you can note if you are an author, writer, blogger, artist, etc. This can help your audience better find you.
Con – Not everybody wants to be publicly listed, so know this can be toggled on and off. You can also take additional security measures by listing a Google Voice number, or using a separate business specific email.
Many creatives do a multitude of things, so it can be hard to determine what industry we want to be classified as.
5. Ability Advertise
Pro– You can advertise the work you are trying to sell and get your creative business in front of more faces with digital marketing.
Con – Digital marketing can sound overwhelming or obscure for those who haven’t done it before. However, think about what you see when you scroll on social media, the majority of posts are the accounts you choose to follow, and sponsored posts are peppered in-between. To be found by more or new audiences you will need to put some marketing effort towards reaching those audiences. Artists often rely on organic marketing approaches but it doesn’t hurt to throw some money towards paid advertising when you have a specific item or project to market. Set a budget and try it.
Should I choose the new Instagram Creator Account option?
I would strongly recommend the business account option for artists and creative entrepreneurs unless you consider yourself an influencer or content creator. If you are an influencer or content creator, you would choose the Creator Account. This option is best if your top goal is to have a large Instagram following. One of the Insights you have access to is follow and unfollow metrics. You also get the ability to tag brands in your posts.
What happens if I don’t like the business account?
You can toggle between having a personal or a business account to see which account-type you prefer. You can change your account type in the settings.