Since the launch of Instagram, it has been the best photo and video sharing app in the world. Today, over 500 million users are using Instagram. You cannot ignore the vast number of Instagram users when you market a business on Instagram. More the number of followers you have, the more business you will get.
In previous years, Facebook was used predominantly by businesses to promote and market their products. The rising popularity of Instagram motivated business owners to create business accounts on Instagram. Hence, they started developing a marketing strategy suitable for Instagram users depending on their behavioral patterns.
Nowadays, businesses and brands are changing their public accounts into Instagram private accounts. Some are creating brand new private accounts for their businesses.
You may be wondering why businesses are making their accounts private or how to view a private Instagram account. Businesses need followers to become successful, but why are they creating private Instagram accounts.
Isn’t it strange?
Why Instagram Private accounts for businesses?
By changing the account into private mode, you’re allowing only your followers to view the content and participate in discussions. In addition to this, the posts with popular hashtags are invisible to the public. Usually, Instagram users use hashtags to search relevant content of their interest. Hence, it becomes mandatory for people to follow your account if they would like to view your content.
You may be thinking that a public account is more likely to draw the attention of the public when they search for relevant hashtags.
However, that is not the case.
People can reach and view a public page without following the account. They can go through your post without being an active follower. They may give likes to your content, but most probably they don’t get involved in your content. This eliminates the possibility of engagement on your posts.
If the account is private, then people have to follow your account to get access to your content posted. So, you are more likely to get followers than a public account. When people start following your account, they naturally see your posts and start a discussion if they find something commendable.
By having an Instagram private account, users who reach your page can only see your username, bio and profile picture. Other details they will get to know by viewing your private account are the number of followers you have, the people followed by you, and the number of posts created till date. However, they cannot see the original content you have posted on your account.
If someone wants to follow your page, then they have to send a request. Until you accept the request, they cannot see your posts. The private Instagram posts do not appear on the ‘explore tab’ of other users.
How to make your accounts private
As per the default settings, every Instagram account will be public. Instagram users from all around the world can view public accounts. When you post a photo or video with a hashtag, people who search using the same hashtag can see your photo or video. If you want only your followers to view your account updates, then change your account settings into private.
To change your account to private, you have to go to the profile page. There, you can find a ‘settings’ icon in the top right-hand corner of the page. Click on the icon, which takes you to a screen with several options. Towards the bottom, you will find a “Private Account” option. Toggle on the button against it to make your account private.
Now, your account is ready to show your posts only to followers, not to the public. Whoever wants to follow your business should send a request and get approval from you. You can either click on ‘Confirm’ or ‘Delete’ button based on your decision.
So, what are the good and bad things about having an Instagram private account for your business?
Good things you can enjoy by creating a private account
1.Control over your posts
The most significant benefit of creating a private account is that you will gain control over your posts. You can decide on what kind of users can view your content. When you have a private Instagram account, the content posted by you is invisible for non-followers.
If anyone would like to see your posts, they have to send a request. Until you accept their request, they cannot view the postings made on your account. Once approved, they can view the content and engage in discussions regarding the posts made by you.
2. Restricts the reuse of content
Instagram has extended its reach as a mobile app to the web. It allows people to watch your Instagram pictures through a tweeted image or social media badge.
By making your account private, you can stop unauthorized use of your content. It enables you to prevent others from sharing your pictures on other social media accounts or view your content online without becoming an Instagram user. Hence, your privacy will be protected and restricts other people from sharing your content without your consent.
3. Gives a feeling of exclusivity
What is so exclusive about a private account?
Your existing followers feel valued because you are respecting them by accepting them to follow your account. For example, if you’re introducing a new product to the market, then the first look of the product can be accessed only by your followers.
Private accounts create curiosity among other users. When followers share content with friends who are non-followers, non-followers will find it difficult to get access to your posts. Hence, they will send requests to follow your account so that they can see the content shared by their friends. It also helps to increase the number of followers to your account.
Get rid of spammers and fake accounts
If you think that the request has come from a suspicious account, then you can delete the concerned request. Even if you have approved a request by mistake, you can block or report the suspicious account. You can simply remove them from your list of followers or block them.
You can basically completely alienate people who put negative comments on your business and posts by switching into a private account. You can check whether people who have sent requests are genuine or not before accepting them.
Bad things you need to know about Instagram Private accounts
1. Hashtags become less viable
Hashtags are usually used in the content to reach a maximum number of people. When Instagram users search for specific content, they use a hashtag before the word they want to explore. Hashtags help them to find the right content they would like to see. By going private, relevant content in your account searched by users will be hidden from them.
2. Less likely to get followers
If a non-follower want to see your posts, then it is not possible for them. Non-followers will not get access to your pictures and videos. Not only that, they won’t be able to see your content shared by their friends. Hence, they won’t be able to decide on whether they should follow your account or not.
3. Difficult to change a business account to private
If you want to change your business account settings into private, then it is complicated. For that, you have to turn the business account into a personal account and then to private. Isn’t it complicated?
When you change a business account to private, you will lose analytics tools and the feature to run promotional content and Instagram ads. Instagram never allow switching of a business account into private because it is not the way to promote businesses. Instagram may penalize business accounts that switched into a private mode.
4. Less engagement on your posts
Instagram users can give comments and likes on any content posted on Instagram if the account is public. If you have a public account, users can comment or like your photos or videos both through a web interface and mobile app. By having a private account, you deny that kind of freedom to the users.
On a private account, users have only limited access. They have to send a request to become a follower, and you have to approve it manually-which is a time-consuming process. Lack of engagement from the right users obstructs the success of your business. The popularity of the business will become stagnant.
The exposure to your content will be less compared to public accounts. The restricted exposure of posted content to some users also reduces the reach and engagement to the posts. Hence, you tend to lose potential customers for your business.
5. Difficult to stop harassing messages
When you have a private account, people cannot steal your content, leave derogatory comments, or reuse the content. But, you cannot stop such people from sending direct private messages to you. People can send direct messages to you even if you have a private business account. If you want to avoid such people, you have to block them
6. Not possible to hide your activity
Even if your account is private, your actions on other Instagram accounts will be visible to the public. If you leave obscene comments or liked indecent photos or videos of other users, then the public will see your online activities. So, creating a private account does not offer you complete privacy of your activity.
7. Geotagging helps, but not much
If your content is not visible to public users, then your geotagging feature also becomes futile. Geotagging is used to engage with local customers as it helps local businesses to showcase products with specific location tags. Geotagging help businesses to attract local customers quickly. But with a private account, you cannot show geotagged images to the users.
8. Never think of embedding the content
You cannot embed the content published on your website. Other people also cannot integrate the posted content on their website or blogs.
Why? You can see the box, but you cannot find the content as it will be concealed. When you change the account into private, your older embedded content on the internet will also disappear.
If you cannot embed the content into blog posts or websites, then it is of no use. Private account prevents other users from displaying your content from their websites as well. It not only prevents you from showing content to users but also stops the engagement that might have received through embedding of content.
9. Prevents cross-posting
If you are using the same content in every other social media accounts, then a private account limits several features. If you’re cross-posting same content on Instagram and Twitter, then you have to set the twitter account as private. When the other social media account also become private, it also limits the engagement on your posts.
10. Prevents ad promotion
In a private account, the purpose of posting ads doesn’t make sense. Even though you can run ads on your Instagram account, you cannot reap the benefits of running ads. The ads will use the Facebook profile information as a default, but of no use.
As Instagram ads incorporate with promotional posts, such posts become worthless because of the private status of the account. Since these posts do not receive clicks, there won’t be any engagement from the users.
11. Losing out on opportunities
Even though you post content on Instagram at the right time, you may not get the visibility as expected through a private account. By having a private profile, your posts will not get any exposure before the public. You will lose spontaneous opportunities and end up in not getting the right customers or visitors.
Your business can prosper only by receiving the right traffic. Switching into a private mode reduces the traffic to your account.
12. Unable to access Instagram analytics
Instagram analytics gives you valuable information about the targeted audience of your business. Only business profiles have the facility to access analytics. If you are running a business, it is essential for you to have a deep understanding of your audience.
Businesses should know the location, frequency of activity, interests, and time of activity of their users to plan a proper marketing strategy. Without having analytics, you won’t be able to know all these things to create a marketing plan. Hence, creating a private profile will hinder all your marketing plans as you won’t get access to Instagram analytics feature.
Creating a separate business and personal account
Now, it is time to take a final decision. Even though upgrading your existing personal account into a business account is a good option, you can also consider keeping two separate Instagram accounts. One for your business and another for personal use. For that, you need to gauge the advantages and disadvantages of a private Instagram account.
To make the right decision, you have to consider answering some questions.
- Are you willing to share your personal photos or videos with your customer base? If you don’t have any problem with sharing photos or videos, then you can keep business and personal account as one. If you want to keep your personal activities as private, then go for separate accounts.
- Do you post content on everything under the sun? If yes, better to maintain different accounts for both. With a business account, you can target the potential customers specifically by posting exclusive business content for them.
- Are you a person who shares personal views and opinions? If you do so, maintaining separate accounts is mandatory. Why? Because some of your customers may have different views or opinions on the content you posted. If it contradicts, then your business may get affected.
- Do you prefer to have a separate personal and work life? If you would like to keep personal and professional life separate, you have to create another Instagram account exclusively for your business. If you keep the same account for both, then your brand messages and personal messages may be confusing for people who follow your account. Keep separate accounts to avoid confusion among your customers and friends.
- Through a business profile, potential customers can contact you directly by us the button ‘Contact’. The contact button gives them the email address, phone number, and location of your business. Contact button is a feature available for the business account, which helps to build trust among the prospective customers of your business.
Advantages of having a single account
Having a separate account for both is a flexible and manageable option. You don’t have to juggle with accounts which is time-consuming and strenuous. You can manage the workload efficiently by keeping every Instagram activity in a single account.
- Most business owners would like to add their personalities to promote their brands. If you are one among them, then you can manage both business and personal activities in one account. You can show your creativity and knowledge by combining both business and personal content.
- Having a single account for both personal and business profile is easy to manage. You don’t have to think about new ideas for your content as you mix up professional and personal things in your account. It lets you spend less time to decide which content to be posted.
- When you combine both personal and business content, the audience doesn’t feel that you are focused more on sales. It enhances the authenticity of your business as personal content balances your sales-oriented posts.
- Even though your professional and personal life overlap, your potential customers will be able to know what you’re as a person. When you share personal things with prospective customers, they will feel connected and consider you as a humble person.
- If you already have a high number of followers on your personal account, then create a separate business account is suicidal. When you create another Instagram account for your business, you have to start from scratch. You have to attract new followers or invite existing followers of your personal account to follow your new business account. Some may reject the invite because they may not be interested to see the business posts.
What should you choose?
Whether you have a small or big business, the decision to make the Instagram private or public is completely at your discretion. However, the number of followers you have is a deciding factor in choosing a public or private business page on Instagram.
If you have a business profile, you need to have more and more followers to make your business successful. More followers may generate more sales leads, which in turn increase the profit of your business.
Moreover, business profiles having more than 10,000 followers can include a ‘swipe up’ link in their Instagram stories. This feature enables the business owners to drive traffic to their website home page. You can add the ‘swipe up’ link as a call to action or an affiliate link for earning a commission.
Making a business profile into private is not a good option as it restricts the reach of your business.
The choice between personal and business account depends on your requirements. You should weigh your goals and priorities before deciding to create separate personal and business accounts.
By having a separate account, you don’t have to keep your business account private. Keeping your business account as private has several disadvantages as mentioned earlier. You can also avoid non-business followers by having a separate Instagram account for your business.
You should get more and more followers for a successful business, which is nearly impossible if you have a private account. As a business, you should have clear marketing goals. To achieve these marketing goals, it is beneficial to have a separate business profile in public mode.
By creating a distinct business profile, you can outweigh the cons of having a private account. In case you didn’t like the features of a business account, you can go back to the personal profile. The choice is ultimately yours!