Instagram is a funny old kettle of fish - not a day goes by where I don't curse the algorithm (and harp about it on the blog) and it was only a few days ago I wrote a whole post dedicated to the bot buying saga.
The latest phenomenon to hit the 'wtf do we do with Insta' table is the business account vs personal so I thought I'd wade in with my little piece of insight.
For clarification purposes cos I've seen a few people getting them mixed up - there are generally 3 types of Instagram accounts we're using.
- Private - The ones that aren't open to for the public to see and you have to request to follow them and be approved. I have one for my own account which is basically photos of people I don't want to expose on my blog (it's basically just my niece NGL).
- Personal - The account we all had before. Not private, visible to everyone, no need to approve followers but no stats or extra perks.
- Business - The one we all updated to cos lol everyone was doing it. You need a facebook page to set up as a business Insta because there is a contact button available with that update which takes the user, should they want to contact you, to your FB. It also gives you analytics on each Instagram post and generally on things like what time of day is best for you to pick up followers.
I, like most bloggers, updated their Instagram to the business account when it became available with no real regard for it. It was happening, everyone was doing it, it wasn't a paid extra and yay analytics. Except I never actually use them.
So what's all the fuss now with changing back to personal?
A week or so ago I saw one tweet from someone, I literally can't even remember who, mentioning they'd changed back to a personal account and had seen a positive result. I, thinking well what harm can it do for a bit more engagement, followed suit and changed back to a personal account. I have lost the analytics I didn't use and the contact me button that other people never used and the only difference to the way I use the platform is I occasionally get an annoying 'see analytics with a business account' notifications.
Liveable in my opinion.
The reason I decided to change back was because it's easy and can be reversed if it doesn't work. You literally just switch back to a personal account on your Instagram settings widget and if you want to go back again to business, you literally just switch back. There's no faff, it's so easy and it's like 'well it's worth the trial isn't it?'
Since I changed my own account I have seen more and more tweets appearing from people who have done the same and seen really great results. Now bloggers are sitting up. We're taking notice because HOT DAMN ANYTHING TO GET ME OUT OF THE INSTA RUT. So maybs it won't work for long, maybs the personal Insta feed will become over saturated again and we'll all go back to having the same problem but in my opinion, the trial has already been worth it.
And what' the thinking behind it you may ask?
Basically the general consensus at the mo is Instagram is almost 'hiding' business accounts from a lot of feeds due to the algorithm. It kinda makes sense I think, I've seen a lot more spam engagement on my account since I changed to being a business and I think it's because the bots target businesses and professionals more than they target 'just normal people.' It doesn't matter that those normal people are actually bloggers and influencers just using a personal account, they just aren't targeted as much.
The other slightly shady side to the argument, or I guess more of an extension to the same argument rather than the other side is that Instagram hides business accounts a bit more in the hope they'll pay to have their Instagram posts sponsored. The ads function is another perk open to business accounts and Insta wanna make all the dollah - if that means hiding a few bloggers from feeds to tease them into parting with some cash then so be it.
But how have I found it?
Now I've seen mixed reviews already on whether or not people are finding it's worked for them and I have only been back on a personal account for a few days so I don't profess to hold all the answers BUT for me, I'm enjoying it so far.
I wouldn't say I've had a ginormous leap in engagement and following but the only way I can best describe it is that it feels like my little Instagram has been 'found' again. You know like when you first set up your account and you go round following alllllll the bloggers and they all follow you back and you're a cool little Instagram gang? That's how it feels again.
It feels like my Instagram has been discovered again.
Whilst I might not have jumped 100 followers in a day and started getting 300 likes on every photo, it just feels like the improvement I have seen is a bit more solid? Like more legit.
It just feels like the likes I'm getting and the engagement I am getting is just a bit more stable and if there's one thing Instagram has NOT been known for in the past year, it would be stability, The number of likes I am getting per photo is a bit more steady, a bit more predictable and yeah, just stable.
I hit the illusive 1000 followers last week and with any new milestone or with any amount of new following on the algorithm, I fully expected it to yo yo below and above 1K for the next 3 months or so. But no, I changed to the personal account pretty soon after hitting 1 thousand and as I write this I have 1031. Not huge by any stretch of the imagination but how many of us have REALLY kept a following of around 30 followers for a few days on Insta? I haven't in a long while. My stats last week were jumping around 25 followers every day and now my 30ish are sticking close by.
I've also noticed the quality of my new followers. It sounds shady as fuck to say that but I have. You know sometimes you can just TELL they're bots following you or someone is playing the follow unfollow game? The followers I've had in the past few days have been other bloggers, people who's names I recognise from Twitter, people who might actually be interested in what I have on my feed. People more likely to stick around.
It might not be a huge gain, it might not be radical or making your raise your hands in joy but it's stable, for me anyway. And in my opinion stability on Instagram in the current climate is the first step to growing a following without bots and unfollow games and lol I've been shadow banned again.
If you're hesitant or not sure, why not just give it a go and monitor it for a week. The worst that can happen is you (very easily) change back to a business account after all.