There’s basically two kinds of people on Instagram–people who are there for the fun, and people who are there to represent a business.
I only have one account: @stlMotherhood and it’s for business. Sure, it’s full of photos of my kids*, but everything on my account represents me as a blogger.
It doesn’t make sense for me to keep a separate personal account. Very few of my “in real life” friends–and neither of the kid’s grandmothers–are on Instagram! Maybe it’s because I’m a Gen-Xer and the grandmas are Baby Boomers. Not that they aren’t tech savvy, they’re just old school and expect photos to be handed to them and people to have verbal conversations on a phone.
Why keep a separate personal Instagram?
If you DO have lots of real friends on Instagram, and have a 21st century family glued to smart phones, then you should definitely keep a separate Instagram account just for them. Why? Your customers and blog readers don’t need to see 25 pictures of your baby, your dog, your new purse, your lunch or that weird lady you took a snap of at Walmart.
Keep. That. Off. Your. Business. Account.
Does that mean you should never share family photos? Of course not! People love to peek behind the scenes. But not all the time.
What’s the difference between a personal and business account?
A professional Instagram account needs to be laser focused on YOUR CUSTOMER (or reader for us bloggers).
Notice I didn’t say your business.
It’s not about you. It’s about them.
Unless you’re a celebrity, no one’s going to care if you went to the dentist today.
Ok, maybe if you’re a blogger and wrote a great piece about dental health…But for the rest of us, a business account is all about serving your follower. It’s about sharing information with them and showing them why they need your awesome skills and products. You want to entertain your follower with pretty pictures and inspire them with words of wisdom. You don’t want to bore them with vacation photos.
Bonus: Instagram gives you more functions when you switch to a Business Account
You can do more than just treat your Instagram like a business–you can TELL Instagram you’re a business. It’s easy and it’s free.
The directions are over at Facebook (who now owns Instagram). You’ll first need a Facebook Page because Instagram is going to pull information from that and use it to verify that you’re a professional of some sort. I have a page for my blog, you don’t need to be selling anything to be a “business.”
Then open Instagram, go to your profile and tap the gear –> in the upper right corner. Tap Switch to Business Profile. Follow the prompts and soon you’ll be in business!
Switching your account to a Business Account adds some behind the scenes goodies for you, but doesn’t change what your followers see. You’ll now have a “contact” button on your profile page to allow followers to quickly email, text or call you–your option. You’ll also get some basic stats about your followers and when they’re active, and you’ll see your most popular posts.
*So about those kids of mine. If you follow me on Instagram, you might not realize I have TWO boys. Why? One is a high school senior, and though he is my first kid I rarely blog about things with him, because my blog covers activities for young families and kid crafts. He would also be super embarrassed if I asked him to pose for me. He’s happy to take MY photo or eat any free food a sponsor sends our way. And if there’s any car dealerships that want to sponsor a teen driver, well we’ll plaster him all over Instagram.