If you’ve spent any time on Twitter lately, you may have noticed that people seem to be talking about one thing in particular: should you switch from a business account to a personal one on Instagram for better engagement? It’s like one of those urban social media myths, started by one person who probably tried it and had a bit of success. I’ve seen it mentioned a whole bunch of times now, from different bloggers and businesses, so I figured it was time for me to share my own experiences with you, from when I made the switch to see whether or not it made a difference.
I own a couple of Instagram accounts (this one: ukwordgirl & my vaping persona: bestecig), and I also run/manage business accounts, too. I tried the business-to-personal Instagram switch on 5 different accounts, one of which had a following of fewer than 1,000 followers, one with a following of fewer than 500 followers, and three with a larger following — over 2,000 followers, 5,000 followers, etc.
Here’s what happened when I decided to switch from a business account to a personal one on Instagram …
EXACTLY the same thing happened with all five accounts that I tried this experiment on, and I also tried the experiment more than once on two accounts. I switched from business to personal for a few weeks, then switched back to business, and then repeated the process all over again, a few more weeks down the line.
❌ My Insta-posts DID NOT receive more engagement. In fact, they went entirely the other way. Each time I switched from a business account to a personal one, the number of ‘likes’ decreased, as did the number of comments. Impressions were also down.
🔻 On one account (with fewer than 500 followers), I went from getting 40-60 likes per post, to just 20-30.
🔻 On an account with 2,000+ followers, the likes dropped from around 100-150 to around 50-100.
🚫 The comments were few and far between … zero in most cases.
🔻 Follower count consistently went down.
⛔️ All in all, the entire experiment was depressing. I wouldn’t recommend it.
There is a good side, though.
Silver linings and all that. When I switched back to a business Instagram account, everything shot right up again immediately. I went from getting 20 likes on one picture (< 500 followers) as a personal account, to getting over 70 on the next as a business one. That was more than the average 40-60 I’d been getting BEFORE the switch took place. The same thing happened with almost all of the Instagram accounts that I switched, but there was one account that actually took a couple of weeks to get back up to the likes it got beforehand, increasing by just a couple of likes with each new post.
In conclusion …
Should you switch from a business Instagram account to a personal one for better engagement? Nope. Not in my opinion, anyway. I got a boost for the first few posts after I switched BACK to business, but actually changing to and then using a personal Insta-account did not benefit me or the other accounts I tried the experiment with, in any way. It all went a bit downhill when they were personal accounts, seeing a decrease in engagement and followers.
A few points:
The only thing I changed was the account-type. Post-styles were the same throughout the experiment, as were the collection of hashtags I used. I also posted at similar times/dates.
I have seen a couple of bloggers say that their Insta-posts saw an increase in engagement after switching to a personal account. Sadly, I’ve seen more cases where the account-type-switch has had no effect at all or a similar effect to what I describe above.
*If you’ve got a blog and you’ve written about this, please let me know. I’d love to throw a link to your experiences right here!
Further resources + reading:
I use Hootsuite for Instagram post scheduling.
- Instagram Comments and Engagement — 6 Things You’re Doing Wrong
- Are You Using Your Blog Posts for Social Media Content?
- Where to Find Content for Instagram When You Have Nothing to Post
I also found these blogs/blog posts super handy:
*links will take you to external blogs/websites.
- How to Get More Instagram Followers
- 5 great reasons why you should be using Video Marketing to grow your brand
- INSTAGRAM TIPS – 50 PRO TIPS FROM YOUR FAVOURITE BLOGGERS!