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Business vs. Creator Accounts on Instagram

Not sure whether to go for a Business vs Creator account on Instagram? Today we show you the differences, to help you along the way.

Posted 1 year ago
business vs creator account instagram

Written by

Julia Cohen
Posted 1 year ago
Over the years, Instagram has added some great creator-oriented features to help brands and influencers grow on the platform. These include split inboxes, bio links, and dedicated creator analytics. However, many of these features are locked away in “professional account” types – namely business and creator accounts. These account types allow Instagram to tailor the app’s UI to creators without affecting the overall user flow of normal Instagrammers.
A question we get all the time, is whether you should use a Business vs. Creator account on Instagram and if you choose one over the other – what difference does it make?
What is an Instagram ‘creator account’? What is a ‘business account’? What features do these accounts unlock? Which should you choose? What similarities, differences, pros, and cons should help influence your decision?
In this guide, Flick will walk you through all you’ll need to know about Creator and Business accounts on Instagram!

Jump to a section ✨

  1. What is an Instagram Business account? 🗂

What is an Instagram Business account? 🗂

An IG business account is a professional account type designed for businesses and brands using the platform to connect with their customers.
According to Instagram, 90% of Instagram users follow brands on the platform. Furthermore, the launch of business-oriented features like the Instagram Shop makes the platform a good marketing investment for brands.
The business account was the first professional account type launched by Instagram back in 2016. Since then, it has acted as a litmus test of sorts for figuring out how the Instagram experience can be altered to better suit brands looking to expand their audience and land sales.

What features are available for Instagram Business accounts?

What can you do with an Instagram business account? Let’s have a look at the top features:

Unlock the ability to sell products on the IG Shop

Users with business accounts can use Instagram Shops to turn their profiles into a digital storefront to sell their products and services through the app.
Below is an example of how the startup watch brand MVMT began selling their products through a Shop tap on their profile.
instagram business creator account
However, the main two benefits of using Instagram Shopping are:
  • The ability to tag products in your feed posts
  • Appear in the IG Shop tab on your followers’ homepage.
Brands like Jaspers Boutique are tagging where their products appear in their Instagram posts. These are known as “shoppable posts.”
It’s a great way to show off what you’ve got to offer, and product tagging provides a great funnel for interested customers!
business shop instagram creator
The “Shop” tab is available for every Instagram user. This section collects suggested products from businesses and creators they follow.
image shop instagram
Firstly, this tab is a great way to suggest products to your followers. For example, bands and musicians regularly use Instagram Shopping to suggest merch, vinyl records and CDs to their fans.
Here, you can also run promotional ads to get your products in front of users who may be interested but don’t follow your account.
Creating a shop is free – and all you’ll need is an Instagram business account!

Access Instagram Analytics & Insights

Without observing your analytics, it’s near impossible to predictably grow your Instagram audience.
business creator instagram
That’s why Instagram offers business users a useful set of analytics tools, such as:
  • Business users can observe insights into the real-time performance of their posts. This includes impressions, accounts reached and the number of engagements with your post.
  • The “Insights” tab on your profile can give you an overview of how your account as a whole is performing.
  • You can also use the “professional dashboard” to see how many accounts you’ve reached and observe your audience growth at a glance.
  • Business users can also look at the analytics of their Reels and Instagram Stories.
Want to explore how Instagram business accounts can approach their analytics on the platform? Read our complete guide on the topic here.

Promote your posts and run ads on Instagram

Businesses that use Instagram as a demand generation tool want to be able to push and promote their post to a wider audience. This sort of advertising has been available at Instagram’s parent company, Facebook, for over a decade.
Advertising for Instagram adds the functionality to promote not only posts but Reels and Instagram stories too!
There are three ways to create ads on Instagram. They are:
  • Through the “Ads Tools” tab in your profile, you can easily pick a post or story to promote. Simply select it, define your target audience and launch it!
  • You can set up more complex, targeted advertising campaigns through Meta’s Ads Manager. Here, you can customize your campaigns based on user behavior, interests, and more. You can even sync your campaigns with a corresponding effort on Facebook too.
  • Finally, Meta’s Creator Studio allows you to easily mock up Instagram ads and publish them when done!
Looking to improve your Instagram ads? Why not check out our guide on the topic here?

Other Features

That was our pick for the top three features of Instagram Business profiles – but there’s plenty more on offer. Here are some other features:
  • More CTA options for your profile, so that you can add contact info or website links.
  • Paid partnership tags.
  • The ability to promote Instagram posts as ads and put paid ad spend behind them.
  • Split inboxes for Instagram DMs – allowing you to sort the important messages into “Focused” and ignore spam messages and junk.
  • A label, that describes your business niche.
  • Ability to use third-party apps like Flick for scheduling.
  • Saved replies, that you can use as a shortcut to respond to FAQs.
  • Customized audience targeting

How do you set up an Instagram Business Profile?

Switching your personal profile to a business account is easy and won’t cost you a penny! Let’s explore how you can go about doing it.

Step 1: Go to your Settings

Remember, you’ll need to do this on a mobile device in the Instagram app. You can’t change your account type on a desktop PC.
instagram settings
arrow pointing to instagram settings
Head over to your profile and tap the Menu (insert Hamburger Menu icon) in the top right-hand corner. Then, tap “Settings”.

Step 2: Head over to “Account” to switch to a Professional account

arrow pointing to instagram account
switch to professional account
Next, tap “Account” to open your account settings. Scroll down to the bottom of that list and hit “Switch to Professional account”.
You’ll then be met with a carousel screen outlining the features of Instagram Professional profiles. Hit “Continue” at the bottom of this screen to carry on!

Step 3: Pick your Category and Select the “Business” Account Type

business vs creator
what type of business account
Next, let’s configure your Professional account. You’ll be met with the Category selector. Use the search bar to find the tag most relevant to your business. This will be displayed under your account name in your profile – so choose wisely!
Then, we’ll select the account type. We want to select Business here – as this will unlock all the business features we need (for example, Instagram Shopping).
Then, hit “Next”.

Step 4: Connect to Facebook and complete your Business Profile

connect instagram to facebook
instagram creator account
Instagram will then go about creating your Business account. You’ll be prompted to link your account with Facebook. This is a great idea if you’re planning on posting and promoting on a Facebook page too.
Don’t forget to add your contact details here! You can display this info on your profile to allow Instagram users to get in touch with your business.
Hit Next and that’s it! You’re done.

What is an Instagram Creator account? 🎨

On the other hand, Instagram Creator accounts are an account type designed specifically for content creators and influencers using the platform to build an audience.
Creator accounts have some great features for analyzing and growing your account reach – but aren’t set up to sell products or integrate with tools that businesses use.
This account type is great for:
  • Content creators – like TikTok users, Reels creators and YouTubers
  • Influencers
  • Solo musicians or celebrities
  • Public or community figures
Simply put, if you want to reach new people but don’t want to sell your product or brand to customers, a creator account would be great for you!

What are the top features of Instagram Creator accounts? 🎨

What sort of tools and features has Instagram made available to content creators to grow on the platform? Here are some of our top picks:

Insights and Analytics for Creators

Like Business accounts, Instagram offers creators some brilliant analytics features.
In fact, both account types have access to the same suite of tools. However, we find that creators tend to use Instagram’s Analytics and Insights slightly differently.
The most popular Insights tool is Instagram Reels Insights. Meta – through Instagram – are going all-in on short-form content to compete with the likes of TikTok and Snapchat.
That’s why they’ve converted all Instagram videos into Reels. Making use of short-form Reels has become so important for creators to grow on Instagram.
instagram insights reach
Launched in May 2021, the Reels Insights tab is an analytics section that helps you track key performance metrics about your Instagram Reels videos.
Here, you can see which Reels are performing well, check the success of your hashtag strategy and observe how your audience is changing over time.
Learn more about Reels Insights here.

Split Instagram DMs Inboxes

instagram dms
When you switch to a Professional account, you’ll find your Instagram DMs inbox looks slightly different. That’s because Creators can split their direct messages into two tabs: “Primary” and “General”.
Content creators, celebrities, and influencers are often bombarded with messages from followers.
Split inboxes help you automatically manage your DMs to make sure you don’t miss any important messages. Messages you’d like to see first appear on the Primary tab. Notifications for unread messages are turned off for the General tab by default, but you can manually change that in Settings.

Other Features

That’s not all! Here are some other useful features for Creators on Instagram:
  • Access to the “Creator Studio,” which displays all your insights on the content you produce.
  • Paid partnership tags.
  • Inbox categories so that your DMs can be sorted into Primary, General, and Requests boxes.
  • A label, listed beneath your display name, so that visitors know what your niche or specialty is e.g. ‘artist’ or ‘singer’.
  • Saved replies, that you can use as a shortcut to respond to FAQs.
  • Contact features with additional CTA buttons

How do you set up an Instagram Business Profile?

Switching your personal profile to a Creator account follows the same process as converting to a Business profile. You’ll just need to select Creator when asked which account type you’d like to choose.

Step 1: Go to your Settings

First, head to your Settings tab. Find the Menu icon in the top-right corner and then tap “Settings”

Step 2: Head over to “Account” to switch to a Professional account

After tapping “Account”, scroll down to the bottom of that list and select “Switch to Professional”. Hit “Continue” a few times until you clear the carousel screen.

Step 3: Pick your Category and Select the “Creator” Account Type

Next, let’s configure your Professional account. You’ll be met with the Category selector. Use the search bar to find the tag most relevant to you!
This will be displayed under your account name in your profile – so choose wisely!
Then, we’ll select the account type. We want to select Creator here instead. Then, hit Next. Follow the steps to complete the process.
Business vs. Creator Accounts on Instagram: What is the Difference?

So, what’s the difference between an Instagram Creator Account vs. Business account? 👀

business creator instagram
What’s the difference between creator and business accounts? Should you use a creator account or a business account on Instagram?
Creator accounts on Instagram were created to offer a Professional account with the complexity of business-orientated features. Most content creators don’t need – for example – access to Instagram Shopping or the ability to connect with third-party business apps.
But, the analytics paid partnership tags and profile labels are all useful in growing an audience on Instagram. It’s best to think of Creator accounts as a ‘Lite’ version of Business accounts.
Creator accounts can still run Instagram Ads through the “Ads Tools” – but Business accounts have access to a few more features in the “Professional dashboard”.
If you’re a content creator but are interested in selling merch and running more complex advertising campaigns, there’s no reason not to pick a Business account. You don’t lose anything upgrading to one. But, if you don’t need those features, Creator accounts avoid this complexity.

Grow your Instagram Audience with Flick!

The Instagram Professional account tools are a great way to get started with account analytics. But if you want to see some serious growth in your Instagram Business or Creator accounts – you’ll need better analytics tools.
With Flick, you can find deep and actionable insights into how well your posts and Reels are performing. We even offer a hashtag research tool and a post scheduler to help you become an Instagram pro!
Sign up for a free 7-day trial to see the results for yourself, or learn more first with our free Instagram courses!

Flick Academy

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What is an Instagram Business account? 🗂

How do you set up an Instagram Business Profile?

What is an Instagram Creator account? 🎨

Grow your Instagram Audience with Flick!

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