At first sight, it can seem that switching to a private Instagram profile isn’t a good idea and won’t provide you with any positive results. Especially because the biggest amount of engagement in Instagram comes from your content appearing in hashtag searches or other users sharing your posts.
In this case, why some brands and influencers are choosing to hide their content from a wider Instagram audience and make their profiles private?
In this article, you will understand whether going private on Instagram is a good strategy for you & your brand or not.
Let’s find it out!
What does a private Instagram profile actually mean?
Before I will review the reasons for and against a private Instagram profile, you need to know what you are giving up by switching to a private Instagram profile.
First of all, remember, a private Instagram account is a profile which content is hidden from a wide audience and is visible only for users who are following you.
Although some Instagram users most probably will not feel a difference by changing their Instagram profile from public to private, but the accounts with a massive following will need to give up a lot of benefits when they make their Instagram profiles private. Let’s see which benefits exactly.
- Explore page. In fact, Instagram Explore page is considered as a place where you can connect with your potential followers. If you decide to make your Instagram profile private, your content will not appear in the Explore page and an audience who is your potential followers will not see your posts.
- Hashtags. Once you make your Instagram account private, your posts will not show up on sections of hashtags you used. So, if hashtags are a part of your Instagram strategy in order to boost profile’s visibility and grow it, then it definitely will not be a good idea to switch to a private profile.
- Wide audience. When you make your Instagram account private, only approved followers will be able to see your content and interact with it.
Pros & Cons of making your Instagram profile private
In a world where your Instagram authentic and feed is everything, is it really worth switching to a private Instagram account? What are the good and bad things about a private Instagram account?
Firstly, let’s review a few pros that you can get having a private Instagram profile.
Advantage No. 1. It helps to create a sense of exclusivity
What is so special about a private Instagram profile?
The answer is simple!
You will make your current followers feel valued because you allow them to be a part of your private Instagram account and always be the first to see what content you share.
For instance, if you are launching a new product into the market and sharing an Instagram post related to this event, then the first look of your brand’s new product can be available only for your profile’s followers.
Keep in mind that people like to be a part of community and feel that only they are receiving a deal or an exclusive look, so having a private Instagram profile doesn’t seem as a very bad idea.
Advantage No. 2. It gives you more control over your account
Another great benefit that you can get from making a private Instagram profile is that you will have control over your profile.
It means that everything you upload on your Instagram profile will be hidden from audience who doesn’t follow you. What is more, if someone wants to become your follower, they will need to send a request and you will have to decide whether provide this user with access to your feed or not.
In this case, you will be able to stop all unwanted fans’ likes and comments on your posts.
What is more, by switching from a public Instagram profile to a private, you can make it harder for other people to steal and repost your content.
The idea is that by going private, you are able to manage who can see and engage with your content.
Although it is hard to say how useful this strategy is for preventing other people from copying your posts and passing them off as their own, however, by making your Instagram profile private to some extent will help to minimize this risk.
Advantage No. 3. It boosts retention rates
Unlike a public Instagram account, where it is an only one-click button if an audience wants to unfollow you, a private profile asks your audience whether they are sure that they want to unfollow you and reminds that they will have no longer access to your Instagram content.
This little notification forces audience to think twice before clicking the “Unfollow” button. Moreover, as social media studies show that a majority of users finds it easier to just keep following your Instagram profile. Consequently, it makes a positive impact on the retention rates of your Instagram profile’s followers.
Now as you know what benefits a private Instagram profile can provide you with, it’s time to see why it might not be the best decision switching to a private Instagram account.
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Disadvantage No. 1. No opportunity to change a business account to private
If you have a business Instagram account and want to make it private, then the first step that you need to take is to switch your business profile back to a personal one. However, keep in mind that by doing these changes, you will lose access to Instagram Analytics, the ability to run Instagram ads and promoted content.
Furthermore, it is important to mention that Instagram doesn’t let business accounts to be private arguing that it isn’t a way to promote their brands. Actually, Instagram can penalize business accounts that will try to switch to private.
So, do you want to run into trouble? Most probably, not. Then, rethink do you really want have a private Instagram account?
Disadvantage No. 2. Your posts will not appear in searches
Undoubtedly, you know that hashtags are used in order to boost the visibility of your content that, consequently, means a bigger amount of followers and a higher engagement level.
However, as it was mentioned before, if you add hashtags to the posts of your private Instagram profile, your content will not appear in public feeds, such as the Explore page or hashtags searches. It means that when Instagram users will be searching for a content similar to yours, they will not be able to see your posts.
All this can negatively influence on your brand’s ability to drive more likes, comments, get new followers and, accordingly, potential customers.
Disadvantage No. 3. Less likely to get new followers
If people who aren’t your followers come across your Instagram profile in a search or on your brand’s webpage and check out what it is about, they will not be able to view your content and make a decision whether your profile is worth following or not.
Why? The answer is just because you have a private Instagram account.
Imagine, you allow people to access your content, however, just after starting following your Instagram account they figure out that your content isn’t what they exactly are looking for.
So, by hiding your content behind the “Follow” request, you will only make people feel annoyed or even they may dislike your brand.
As a result, your Instagram followers count will not increase.
Disadvantage No. 4. Lack of engagement
In fact, Instagram users can like or leave comments on any posts they find on a platform and it doesn’t matter whether they are following that profile or not.
However, with a private Instagram account this is impossible. Non-followers aren’t able to interact with Instagram profiles that are private. Consequently, the amount of engagement you can receive on your Instagram posts significantly decreases.
Disadvantage No. 5. It limits cross-promotion of your content
If you are sharing the same content on your several social media accounts, then having a private Instagram profile can limit this opportunity. It means that in order to cross-promote your content, you need to set all your accounts as private.
However, the problem is that in this case, you will reduce the discovery of your social media profiles and their engagement rate.
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Wrapping everything up, what’s the final decision? Is it worth switching to a private Instagram profile or not?
As you can see from this article, the idea of turning your Instagram account private has more drawbacks than benefits.
What is more, if you want to grow your Instagram following, boost your brand awareness or drive sales, then it is not advised to make your Instagram profile private.
What do you think about private Instagram accounts? Have you ever tried making your Instagram profile private? Please share your opinion in the comments below!