One of the biggest dilemmas for marketers on Instagram is which type of professional account they should choose: Business versus Creator.
Of course, Instagram doesn’t make it “easy” on us. For the most part, there aren’t major differences in how the two accounts look or interact within Instagram. But there are significant differences in a couple of areas that make us really want one or the other.
I should also point out that I’m not discussing personal accounts as those are for personal use and you should not be using one if you are marketing yourself or your brand professionally.
So let’s break this all down!
What Business and Creator Accounts Have in Common
Both accounts work as professional accounts which mean you get access to the following features:
But there are TWO BIG differences between the two accounts.
Business Accounts on Instagram
Business accounts are meant to represent a BUSINESS. This is a professional brand that is typically listed as a business entity and generating revenue from the sale of products or services. An individual can be a business account. For example, I am my brand and I am my business so I have a business account on Instagram. If you are a real estate agent, a photographer, a writer, a chef, or any other business as yourself, you should be a business account. From a technical aspect, business accounts on Instagram have API access. This means that you can use third party tools for scheduling content and getting more metrics and performance reports. Common tools include Agorapulse, Later, Canva, Iconosquare, Sprout Social, and many others.
If you rely on a third party tool to post your content or pull reports on performance, you MUST be a business account on Instagram. Personal and Creator accounts do not have API connections.
When it comes to music, typically the lynchpin that makes people debate switching profiles, business accounts do NOT have popular music. They have a limited library of royalty free music to choose from and these are not the fun, popular, or trending audio you hear all over IG Reels. Why? Well because, if you’re a business making money, you need permission from the music publisher (artist or label) to use their music for profit. They have to sign over rights to use the music. Every commercial you see on tv with music, every movie that has mainstream music playing in it – they’ve all gotten explicit releases to use the music. And as a business, you technically need the same permission to put music on any content you create that represents your brand. Even if it’s only 10 seconds of audio. Legally speaking, if you use someone’s music (just like if you use someone else’s photo) you could be sued for revenue generated off their copyrighted material. So Instagram literally just says too bad, you can’t use it.
Now, there is one small workaround here and that is that the Entrepreneur category for business accounts DOES get access to popular music. Why? I don’t actually know. But this is how you can get the best of both worlds, keeping the API access and getting music. But, if you’re a restaurant, selecting the “entrepreneur” category looks weird so it’s not always viable.
Creator Accounts on Instagram
Creator accounts are meant to represent a PERSON. This is someone who is representing themselves as an individual creating content about themselves, their lifestyle, or other personal components. If you are doing makeup tutorials, movie reviews, or creating educational tutorials; if you’re an artist or musician, then you would be a creator account. Now, in all fairness, when you go into category settings for creator accounts, they do include restaurants and grocery stores in the list of options, so who knows what IG is thinking lol!
Ok, so in contrast to business accounts, creator accounts do not have API access. You cannot use a third party tool to post or schedule content.
But, creator accounts do get the fun and popular music without restrictions.
Currently, Meta Verification is being tested and is an option that allows users on Instagram to pay for a subscription service that provides the verified mark and benefits like customer support. In the current testing options, it is ONLY available to “personal” accounts, which includes creator accounts. It does not include business accounts. This may change down the road and business accounts may get access so this may not be a discriminating factor months from now.
Which One Should You Choose?
Ultimately, this comes down to your needs.
Do you need a scheduling tool? Then there’s really only one option: Business.
Do you really need popular music or trending audio? Then go with Creator.