When you decide to build your brand on social media and set your Instagram account (Twitter too) on private, you put yourself in a box hidden away from the people who need your products and services. Essentially, you are working against yourself. But, some people have good reasons…or do they? See for yourself.
Instagram has a setting that allows you to make your account private, which is permission-based. People send you a follow request and you accept (or not). Only those whose request you accept can see your posts.
I decided to ask my Instagram community their thoughts on accounts being private. Check out the comments.
The Negative Impact it Has When Your Account is Private
Many people won’t take the extra step to send you a request. Others who send the request may forget that they wanted to buy something from you by the time you accept the request. Let’s face it. We can’t be online 24/7 and run our businesses so there is often a delay before the person’s request is accepted. If you enter a contest using a hashtag, only your followers will see your post; it won’t be public.
The Strategy Behind the Decision
For some, it’s a strategic decision. They want to control who they accept understanding that the organic nature of their growth will be limited. Others have full-time jobs whose policies may not support pursuing their passions as a business.
This is a valid concern! As with anything good in this world, there are a group of people who find a way to corrupt it. Having a private account online is not as a good a line of defense as you think, although it is a deterrent.
Once you have decided to participate in the online world, you are vulnerable and that’s with banking, social media, email, texting, or whatever else you’re using. A few things you can do are use strong passwords; protect your creations (i.e. trademarks, copyrights, patents); pay attention to the types of questions strangers ask you; and pay particular attention to the typos and wording in messages. I have many fruitful relationships from meeting strangers on social media. However, I also met a few who tried to scam me. How did I know? It was based on their questions.
Keeping Some Things Private
If you want to do business on Instagram, but you still want to share private moments with a small circle of family and friends, create separate accounts. However, be sure you can maintain both. There are some celebrities who do this and their private accounts do not use their given name (for privacy reasons).
It’s Time for a Change
Some people realize that the reason their accounts were private affected the way they do business, and they made the leap to a public account with no regrets.
You Don’t Have a Good Reason
Just take the leap!! It’s not as bad as you think.
There are exceptions and situations where it is necessary to keep accounts on private (i.e. law enforcement, security services, therapists, your 9-5 does not permit side hustles, you’re job hunting, hiding from your employer, extenuating circumstances, etc.). Outside of those, punch ‘fear’ and ‘hesitation’ in the eye and make your account public. You can always change it back if you prefer.
What are your thoughts? Would love to hear them!
Suzzette Turnbull is a social media speaker and trainer. Also, author of The Ultimate Guide to Getting Started with Social Media.