Instagram pleased the entire marketing world last week when it announced that it would begin letting users switch between accounts without signing out. This long-awaited new feature should bring a tear to the eye of any brand manager on Instagram who has almost posted a personal update on their brand’s page!
ADweekly reports that the company had been testing the feature on both Android and iOS platforms for months, but they officially announced the upgrade on their own company blog last Monday.
Previously, Instagram only allowed users to post from one account at a time, which forced users to create entirely new accounts if they wanted a secondary profile and switch between the two every time they wanted to post something new.
Apps like Twitter and Facebook took care of this problem a while ago, allowing users to connect multiple profiles or handles to the same account, but Instagram lagged behind.
According to TechCrunch, this feature caters well to teenagers and young adults who want to distinguish between the private (and often innapropriate) photos they share with friends and the more polished image they present to the public.
But the same principle applies to businesses. Marketers are figuring out that just as individuals present a certain image based on their posts, so do brands, and it’s important to create a strong identity.
For many companies, personal photos have no place on their feed. Women’s clothing store LOFT’s profile shows a clean, professionally shot array of images that feature models wearing their apparel. Their photos are free of filters, text and for the most part, even faces. It’s sleek and non-regional, which works for a large national retailer.
This isn’t the perfect model for all companies; it can feel cold and impersonal. Sometimes more intimate pictures can help a brand’s identity, not hurt it.
Molly’s Cupcakes, a Chicago-area bakery, has incredible variety in the pictures they post on their account. Some are cutely designed text posts announcing specials or store closings. Others are images of their employees having fun on the job (The gram above is a photo of owner John Nicolaides and a famous fan). It’s sweet and advances the brand’s image as a friendly and quirky place to stop by.
So while the new app switching option is a powerful tool for marketers, it’s up to them to decide what to include – and what to leave out – in their brand’s account.
But at the very least, this might save you from posting your latest Friday night selfie to your company’s account! Check out complete instructions on how to add a second account on Instagram’s help center.
Does your company prefer to keep personal shots off Instagram, or are they a part of your story? Tell us in the comments!