Should your Instagram account be private or public? It’s a good question and one I get asked about a lot. I used to have two Instagram accounts, one for work and one for personal use.
I wanted my work to be public, but my private life to be private. It wasn’t easy. I was always having to decide which photo went where and what I wanted the world to see.
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After three years of having two ‘Olivia Smith’ accounts, I came to the realization just having one made much more sense.
I decided to ditch the personal account and only use my public one. The reason I did this is because I wanted to focus on building a brand and an audience. I didn’t want to keep dividing time between two accounts. For me, it stopped making sense to have a private account and so I opted for a public account.
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I do post personal pictures of my husband and family on my public Instagram now, but I always think before I post. I ask myself: am I OK with the world seeing this? If I post photos of other people, especially children, I ask permission if it’s not obvious that it may be used for a public social media account.
As a digital journalist, I felt this was the best move for me, but it’s not the best move for everyone. Here are the questions you need to ask yourself before you make the decision:
- What do I get out of having a public account (better engagement for business, building a brand), and is that what I want or need?
- Is the content I’m sharing appropriate to share with the public?
- Am I going to be responsible before posting content publicly, knowing friends, family members, coworkers and the world can see it?
- Will I be OK with maybe not being able to post every single thing that I want to post?
- If I am going to turn my private account into a public one, do I need to go in and change anything beforehand to protect my privacy?
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As a journalist, I am always on the job. That’s how I treat my personal life as well as the one I live on social media. It made sense for me. But ask yourself: does it make sense for you? I have friends whose work doesn’t need to be shared with the public, and in turn, they want their private life kept private.