Today I’m answering an entrepreneur’s question who is having problems with Instagram.
I’m having problems with Instagram! I grew my Instagram following myself to around 87,000 followers, but I’m about to give up!
What is UP with Instagram?! The strategies I used to grow my Instagram, following people in my niche and being active, and it seems like this year, and even this Fall, Instagram blocks me almost every other time I’m on and I’ll be blocked for a week at at time.
I know it’s not all about the likes, but I used to post in the afternoon, and by the time I woke up the next morning I would have 3,000 likes. Now I’m lucky to get close to 2,000. I’m so frustrated and annoyed, I don’t like the platform any more, I’m tired being blocked and my engagement is so low. I did something right to get to 87K followers and now it doesn’t work and I’m frustrated!
That’s a 33% drop in her engagement! That’s huge.
Here’s a few things to keep in mind.
The biggest point, which we mention repeatedly, is growing likes is an old strategy.
I would rather have 100 people and 10 people engage, than have 1,000 people and 10 engage; or 10K people and 10 engage. Facebook and Instagram especially their algorithm is built around that engagement percentage. Teh higher the percentage of people that engage with your content, the more other people they will show your content to.
10 out of 100 = 10% versus 10 out of 1,000 = 1%
Facebook and Instagram take that engagement level into consideration when choosing who to show your content to, even among those people who have liked or followed your page.
Keep in mind the Instagram algorithms constantly change. There have been huge shifts initially starting when Facebook bought Instagram in 2012, you saw the shifts again when Instagram started allowing paid advertising. Even not considering those two major shifts, there are daily updates to the algorithm taking place.
She said she had used some specific tactics (although she didn’t go into detail) to grow her Instagram following to 87K followers, and it’s very possible that the strategies used aren’t the best practice any more since the algorithm changes so frequently. Previously you benefited if you had a lot of people, so any strategy you used to gain followers was good. With the algorithm changes over the years, that’s not the case.
It’s very possible out of those 87K followers, a majority of them are people who would never buy her product or service. This means that they are sort of dead weight. They may never engage with her content. Heck some of them may not even be active on Instagram any more, they may have not logged in for a year. These users are not relevant to her business.
Relevancy also why we don’t recommend that you always invite all of your friends and family to like your business social media page … they may not be your target customers.
That’s why simply trying to grow the number of people may actually backfire.
It’s much more important to focus on having followers that are actually interested in what you post – you, your business, your product or service, and are more likely to engage.
The biggest shift she may be able to make now is in the type of content she is sharing to Instagram.
If she knows the followers she has built is the right target audience, what she needs to look at next is what type of content those people are engaging with the most and replicate that type of content. That involves digging down into her account – hopefully she has a business account she has access to insights – and see what type of posts people are liking, clicking on, responding to, commenting on, and make sure that’s the type of content she continues to share going forward.
And, mix the content up. Look back at all of the different types of content posted, is there a gap – something missing that I could be posting. When you look at your target audience and some of the other Instagram accounts that they follow, is there a gap in services from some of your primary competitors?
These are the recommendations I gave:
Switch her internal strategy from growing a big following to focusing instead on engagement, and only growing with people she knows are right for her messaging and her brand
Go through a content audit and look at what type of content, what changes she can make to provide content that can be more engaging.
Do you have a marketing question?
Drop yours down in the comments below and we will try to respond directly or may answer your question on an upcoming blog.
Vicky is the CEO and Chief Creative Strategist of Vicky Wu Marketing. She draws from 30 years of experience at the CMO level, the CEO level, marketing for Fortune 500 companies and multi-million and multi-billion-dollar organizations, PLUS strategies learned helping startups and nonprofits with limited budgets … now focusing on providing SMBs with effective and efficient marketing strategies – giving them access to the same level of expertise as the really big guys with deep pockets, that they may not otherwise be able to access.