Instagram followers are sexy, but they’re like that hot AF boyfriend who’s also a total ass.
Large followings make you feel good – it’s an easy number to look at each day, it seems to give people bragging rights, and yeahhhh it’s hella cool to realize 10,000 people want your content – until they leave you wondering what you’ve done wrong and why no one likes you, or is clicking your links, or buying your product.
Because the reality is, chasing after a large following can distract you from what really matters: engagement.
If ‘Content is King’ was the phrase used across the internet universe… then in today’s age of social media ‘Engagement is Queen …and King’. And Instagram has proved to us that they’re serious about it with their recent algorithm change.
Because engagement is what earns you sales, and shares, and raving loyal customers. That level of interaction that says daily “I want your product. I love your brand. I want to connect with you.”
While Instagram is a platform that doesn’t naturally have a “share” feature (think Facebook’s share or Twitter’s re-tweet); it does have two features that I would label as “sharing”.
If someone is deciding to re-gram your image (always with credit of course!), they’re essentially sharing your content and brand with their audience. Depending on how they tag you you can track in different ways.
If they tag you in the photo, it makes it super easy — from your profile, click the top right icon that looks like a man in a box (cool description Kate). That shows any photos you’ve been tagged in. Not all may be technically yours, but provides an easy place to look at what’s been shared.
If they tag you in the caption — you’d have to make note as the notifications come in.
Are there images that receive a lot of these comments: ” omg @becky we need these” / “@boyfriend hay babe…gift idea here, just sayin” / “@becky check her out – I think you’d love her stuff”
This is your audience sharing your brand and products in a way that’s natural on Instagram. You’re creating conversation between potential customers and generating the type of interest that others want to share and talk about. Yay!!
While likes won’t pay your bills (sad), they do show you’re creating content others are interested in. And not only that, but it shows your content is being found, which is important for the obvious reason that you can’t sell something in no one knows about it.
The big question here is whether you’re getting the right kind of likes. It’s possible that you’re getting a good amount of likes, but they’re not from accounts that would actually turn into customers.
So take a quick look through your last 3-5 images and review your “likers” by clicking through them:
Make sure you’re using the right hashtags as this is primarily how other accounts will be finding you.
Comments are GOLD. Not only did someone take the time to leave one, but it opens up a direct pathway of communication between you and your customer!
This is the time to be you and show your personality; and can further cement that relationship between customer and business. When you’re fighting to stand out above the noise, having a personal relationship and chance to chat with a customer is seriously amazing.
Your engagement rate on Instagram is measured by the combined number of likes + comments a post receives, divided by your number of followers at the time.
A good Instagram engagement rate has been found to be between 2.3-4.2% (depending on the source, cited from here and here)
With the new Instagram algorithm, the more an account engages with yours (ie. leaves a comment or like) the higher Instagram will rank your account in that person’s feed and that of other followers as they deem it “high quality” and reward it with more exposure.
So if they’re not engaging with you regularly, it’s likely they’re not even seeing your content on a daily basis. So it’s literally just a vanity number at that point as they won’t even have the choice to take action or not.
So our message to you: Focus on the right followers, don’t get caught up in the follower numbers game, and focus on building quality relationships with customers that will convert.