Instagram followers – just how genuine are yours?

Could your followers be harming your business reputation?

If you use Instagram to represent your business, you’ll notice that your follower numbers keep going up and down all the time. This is an unavoidable part of Instagram life thanks to some not-so-legit marketing methods.

Keeping your audience genuine and engaged can be difficult.

Going by your follower numbers alone simply isn’t enough anymore. You need REAL engagement from your followers to stand out from the crowd. This means, likes, follows and comments – especially discussions.

If you are truly trying to build a business, try not to focus on the follower numbers. Instead focus on the engagement of your tribe.

Engagement is really what the advertisers are looking for. They need to know that their product is being seen by people who are engaging with you and trust your opinion. Engagement is also what the algorithms use to determine who sees your content.

Each need to see your followers liking, commenting and sharing your information.  They don’t want to see an account with thousands of followers who barely look at your posts, and neither should you.  Who wants to spend all that time curating an instagram gallery that nobody sees.

How do I end up with a follower list that may not be genuine?

The old bait and switch trick

A pet peeve of mine, which I like to call ‘dirty marketing’ is when social media managers try take advantage of other businesses.  They will ‘like’ or ‘follow’ (and sometimes even comment) on your Instagram post. Seems legit, right?  Nuh-uh.

They understand that anybody who truly cares about their Instagram presence (that’s you!) needs to nourish and engage with their tribe, so you are more likely to follow the other Instagram account in return. Once you have returned the follow, they quickly unfollow you.  They’ve gained a genuine follower and you get nothing.

Like I said, dirty marketing.

Danger, Will Robinson…

Then there are the bots….ahh, the bots.  They are computer generated ‘likes’ from fake accounts, often paid for. They boost your numbers, but offer you nothing else except a lack of credibility.

Bot ‘followers’ are incredibly obvious even from the outside, so you’re best not to have them.  Advertisers aren’t silly, nor are your real followers.

How can I fix this?

Managing your followers doesn’t have to be time consuming.  I have a few little tricks up my sleeve that I personally use for managing my instagram followers:

  1. Audit your followers:
    Audit your follower list to see how many are REAL followers.
    At the time of posting, my ‘Real Follower Percentage’ was 93.90%, which is amazing!
  2. Measure your engagement & plan your content
    I use Plann for this (IOS App).  With Plann I can quickly see which posts are getting the best engagement, which helps me plan the next post.  It also picks out the trend in your colour palette so you can keep the visual flow of your posts consistent, tells you the best time and days to post, and manages your hashtags for you.  I know I’m not using Plann to its full potential yet, but I will get around to exploring it full one of these days.
  3. Unfollow the unfollowers
    At the end of the day, you have nothing to offer these people. They are not interested in your business.  So unless you are interested in what they offer, you are best to unfollow them too.To do this I use an app on my phone (IOS) called Followers Pro +.  There are plenty of similar apps around for IOS and Android, so have a play with a few to see which you prefer.This app gives you a wealth of information. It allows me to see who I follow, who is new, who doesn’t follow me back and – this is the best bit – I can see who has unfollowed me!!  Then with the click of a button, I can unfollow them.I’ve splurged for the paid version of Followers Pro +, which also gives me information on engagement and audience stats, but you don’t need the paid version to maintain your lists.

Ok, now how do I get genuine followers?

In a really simplistic overview, my best advice, is to:

  • Post regularly
  • Post genuine information, not just sales pitches, pretty pictures and inspirational quotes
  • Offer something of value. Tips, lessons, stories etc
  • Make yourself relatable to your followers, show them the real you.
  • Ask your followers to engage with you – ask questions, run competitions and surveys etc
  • Post stories – I LOVE stories!!

Hopefully after following this plan, you’ll have culled the nuisance followers and will be one step closer to a genuine and engaged followers list who really want to know about you and your business.

Disclaimer: All products mentioned are by Meg’s genuine recommendation. Meg is not being paid to promote any of these products.

Meg on the couch with the Web Hustle Beagles

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