Friday, January 19, 2018

LET'S TALK INSTAGRAM NUMBERS




Today I want to address something that I don't publicly talk about because it just doesn't seem necessary or relevant to all of you.

But I can't keep my mouth shut any longer.

I want to talk numbers... particularly Instagram numbers. Over the years that I've been sharing on these platforms of mine, I haven't really been that obsessed with my numbers until about a year ago. I woke the freak up and realized that my content IS NOT the most important thing here. As sad as that statement is, brands care about my value and my value is my reach/impressions (aka the people who view my content). The higher my reach, the more eyes I'll have on my content which can potentially lead to sales for the brand I am being sponsored by. 

It's all pretty basic stuff if you're familiar with running a business via social media or advertising/digital marketing. 

But I just have to be real here. I've tried tons of different social media tactics in the past year to reach a slightly anticlimactic milestone of finally getting to 10K followers on Instagram. Yes, it was exciting to see that sought after "K" show up a few days ago, but my happy bubble was quickly popped when I posted a photo... one from this post to be exact. I woke up this morning, checked my emails and social media, and realized that the photo I posted last night had received less than 40% of my usual engagement rates (aka likes and comments). I didn't understand. It had all the components of a photo that would typically get high engagement.

Some of you may be rolling your eyes at this point. Woe is me. Cry me a freaking river and get over yourself. I get that mindset. I used to be you before I started caring about growing my business too. But at the end of the day, higher numbers = brand partnerships = money. And a girl's gotta eat people. 

As you may know, Instagram's ever-changing algorithm has really shaken the game for businesses on their platform. It is incredibly discouraging to work so hard day and night to just get stifled by something that is out of my control. So many rumors have been floating around about how to beat IG's algorithm, but it's impossible to know what actually true. The low engagement on content and stunted growth rates push people to use inorganic methods to boost their business. I'm not lumping everyone into this category, but a decent percentage of IG businesses have used at least one of these methods at one point or another. I'm referring to buying likes/followers, using bots to like/follow other accounts, joining engagement pods, doing the follow/unfollow tactic, spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars to participate in IG giveaways, etc. (*Sidenote: Did you know secret giveaways are a thing? I just found out about them today.)

Contrary to what a lot of experts preach about organic growth, playing by the rules isn't going to make you stand out in the sea of millions (literally) of bloggers and "influencers" floating around out there. Organic growth is extremely hard to come by these days, and in my opinion, virtually non-existent. If you're not the 1% of users who hits the jackpot or has "IG famous" friends who give you shout outs on the regular, chances are you know the struggle. Don't get me wrong, there are people who see success organically these days, but that is not the norm. In fact, it's a far cry from it. 

Earlier this week, I was watching Amiee Song of Song of Style's IG stories. I saw that she was telling her followers to follow a few inspiring accounts that she discovered from comments on her own IG posts. One of them happened to be an absolutely beautiful, creative account that I already followed and was well deserving of the shoutout. I followed the account's stats to see what this one IG story shoutout would do for the account. People. ONE single screenshot of the account's feed with a tag on Amiee's IG story that lasts only 24 hours, got this account roughly 3,000 new followers. I bow down. It is amazing to see how truly influential people can be on social media. So many of us aspire to be that. I know I do. But the only way we can grow to that level or even in that realm is if people are seeing our content and engaging with it. 

I wish I had the answers to guarantee success, but I don't. If you have a blog or run a business that relies heavily on Instagram, you know what I'm talking about in this post. If you don't have a blog or run a business that relies heavily on Instagram, this may be new information to you. All I can advise at this point is if you follow accounts and see their posts, but aren't engaging with them please start doing so. 

We're just little guys in a big ocean hoping to swim to the top one day. 





10 comments:

  1. I can totally relate to this post!!! I've been on Instagram for years and used to get great engagement until the algorithm stopped many of my followers to not even see my posts anymore. Hopefully Instagram starts listens to the frustrated small businesses and bloggers and allows us to grow our following and engagement organically again!

    xoxo, CiCi
    www.worldwidestylista.com

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    1. totally agree!!! the pessimistic side of me feels like it's only going to continue in this downward pattern, but i will be hoping and wishing that a positive change happens soon!! thanks for reading! xx

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  2. totally agree with everything you shared!!! Instagram can seriously be the worst.

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  3. I feel ya girl!!! PS love how you styled this look. That dress is so cute and looks fab with that sheer top underneath.

    xo, Laura

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  4. Totally relatable! I'm in a blogger facebook group for the city I live in and we all say DOWN WITH THE ALGORITHM! I think many of us feel your frustrations gf! Thanks for posting, and I saw this post b/c I follow you on BlogLovin' I'll go ahead and follow you on instagram too! :) Happy Sunday!


    @bighairandfoodiefare
    Kelli

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  5. I try to not worry about the actual numbers- more about the content & the engagement. Even 3 years ago when I had less than 1/2 the followers I do now I was getting more likes/engagement. But I never put my eggs in one basket (aka IG) and make sure the thing I OWN, my blog, is what can sustain me!

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  6. Girl - i feel you! It's so frustrating! But I agree with what Emily said above! It's so hard to not let it affect you, but IG an always go away one day and then where will we be!? Trying to be more blog focused this year :)

    xoxo
    Victoria
    www.agallonofglitter.com

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  7. This is so great! It completely aligns with the content I'm sharing this week. I woke up this morning with 92 new followers and was stoked! Only to find out that they were all spam. I have no idea how or why it happened. So I blocked them all. 30 minutes later I had another 350 spam followers. So I blocked all those too, changed my account back to personal and private.

    xo,
    Steph
    @trendyinindy || trendyinindy.com

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  8. This is a great post! I try so hard no to get too wrapped up in followers, likes and engagement, but it is hard when it is the numbers that propel you into campaigns and collaborations. Amazing that Song of style has such a wonderful following and influenced that many to follow her suggestion.

    I love this look! Your dress is beautiful, and your hair is just amazing!

    xx, Elise
    www.sparkleandslippers.blogspot.com

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  9. This is great, I really try not to worry about the numbers and just try to go with the flow. As long as I am having fun, I'm in.

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