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It’s Not All About Followers…

On social media, and specifically Instagram, follower growth is obviously important. It’s a sign of success, progress, and can increase your chance of conversions. But it isn’t the be-all-and-end-all, and there are wider advantages to social media that many overlook. In this blog, I’ll go over a few.

Social can be used for a variety of things – from image and branding, to sales, research, and customer service. If you focus only on followers, you’re partially missing the point. If you’re a hotel obsessed with followers, okay, but are you also responding to all check-ins on Facebook? Writing a comment on every Instagram post in your hotel to build rapport with customers? Are you using stories, which are evidently a huge trend in social right now? It’s important to consider the bigger picture and appreciate the varied benefits of social beyond follower growth.

If you are, for example, a barber, restaurant, or brick-and-mortar store, the number of followers you have is less important than if you’re, let’s say, a social media influencer. As an example: let’s say a barber in Manchester has 1 million Instagram followers (bravo, if there is one), most of which are from somewhere other than Manchester. While their followers may engage with their posts, not all 1 million will visit them for a haircut, leaving many followers, from a business standpoint, less relevant.
It would be more useful for said barber to have 5K followers, mostly from Manchester, who are more likely to convert to sales. This calls for, like most marketing methods, a tailored strategy to target your desired market.

I probably don’t need to mention fake followers, but I will anyway. At the time of writing, I personally have just over 1K followers on Instagram. If I wanted 10K right now, I could have it, and it might cost me 50-200 pounds, and 10 minutes. Likewise, if I decided I want 10K likes on my latest selfie (luckily, I am not that vein). There are numerous bots and sites out there which will give you followers and likes quickly and easily, and many brands do this to please their clients, their boss, or perhaps just their ego. Bots can give you 25, 50, 100 likes on each post, and the same number of followers each month, delivered consistently.
While we all understand it looks impressive to have a lot of followers, something is always fishy when an account has super speedy growth, or a ton of followers, but they still only get the generic “cool post!” comments, or 12 likes. Likewise, if an earlier post has 50 likes, and all others, which are just as good or bad, have 100.

A final point is that follower growth can be subjective. It’s easier to go from 0 to 1000 with a 5-star luxury resort hotel than it is, say, with a business hotel, or a B2B company, and that’s fine, it’s just something else to bear in mind. Further, you’ll grow more on Instagram than Twitter in today’s social media world. From my experience managing social media for a range of companies, some pages simply grow more easily than others, it’s all part of the game.

Impressive social media is when a page’s consistent, high-quality content and activity (stories, comments, likes, etc.), grows their reach amongst their desired audience, who then convert to followers, and, over time with the correct content balance, conversions. At least, this is my take. It takes time, patience, skill, and resources, but the reward is large, and nobody wants a bad social media presence in today’s marketing world. Thank you for reading, and I look forward to your thoughts!

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