Yes, launching a new social media account for your business takes time. In fact, it's probably why many small businesses put off getting an Instagram account for as long as possible, but we're going to show you how to make that time worth it.
In all honesty, you can't expect to truly do anything in a time-effective manner without really knowing what you're doing - think about all the tasks that used to take you hours in your business that now take you minutes because you know what's required and how to do it quickly.
For too long, we've been under some serious misconceptions about how to use Instagram for business, so today, we're bringing you some honest truths about the platform so you can make the most out of your marketing efforts.
It's time to bust some Instagram myths!
Honest truth 1: A large following doesn't mean anything unless you can back it up with engagement!
In the early years of the platform, the misconception was that the more followers you had the better. Wanting to capitalise on this demand for the vanity metric, several companies arose that would create thousands of fake Instagram accounts and sell them to people who wanted more followers.
However, those who were sold the dream of IG fame and a burgeoning profile were stung when they failed to take into account the importance of engagement - after all, it doesn't matter how many people follow you if they don't find your posts interesting (or see them at all - we'll cover that in point 2). For example, when brands look to work with an influencer, the most important metric is their engagement rate (calculated by total engagements/followers), because it shows an accurate representation of their audience's loyalty, trust and interest in what the influencer has to say.
Essentially a smaller, more engaged audience is far more desirable than a larger disengaged audience because you're talking to people who really care about what you're posting - which is great because you're more likely to see results and conversions but there's also a more impactful reason why engagement is so essential... which brings us onto honest truth 2!
Honest truth 2: The algorithm rewards engagement and bitterly does the reverse!
You might have heard complaints about the Instagram algorithm, and granted there have been a few iterations and developments, but this is why engagement is so essential for getting your posts seen and why a disengaged audience can be so harmful!
The algorithm works by showing your newest post to a small group of your followers, it then measures engagement on that post. If the post does well, the algorithm pushes it to more of your followers because it recognises that this is a quality piece of content that your followers will want to see. If the post tanks with that small group, then the algorithm will limit its reach and your post is much less likely to be seen.
It's important to remember that Instagram wants to keep you on the app so it benefits them to show users engaging content!
For example, if you have a large disengaged following, when you post, Instagram will show it to a portion of those disengaged, or even inactive followers, who won't engage with the post. Subsequently, Instagram will limit the reach of the post as it recognises the content as unhelpful, or poor quality and could encourage users to go off the app.
So, what's the solution if you have a large disengaged following? Get rid of them. For every disengaged follower, there's a chance that they could be limiting your reach to the followers that genuinely care about your content. It's important to remember that your account can be salvaged at any time - don't think you need to delete and start again, you just need to strip it back and make sure everyone following you wants to see what you post AND that you're posting genuinely helpful, educational or entertaining content.
The more your followers start engaging with your content again, the more the algorithm will reward you with a better reach!
But what if I want to grow my following?
Honest truth 3: There are ways to authentically build your following AND your engagement
Luckily, there are still plenty of ways for you to build an engaged audience - in fact, we've got 7 for you coming soon to the SiGNAL Blog! In the meantime, head to our Instagram for more tips on how to get the most out of this power platform for your small business!