Ugh, one thing I hear over and over again is... 'this other brand that started when I did, has a bazillion Instagram followers while I'm over here struggling to get my first 1k'. I'm pretty sure this is the number ONE struggle I hear on a daily bases. We've all been there right? Seeing what feels like everyone else's following, grow like crazy.
Stop obsessing over your numbers. Yeah, I'm talking to you... I see you checking your phone on the daily, probably more like hourly, seeing how many new followers you've gained since the last time you checked. Listen to me VERY carefully... fuck how many followers you have, are they buying? (P.S. I've got a fun printout for you at the end of this post)
Everyone needs to get their panties out of a twist... stop being concerned with how many followers you have, and worry more about how many relevant followers you have. What's the point of having 23k followers if they aren't turning into customers at some point? We don't want to just fill our audience with warm bodies, we want to fill them with potential customers who become raving fans.
Let's move on to exhibit A: the IG account of Mariah Coz, owner of femtrepreneur.co. This girl is a force to be reckoned with. Take a look at her account... just over 1k followers and an average of around 5-7 comments each post. Don't let her numbers fool you. If you were a random person coming across her account, you'd probably think she wasn't very interesting and go on with your day. Although she only has 1k followers, she just did a course launch that brought in $450,000 in 14 days. Yup, you heard that right! I know what you're thinking... holy shit!!! Yeah, me too.
"Although she only has 1k followers, she just did a course launch that brought in $450,000 in 14 days."
This example is a direct reflection of why the amount of followers you have, don't mean shit! It's much more important to have a smaller, more loyal and engaged audience than it is to have thousands of followers. Remember that next time you're stressing over the fact that your numbers aren't as great as XYZ account. Your focus is not to be popular, it's to make money... unless of course, it is solely to be popular?! In that case, you're reading the wrong post.
On the contrary, the other day I saw a brand post about how they've decided to close the doors. No more XYZ brand (I'll keep their identity private for obvious reasons). They just weren't making enough to cut it and could no longer continue on with their journey. Oh yeah, I'm missing out on a HUGE piece of information... this particular brand had around 47k IG followers. No joke... <-------- insert shocked Emoji here.!!!
"A brand with 47k Instagram followers closed its doors because they were no longer cutting it."
I know, it's crazy talk. The number we look to most for judging the success of others, is the amount of followers they have. I hope that after this post, that changes fo' evah!
So I know what you're thinking... what should we be caring about then Lindsay? If numbers don't matter, then what the hell am I doing working my ass off on my social media accounts every single day? I'm so glad you finally asked. Thank gawd, someone who's finally asking the right questions... What numbers do matter?
Thank gawd, someone who's finally asking the right questions... What numbers do matter?
Social media is a great source for free marketing, I'm 100% for it, as long as it's being utilized correctly. That said, there's tons of other numbers you should absolutely give a crap about, other than how many followers you have.
No more discussing the things you SHOULDN'T be focusing on. Let's talk about the numbers you SHOULD be focusing on. The numbers that will help make you money, create a community, engage with your community and grow your brand. Below is a list of things you should be checking more often than your followers and why they're important:
1: relevant followers
I'm not gunna to tip toe here. Screw your 13k followers, if 70% of them AREN'T buying. What good does it do you if most of your followers never intend to buy what you're selling? For example: Say you're a shoe company that sells heels to fashionable women and you have 13k followers on IG. Let's say 4K of your followers are men that are only following you to see pics of the attractive women wearing your shoes (eeeeew, lol). Or maybe you have a ton of competitors following you. How in the world does this help you? It doesn't!
You're goal is to fill your audience with buyers or potential buyers. It's like being at the Super Bowl trying to sell high end hair products. You're obviously NOT in front of the right audience.
"It's like being at the Super Bowl trying to sell high end hair products."
Your focus should be how many of your followers are your ideal audience, not how large is your audience. From here on forward, start focusing on attracting the right people and keeping them. Don't just fill your audience to fill it. Be strategic and purposeful.
2. Website Clicks
If you don't already have your website listed in your profile... go do it now! Seriously, I'll wait here. How in the world do you expect people to find you if you don't ever tell them how? If you're selling a product/service, you have to make it easy for people to buy. We all love impulse buying. No one will ever buy from you if you don't make it easy to shop on their own time and click on a link whenever they want, it's called convenience my friends.
So this number is incredibly important. How many people are coming to your website from Instagram a day? Know this number and keep track of it. These numbers will give you tons of instant feedback. If no one's clicking... why not? It could be that your audience isn't your ideal customer (this is NOT a good thing). It could be that you're posting content that is irrelevant or uninteresting.
How many people are coming to your website from Instagram a day?
If you have a spike of traffic from IG on a particular day, figure out why. What did you do different that day and continue to do it. Keep track of this number and constantly adjust accordingly. Eventually you'll figure out the secret sauce to driving traffic from IG to your website. If you have a Squarespace account, follow these steps to find this number.
Log in to Squarespace. Click on Metrics, then click on Referrers. This will show you how many people are coming from which sites. You can check 1 day, 2 days, 3 days, weekly or monthly.
If you don't have Squarespace, you can use Google Analytics. To do this, log in to Google Analytics and click on All Website Data.
Then click on Acquisitions, All Traffic then Referrals.
Easy as that. From here on forward, you'll be able to track if people are coming from Instagram and how many. Make sure to take special notice on the days your get more clicks than usual, and when you get less clicks. Like I mentioned before, you'll be able to hone in, making tweaks here and there in order to get closer and closer to your perfect formula.
3. How much engagement you're getting
Let me see a raise of hands for everyone that's posted on IG and heard crickets. If you're not raising you're hand, you're a freaking liar...lol. Okay, maybe you've never had that issue, but I feel like everyone's been there at some point and time. Maybe when we were first starting out and wasn't quite sure what to post?!
Instagram is awesome because we get instant feedback. Either people are liking what we post, or they aren't. If you get hardly any likes and no comments... you probably didn't post anything too interesting or worth talking about. If you get a flood of likes and comments, you know you're doing something right. That's awesome, take notes of what you did and copy it over and over again.
Think of your Instagram as a community of like minded people. If you had a party and put them all in one room together, and it was SO quiet you could hear a pin drop, you'd be weirded out right? It's a party, you want them to talk, get to know each other, engage and have fun. Treat your IG community just like that. Be the one to get the party started.
"It's a party, you want them to talk, get to know each other, engage and have fun."
The last thing you want is your community to be lame, boring and uninteresting. It's important to see who's engaging and why. What sort of posts are people commenting on? What kind of captions get the conversation going? Be that place everyone wants to keep coming back to because you "get" them.
Okay so this one's close to impossible to track. We don't actually know how many people are seeing our posts. But we can gauge this by the interaction. I think at some point, Instagram will be more like Facebook where it shows you how many people your posts are reaching. Until then, we just have to take an educated guess.
You've been living under a rock if you haven't noticed the shift in IG since late last year. It used to be that we knew our posts where showing up in everyones feed. It's no longer the case. My posts used to average between 300-500 likes each, they spiked down so much so that I remember crossing my fingers hoping to get at least 100. This is when I started to get to work.
If your likes and comment are drastically going down, it's probably because they aren't reaching as much of your audience as they used to. Think of it like getting on an escalator going the opposite way, you take one step up and and it's bringing you back down. You have to get your momentum going enough that you're staying ahead of it in order to get where you're wanting to go.
"Think of it like getting on an escalator going the opposite way, you take one step up and and it's bringing you back down."
You've got to strike while it's hot. The last thing we want is to be posting to ghosts... pretty much an audience that isn't seeing them. We want to do everything in our power to reach as many people as possible. When you have a post that gets tons of engagement, keep it going by posting similar content continuously... one after another. This will help keep your posts boosted in order to reach more and more of your followers. Don't give up, this takes time. But is SO worth it.
Alright, now that you're no longer worried about how many followers you have, and more focused on the numbers that DO matter, you'll start seeing a spike in the amount of people buying... promise! You know the saying, 'out of sight out of mind'? I DON'T want you guys to read this post and never think about it again. I want you to get out of your own head with the numbers thang.
I want you to remember this every single time you log in to IG, check your phone, sit at your computer, etc. What better way than to have a daily reminder? I like to write my goals down on a few pieces of paper and tape them up around the house. I want you to do the same with this. I've put together a fun printout for you.. hell yes! I'm making it super easy for you to remember. Tape this up in your office, bedroom, print if off and put it in your notebook or binder, put it on your computer... whatever you have to do to remember FUCK how many followers you have, if they aren't buying!