The days when success on Facebook was measured by the number of fans are long gone. Thankfully. Brands and companies (unfortunately still not all) have understood what marketing on Facebook is all about and that the number of fans is, if anything, a means to an end.
And then came Instagram
Instagram has taken the discussion and craving for more followers to another level.
As many as possible, authentic, active, suitable for the target group and inexpensive. It is this approach that led to Facebook's great awakening years ago. That's when companies really noticed that they weren't reaching all their fans. What impertinence.
The situation is the same on Instagram, of course, and as Instagram continues to grow in relevance, we are heading for exactly the same situation as
Using the experience gained from Facebook
Many should know better, but they are making the same mistakes as they did then. The importance of a follower may currently be even higher than that of a Facebook fan. But followers are, and never have been, a marketing target.
If you just google Instagram followers, you'll get suggestions for related searches such as: more Instagram followers trick, Instagram followers get hack for free, or Instagram followers get hack.
Companies that use Instagram seriously for their marketing should not feel targeted by this content. Should they?
When we talk about hacks, workarounds and tactics, it's all about anything but authenticity, added value and marketing goals. To be sure, there are promising growth hacking approaches. What matters is where the growth comes from. As long as the number of followers remains the same, nothing is gained.
The principle of social networks,
Followers and the sustainability problem
This does not mean that companies do not benefit from an increase in followers. Of course it is. Be it in the Instagram feed or on Instagram Stories. The problem with aiming for more followers is that it doesn't pay long-term dividends on a company's success. The same goes for interactions.
Companies have different goals than influencers. They are getting closer and closer to those of publishers. But this does not change the fact that they are only partially suitable for advertisements. Reach is relatively cheap to buy on Instagram. Just as influencer marketing is not primarily about the number of followers, Instagram ads and marketing success on Instagram are not about that.
If followers are the target, something is wrong with the strategy
It is much more important to answer the questions, what goals do I want to achieve on Instagram, with what content and messages do I want to achieve this and how can I use the media budget most effectively for this.
Analyses of which accounts / companies have the most followers give the wrong picture. Unfortunately a recent picture for Instagram. However, anyone who has been involved in social media marketing for some time will know that followers, fans, subscribers on social platforms are not decisive. When it comes to your own communities, however, things look different again.
Furthermore, not every company necessarily has the goal of having as many followers as possible. Followers for your own Instagram account can be built up via your own channels, content in the feed, stories and ads. When I write ads now, I don't mean follower ads, but Instagram ads with the goals of conversion, landing page views or reach. If people feel addressed by the ad, they may also call up the profile. If the other contents convince, new followers are created. It is important that the display pursues a different goal and one should not depart from this.
At a press conference on Wednesday, the president said he was "deeply saddened" by the news of the shooting.
It's 2019 and there are so many options for Facebook and Instagram advertising. Please don't count more followers.
But it's not just about ads. Even great sweepstakes on Instagram where you have to follow an account lead to nothing. Here the classic is still valid: Who likes to participate in competitions? People who like to participate in competitions. Are these the right followers? You don't need to ask yourself the question.