So, you’ve had your Instagram account for a while now and you seem to be stuck at 1500 followers. Low and behold someone tells you that you can grow your followers to 10k in 30 days using a “magical service” (Automation Service).
STOP right there!!!! Lets clear your thoughts before we continue any further. Let’s get the obvious question answered first. Can you really increase your followers by thousands with these magical services? The short answer is yes. These magical services do get you tons of new followers. Now lets break things down a bit and find out what you really get by using these magical services.
First and foremost we need to address that brand building takes years to accomplish. Many times new brands look at big brands like Coach, Nike, Pepsi and the likes and think “Oh my gawd they have millions of followers. I want that for my brand too.” What these new brands fell to see is that these big brands worked for years to get the brand recognition they have. By the time Facebook and Instagram rolled around these brands were already internationally known. Coach for instance was in New York back in 1941: Instagram is just shy of 7 years old. The old saying “slow and steady wins the race” isn’t just a figure of speech it’s the absolute truth.
“Brand reputation is something that takes a long time to create and establish… The challenge then is to maintain it.” ~Pamela Bustard
In this new age of brand building, businesses do have it a bit easier. With Social Media, you can study the behavior of your target market in real-time, thus allowing you to make fewer errors in your marketing strategy. However, this process still takes time and tons of work. For the impatient business owner who’s expecting quick fast results, they might get caught up in the sensationalism of using automated services to grow their social media numbers.
Here’s why you should avoid using Automation Services at all costs.
First and foremost the use of automation services in a violation against the terms of service for most social media platforms. This means, by using these said services you put your brand and business at risk of having their social media accounts suspended or worst permanently deleted and banned.
Secondly, we all want big numbers on Social Media. It took us a while to reach the point we’re currently at on Instagram. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the number game. With other colleagues bragging about reaching 10k or 20k its easy to feel underwhelmed when your numbers don’t match. When you’re a blogger we definitely understand that having big numbers makes you more marketable to bigger brands who want to see huge returns on their sponsored posts and sponsored social media images, but here’s the truth “NUMBERS LIE.”
If you’ve utilized the services of an automation service to grow your social media following you’ve done so at the risk of sacrificing engagement. Bots, after all, can’t engage in content that you share and it’s engagement, not numbers that will get folks talking about a brand and partaking of their service.
Big brands don’t realize that they lose out by focusing on an influencer’s numbers rather than the amount of engagement they receive on their account. If an Instagram account has almost 80k followers and they aren’t even averaging 500-700 likes per photo then something is wrong with that picture.
Let’s Talk Engagement
Engaging on Social Media is not very hard to do. If you set aside a certain amount of time per day to engage on your social media accounts you’ll start to see an increase in engagement and not just likes for the content you share.
When someone comments on your photo even with just an emoji you should always comment back. Secondly, when you have users who frequently comment or like your photos, visit their page and return the like and comment love. Take time to browse photos under the hashtags you use and engage on photos that strike up interest.
Working With Brands When Your Numbers Are Low
Now we know that big brands tend to judge by the numbers. They want most bloggers to have 5K or more followers before considering sponsored blog posts or sponsored photos. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t have the numbers go ahead and pitch the brands anyway. Part of the job in pitching your brand is educating the big brands about what they might not know.
Your pitch should involve your strong selling points. Sure you might only have 2k followers but if you have, say 30-40% engagement on all your posts that would be a huge selling point. Let them know that your audience relies on you for recommendations of what they offer. You have to remember that your brand is about more than just numbers!
Now go ahead and start engaging to build your brand and sit back and watch your brand grow.