You know, one thing I really enjoy when it comes to marketing these days is the push towards actual authenticity. I’m relieved to see the tactics of buying followers, likes, comments, etc, are falling by the wayside at least in terms of sponsored posts and courting brands. It seems that a lot of followers on social media apps are getting wise towards fake accounts and starting to look past the shallow numbers.
For a while, I had a Social Media Manager for my Beige House Instagram account. It worked for me at the time because I was swamped with my day job as a Director of Marketing and Communications. And rarely could muster the effort to keep consistent content going. (Erm, that’s still a problem, by the way. It’s like even the best content ideas for Instagram aren’t foolproof if you never post them…weird, right?)
Thanks to her, my Instagram account grew well past the 10k benchmark fairly quickly. So we could use the swipe up feature to our advantage. But when I left the corporate world to take on my Marketing Coaching program clients, I began to look at my social media accounts more and realized there was a big problem:
I had followers, and they were real accounts which was good, but my engagement was nothing.
Why I’ve stopped worrying about creating the best content ideas for Instagram and instead am Deleting Followers instead
And I don’t mean “nothing” as in “oh, it was ONLY hundreds of my 10k+ followers liking my posts.” I mean “nothing” as in my average engagement rate was .04%
Engagement is essentially the number of followers who are liking, sharing, or commenting on your posts. To give you a quick idea, the average rate for “good” engagement is around 3%. If you have 5% or more (currently, this may change), you can write your own check when it comes to sponsored collaborations. Anything below 1.5% is pitiful (real talk).
I ended the relationship with that Manager and took back control of my accounts because I had to figure out what the point was of having them at all; why spend time creating content and publishing it into a void that no one cared about?
That’s when I decided to take a drastic step:
I stopped beating my head against a wall, focusing on things like creating the best content ideas for Instagram or finding new ways to get new followers, and instead began manually deleting my Instagram followers.
Here’s my thinking behind this, and why I advocate doing it:
Your follower numbers are no longer the main thing that drives interaction with your account. You might feel insecure about your 400 followers, but try to disregard those feelings. I know it’s easier said than done, believe me!
It doesn’t matter if you have the best content ideas for Instagram ever. Success on social media these days is instead about levels of engagement. If you have 400 followers and you average 10 likes a post, you are now in the sweet spot of a 4% engagement rate! Congratulations, your business is officially a “Micro-Influencer” (even if you’re not interested in being an Influencer at all) and you have data showing a die-hard fan base.
Think of some ways you could use that to your advantage:
Whether you’re trying to come up with content ideas for Instagram Stories that will create the most conversions or just want to streamline your account, there are a few ways culling your list works to your advantage.
What a way to show potential clients how die-hard of a crowd you can bring! You have data that shows your fan base believes in your product. And that means dollar signs for potential store accounts.
You’re able to connect on a personal level and have a nearly guaranteed source of consistent revenue because your highly-engaged followers are right in the middle of the “Know. Like. Trust.” Funnel.
What a sales pitch for potential sponsorships! You have high engagement on posts that aren’t remotely sales pitches, just pics of you and your platform. Imagine how appealing that must be for a company that’s looking to engage a new customer base.
So that’s why I’ve been going through my followers list and deleting accounts on Instagram that don’t engage with me. I have yet to have someone notice or mention it to me so it’s not like there are any hard feelings. If anything, deleting them from my follower list has cleared my content out of their feeds so that they’re able to have a better experience on Instagram.
So far I’ve deleted ~4,000 followers in the interest of increasing my engagement rate. To be fair, I haven’t done that in one fell swoop (I need to sleep sometimes!). But I have done it for a few minutes when I remember.
If I keep doing this I might get under 10,000 followers which I will admit gives me a little bit of a panic attack. Even though I’ve advocated against worrying about it. I too would feel insecure and sad about losing the swipe up feature. But really: if no one is using it in the first place, what’s the point of keeping it? Even if I made the most killer and best content ideas for Instagram in my marketing strategy, street cred doesn’t pay the bills. Sales do.
This month, think seriously about your engagement rates on social media and see if getting proactive with culling your follower list is something that might be a benefit for your business. If you’re interested in taking the next step, I made a little video showing you how to do it: