Should You Build Your Business On Instagram?
So I was in the gym with a mate the other day, and there were girls on breakfast television talking about how they built their businesses on Instagram.
My mate turned to me and asked, “Should I build my business on Instagram the way they did?”
And I said “No. It’s too late for that strategy.”
Remember you’re building a business on Instagram’s land.
You need to play by their rules.
Those social media entrepreneurs on breakfast TV built their brands when there was an organic reach free-for-all.
The algorithms helped you spread your message far and wide — FOLLOWER GROWTH was king.
Now, things have changed.
If you were to do the exact same thing today — the exact same strategies that all of the biggest Instagrammers built their empires on back in their day — you wouldn’t be able to do it.
Back then, the way it worked was less about spreading your content to new users, and more about spreading that social platform to new users.
And what happens when these platforms get a healthy user base?
They stem the organic reach, and put engagement first.
Which means CONTENT is now king.
And it’s good for all. It now means that the highest engaged content gets the limelight.
The way it should be.
But, this makes it harder to build business purely on Instagram. Organically anyway.
Getting past the engagement inertia when you start out is more than just following and unfollowing, commenting and uncommenting.
Bots won’t deliver you customers like you might think.
Your audience will come to your page from other sources — from ads, PR, Facebook updates etc.
What does this mean for Instagram and my business?
Instagram is booming. And will only become more important for advertisers.
You’ll still be able to achieve success on Instagram, but don’t think you’re going to fly to 100k followers overnight.
The last time I saw that happen was when Schappelle Corby was released from prison in Bali, only to come home with an instant 200K follower base.
These days people can get to 10,000 or 20,000 followers with effort. Beyond that, it’s a big task.
But there is a silver lining to this truth…
Thanks to these changes, people with big audiences don’t have a monopoly on influence anymore.
Engagement is now the metric which defines who is truly valuable.
Does that mean for those who built great followings, it was all a waste of time?
No. The reality is it’s not what you get from social media…
…it’s who you become.
Thanks to social, you’ve been busy perfecting a skill set that effectively engages audiences through beautiful content.
No wonder brands are clamouring over themselves to work with influencers — it’s essentially crowd-sourcing stunning creative they can re-gram, with access to engaged audiences being the cherry on top.
The stats don’t lie:
Two years ago, 74% of consumers relied on social media to guide purchasing decisions.
You can only imagine what that percentage is now in 2017.
So, with Instagram, here’s my recommendation:
After you’ve run an Influencer campaign, purchase the content that resonated best with your audience. Purchase the rights to it and then follow up with a paid campaign through Instagram using the ‘hyper-targeting facility’ + the ability to add a specific call to action, ie Buy Now, Learn More etc.
That’s how you drive sales.
It starts with content.
As I said to my mate “Accept that that gold rush is over. Focus on the now, set about a strategy that works today, and then plant your foot.”