I’ve been working with a particular client for a number of months now and they struggle to understand the difference between their business account and their personal account. On their business account, they keep following their friends and family and they then follow them back – yes this is growing the followers but not in the right way.
So I wanted to write this article to share what they are doing and why it is an issue, as I suspect there may be a few other small business owners out there who are falling into this same trap without realising it.
Don’t follow your friends and family.
It’s so so tempting to want to show that you are growing your account and following your friends and family might feel like an easy and quick win, if you follow someone you know and who knows you they might follow you back, right?
Well yes, they may well follow you back because they are being friendly and supportive of your business – but, and it’s a BIG but, they may not be your ideal customer!
Yes, they might be being supportive and share your first post, or even your first couple of posts, but after that, they aren’t going to engage with your content. This means liking it, commenting on it and sharing it with their community.
Go on – check your account, see how many followers you have and how many likes and comments you’re getting on each post. By quickly checking you can see if your audience is truly engaged with your content. If you want to check your engagement rate, I share how to do this in a previous blog post.
What’s even worse, is that the pesky algorithm that you hear so much about, will be looking at your account, seeing who likes, comments and shares your content to understand who you are targeting so it can show your content to similar people. Your # will also contribute to discovery as well.
So, if the people who have followed you aren’t your ideal customer – then guess what, your content won’t be being shown to your ideal customers. Make sense?
Don’t follow your favourite actor, sports star or Instagram Influencer
Be strategic about who you are following. You need to have a plan and do your research. A few things you can do:
- Research # – see who is using them, if they are relevant, like and comment on their content and give them a follow
- Competitors – have a look at what your competitors are doing, what content they are sharing, who is engaging with their content – if they are relevant – engage with them
By all means follow your favourite actor, sports star or Influencer, but do it on your personal account, not on your business one (unless they are your ideal audience).
Many social media users believe that a large number of followers is a sign that their business is doing well. Yes, this is true, but they need to be engaged followers and they need to be your ideal audience.
100 engaged followers is much better than 1,000 un-engaged followers!Marianne Avery, Social Media Manager
So the key takeaways for you, are:
- Don’t be tempted to follow your friends and family.
- If they follow you – you don’t need to follow them back
- Don’t be tempted to follow your favourite actor, sports star or influencer (unless they are your ideal customer)
- An extra one – Whatever you do, don’t buy followers! They are not going to be your ideal customer and won’t be interested in your content and won’t engage with it at all! (Plus you’re going against Instagram’s terms of service and you risk your account being disabled!)
Thanks for reading. If you found my advice helpful then please do share it with a small business owner in your community.
Let me know in the comments what you think.
by Marianne Avery
Marianne is a social media consultant who works with small businesses to help them navigate the world of social media. To find out more about how Marianne can help you click here.