Answer this honestly…

Have you ever Googled something along the lines of “How to grow your Instagram following”?

 

If you’re a business owner or marketer (or aspiring #influencer) chances are you have. But do Instagram followers really matter for your business? Let’s find out.

First things first, this is an opinion piece about Instagram followers – not Instagram as a platform itself. Instagram is undoubtedly an incredible platform for promoting your business, talking directly with your consumers and creating community. 

Let’s start off by looking at the argument FOR having as many Instagram followers as possible: 

Do instagram followers really matter Highly regarded marketing outlets such as Buffer and Social Media Examiner provide guides on how to build your Instagram following. They suggest it’s something you really should do.

It makes sense right? The more people that are following you, the more people that are getting exposed to your brand. Even if these followers don’t turn into paying customers, they achieve more long term marketing goals such as gaining brand awareness, exposure and referrals. 

Having a large following builds your brand credibility, reputation and provides social proof. It shows prospective customers than land on your page that you have a large, loyal customer base, and that a large group of people trust your company and stand by your product or service. If a brand has very few followers, a customer may doubt the authenticity and credibility of the brand. 

But Dhariana Lozano from Social Media Today is one of the many people that disagree.

Let’s take a look at the argument AGAINST having as many Instagram followers as possible:

Loazano says “I’ll say this time and time again – the days of just accumulating followers like baseball cards are over.

Without being intentional, and thinking about whether you’re building an audience that’s right for your business, you’ll just have a room full of bodies. Numbers might look pretty, and make you feel good, but unless those people are likely to become paying customers, they’re not helping your cause.

There’s also the question of data. If you have 1000 followers, but 900 of those are realistically never going to spend money with your business, that will severely impact your audience insights. This will make it difficult to draw conclusions from your data. 

What do we think?

While we give credit to both sides of this argument, we believe that the focus should not be on how many followers you have, but the quality of your follower list. That is — how many people are actually engaged with your page, and how many followers are moving through your content marketing funnel. 

While building your following on Instagram is an important part of gaining brand credibility and awareness, it should not (in most cases) be the sole focus of your Instagram strategy. 

Something else to consider is the size of your target market. For example, we’re a boutique digital marketing agency. We only work with a select number of clients a year, therefore it wouldn’t make sense for us to have tens of thousands of followers. In comparison, one of our clients provides online programs to thousands of students a year. Therefore it makes sense for them to have over 40 thousand followers. Just like anything else in marketing – your target market will determine how things look. 

What do you think?

Let us know in the comments below!


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