Social media has evolved drastically over the years. We started with MySpace trending to FaceBook, and then Twitter became a thing and of course now Instagram.

Social media is such a wonderful evolution in our innovative, technology based way of life. We can keep in contact with friends and family at all times all over the world. Our social nature finally caught up to our fast-paced, global lives. But it was just that. Social.

Now I am going to say it. I am going to say what many people think. Instagram is a bully. What started as a fun way for us to socially just share photos, turned into a ravenous canker always wanting more. What used to be a social platform, has forced businesses to partake in the never-ending thirst for more followers and more likes. But, does that translate to actual business and revenue? The answer is no. First, lets break down some of these negatives so you have a better understanding if you do not already understand this about Instagram.

Instagram Is A Feed

Since Instagram is just a feed, this means that only friends and followers of you, or your hashtags will be seen and noticed. So there isn’t fair game or a fair playing field.

Quality Is Not King

In the Instagram world, quality is not king. Quantity beats out quality any day of the week. The bigger your account (in other words, the more followers and likes you have), the more respected you are in the Instagram world. It is wonderful that everyone has an opportunity to exercise their creative voices, but unfortunately, for businesses and individual entrepreneurs based in the arts fields are at a severe disadvantage. Most of the time the most popular posts are full of poor content, but because it may be a large account, that post or content becomes instantly desirable. Photography for instance has become irreverent; anyone now days can call themselves a photographer, and because Instagram is a photo-sharing platform, just about everyone does. Filters and automatic edits have muddled down real photography. In addition, real talented people devoted to the craft have to compete with others that may not be talented, understand photography, light, optics, and all of the other fundamental knowledge. Real talented photographers now have to compete with someone based on the size of their account.

The big take away here is there is a big automatic façade that the best has the most followers. Before you engage in any business, do your research. Don’t go off of how many followers an account has on Instagram.

Clutter Replaced Original Content

One of the mot frustrating things about Instagram is that most of the feed is filled with reposts. Finding the original content has become quite a challenge. This is very important because it means your content is getting lost and in some cases even stolen. This is also very important because that also means it is getting a lot more difficult to distinguish original accounts. Most accounts are just reposting content, and they grow rather quickly. In addition, they are careful and cunning to hide the creditor at the bottom of the comments. Most people do not read the full post, and therefore that content or post originated there, real credit never given to the originator. Because these kinds of accounts grow quickly with followers and likes, it is hard to get rid of them, and they multiply like a virus. Soon your entire feed seems to be filled with the same post over and over again.

Spam

Spam comes in all sorts of forms on Instagram. Even trying to grow your account organically has become a process of spam. Some forms of spam come from others randomly tagging you, or S4S (share for a share), randomly tagging you in completely unrelated content, tagging you to try to sell you something, and then the sponsored through your feed. Instagram has become one big commercial, but unfortunately an open, public commercial for anyone to participate in, not just media specialists.

Instagram Is A Chore           

Instagram is a chore because the platform is known to force you to be active on a daily basis otherwise you lose followers. This is because Instagram is based on algorithms and they continue to change them. The bottom line is you must be active. Shouldn’t we be putting more effort into our customers and potential customers instead?

Paid vs Organic

There is a big difference between growing your Instagram account organically, or paying for followers and likes. Many of the followers you purchase turn out to not even be real “people”, but instead Instagram “bots”. A bot cannot like posts, leave comments or share your content, this means while your number of followers increases, activity and engagement stay the same. There is also a negative stigma around the purchasing of followers and you could quickly ruin your brand’s name and reputation by appearing as fake or non genuine. In 2014 there was a huge overtaking of bots, and while Instagram cleaned them out, many were left with thousands of followers gone. Don’t pay for bots. In addition, bots are becoming cleverer and it is hard to tell the difference even between a bot account and a spammer account that just reposts content.

Another important point about growing your account through paid services is again seems to focus around the quality. Since anyone can just pay to increase their followers, they may not necessarily have the best content, and in some cases, maybe not even original content.

Do More Followers Translate to More Business and Revenue Growth?

So, back to the original question….do more followers translate to more business for you? Again the hard answer is no. Sure, there are ways to boost business through social media, but Instagram is best to build your brand awareness. If you have dedicated yourself, or if you have a team, that is tracking all of your leads and conversions to a tee, they may find some. But most will check you out on Instagram, not find you there. Usually if someone is looking for a product or a service, they will turn to Google, and that is where your optimized website comes in.

The other way to boost your revenue through Instagram is to spam your followers, WE DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS. It is extremely annoying and unprofessional, and that is a sure-fire way to become labeled as “spam”.  Some examples include OVER-FILLING your feed with products and services they can purchase, which is often unwelcome and counter-productive. E-commerce is very important and you can set up channels where prospects and customers can purchase your products and services through Instagram, or at least become aware of them, and it can be effective if done without being overbearing. It is a better tactic to divert them to your own website, where they are more likely to be in the mindset of it being the correct environment to make purchases. Another example is CONSTANTLY posting comments on other account posts, or direct-messaging accounts, attempting to drive followers and new traffic to your account and to purchase your products and services. Again, WE DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS.

So in conclusion, for this period in time, we must participate in Instagram until the next interesting platform comes along. But don’t let Instagram bully you. Put some effort into your website. Marquis Media can help you in your strategy, and yes we can even help you with Instagram. Contact us today for a consultation.