Instagram Engagement, Story Views, and What To Do Now in Marketing

Welcome to episode 466 and we’re going to talk about Instagram.

I do love me some Instagram, but we’re seeing some massive, massive changes. In the last, like six months. Really, I think the hardest has been probably the last, like three to four months. We’re seeing major, major, major, major changes, in engagement and in the results that we kind we had been come to expect.

On the flip side of that, we’re seeing some blow-up numbers happening in stories, and I want to give some context to the changes we’re seeing and I want to talk about how to navigate the changes we’re seeing. And I want to talk about how this is this sort of a microcosm. This is kind of an example of a larger shift that’s happening in online marketing.

And some of the ways my team and I, and my clients are, well, at least this is what we’re advising our clients to do, and some of our clients are already doing, uh. Where we’re expanding and we’re making some changes to respond to, and really make our next steps in, in marketing as we go into 2020. This is a good foundation of yes, some things that are happening with Instagram, but also some larger things you want to be looking at.

Let’s start by talking about the fact that engagement is down.

So you might be seeing fewer likes. You might be seeing off your comments. Uh, you might even be seeing fewer spam comments. It’s because of two things. One, the algorithm changed. The algorithm is an ever-evolving thing. None of us know exactly what’s happening with it. But it is definitely shifting the way it’s delivering. I am finding, in sort of our tweaks and tests that I make, I have a private account that I use personally that I test sort of a lot of engagement, how I engage for result in what I get kind of tests, and definitely if you can get your audience to engage, they will see your content. It’s critical that we do our part to make our content engaging,  interesting, worth talking to or about.

We want to make sure we are utilizing the tool to start a conversation and not just broadcast. Looking at your content and it’s engagement. Also looking at your content and its frequency. I want you to shift from quantity to quality. In most cases, our most successful clients on Instagram are most engaged clients, where we see the most results in click-throughs and conversions actually comes from the accounts we post the least frequently on a, what’s interesting is we had a launch happening at for one of our clients, and we shifted for about two and a half weeks to posting daily and our engagement and our reach went way down. Even though we were sharing more quality content than we’d ever shared before around this launch, and we were getting decent engagement, but it was spread out over several posts instead of collectively getting engagement around, one or two posts per week that we generally schedule.

I want you to look at, and we talked about this last year with Facebook, I want you to look at where it’s not quantity, it’s quality. And really committing to how much can you consistently be putting out quality content? And that’s your frequency instead of so and so said, I need to post daily so I’m going to. I don’t care what’s so and so said, okay, what I want you to do is I want you to commit to what you can consistently create at a high quality.

Then instead of sort of desperately seeking out something, anything to post, go in and engage. Go in and engage on the posts you follow or are the people you follow. Go in and see, look at the people who I’ve commented or who have liked and go engage on some of their content. Reciprocate that action. Instigate some conversations. Show up in stories. Share your, put your posts from your feed in stories and expand the conversation there. Put in the work on engaging and creating conversation instead of crafting more content, more content is not the answer. To be fair. More content is never the answer, but it seems to be a widely held belief that it is so more content is not the solution here. All right.

I want to shift now to use stories.

I’m hearing far and wide on the internet, how all of a sudden their stories are performing so well, where maybe they were getting 50 views a day before or a story of before they’re getting 200 where they were getting 200 they’re getting 500 where they were getting 500 they’re getting a thousand where they were getting a thousand they’re getting 2000 and I hate to burst the bubble of excitement around this, but here’s what’s caused it.

Last month, I want to say about mid-month, Instagram rolled out a real big push to eradicate some of the bots. So any accounts that were linked to follow/unfollow bots or commenting bots or spammy or any of those accounts, were taken down, were removed. A lot of people, and it’s funny because a couple of our clients and my account got sort of swept up in a, Hey, we think you might be attached to blah, blah, blah, and we had to reset our password.

And we’re like, no, that’s just a scheduler. And it was fine, and there was no, big close down. But it was that wide of a net that anything attached to anything, a lot of accounts. It got sort of pulled in and were like, Hey, We want to make sure you’re all good here. Reset your password and clean house with what you’re attached to. And again, we were fine. Nothing, nothing was shut down. But that is an indicator that Instagram, and by extension, Facebook went hard at the bots. So in true Blackhat fashion, they have found another way. Now you are seeing. Double and triple the amount of story of use you were seeing before. And I’m sorry to say that most of them are bots.

The newest addition to bots is showing up as a viewer of your stories so that you will go, Oh, look at all these people who read, who watched my stories. I’m going to go and connect with them. And so that’s what’s happening. There’s two things we ask you to pay attention to here. A, we need to watch that our stats are unreliable and we really navigating where we’re seeing a big change.

So the big indicator for me is when I do four or ten or eight slides, and I have pretty solid consistency. Slide side, we’ll have 150-200 sort of story views. And then the last slide we’ll have like 500 and I’m like, Oh, red flag. That is a really good indicator that you’ve got bots sort of flipping through your stories. So be really mindful.

Also, if you have not yet go listen to the fake versus real followers Instagram episode. I think it’s called, how to tell real followers versus fake followers on Instagram or something. Go listen to that episode because it’s going to help you sort of build your filter for whether there is legit account or not.

The other thing I want you to realize is that this piece is tied into that first piece. Engagement is down because of this bot sort of eradication, that happened. So we’re no longer getting. 50 or a hundred or 200 likes that are just from bots, because a lot of those bots have been neutralized and shifted to stories, and so your engagement might actually be pretty similar to what it was before the inflation of bots. So you want to watch that. As you’re looking at your stories. Now you have a really good understanding of where your baseline is. Watch that in relation. Skim through your follower or skim through your story viewers and say, how many of these are legit? Don’t just take that number as sort of gospel, as sort of like the reality of the situation. Dig a little deeper.

It’s not about numbers, it’s about quality

The number three thing I want to talk about is there has been a consistent theme to some conversations I’ve been having around Instagram lately with prospective clients. As we’ve had sales calls for stuff like Backstage Live VIP and our done for you agency services. We’ve kind of had this continuing conversation around, I have 15 or 20 or 30 or 50,000 followers and I don’t see any results, so I think I just need to grow my following. Here is what I want to make abundantly clear. If you’re not seeing any results or engagement at a hundred followers, a thousand followers isn’t going to change. That 5,000 isn’t going to change it. 10,000 isn’t going to change it. 50,000 isn’t going to change it until you start looking strategically at how to build out conversations. You’re not going to see a shift in results no matter how many accounts you follow. And what’s interesting is as I dig a little deeper into some of these conversations, I’m finding that they grew in a couple of ways.

Either they grew this and then they and their business rebranded and changed and evolved. And so now they have followers that they got a really like normal way, sort of just through putting out content, but they’ve completely shifted their message and they no longer talk to the same people about the same thing and so they’ve essentially started over. But it’s kind of worse than starting over because now they’re talking to people who are consistently unfollowing or just ignoring and not engaging. So you’re working against a real sort of like uphill climb to get in front of the right people. Because as far as the algorithms are concerned, nobody wants to see your stuff.

If you’re in a position where you’re shifting gears and you’re talking to a whole new group of people about a whole new thing, really consider abandoning ship. Really consider shifting to a fresh, clean account because it’s going to be really, really difficult to get results on an account where you have five or 10 or 20,000 people following you.

Who don’t care about what you’re talking about. The other thing we’re seeing a lot is people who did build through these bots because they thought or were sold or were told, if you just get X amount of followers, it won’t matter. You need this amount to get any kind of media placement. You need this amount to get any kind of traction. All it’s about is once you get the swipe up feature, then it won’t matter how, it won’t matter. People will just swipe up and buy stuff. I don’t know, but it’s not true. I will take a hundred engaged people over a thousand people who don’t care any day of the week and twice on Sundays. All right, so really, really look at your goals around your growth and until you have a foundation of, Hey, this works, don’t try to build on it.

Don’t get ahead of yourself in adding more pieces by adding more followers before you know how to move your followers through a process. Now, there will be some growth that naturally happens in that time, and that’s great, and I’m excited about it and it’s the best kind of growth but I don’t want you to get aggressive in your growth tactics or tools or strategies until you’ve built that foundation. That’s absolutely critical.

It’s ALL marketing…

The thing I really want to wrap up with today is something that I’ve mentioned on the podcast recently, I believe, which is this idea of, and in your marketing, this idea of in-person and online, online and in-person. I want you to shift out of this mentality that is one or the other. When I go meet people in person, my follow up includes social media. When I go meet people in person, my pre-event prep includes social media because I can use that as a tool to better leverage the room. I can use that as a tool to better followup after the room. I can use that as a tool to extend and stay connected to relationships. No matter where we live. It doesn’t have to be, we get coffee twice a month, can absolutely be that. We stay friends on Instagram or we connect on LinkedIn, and so I want you to look at how do these pieces fit together.

I am a firm believer that the rules of marketing are the same. We have been sort of inundated with this message that online marketing is different, that online marketing is a set amount of tasks and you have to check X, Y, Z boxes, and all online marketing is, as you put together a webinar and you tell them what you want them to buy and then they buy it and you’re done.

Online marketing, in person, marketing, print marketing, all of it is the same. We are educating our consumers and then moving them into a sales process. That’s what marketing is. And so I want you to stop thinking about your marketing as online and offline, and I want you to just start thinking about how do I educate my consumer so that I can move them into a sales process?

And what does that sales process look like? Because when you map out that piece. It becomes so incredibly simple to execute and see results because you know where you’re moving people, you know who you’re moving through the process, and you’ve built educated consumers who are ready to take action.

All right, so soapbox away. Be aware of those big Instagram changes. If you have questions about Instagram or anything else, please let me know. I want to remind you that today, the episode, the day this episode goes live is your final day to grab the early bird price for VIP. This does not mean VIP is closing the doors.

VIP doors will not close until October 31st however. This does mean the end of this early bird price where you’re going to save $3,600 over the course of the 12 months. If you have any questions about Backstage Live VIP, what it is, if you’re the right fit for it, please reach out and let me know.

And I also, I want to take just a beat to remind you Backstage Live VIP is not a course. In fact, this is the answer. to the systematic purchasing and not executing of courses. I’ve had a couple people ask me over the course of this, this early launch period. How many hours per week will it take to consume the content?

It will take you zero hours to consume the content because there’s no content to consume. We will come together four times over the next 12 months to build your 90-day strategies. Once per month, we will come together for a coworking time. We’re actually going to split that resume room into two breakout rooms.

One will be for quiet coworking, so you’re going to have a two hour period once a month where you are committed to working on your marketing, writing out your funnels, creating social content, prepping content, whatever that needs to be done. The other room inside of that two-hour call will be a Q&A room, so you’re welcome to co-work in there as well there. we’ll just be talking because as you have questions, as you need something reviewed, you bring it to me and we talk it through.

Between these calls, we have a Slack channel. We actually have a whole Slack workplace where we will have different channels for content, for email, for social, for general business questions for. Wins and celebrating, Hey, this is exciting as well as the ability to DM me or DM anyone else in the group through Slack. Backstage Live VIP is built to sit alongside your other investments, your mastermind, your coach, and your team in addition to all the access to me that you’re getting.

Your VA, so one member of your team will get access to our Backstage training library where they’ve got Facebook courses and Instagram courses and LinkedIn courses and podcasting courses that they can learn from to help you implement whatever strategy you create. Plus, they will also get access to Slack.

They will have access to a VA only channel where those team members will be able to ask questions amongst themselves and me, all of the team members will be in this channel. They will not have access to the other channels because I do want to protect the conversations that happened in those spaces and they will not have direct message access to me.

You will have direct message access to me. But you will have the ability to put them in a team member channel so that they have the ability to, again, connect with each other or ask questions regarding backstage materials. This is simply to make sure that they’re maintaining, asking questions about your business and not their other clients.

But I want to make sure that your supported by not just me and not just this group, but your team. And so I want to give this access as well. I highly, highly, highly, highly, highly recommend. If you’re bumping into, I don’t want to buy another course. I don’t use, remember, this is not a course.

There’s no way to not use this because the entirety of it is the work of doing this. It’s having an asset on your side that’s holding you accountable to building and then executing this strategy for the next year. Our first workshop is November 21st we’re going to talk about building out your, what am I selling and who am I selling to for the year.

Again, if you have any questions, please let me know. This is hands down the most comprehensive and incredible program I have ever built, and I am so excited for the women who make this commitment, take this step and see the incredible results that are going to be on the other side of consistently building, executing, reviewing, and repeating a marketing strategy. Join us today.

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