by Kyle Mathews
You have probably seen it, the Instagram page that has lots of pretty girls in bikinis, alcohol, and cars that no one can afford. These pages oftentimes have hundreds of thousands of subscribers and thousands of likes per photo. As far as meets the eye, they are booming successes. Now for the shocker: they don't make any money.
How is that possible? Doesn't massive likes and follower counts equal monetary success? Yes and no. Hundreds of thousands of follows and likes will make your brand money, but only if they are from the right kind of person. Yes, you can go out and post photos of hot girls and write "rate 1 to 10" and get a bunch of likes and comments. But before you do that or something similar for your business, here are some things to consider about this type of page.
1. Their Followers Have No Money
To demonstrate this, I've taken a screen shot of a post comments section that I found on a luxury travel page. Nothing against the people commenting here, but ask yourself whether or not they are your ideal client for your high end furniture line or the $3 million dollar home you are showing. If you are honest, you will agree with me that they are not ideal clients for that type of business. The people who post these images are attracting likes and follows from the type of individuals that follow celebrity gossip and watch the Khardashians. These pages are geared towards people who desire to have very fancy things that they can't nor ever will be able to afford. In fact, even most high-end clients probably can't afford a Lambo. So then why show a Lambo, a 300 room mansion, or a gold-wrapped cigar? If your clients can buy it, then show away. But if it's a ploy to get millions of cheap follows, then you will want to rethink your strategy. It will not pay off.
2. The Posts Provide No Value
If you are reading this particular article on this particular site, you are probably some sort of professional person with a serious, established business or someone with an entrepreneurial spirit. The type of client we serve is someone who is already successful at what they do and who wants to use Instagram to enhance their financial well-being. Close your eyes for a moment and picture your average client. If you are a high-end realtor, my guess is that you are probably imagining a middle-aged doctor in khakis and a polo who weekends at the country club. Or perhaps you are thinking about a young tech professional with a penchant for micro brews and gastro pubs. Now imagine our doctor or young professional going on Instagram and stumbling onto a picture of a Cuban cigar being held up next to a private jet and a half naked woman. While they may double tap and like the image, what do you think the chances are that they will have anything other than a superficial attachment to it? If you guessed low, you are correct.
My point is this: if your photo has nothing to do with your business and you don't have an appropriate caption that relates to what you are selling, then you will not have a return on investment for your Instagram effort. Yes, you can put up a bunch of shallow stuff with no relation to your real estate business, but don't expect anything other than shallow followers that only care about the boobs and don't care about the house in Malibu you were trying to sell.
3. They Aren't Selling Anything
One major reason why these boobs and Bentley's pages succeed is because they are not actually marketing to anyone. As I mentioned in point 1, their followers have no money anyway so there is really no pressure to tailor the page to a particular clientele. They post to amass influence and bragging rights, not to actually make money. Why someone would pour hours and hours into a shallow page with a million followers commenting "so hot!" and "I want that!" a thousand times over with zero monetary gain is beyond me, but hey, whatever floats your boat. If these pages do make money it is typically very small amounts that come from cheap features of other people's photos or shout outs of smaller accounts that pay very little (think $20 bucks per post). Maybe they sell t-shirts. And that's it. Seriously.
If you are actually serious about marketing and growing your business with "the Gram", then why would you emulate the methods of people that aren't seeking to market or grow anything other than their self-esteem? If you are a business or entrepreneur, you may want to plan your page around targeting the type of client you know will buy from you.
Growing Your IG Right
So if posting value-less click bait isn't the answer, then what is? It depends on what you are trying to do, but some general rules apply.
1. Provide Value.
Whatever you are selling or posting on, ensure that the description section has something that will intrigue your targeted client to like the pic and follow your page. For example, if you are selling high-end ladies' dresses, which of the following two captions do you think is more likely to bag you followers who will buy your product?
option a: Hot or not? Rate 1 to 5.
option b: This beautiful design by X fashion house was first developed by Y in 1955 and re-imagined in 2019 for the designer's centenary celebration. What is your favorite part of this dress and why? Personally, I love the pastels and the cut!
If you liked option a, then I don't know what to tell you. But if you think option b is the value-creating post, then you are correct. Three key elements make up your caption: the value-added content (the background on the dress in option b), the call-to-action (the request to post your favorite part of the dress), and the personalized touch (in this example, her opinion on what she liked most about the dress). These three things will intrigue people more than a base caption ever could and will keep them coming back for more.
2. Target Your Audience.
If you want to have followers that will buy your line of office software, you need to run some ads that will attract people who are interested in that. Women in their late 60s are generally not the right audience for software, so you will want to leave them and their desires out of the equation when designing and targeting your ads in Facebook or Instagram. Before posting ads or doing page design, ask yourself "who am I marketing this to?" and then list out the attributes of those people as well as the types of things they like. This will pay dividends when you reap the returns that proper targeting brings.
3. Quality, Relevant Images.
That yacht sitting in Dubai harbor may be lovely, but if it isn't related to your art business, then you may want to reconsider and post, say, some of your art. Then tie it to a killer caption and BAM you have a client-generating post for your page.
So in conclusion...
Hopefully, you want to grow your page to bring value both to your customer and money to your pocketbook. If you do the above three things, you are making an excellent start in the right direction. To get more information on how we can help you grow your account, visit us here. It's easier to succeed on Instagram when you have some professional help.