Running an Instagram account can be discouraging because all social media platforms are about numbers and verification. The top Instagrams have over 100,000 followers, and they’ve all got a tiny blue check mark beside their name. They get over five hundred comments in all of their posts, and their Instagram lives make it to the “top lives” section on Instagram.
Those people are successful, but it’s likely that you’ve succeeded on Instagram too. Maybe not at that level, but you have succeeded.
Everything I mentioned on top is a measure of how successful one is on Instagram, but they’re not the only measures. There’s more to having a top live and having three hundred comments on a picture of yourself. So, if those aren’t the only measures of success on Instagram, what are?
What makes you successful on Instagram? (hint: it’s not the amount of followers you have)
1. The engagement you’re receiving
Engagement is a huge measure of success on Instagram. The message that I don’t want to convey, however, is that the amount of engagement you receive is what matters. What matters is that you’re receiving engagement that counts.
What’s the type of engagement that counts? Receiving likes from followers who genuinely care counts. Receiving likes from an account that likes content without ever actually engaging or following people, that doesn’t matter.
I would much rather have one hundred people who genuinely care about my Instagram live watching than a thousand souls that only semi-care. It doesn’t matter how many people are watching your live if they’re only half watching and half caring.
2. Who’s following you (not how many)
What’s important isn’t the amount of followers you have, but who’s following you. If you’re running an Instagram account for a business or brand, you want your followers to care about your message and buy your products.
It’s easy to feel discouraged when your self-empowerment Instagram only has two thousand followers when another self-empowerment brand has two million followers. But have you ever taken the time to look at whose following you?
Go through your own ‘followers’ list, and look at their profiles. You’re likely to find random people who are just living their lives, posting pictures of self-empowerment books, and so on. You might have fellow self-empowerment Instagrams that like your content too. This is a good thing.
If you only had spammy accounts who never liked your content, or other self-empowerment brands that followed you for the sake of receiving a follow back, then your Instagram wouldn’t necessarily be successful. But you have followers who care, who take your content to heart, and who bookmark your posts for later reference. That’s what counts.
3. The impact you’re making
An Instagram influencer could have a million followers, and not make any type of positive impact in any of those followers’ lives. You could have twenty followers, and be making a change in every one of those followers’ lives. That counts for a lot more than the amount of followers the influencer has.
Don’t forget to consider the impact you’re having on people’s lives because that’s most likely the reason you got into what you do in the first place. Focus first on making an impact on your hundred follower’s lives, and by doing that, you’ll see that you naturally gain more followers.
Provide value, and magic happens.
4. The type of comments you get (not how many)
Have you ever looked at someone’s comments under an Instagram post, and saw that seven out of their twelve comments were one-word comments or, even worst, emojis? Suddenly the fact that they have twelve comments doesn’t matter anymore because more than half aren’t genuine comments.
I know you understand my point, but I’m going to say it anyway. The amount of comments you receive doesn’t matter; it’s the quality that does. You might be receiving only five comments per post, but what do they say?
If the comments are genuine, if you can tell that the person who typed out the comment actually thought about what to say to you, then you’ve won. Yes, twelve comments look better, but why would that matter if your post didn’t actually help, motivate, or empower someone? It’s about quality over quantity.
5. How people interact with you outside of Instagram through Instagram
The reason you opened an Instagram account is to promote your brand or business. You want people to read your articles, watch your YouTube videos, or buy from your shop. Yes, having a lot of followers on Instagram is brilliant, but if they’re not taking the actions you want them to take, then you can’t help but think, “Why did I open an Instagram account in the first place?”
You offer self-empowerment advice, or fashion advice, or you upload pictures of your products, but if no one is buying from your Instagram ads or clicking the link in your bio, they’re not going to get the full scope of what you do. Your value-giving only begins on Instagram; they need to see that it doesn’t end there.
A huge measure of success on Instagram is whether or not people are leaving it to get to your blog and read your latest blog post. (You can see if people are clicking the link in your bio if you have a business profile on Instagram because you can check the analytics.)
Even if you have five hundred followers, if a good percentage of those people are leaving the app to read, watch, or listen to your content, then you’re succeeding.
As a final clarification, the measures of success from the top are amazing feats. This article is simply a reminder that you’re successful, too. But, by all means, strive to get verified and to have a million followers, if it’s what you desire. If you’re okay with one or two thousand followers, then know that you also succeeded—you just have a different measure of success.