I signed up for Instagram at the beginning, but soon after I was discharged. It just didn’t give me much. Maybe it was a bad approach of mine, but I spent time looking at photos until I found one that I liked. It really seemed like a waste of time. So I dropped out.
Seeing its evolution and success a few months ago I thought that, as an online marketing professional, I should be present. So in February 2018 I signed up again.
How has Instagram evolved since its inception?
In this time I have noticed several important changes. Beyond the very evolution of the platform, my experience is being different.
The positive part is that on a personal level I find it much more entertaining than a few years ago. Its boom to the detriment of Facebook, has caused many people to tell the highlights of their day to day on this network. So, combining friends, family and close professionals, I have a quite entertaining timeline.
Professionally, I think it’s an excellent tool to showcase the highlights of companies and people, with a closer focus.
This, which I understand is the initial approach, seems fantastic to me. At least on the Internet, we read less and less. We have so much to consult that we barely scan one content and move on to the next. For this reason, among others, I think that social networks such as Instagram or Pinterest are very interesting.
To what extent is Instagram real?
But the problem is when you go a little further and start to interpret the data of some profiles, to do some experiment with hashtags, to publish more frequently, etc.. Your account starts to grow and you start to see the negative side.
I don’t get into how real the activities of certain supposed influencers can be, that would give for another article and I think a lot has already been written on the subject.
What I have found is a situation similar to the one that finally caused the Twitter crisis: false followers, bots, swollen accounts with thousands of followers and just a few dozen publications, automatic comments in different languages …
Instagram has realized this and is already making decisions to solve it by eliminating false followers and likes. Let’s hope they arrive on time and clean up the network.
The reality is that real followers and likes, added to all the noise generated by the automated and false, generate a positive image in the social profiles.
We see that volume and directly think “it has to be someone important! But not all that glitters is gold.
How do I know if an Instagram account is really influential?
How do we know if everything we see happening in an Instagram account is real? When I say real, I mean human followers who follow, like and comment on profile posts.
The fastest way is to use tools like HypeAuditor, in which they show you a report (they send you the link to your email) with the main data. I have done a test with the profile of Cristiano Ronaldo and it turns out that of the 146.7 million followers that he has, 43.2 million are suspicious accounts or accounts that use follow/unfollow tools (they follow you and when you follow them they stop following you. So increase their numbers), which do not see the publications.
And yet the audience of Cristiano Ronaldo (according to this tool), has a good health (relationship between real and automated followers). Imagine how the ones in a bad situation should be.
How can I evaluate the quality of an Instagram account without tools?
But beyond the tools, just have a little common sense, you can look at:
- Ratio of publications and followers: if you see that with a few dozen publications has a large number of followers, you can start to suspect (unless it is a public figure is not normal). Formula: number of followers/number of publications.
- Low or no Interaction: if you see publications with many likes but no comments.
- Balance between followers and followers: if you follow many and few follow you (except public figures) or if you follow and many follow you, it is likely that you will use automated tools to grow.
- Quality of the contents: and of course, nothing easier than to value the contents you publish and see if they contribute something, if they are “canned” images (famous phrases), images from photo galleries, etc.
Instagram works because it feeds our ego
If this happens, and a majority of users are aware of it, how is it still working? Why is it still attractive to us?
And like Twitter and many other networks, its success lies in nurturing the ego.
We all like it (as much as some people hide it), to have a lot of followers, a lot of interactions in each publication, etc. We are human! Anything that somehow flatters us, suits us. Some people get it on their heads, others just like it and others say they don’t care.
Recently I was asked: “As a digital marketing expert, what do you recommend to me to increase my followers in Instagram? The first question I asked him was: “What do you want them for? what is your goal?” And the answer was, “I don’t know, because I have them, because I would like to have a lot of followers.
This person, who is a professional with extensive experience in his area, represents the spirit of what I was saying to you. We are human and to be “flattered” by followers and likes makes us feel good. The difference with the rest is that this person was totally sincere and had no problem expressing what he wanted.
This is an anecdotal case, but it tells us what happens in many other accounts. His goal is to capture followers in any way he can. And when we talk about companies and professionals, that’s a problem because this objective has a negative impact on the results.
The feeling of belonging and the ego, are the emotional bases of social networks, the rational are the contributions of real value both personally (information, conversation, leisure, etc.) and professionally (visibility, reputation, web traffic, sales, hiring, etc.).
What are the benefits of using Instagram for companies and professionals?
After all these reflections, what is the use of being in Instagram? If we think about it, we are valuing our experience on the basis of things that are not quite real. It is true that in the case of profiles with few followers, this effect is more noticeable in the profiles that follow, than in their own. But in the end they are getting the wrong image of things.