Innova Communications | The Insta-Rapture: Why We Don’t Care If You Lost 1M Followers
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The Insta-Rapture: Why We Don’t Care If You Lost 1M Followers

22 Dec The Insta-Rapture: Why We Don’t Care If You Lost 1M Followers

When did social media become all about the numbers of followers? Simple answer: since the beginning of social media. More complex answer: since success of marketing initiatives always needs to be tied to some sort of ROI and because social media metrics were fairly nefarious, especially in the early days, it was challenging for companies to tie a tangible value. So, they did what they could and tied it to a simple statistic, number of followers. That was fine back in the day (circa 2-3 years ago.) 

The big Instagram purges (Insta-Rapture) has some big brands and celebrities down millions of supposed followers after the social network carried out a massive purge of fake and inactive accounts. Forever 21, Nike and Adidas werinstagram-spame among the brands with the biggest drop in user counts.  AdWeek pulled together a great synopsis of who lost big and where they stand now.

Let’s be real. We strongly doubt that any of these larger brands are panicking when they look at their Instagram accounts, but it does open the door to a conversation that needs to be had. We tell our clients, potential clients and anyone who will listen….STOP worrying about how many people you have following you and worry about HOW those you have are engaging with your brand. It is a constant battle. We fight against the cheap allure of the ever-increasing number of followers. Listen closely….it doesn’t matter. This Instagram purge perfectly illustrates that. If you focus on the numbers only, chances are you are going to choose an agency who will purchase followers for you which really don’t matter to your bottom line. And isn’t that what we are after to improve?

Lesson to all CMO’s, CEO’s, Marketing Directors, and anyone who touches your social media accounts: Don’t focus on the number of followers. Focus on the number of interactions.

And for any agency out there who is pushing the number of followers as a realistic measure of success, shame on you. There is zero excuse for that anymore. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and any social media management platform worth its salt now have great analytics which will point to much better measurements of success like retweets, reposts, views, engagement, comments, etc. We also highly recommend setting up social conversions in Google Analytics to dive even deeper into engagement stats.

In a nutshell, implement a plan which will get you engaged followers and brand fanatics. Wouldn’t you rather have 1,000 truly engaged potential customers and industry influencers than 10,000 dummy accounts or paid likes who will never purchase from your company? It really is as simple as that. For those of us out there fighting the good fight, we are tired of repeating this battle over and over again. Let’s make 2015 different! Go for the engagement, not for the smoke and mirrors of number of followers.


Amy Chilla

Amy Chilla is an interactive marketing and public relations professional. Since 1999, she has been a partner at Innova Communications, a boutique public relations, social media, and marketing firm based in Southern CA. Current industry specialties include: luxury consumer goods, translation/localization, and sports business/sporting goods, apps and financial services.

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