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More followers on Instagram? What companies should consider!

"My competitors have thousands of followers on Instagram! Why doesn't that work for us?"

I can't tell you how many times I've heard this or a similar sentence in the past few years.

But I can tell you that this is not the measure of all things! At least not in the environment of company accounts on Instagram.

Not only do many companies simply want to have a lot of followers, but followers are also (unfortunately not infrequently) bought. This doesn't just apply to Instagram, by the way.

Quality before quantity!

A very important principle in social media marketing for companies is that the quality of your followers is much more important than the quantity.

What good are many thousands of followers if only a fraction of them are really interested in what you offer or could become a customer or "recommender"? That's right: not much.

Just take a look at the following and engagement rate of your competitors.

What is the engagement rate?

If you compare the number of followers with the number of interactions on posts, you may realise a few things relatively quickly.

If an account has a lot of followers and relatively few interactions, i.e. likes and comments, on the respective posts, the following is usually not of great quality for the respective account. This can have various reasons: A desperate attempt has been made to generate many followers using certain methods or the followers have simply been bought.

The latter is frighteningly common with larger brands. I'm not talking about "a little bit" here - I'm talking about tens of thousands of followers in relation to ~10 likes per post. This is simply not possible with real followers.

A "healthy engagement rate" is defined as an interaction rate of 3% - 10%. The rate is slightly higher for smaller accounts than for larger ones.

The right target group

Another indicator of the quality of the following is whether the followers of a company account are actually "interesting" for the company in question. This brings us back to the original question of what goal you want to achieve with your social media activities.

For most companies, reaching new customers is an essential part of the objective.

Therefore, try to reach exactly your customers and interested parties.

For a pure B2B service provider, for example, other company accounts and decision-makers in the respective companies are of primary importance.

For a local retailer, for example, local people with specific prospective customers are important.

For a hairdresser in Hamburg, Ingrid Meier from Munich does not play a role in most cases. But the other hairdressing salon from Berlin is just as uninteresting.

So always take a look at your competitors' target group and check whether they actually correspond to what is important for you or your company account.

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