Instagram oh, Instagram. In the last few hours, you have literally introduced new features that have compelled me to believe that you are indeed on a mission to take over the world. In just a week alone, you rolled out IGTV and hear this, a few hours ago you have been quietly testing and rolling out your latest little feature; music stickers on everyone else BUT the users of our Singapore region. Boo. So while everyone in the United States is having a heck load of fun with these music stickers and tagging Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You on anything and everything that excites them on Instastory, sad little ol’ me is wondering…
How in the world do I growth hack Nimble’s engagement on Instagram, without these utterly cute, supremely random but much needed, music stickers? 🎶
(That’s me, on one of my favourite social media accounts and super envious that we don’t have the ability to add music to our stories.🙄)
Because if there is anything about Instagram that every business owner should know, is the fact that Instagram is an overloaded confetti 🎉 of surprises. You are either with the party, or really…a case of the lost wallflower. And I am on a mission to make sure that my girls and I are not left behind the pack especially when it comes to the issue of engagement on Instagram. Because as I have mentioned numerous times before in our Nimble workshops;
On social media, you BE social.
Because you can’t do social and you most definitely cannot force engagement right out of the depths of an audience who have never heard of you or your business before. In recent months I have personally found Instagram to be more intuitive and a relatable platform to reach our audience. And to be very honest, I am thoroughly enjoying it too. Which is honestly quite rare especially, when social media is a 9-5 job. (Most times, it’s a 12-hour shift) We take social very seriously in our agency. And by serious we mean, measuring our efforts against data like click-throughs coming to bit.ly or link.tree, website traffic and of course, the ultimate form of engagement that helps drive business outcomes- conversions. This could come in a myriad of forms, but typically for us at Nimble we consider this to be the number of sign-ups we get to any of our workshops. (Forever grateful and thankful to all our Nimble graduates who believe in our mission to empower you to be more #sociallytechsavvy! 💗)
And we do everything in our Nimble prowess to ensure that whatever social network that gets into our hands and entrusted to us by our clients, we make sure it turns ⭐ solid gold ⭐. So while I struggle to find peace in a noisy space like social media, I genuinely am so proud of the work that we do on Instagram and how I am convinced that as a team, we have finally (yes, finally) found our secret sauce to help attain and retain engagement from our audience, on Instagram. Not an easy feat, but indefinitely doable if, well…you continue to read on.
BECAUSE INSTAGRAM IS A HUGE OPPORTUNITY TO PIVOT ENGAGEMENT
Instagram has given us as a business an immense opportunity to take our brand personality from unknown marketers from Changi North and completely blow us out of the water 💦, simply because it is a platform that allowed us to be THAT much closer, to…you. Today, I saw something on Gary Vaynerchuck’s Instastory that got me thinking; oh wow. So true. [Big Gary fan here, anyone else?]
Attention is the currency.
Suddenly, it all made sense to me. While I argue for days not having the damn music stickers, let alone the ability to repost stories we have been mentioned on by others, on our IG stories (yup, yet to be rolled out to us 😭), I realise very quickly that while marketing is natural to us as a team, building an audience from the ground up takes time, effort and unconditional patience. In other words, super hard work ladies!
This then becomes a basis for understanding what is true engagement on social media. While engagement has historically been a common metric for evaluating social media performance, it is important to take note that it ❌ doesn’t ❌ necessarily translate to sales. I speak about this many times at our Nimble workshops and potentially have sounded like a mad woman on a mission to demystify myths surrounding social media like more followers + likes = more sales (wow, did I just concoct a formula to get you to understand the nuts and bolts of our industry?) Because, I can guarantee you that as soon as business owners comprehend that a social network is merely a vehicle 🚌 to be best used to build an audience- then the sooner you know how to pivot your engagement efforts with your audience. Trust me. Gary is right.
Attention is indeed the ONLY currency on social media that matters. And what this means in simple math is attention equates to value.
There is no denying that value comes in many forms on social media. The mistake most business owners make is to put their 🥚eggs all in one basket, in this case depending highly and solely on social media to help them make a sale 💸. While it is not impossible to get a sale from our audience or converting them to actual paying clients, most business owners not only lack the appreciation of their audience but disappointingly refuse to understand them enough, to know the value they require and need. This then becomes a question of what kind of content resonates well with your audience and building a content stream specific to them.
And this is what Gary means. Attention to the minute detail as to how much value you can give to your audience on a platform that celebrates content sharing. In other words, while Likes and Follows are typical vanity metrics, most of these measures in isolation are not a reflection of the overarching macro engagement you so desire, on social media. So. Stop. Fussing.
THE VALUE OF ATTENTION
We came on board to Instagram late 2016 and I am not going to lie- had no idea ourselves how to grow our influence on this social network. It was confusing. Designing felt daunting. Captioning felt so bloody hard. Numerous times we debated over the kind of brand voice we seek to project to whoever that bothered to listen. (I had absolutely no audience then and Instagram was a hotbed for the passing wind. 🌬)
Should we sound like an egotistical press release every time we were out, there on Insta-land? Formal, seriously serious about delivering social media tips, tactical, strategic, emotionless and straight to the point?
OH YES. WE WERE EXACTLY THAT.
We are so experienced in our field (or at least I would like to think that we are) that the mistake we made was to do exactly that…telling everyone that we are so. damn. experienced. in. our. field. Big mistake. No one gave us two hoots about who we were, let alone the work that we do or could do.
In other words, we were boring as hell. I missed the boat. Because in Marketing 101, you never, EVER sell.
And like a seasoned marketer (again, at least I hope I am) I pivoted. Fast. I knew that if I wanted to growth hack my own engagement, I needed to pay attention to the REAL VALUE that my audience seeks. What do they seek? What do they want? What do they hope to receive from me?
This is why business owners must understand that content marketing’s objective is to build an audience that can later be harvested into enthusiastic customers. No one wanted to buy from me 🤣. Heck. No one even knew what I sold. As soon, as we put ourselves out there as vulnerable human beings, our engagement grew. We showed to, well some 100 odd people on Instagram that there were real people behind the Nimble team. That it was us.
THE TEST OF THE PUDDING
Success on Instagram requires a very careful, concerted and conscious effort. It was important for me to make our guests on Instagram feel absolutely welcome to our Nimble universe. Because in our universe, we celebrate the #femtelligence in every single woman entrepreneur. We transform you into avid lovers of social media and help you do better business because of it.
We are energetic, warm and approachable on Instagram because we are genuinely like that.
So do not look at social media engagement in a vacuum. Engagement, especially on Instagram, should be balanced with your brand’s personality as well as high, valuable content even before you sell anything to anyone ⚡. We do our very best to keep our brand at the top of anyone’s newsfeeds with witty, engaging and entertaining content. “Infor-tainment” Chelsea Krost, once said. This to me, helps to break down the barrier between us as business owners and our customers. And if you are out to ALWAYS give value first, you not only attain but retain your audience attention- something a lot of business owners continue to pay a high premium for. (Goodbye in your face ads?)
WHAT TO DO NOW
And if you have read till the very end of this blog post, don’t feel cheated that this blog has nothing to do with 4 key metrics to measure engagement success on Instagram. I meant to include a video of me breaking it down in 6 minutes here, in our very first episode of IGTV. 😅
Alright, now that is being said and done. If you are a first-time reader of our blog or quite frankly have never heard of us ladies before may I suggest that you DO leave a comment here in my blog if you
a) genuinely think this is beneficial or remotely made sense
b) you vehemently disagree with everything and I mean everything, you read here
c) are not from Singapore and feel absolutely lucky that you chanced upon our Nimble blog
Trying to start a commenting culture here in our blog. Because isn’t this another litmus test of engagement? Sure it is! But of course, will let you decide for yourself. Enjoy the video!
CLICK TO WATCH OUR FIRST EPISODE OF NIMBLE TV
(4 Key Metrics to Measure Engagement Success on Instagram)
Your friendly neighbourhood marketer,
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