I have a secret to share with you all and it might be hard to believe, but I promise you it is true. If you are a small business, especially one that focuses on creating physical products, then you need to know that you do not need thousands of Instagram followers. Yes, you read that correctly. Let’s read that again. You don’t need thousands of Instagram followers. Why do you ask? Well, let me tell you…
Followers does not equal customers
It is really easy to get the idea in our heads that the more followers we have the more customers we will have. In some ways, this is probably true. However, with Instagram, there are also a lot of people who are just there to look at pretty pictures. Another thought process is ‘well the more followers I have, the more people will see my products’ and again yes, this is true. But making those followers turn to customers is not that easy. It takes more than just having a bunch of people seeing your images and products. They need more to actually feel inclined to move from your profile to your website. Having a bunch of followers doesn’t mean anything if they don’t read your posts, check out your profile or click on your website.
Do you have thousands of items to sell?
They answer to that question is probably no. Most of us are either hobbyists trying to earn some extra money on the side, or individuals running the entire business alone. We just do not have the capabilities to sell thousands of items! So really we just need a handful or two of customers to purchase our items. So instead of focusing all our time trying to grow our numbers on Instagram, we really should be focusing on encouraging those who follow us to purchase our items by interacting with them. The more we engage with our potential customer base, the more likely they will want to buy from us. You want them to feel like a friend, you want them to want to support you and your business. If we need to do this, well, we can’t do this if we have 50 thousand followers to interact with. It just isn’t possible.
Slow, but steady
I am a big supporter of small but steady growth. I have personally suffered from the effects of growing at an unsustainable rate with Mini Backdrops. For those readers that do not know, I also own a small photographic company where I focus almost all my marketing through Instagram. In the beginning, I really focused on increasing my numbers, and I really pushed to increase my numbers any way I could. I am lucky, I have had great success with Instagram driving traffic. However, I have also reached a point where I almost can not handle the number of sales coming in. I am a one woman show, with 4 kids, a dog and a husband who also need my attention. With too many order to fill, my shipping times decrease, my customer service is lacking at times (and I have the world’s best and most understandable customer by the way) and none of these things are good for running a business!
I am starting to ramble a bit, but the moral of the story is, it is much better to grow slowly and have great quality, than too quickly and have poorer quality.
In the end, why do numbers matter?
I have a question for you. Why do you think you need thousands of followers? It is all too easy to fall in the numbers game. But at the end of the day, unless you are an influencer, you don’t need thousands of Instagram followers. What you need are followers that are actually interested in your product, that hopefully, through engagement, you can turn into customers.