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Losing Instagram Followers for no reason? Here are 8 Reasons why

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One fine morning in the sweltering summer heat of May, I noticed something odd on Instagram. I had lost 45 Followers, dropping my total following to a measly 356. It’s true, I was randomly losing followers for the last couple of weeks. But with this large drop, all my hopes of an aspiring career as an Instagram influencer came to a halt.

To be fair, I posted on Instagram once a month and most of my followers were friends and acquaintances. So this isn’t a huge loss. But unlike me,  you might be a content creator who depends on Instagram for business. In which case, it is fair to worry about why you’re losing Instagram followers.

For most Instagrammers their first instinct might be to recall on the great purge of 2014 and ask:

Is Instagram deleting my followers?

It is not unheard of for Instagram to delete your followers. In fact, back in 2014, Justin Bieber lost more than 3.5 million of his 23 million followers. Meanwhile, Kim Kardashian lost 1.3 million of her 23 million followers and Beyoncé lost more than 800,000.

In all fairness, the 2014 algorithm update resulted in a deletion of paid followers only.

Instagram has warned users that it will be cracking down on inauthentic followers. This includes bots, inactive accounts, and third-party apps.

But good news, is that unless you’ve been using shady tactics, your account is safe.

Here are some examples of black-hat practices to avoid.

  1. Buying Followers

Buying followers are the quickest way of losing Instagram followers. If the purge is any sign, Instagram dislikes third-party apps and paying for followers.

But could you be paying for followers without knowing about it?

The answer is yes. Do you have a marketing agency managing your account? Could it be possible that they’ve used black-hat tactics like buying followers?

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Steer away from shady companies who promise to get you, 10,000 followers for $10. If the offer sounds too good to be true it most certainly is.

  1. Using Bots and Third-party apps

As I write this, I understand that I could be putting in all the wrong ideas in your head. But I guarantee you these shady tactics will get you banned.

Instagram has banned chatbots that reach out to people and encourage follow-backs. In recent years, several third-party bots/apps have had to close their operations.

So here’s a brain teaser – Did everyone who loses Instagram followers pay for their followers? Well, I didn’t. I never paid for an app or hired a firm to manage my account but I still lost followers. The hard truth is that sometimes you might be doing everything by the books and still lose followers.

Here are 8 reasons why you might be losing Instagram followers

1. Your follower’s preferences have changed.

Its been almost 10 years since Instagram launched and the platform is anything but new. In the 10 years we’ve been on Instagram, people have graduated from school, got married, and had kids. We’ve all done a lot of growing and it’s safe to say that we’re not the same person we were 10 years ago. 

The downside of being on Instagram for a long time is that your followers have changed. And as they grow as individuals they’re also growing out of old habits.

As an influencer or business owner, you too should grow in how you create content. If you’re interested in keeping followers, find out what they currently like, and cater to their needs. At the same time, you should also realize that some of these followers are never coming back. It would be better to find a new base of followers who are more relevant to the type of content you create.

2. You’ve changed too and some people don’t like that.

Growth is not exclusive to your followers. As a content creator, you too have grown and your tastes have changed as well. But even though growth is a good thing, it’s worth examining if the new you agree with your followers.

Often, as we get older and more experienced, we tend to be more cautious. It’s not uncommon for brands to be rebellious in their early days and dial it down later down the line. Most brands that follow this path alienate their core fan base and lose them in the process. 

3. Your followers haven’t heard from you in a long time.

We know that post frequency matters. But could posting less actually influence people to unfollow?

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The answer is a definite yes. Most users on the platform are conscious about who they follow. As a brand, if you’re not creating new content, your users don’t have a reason to keep following you.

3. You are posting content too frequently.

Posting too much can be as big a crime as posting too little. As a victim of brands and influences who constantly bombard me with their content – I can say that it can be overwhelming and invasive. 

When we post too often, we deprive them of novelty that comes with consuming content from different creators. Naturally, when your followers realize that their feed is being bombarded by one creator, they’ll remove them to make room for others.

4. Your content is not differentiated.

As human beings, we are wired to seek out novelty. Our brain is designed to flood our neural networks with dopamine, a hormone responsible for giving us the sensation of happiness and satisfaction when we enjoy a snack, get good grades or hear good news.

But, the brain’s dopamine delivery system is severely flawed. As we rely on the same stimulation to provide us with a hit, our neural networks demand more stimulation to get the same amount of dopamine.

That is why we never feel the same satisfaction when eating our twelfth slice of pizza as much as we received while biting into the first one.

Content is no different. We get satisfaction and fulfilment from the content we choose to consume. But when content creators keep creating the same content as everyone else, our thirst for novelty remains unquenched. This is why many people stop following creators. Instead, they look for other creators who can offer something different.

5. Your content is too spammy, too pushy, and too sales oriented.

In other words, your content is self-serving and adds little value to your followers. 

Back in the day, commercials came in the way of consuming content on TV. This resulted in Youtube democratizing content and bringing interruption free content to people. When Youtube started spamming people with Ads. They moved over to Netflix.

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When creators focus too much on ads and too little on value-added content, followers also exercise their power. They move on to content creators who can balance between self-service and fan-service.

6. You might be losing inauthentic followers.

Not everyone who follows you does so because they love your content. Following other people in hopes of getting a  follow back is a common practice. Once their strategy succeeds, these people don’t stick around for long.

Additionally, your account might also consist of spam, bots, and fake accounts. These accounts are periodically purged by Instagram and can result in a sudden drop in followers. 

There is no sure-fire way of knowing if you’re losing fake followers. but if you see a sudden drop, especially after an algorithm update, then chances are you’re just seeing Instagram cleaning out the trash.

8. You’re not gaining new followers.

Maintaining your follower count is difficult. You’ll win some of these battles and lose others. It is important to understand that you must always focus on reaching out to new followers as well. Without new followers to replace the ones you lose, your follower count will drop with time.

 

Instagram insights display daily net gains. Keep track of your followers by checking insights on a weekly basis. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few parting words

Instagram is changing, so is social media. New algorithm updates are burying organic reach in favor of paid ads. At the same time, competition is looming large for Instagram and its counterparts. For example, video-sharing platform Tiktok has already overtaken Instagram as the most downloaded app. Which will inevitably lead to people spending lesser time on Instagram.

 As creators, this could mean challenging times lie ahead. It’s entirely possible, we’ll never get some followers back. Some of us will see engagement and reach drop.  

We should be ready for the worse and explore all avenues that connect us to our followers.

Before I finish this article, I will leave you with one last piece of borrowed wisdom:

Accept the things you can’t change, change the things you can, and know the difference between the two.

Kazi is a digital marketer by profession and works closely with businesses to bring their story to the right audience. He has worked with Fortune 500 companies to spearhead marketing campaigns and plan, manage and grow their digital presence.

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Social Media

Secret Sauce for Creating the Perfect Facebook Ads Funnel

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Is your Facebook ads funnel producing the conversions you’re looking for? Are you targeting your end-user audience at the right stages of their buying cycle? 

If you can answer these questions in the affirmative, you’ll have a sales funnel that not only creates awareness at the top of the funnel and converts to a sale at the bottom; you’ll have repeat customers as you nurture existing relationships and build interest and engagement for the long haul. 

That all sounds pretty tasty doesn’t it? Whether you’re trying to build a Facebook ad funnel for eCommerce or just trying to drive traffic to your storefront, this article will share the secret sauce that will make your social content on this platform much more appetizing, filling, and tasty.

Understanding the Facebook Funnel

If you’re using Facebook to help your sales team capitalize on today’s consumer buying journey, the first thing is to understand how your marketing and sales funnels work in light of today’s consumer buying trends. Facebook typically has four primary stages for the customer buying funnel:

  1. Awareness of your product
  2. Consideration of your product
  3. Purchase, when the conversion happens
  4. Upselling and maintaining awareness of your brand

If you’re using Facebook in the right way and you have the right mix of products or services, you’ll have a sales funnel that perpetually fills itself as you both grab new customers and nurture existing clients into purchasing more of your products. You can use free and paid content to reach these goals. However, if you’re only selling one product, then your funnel will really end after step three.

Organize Your Account by Funnel Stages

To keep your campaign channels organized, consider structuring your Facebook Ads account by funnel stages. Targeting, optimization, settings, bidding, and your budget should all be different for each campaign, of course. But if you’re following the Facebook funnel stages, your ad campaigns could be segmented like this:

  1. Campaign 1 – Awareness – Top of funnel
  2. Campaign 2 – Consideration – Middle of Funnel
  3. Campaign 3 – Purchase– Bottom of Funnel
  4. Campaign 4 – Upselling – Sends existing clients back to the top for a repeat or new purchase. This could start a new campaign cycle called Campaign 1a. 

Then you can set your Facebook objectives to fit each stage of the funnel.

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Each of these campaigns represents a different type of audience and messaging. It will be important to select the right naming conventions to keep your account and KPIs organized. This next section will tell you what advertising techniques are important at all four steps.

Creating a Facebook Sales Funnel

Now we can get to the fun part; creating the copy that drives engagement at each of the funnel stages. Remember that Facebook ads are designed to create awareness and not just passively wait for the customer to find you. Here are some strategies to engage at each funnel stage.

Campaign 1 – Awareness – Top of funnel

This target audience has not made a purchase but has a potential interest in your brand. They are the Look-Alike Audiences that simply aren’t warm enough to buy from you yet. 

You can use the Facebook Custom Audiences tool to help you reach people who have previously interacted with your brand but not converted. 

You can use several strategies to target these end-users, but the goal of each should introduce your product and why it’s needed:

  • One thing to keep in mind: You’re not trying to sell your products just yet. Your top-of-the-funnel audience will turn away from something that tries to get them to buy right out of the gate. At this stage, you should focus on providing content that they’ll find interesting or valuable, even if they never convert.
  • You could also do the same thing with a video. 
  • You can use social proof to validate your expertise. For example, your copy could mention awards you’ve won or a client testimonial. 

Remember your goal is awareness, not the conversion, so your CTA should be to “find out more” on your website or with a downloadable.

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For example: Consider a problem your audience might have. During the COVID-19 crisis, people who were no longer commuting to work weren’t using their cars for extended periods of time, and they may not know how to care for long-term parked cars. An eCommerce company specializing in car covers put out an infographic / blog post explaining how to care for long-term parked cars. 

There’s no hard sell there. Even people who never buy their car covers find value in this post, and might share it, or be primed for a later purchase down the line.

Campaign 2 – Consideration – Middle of Funnel

This target audience has engaged with your brand before. They may have liked a previous Facebook post. This ad should appeal to some sort of pain points and reinforce why the prospect needs your product to solve their problem. In the example we used above, the pain point is related to people who have to store their cars long-term without the benefit of a garage.

At this stage in the funnel, you should list the specific benefits and features of your product or service to tell people why they need to buy it.

Campaign 3 – Purchase – Bottom of Funnel

This is where the rubber meets the road, so go for the close. These customers know your product and its value. This is a good place to leverage Facebook’s dynamic ads to create content tied to the exact product the prospect viewed. To close the deal, offer an immediate incentive to purchase. That nudge toward the close could include:

  • Running a discount or special offers such as 15% off or free shipping off your order. 

  • Create urgency with a countdown to the end of a sale, “Only 24hours left!”

  • Target specific use cases for the products they’ve been viewing. Going back to the car cover company, a hypothetical ad could ask if the prospect is worried about street damage from long term quarantine parking and offer a first-timer discount—boom! Done.

Campaign 4 – Upselling 

This sends existing clients back to the top for a repeat or new purchase. This could start a new campaign cycle called Campaign 1a. Or, call it what it is—remarketing.

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The point here is that the journey shouldn’t be over once the first purchase is made. Everyone knows the acquisition cost of a new customer is greater than keeping old customers—so maintain the relationship at this point by kicking the current just-purchased customer back up into the funnel. 

Your goals should be not just for the repeat purchase, but also to capture new customer referrals, and even to drive up the average spending amount per customer. 

Even though technically, the customer goes back to the top of the funnel, it’s more like a slide straight to the middle; they already know your company, so from an ad perspective you can skip the awareness stage. (Unless you’re trying to make them aware of a different product in your service line.) Some Facebook ad strategies could include:

  • Retargeting with a loyalty perk; thanks for your business, here’s $10 off your next purchase. 
  • Mention your referral program: “Invite a friend and get free shipping on your next order.”
  • Ask them to review your product and offer a thank you bonus incentive. 
  • This is also a good place to run an ad campaign based on their unique purchase history. You can set up carousel ads to vary the versions of the products they may be interested in, interspersing the ads with products that are a slightly higher price point to drive up their purchasing averages.

If you take the time to create the perfect Facebook ads funnel you will be able to sit back and watch the conversions come in. If you build it, they really will come, but the trick is to match the prospect’s specific buying stage with the exact strategy to increase your conversion rates. When you’re done, the Facebook sales funnel will work like a machine, benefiting your bottom line with new and repeat business.

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How Big Brands Use Digital Marketing for Building Customer Relationships

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Consumers in the modern digital world have a perception of a brand based on the experiences they have with the brand. These moments are created across multiple channels enabled by the rise of the digital world.

Social media made it possible for brands to connect with their customers on an intimate level which was not possible before.  According to Gartner, a decrease in engagement by up to 15% is observed for businesses that fail to respond to messages on social media.

That’s how powerful social media is for companies, especially for big brands.

Crafting meaningful relationships on social media

With the emergence of Facebook and Twitter, social media has boosted like never before. It has impacted the lives of people in more ways than one:

  • 91% of people believe in social media’s power to connect communities
  • 78% of consumers want brands to help people connect through social media.
  • 76% of respondents were more likely to buy from a brand they felt connected to on social media than a competitor.

(Source: https://sproutsocial.com/insights/data/social-media-connection/)

These numbers speak for themselves.

The times are changing and big brands aren’t ignorant. They understand the importance of engaging with their audience and thus are reaping the sweet results. The better the relationship is between a brand and a consumer, the higher the chances of him/her returning to the same brand.

Not just that, if the consumer feels there’s a connection between the brand and themselves, they’ll gloat about it endlessly – in front of friends, family, coworkers, neighbours and every person who might ask them about the brand.

Do you know what that means? Absolutely free advertising which happens to be genuine as well.

So, how do Big Brands do it?

There 7 ways Big Brands use Social Media for building customer relationships

  1. Being Responsive

Responding to customer queries or comments is the reason brands are on social media. It’s extremely important for brands to respond to their customers and big brands know that. 

This is especially true about Twitter where things can get real messy real soon. It takes minutes for something to go viral on Twitter and big brands make sure that they respond to any tweet that might tarnish their image.

And not only critical comments, praises from consumers should be responded to in a way that the consumer feels valued. Brands like the fast-food outlet Wendy’s have understood Twitter far better and come up with creative tweets for their customers (or haters).

  1. Offering Promotions
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If there’s one thing customers love more than a brand is that brand’s promotions and sales. They look forward to any kind of promotion that might save them some bucks which is why it’s important to share promotions on social media.

Giving the customers what they expect is a sure way to have a healthy following on social media and which sticks around. Big Brands promote their sales, promotions, contests, and other offers extensively on social media, even urging the customers to share them which further accentuates the engagement.

  1. Providing Educational Content

Educating customers about a brand is one of the most effective ways of building a strong customer relationship. The more a customer knows about a brand, the bigger the chances of them returning now and then. 

Some brands take it a notch higher by educating their customers about a cause they stand for or support. It could be something they do as part of their CSR activities or educating customers about something important (the way Brands are regularly posting precautionary recommendations about COVID-19 is a good example.)

  1. Being Humorous

Make them smile and they like you, make them laugh and they’ll fall in love with you. Being funny or humorous in social situations acts as an ice-breaker and helps people connect which is why big brands use it to tell their customers that there are people behind those names too.

This makes the brand seem more humane and the perception in the customer’s mind softens a little, opening up ample opportunities for building relationships. 

However, this takes wit and a great sense of humour which is why only some of the brands are able to pull this off. Frankly, if you aren’t funny, you aren’t – there’s no point in faking, it’ll make things worse.

  1. Exclusive Content

Sharing exclusive content with your followers on social media is another way a brand tells them how much they are valued. This is the reason those followers stay because the feeling of being part of an exclusive group of people who love the same brand makes them feel good about themselves.

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It also tickles the primal desire of a human being – the desire to be accepted and to belong. This sense of belonging to an exclusive group or club makes the relationship with the brand a little intimate – so intimate that it almost feels like cheating when buying from a competitor.

  1. Behind the Scenes

People have always wondered and have been curious about how things happen. Whether it’s a movie or the construction of the world’s tallest building, people want to know how it’s made. 

Big brands stimulate this curiosity by sharing behind the scenes images and videos on how they make the products that their customers love so much. This also helps build trust and connection between the brand and the customers as they realise the people behind the brand.

  1. Challenging Competitors

Like being funny, this is something not everyone can pull-off. The rivalry between big brands is not a new thing but social media has made it more visible with brands having one-off on Twitter about who’s better.

This is risky because when a brand tries to challenge a competitor on social media and the competitor responds in a much better way, the whole idea falls flat on its face. The brand itself becomes a victim of its mockery. 

However, friendly banter between brands can benefit them both.

Why is it important for brands to be on social media

A brand-customer relationship is like any other relationship in the world and the key to all successful relationships is communication. The days of broadcasting advertisements might not be over yet but in the near future, it might.

People aren’t looking for one-way communication from brands anymore. They want a conversation, they want to know they are heard when they post a tweet, write a comment, or give a review. They want to be a part of the ideas that transform the brand from what it is to what it will become.

And this drive to hear has become public with social media where one tweet or post can become easily viral and not responding to it might become rude. It’s not like the victorian era where the sender of a letter was still worried if the letter reached the person it was intended for. 

It’s the digital world and anyone anywhere would instantly find something on the internet that’s meant for them. You cannot just ignore what your customer has posted, you have to reply to them.

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Moreover, it helps increase your business. As more and more people fall in love with your brand, they’ll not only keep returning but also talk about you to everyone they know and word-of-mouth is hands down the best form of advertisement and absolutely the most genuine which is why it is the most effective.

That’s why big businesses are so keen on making a mark in the social media circles and they are succeeding. But then, is social media only for the big brands? Should a small business use social media to garner attention, especially when they are starting from scratch?

Should small businesses be on social media too?

Big brands have been doing it pretty well but there’s no reason a small business shouldn’t. Even a regional store with a very local audience can have an amazing social media presence where the sense of belonging is even more intimate because of geographical proximity.

Even a startup can become an overnight sensation on social media if they could plan a campaign that resonates well with intended audiences. The story of @worldrecordegg stands as proof that you can instantly become a social media rockstar within days with an interesting idea.

More importantly, there’s not one but enough social media platforms to make space for all kinds of businesses. There’s Facebook for “friendly-stuff”, Instagram for pictorial or visual stuff, YouTube for videos, Twitter for sass and wit, and then LinkedIn for professionalism. 

Based on the kind of business you have and the audience that you are targeting, you can choose the platform you want to be on. You could also have different posts on different platforms for showing a more 360-degree view of the brand.

The more engaging your content on social media is, the more likes, shares, and comments you’ll receive after which it’s a snowball rolling. It all boils down to how well you know your audience and how you make them tick with your words. If you manage to do it well, you’ll have an amazing following on social media.

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