How many times have you felt crappy because of how many likes you’ve gotten on an Instagram post or played the comparison game when it comes to followers? My guess is that you have done this a lot and I can also guess that it doesn’t leave you with a good feeling about yourself or your business.
That’s why I am here to spill some secrets about why these metrics you’re looking at literally don’t matter. Before I dive into that, I do want to be realistic. I don’t expect you to read this blog post and then immediately change your mindset about how many followers you have but I hope it serves as a helpful reminder that you are doing great. You won’t grow your business or really anything in your life by constantly checking on what other people are doing.
Vanity Metrics That Don’t Matter on Instagram
Followers: it is a common misconception that followers equal dollars for a business. Is it helpful to have a large following? Yes, of course, it is. Does having or not having 100k followers determine your revenue? Absolutely not! There are so many ways that comparing the number of followers you have versus another person can be misleading. Oftentimes we don’t know how engaged their followers are, whether or not those followers convert to real $$$, or if they are even real followers. This doesn’t mean it’s not important to grow your community, it just means keep your eyes on your own account because what may seem like greener grass may actually be an inflated number weighing down a brand’s engagement rate. (engagement rate is how many likes/comments divided by the number of followers you can find yours here)
Likes: this one should be an obvious one after Instagram started removing likes from appearing to the public. Likes are purely a vanity metric and do not represent anything substantial. Anytime someone says “ugh my post didn’t get any likes” I always question what that person wanted from the post. Did you want a ton of likes? Or did you want people to go to your blog and read your latest post? Did you ask people to leave Instagram to go check out how they can work with you on your website? When we create a post-it is usually not to just get a lot of likes, we usually want something more. Maybe a post about a new course you are offering only got 20 likes but resulted in 30 new course sign-ups because they were so excited they forgot to click the heart on your post. People are “liking” fewer and fewer posts on Instagram BUT they are engaging in other ways.
Metrics to Pay Attention To
Now that you know what metrics to avoid spending too much time on, I wanted to share some metrics that you may find helpful when looking at growth and goal setting.
Reach and Impressions: a lot of people ignore these two metrics because no one else can see them but you. These two metrics are key to growth in your business and on Instagram. The higher these numbers are, the better. While the “likes” metric really can only go so far with people that follow you, “reach and impressions” can show you how many new people are finding you. New people finding you is what grows a business. You can only sell to the same thousand people for so long before they get bored or have what they need…
Shares: if you are trying to reach new people and grow your business, one of the best ways to do this is through word of mouth. Shares are one of the best and easiest ways for your community to say, hey check out this amazing account, post, offering, etc. Not every post you make is going to be shared widely BUT you should strategically create content that is more sharable. For instance … a relatable quote, a list of book recommendations, or travel tips and tricks are all sharable. For more ideas click here.
Website Traffic: when I hear about people who have 100,000 followers on Instagram but only 100 website visits a month, it blows my mind. Your website and your email list are the only things that are truly in your control. Your website should be a place that people want to come back to week after week and that means creating engaging, exclusive content that they can find there. Offer helpful resources and give people a reason to not only come to your website but to stay.
Revenue: this is usually the most important metric to a lot of people because it’s the only thing that can truly pay the bills. Setting revenue goals can be hard and confusing, especially your first few years working for yourself. I am not going to tell you exactly how much you should make your first year in business, instead, I am going to recommend a resource that has changed the way I look at my business and the revenue I bring in. It’s this book, Profit First, read it.
I hope this quick crash course helps you understand your business a little better and gives you the opportunity to grow in ways that will help you long term with what really matters and opt-out of the comparison game.