Hustle Culture vs. Chill Work

A few weeks ago, Wil Reynolds and I were on a video call together. I think I joined in a couple minutes after him, and the discussion was already starting:

Someone on the call: “… just hustling”Rand: “Ugh, I hate hustle cultu…

A few weeks ago, Wil Reynolds and I were on a video call together. I think I joined in a couple minutes after him, and the discussion was already starting: Someone on the call: “… just hustling”Rand: “Ugh, I hate hustle culture.” Wil: “Yo, Fish*, can you define hustle?”Rand: “Easy one. Hustling is working hard to work hard. It’s valuing…

The Incentives to Publish No Longer Reward the Web’s Creators

It’s been almost two months since my last post here. For those of you who pay attention to the digital marketing world, the infrequency of updates may be missed, but it’s likely familiar. Many, many web creators (those who publish, in any f…

It’s been almost two months since my last post here. For those of you who pay attention to the digital marketing world, the infrequency of updates may be missed, but it’s likely familiar. Many, many web creators (those who publish, in any format, on their own sites rather than big tech’s platforms) who historically published content with great frequency are…

Employee Advocacy: Empowering Your Teams on Social Media

Businesses looking to expand their reach online should consider setting up an employee advocacy program. Turning employees into advocates can shorten the sales cycle, boost growth, and help your team differentiate from the crowd.  But, only 17% of businesses have implemented a formal, comprehensive policy.  Allowing your employees to represent your brand online not only […]

The post Employee Advocacy: Empowering Your Teams on Social Media appeared first on CXL.

Businesses looking to expand their reach online should consider setting up an employee advocacy program. Turning employees into advocates can shorten the sales cycle, boost growth, and help your team differentiate from the crowd. 

But, only 17% of businesses have implemented a formal, comprehensive policy. 

Allowing your employees to represent your brand online not only empowers them to be more than just a part of the team, it can also be a great way for your business to reach new audiences.

In this article, we’re going to explore what employee advocacy is, showcase some do’s and don’ts, and walk you through the process of creating your own policy.

Setting up a culture of employee advocacy

Employee advocacy is the promotion of an organization by its employees.

Good employee advocacy helps to paint a positive picture of your business and increase reach and brand awareness by:

  • Tapping into each employee’s audience (which helps you get in front of new eyes)
  • Making your company look like a good place to do business with (happy employees often represent a good workplace culture)
  • Generating more first clicks by leveraging employee networks to become a more trusted, credible, and familiar source

When your employees share your company content and updates on their own social media accounts, it builds social proof. By tapping into your employees’ influence, you’re expanding your reach and setting them up as trusted sources for when future customers reach the decision-making stage.

It also helps to set up a company culture that empowers your employees to become brand ambassadors. This in turn allows them to build their own online presence, establish themselves in the field, and promote their involvement in their roles as a form of self-marketing.

Take a look at creative SEO agency Rise at Seven’s Twitter feed. Nearly every single one of their posts tags or retweets an employee in some way.

Screenshot of Rise at Seven's tweets sharing new employees joining

The majority of their employees have their job title and the company’s Twitter handle in their Twitter bios.

Rise at Seven employee Twitter bio

Further, each one actively engages with the brand—whether it’s retweeting company posts, sharing job openings or posting company news.

Rise at Seven employee sharing job opportunities on Twitter

This promotes a positive company culture because employees are empowered to publicly share job achievements, publications, and updates. This helps employees to build their own personal brand separate from simply being a Rise at Seven team member.

This isn’t only beneficial to your employees (even though it can be a huge perk). This is also an authentic way to extend your content’s reach.

Prospects and leads will be able to scroll through your social feed and see your brand’s story being played out in real-time. This comes across as less edited and rawer than brand-facing content. 

As such, it adds credibility in the same way that client testimonials make public-facing customer statistics more trustworthy. It’s the digital form of “don’t just take my word for it”. 

By imploring your team to share blog posts they’ve written, webinars they’ve run, and projects they’ve worked on, you’re getting your brand name out there in a favorable light. You can do this by:

  • Creating and distributing a social media policy that you distribute to employees as part of their onboarding. This way, employee advocacy is baked into their role from day one and allows you to set appropriate expectations. We’ll dive into what this policy can look like in a later section.
  • Incentivize employees to get involved with rewards, gamification, and recognition programs. We’ll also dive deeper into this shortly. 
  • Offering support with building up employees’ online presence. This includes how exactly to use social media to promote your brand, the do’s and don’ts of what posts can include, preferred channels based on the end-goal (e.g. LinkedIn for B2B clients, Instagram for B2C), etc. 
  • Practicing what you preach. If you want your employees to feel empowered and excited to share on social, you should be sharing yourself, both publicly and through internal comms.

What great employee advocacy looks like

Great structure begets great employee advocacy. You don’t want your employee’s social media posts to come across as pushy or salesy. Instead, they should read naturally and not like a press release inside of a social media post.

Take this LinkedIn post from the Head of Content at email marketing platform GetResponse.

GetResponse employee sharing content on LinkedIn

He shared a recent blog post and created an authentic and engaging caption to go along with it, garnering 21 reactions and five comments.

The caption starts with a clever twist on a famous literary phrase, followed by an intriguing question, followed by a personal connection to the subjects. Of course, he tagged his colleagues in the CTA. 

In fact, if you look closely, the poster broke some rules. He used ellipses twice in the same sentence. He added an old-school smiley face, and he used an incomplete sentence that doesn’t end in a period.

The lesson? Informality works.

Now, look at a post on GetResponse’s company page, also sharing a recent blog.

GetResponse company page sharing content

Six likes.

This is one reason that having an employee advocacy program is so beneficial: it amplifies your brand’s reach.

Your employees have 10x the social reach than your company has. Utilizing this in your marketing efforts can pay dividends.

Buffer is another great example of employee advocacy at work. They’ve consistently empowered their employees to take full control over their personal brands—whether promoting Buffer or unrelated side hustles.

Buffer Twitter account celebrating employee milestone

Many of their employees (past and present) have become big names in the digital marketing space due to the representation Buffer gave them. 

This is a win-win for both company and employee. As your employees become more well-known in the industry, they amass trust. The more trusted they are, the more trusted your business is.

Buffer’s winning post framework here is an engaging, personal comment while retweeting an endearing post from their existing employee. They’ve also echoed the emojis used in the original post as a further way to connect.

How to build employee advocacy processes

We’ve put together a six-step process to help you create a successful employee advocacy platform that empowers your team and helps to increase brand awareness and reach.

1. Ensure you have a positive work environment

If you aren’t facilitating a positive and engaged company culture, your employees won’t be interested in promoting your business for you.

Take the necessary steps to make sure your employees are proud to represent your company.

A few ideas include:

  • Create an environment that allows employees to do their best work. This may be offering a remote work option or a four day work week, the technology needed to get their jobs done, comfortable and adjustable desk/chair options, or building an asynchronous culture that prioritizes deep work over real-time replies.
  • Provide positive feedback and reinforcements. Regularly give your employees positive feedback. If they only hear negative criticisms, they’re not going to feel good about the work they’re doing for you and won’t buy-in to advocacy.
  • Celebrate special occasions. Celebrate your employees and their monumental moments. Be it a work anniversary, buying a home, having a baby, getting married, a birthday, a successful side hustle, or something else.
  • Hold regular check-ins. Empower employees to come to you to talk about ideas or concerns. Holding a formal check-in every so often, whether quarterly or annually, is a great way to do so. Even an informal check-in via email or Slack can move mountains.
  • Invest in your employees. Show employees that you genuinely care about their success. Pay them what they’re worth. Reward them with gifts. Invest in new learning opportunities like conferences and courses.

Bottom line: show your employees that you know their worth and that you appreciate them every step of the way. Build a positive culture, and you’re sure to have employees excited to represent your brand online.

2. Set goals and objectives

The next step is to set specific goals and objectives for your advocacy policy. Leveraging employees as brand advocates can be a great way to improve company culture, but a formal employee advocacy program should plan to meet specific metrics and KPIs.

For example:

  • Increase social media followers (across all social media channels) by X# in X time frame
  • Increase in organic reach by X% over X time frame
  • Generate more website traffic from social networks over X period
  • Build higher social media engagement over X period
  • Catalyze word of mouth marketing and referrals (measure by X new referrals in X time frame, as well as quality of referrals)

Be sure to create SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and anchored within a Time Frame). Give each one a specific numeric goal that you hope to achieve. This is the most effective way to know if you’re hitting your KPIs or if you need to adjust your program.

3. Pinpoint leaders and participants

Decide who’s going to lead the charge, as well as who should participate as the first group of employee advocates.

Having set leadership to keep your team excited about this program is key. You don’t want to launch, watch a group of employees share content consistently for a month or two, then have the enthusiasm die down before reaping any benefits.

The program needs to be consistently nurtured to maximize employee engagement—a set of team leaders can zero in on achieving goals without losing focus.

As for your pilot group of advocates, consider those who are already active on social media. They’ll be most likely to adapt to the new marketing strategy quickly, and likely already have a decent following. Testing it out with your company’s marketers is another great place to start.

Make sure to explain the benefits of employee advocacy to get this test group jazzed about the project. Benefits include:

  • Building a strong personal brand. Having an active social media presence can lead to a greater following and larger personal and professional network.
  • Becoming a thought leader in your industry. Sharing content and starting conversations around your brand or industry will generate attention and help your employees to position themselves as thought leaders.
  • Incentives and gamification rewards. To keep the advocacy program exciting, consider offering incentives like gift cards or a bonus. Gamifying the process by keeping a leaderboard of employees garnering the most engagement is another way to make advocacy more fun.

The end-goal is to empower interested employees to become true advocates for your brand. Their passion should be self-driven and rely on passion more than incentive-driven rewards. 

It should not feel like a forced job, or else it will come across as a forced post. It should look and feel like a natural extension of their personal social presence.

Starting with a small group is a great way to test the waters and see if this is a tactic that will work well for your team.

4. Create social media guidelines for employees

Once you’ve identified the employees who will lead and test your new advocacy solution, put together social media guidelines and brand messages for them to adhere to.

This is something Starbucks has done for their employee advocates or “partners” (as they like to call them). 

The two-page document has a list of do’s and don’ts, as well as contact information if the advocate has made a mistake and needs to work with the social media team directly for crisis management.

Screenshot from Starbucks social media guidelines

Your social media guidelines can be as long or as short as you want them. It’s a good idea to work with your human resources team to make sure you cover all your bases before sending employees off to publicly curate company content.

This document should include information like:

  • Examples of the types of posts they could create
  • Tone of voice guidelines
  • Hashtags to use
  • Reminders that they’re an advocate, not a company spokesperson
  • Details about your brand’s target audience
  • Do’s and don’ts for best representing your brand
  • Who to contact if something goes wrong (and how to reach them)

5. Put together a library of assets and resources

Compile a library of assets that members can choose from to promote, as well as resources on how to get the most out of this strategy.

You want to set your employees up for success. An internal resource like this sets the tone, provides valuable information, and offers support.

Consider compiling:

  • Photos and graphics to use as post visuals
  • Links to the content you’d like to see promoted (although the most natural posts are from people who are also involved in creating said content)
  • Sample captions or talking points to jumpstart their own posts
  • Internal communication or online resources explaining more about how to get the most out of employee advocacy
  • Recent company news and milestones

6. Keep your employee advocacy program going

The last step is to put a system in place to keep your employees sharing regular updates about your brand. 

Have your social media marketing team regularly update your asset library with new content and visuals. Consider creating a channel or group in your team’s online communication tool to share exciting company updates and talking points.

Talking about a brand on social media shouldn’t be reserved only for the C-suite. By empowering employees of all levels to be a part of the company and share related content, you’re cultivating a strong company culture and helping increase employee retention along the way.

Conclusion

Ready to create your own employee advocacy program? Follow our six-step guide to create and maintain a program that works for you and your team.

While you’re at it, help your team become even better at marketing with CXL’s team training platform.

The post Employee Advocacy: Empowering Your Teams on Social Media appeared first on CXL.

How to Get More Followers on Instagram (Without Buying Them)

90% of Instagram users follow at least one business account and 83% of people discover new products through their Instagram feed.  Amassing a large following on Instagram can help you at every stage of the marketing funnel—from bolstering brand awareness to driving conversions.    In this post, we’ll walk you through how to use Instagram to […]

The post How to Get More Followers on Instagram (Without Buying Them) appeared first on CXL.

90% of Instagram users follow at least one business account and 83% of people discover new products through their Instagram feed. 

Amassing a large following on Instagram can help you at every stage of the marketing funnel—from bolstering brand awareness to driving conversions.   

In this post, we’ll walk you through how to use Instagram to get in front of more people and incentivize them to become engaged followers. 

7 principles to effectively grow your Instagram following 

The principles you are relying on to get more traffic, conversions, and sales on your website are the same ones you should use for your Instagram accounts. 

This article assumes you: 

  • Already deeply know your audience and have conducted research to understand what types of posts will resonate with them 
  • Have a solid brand messaging strategy in play, so you can emulate relevant, customer-centric content on social 
  • Have clearly defined goals tied to measurable metrics (e.g. how many follows you want to gain in a month or quarter) 
  • Post consistently (or have curated a plan to) with a detailed content calendar

We also do not recommend buying followers (if you do, reconsider). This tactic is a surefire way to sabotage your Instagram growth long-term. Spending $10-$25 to acquire 1,000 followers sounds good, but the benefits stop at perceived value. Here’s why: 

  • Your Instagram account could get banned: Instagram looks down on fake accounts, bots, and any account that relies on them. At the minimum, you can expect that Instagram will suspend all of your bot and fake followers over time. If the percentage of real to fake followers is too skewed, they’ll likely penalize or ban your account as well. 
  • Your Instagram performance metrics will suffer: Fake followers and bots don’t like, comment, or view your posts after your initial purchase. This means that your post and story engagement ratios will decrease dramatically. When your engagement drops, you’ll lose organic reach on all of your posts.
       
  • You’ll lose credibility: It is easy to tell if an account is buying followers. A tool like HypeAuditor lets you see the percentage of real to fake followers. You could also figure it out for yourself by looking for telltale signs, like low engagement rates on posts for the account size or segmenting followers with incomplete profiles or who only engage on posts in short bursts. 
  • You could be a victim of identity theft: Most of the businesses that sell Instagram followers or engagement are fly-by-night operations. They set up shop, make a lot of money, and then shut down before they get caught. These businesses will have access to your Instagram account and credit card details. Best case scenario, you buy your followers, and nothing happens. Worst case scenario, they steal your identity.  

1. Humanize your brand

It is tempting to hide behind your logo and share overly-polished corporate highlights. The brands that have the most success do the opposite. They find ways to build authenticity and cultivate connection by sharing their brand’s story consistently. 

Take UK fintech brand Tide. They consistently post stories that take you behind the scenes at their London HQ:

Instagram story example from Tide

Each story gives you a sneak peek at their fun-loving, all-inclusive culture:

Instagram story example from Tide

These stories show Tide’s employees engaging in commonplace, relatable activities—feeding treats to dogs and dressing up for Halloween. They also take a stance on important societal issues, such as mental health awareness:

Instagram story example from Tide

These pictures speak a thousand words. The culture they foster is entrepreneurial and community-driven—traits that are reflected in their startup and small business target audience. 

They also prioritize the “work hard, play hard” mantra, which is a mindset shared by many entrepreneurs hustling to bring a new idea to market and scale. But they also recognize the need to prioritize mental health in order to avoid burnout, among other side effects, which 52% of employees report experiencing. 

You don’t have to scroll far to note that their overall messaging is skewed towards side-hustles and small business owners: 

Instagram post example from Tide

By showcasing their employees engaged in non-work activities, they open the door to building deeper connections with their target audience and demographic. We’re intrinsically wired to connect with one another, and understanding the importance of these social bonds is a surefire way to drive engagement and loyalty. 

Here are a few takeaways that you can learn from successful Instagram accounts like Tide: 

  • Remember to be “social”: Respond to comments and direct messages from followers in a timely manner. You’ll build relationships faster and gain a better understanding of what posts resonate.
  • Share behind-the-scenes takes: As noted with Tide, showing the human side of your team makes your brand more relatable, which is a key part of captivating your audience while also sharing what makes you unique and different.
  • Share your story across different mediums: Leverage all of Instagram’s post formats to share your story (Instagram photos, Stories, Instagram Reels, Live Video, and IGTV). When it makes sense, adopt new features early on as the Instagram algorithm has been known to prioritize that content in people’s feeds.

2. Keep your brand messaging consistent 

No matter what you post, or when, it needs to be easily recognizable and consistent. Whatever makes your brand stand out and differentiate, use that on Instagram, too. 

A consistent brand messaging strategy:

  • Focuses on what sets you apart 
  • Does not try to appeal to everybody 
  • Speaks directly to your audience (in their voice and to their intent) 

The more consistent you are with your messaging and brand, the more it will resonate with your followers (and attract new ones). Consistency also promotes habit building. Partial habits take 25 days to build, and full habits take 50-60 days: 

Graph illustrating how long it takes to form a new habit

For example, if you post about a similar theme (like mental health awareness) at the same time on the same day each week, your audience will come to expect that. Building habitual anticipation is a great way to boost awareness and engagement, as it’s easy for followers to develop a habit of checking in, especially if it’s on a topic they care about.

SaaS company BigCommerce does this well.  Before every holiday, they highlight unique brands on their platform selling gift ideas:

Instagram post example from BigCommerce

Here are their posts for Father’s Day and Mother’s Day, respectively:

Instagram post example from BigCommerce

This consistency makes it easy for their audience to anticipate and appreciate gift idea posts. 

And in turn, engage with their platform on highly competitive ecommerce shopping days.

3. Curate content for each stage of the marketing funnel 

Besides consistent, high-quality brand messaging, you need a wide array of Instagram content to speak to every customer touchpoint. Use your customer journey map to inform your strategy. 

One B2B brand that does this well is social media scheduling platform Later. In this meme, they share educational content that helps social media managers do their job better: 

Instagram post example from Later

It’s relatable, prescriptive, and not overly salesy. Because it’s general in nature, it appeals to existing customers looking to improve their content creation strategy, as well as top-of-funnel prospects curious about how Later can help them improve. 

In another example, they highlight a platform-specific feature that appeals to bottom-of-funnel consideration prospects, as well as existing customers looking to level up their game:

Instagram post example from Later

By releasing product updates on Instagram, you expand your cross-selling and up-selling opportunities to potential customers on the edge of making a purchase as well as existing customers eager to take advantage of your latest offerings.

4. Leverage influencers to expand reach

The influencer marketing industry is worth more than 9.7 billion dollars. Partnering with the right influencers can help boost awareness and lead to more sales. 

One DTC brand that does influencer marketing well is meng’s grooming company Beardbrand. At any given time, they partner with several micro-influencers in the men’s beauty and fashion niche: 

Instagram post example from Beardbrand

In the Reel above, they partnered with a men’s fashion blogger who shares how he recreates a specific beard style. This partnership makes sense since it is aligned with Beardbrand’s products, and helps Beardbrand tap into a like-minded audience that was previously beyond their reach. 

To run successful influencer marketing campaigns on Instagram:

  • Don’t obsess over follower counts: Unless you have a nearly unlimited marketing budget, it pays to focus on niche micro-influencers (i.e. influencers that have anywhere from a few thousand to a million Instagram followers). It is tempting to work with an influencer with 25 million followers, but it will cost a lot more, and often the influencer has lost direct touch and access with their fans.
  • Find influencers that resonate with your audience and align with your brand’s values: Before you reach out, do your homework. Look at their post history, follower list, engagement ratio, and any other brands they’ve highlighted on their account. For example, if your brand is big on sustainability, you don’t want to partner with an influencer who is promoting muscle cars and pick-up trucks.
  • Be aware of influencer fraud: This is a growing problem. Some influencers will inflate their stats by buying followers or creating fake brand deals on their accounts.
  • Start small: When working with a new influencer, start with a small project and measure their results. Then, keep testing results over time to maximize reach and conversions. 

We take a deep dive into these best practices and more in CXL’s influencer marketing course. 

5. Embrace social proof 

Social proof is invaluable. It boosts authenticity, builds trust, helps proves your value, and drives decision-making. 

Here are some ways to use social proof to your advantage on Instagram:

User-generated content

UGC works well because it shows real customers using your product or service. This helps potential customers see if a product is for them. 

This can range from product reviews and photos or videos of a customer using your product to more elaborate displays. 

House of Wise, a luxury CBD brand, does this well through its Instagram Stories. To ensure these reviews are easy to find, they’ve added them to their Instagram Highlights: 

Instagram highlights from House of Wise

By amplifying customer’s content, House of Wise not only encourages reviewers to keep sharing feedback but also increases the reach for both accounts (a win-win). 

Importantly, the customer is advocating on their behalf without an incentive, which adds authenticity to the review:

Instagram story example from House of Wise

Organize a giveaway 

If your offering has product-market fit and is highly demonstrative, UGC is often a natural side effect. However, sometimes you may need to incentivize customers to share. 

That’s where giveaways and contests can work well. Cabot Cheese teamed up with a winery to give away a wine and cheese box to two winners in exchange for participating in this Instagram giveaway: 

Instagram post example from Cabot Cheese

They kept the barrier to entry low without sacrificing virality. Contestants simply had to follow both brands and tag a friend in the comments to enter. This gave them more views and likes and incentivized more people to hit the follow button (it’s hard to pass up a chance to keep an eye out for a wine and cheese giveaway on your feed). 

Most people didn’t just tag a friend but they also left a comment that was either funny or explained what they would do if they won the giveaway:  

Instagram comment example from Cabot Cheese

Positioned well, contests beget engagement. Once you set the ball in motion, your community will likely take hold and run with it. 

Repurposed reviews and feedback 

To double down on social proof, repurpose your testimonials and case studies into Instagram posts and videos.

Pipedrive does this well. Here, they share a video clip from one of their customer success stories: 

Instagram post example from Pipedrive

When you show real-life customers using your product, it makes it easier for prospects in that niche to see themselves using it too. 

A similar company that follows Pipedrive can watch this and easily envision how their product might benefit their business. They’ll be more likely to start a free trial or become a paying customer as a result. 

Display social proof in your bio 

A simple way to amplify social proof is to add it to your Instagram profile bio. You can incorporate it in your bio description, your clickable link in your bio, and even create your own branded hashtags (in your bio and posts).  

This is the first thing new people see when they follow your account. It is also the only clickable link that you can display on Instagram. If sales are your primary KPI, displaying social proof is a surefire way to help convert potential followers into followers and ultimately customers. 

6. Use relevant hashtags (and avoid trivial ones) 

Instagram hashtags have a very high search and headline presence, so including them in all of your posts is a must. They can help more people discover your content on Instagram. 

But don’t go overboard. Instagram’s algorithm will see right through your hashtag stuffing attempt to get more eyeballs on your content and limit your organic reach. Not to mention, repeat offenders may get shadowbanned and have their content restricted without their knowledge.

It is best to use hashtags sparingly (e.g. no matter than 15 hashtags per post). This post from adventure meal company Mountain House is a great example of how to use hashtags well:

Instagram post example from Mountain House

It shows a real customer cooking and eating one of their products on a hiking trip and they use a mix of popular and branded hashtags that are relevant to the post. Mountain House coined the hashtag #savortheadventure, which means anybody that searches for that hashtag will likely see their posts. 

To ensure their post maximizes reach, they also use popular hashtags related to their content, like #yellowcurry and #easymeals. Both of these hashtags are popular but not so much so that it’s impossible to secure a coveted top spot.  

In this example, Mountain House shares a post related to “National Chili Dog Day” and uses hashtags that are not only popular but relevant: 

Instagram post example from Mountain House

Incorporating these hashtags— #chilidog #chilidogday #getoutside #camping #campingfood #campinghacks #mhhacks feels like a natural extension of the post content instead of hashtag stuffing.  

Here are some best practices: 

  • Include your hashtags in the first comment, not in the actual Instagram caption: This can save valuable space for longer captions. It also has a modest impact on performance and overall reach.
  • Add a mix of branded and popular hashtags: Focus on hashtags that are popular but not so popular that it will be impossible to secure a coveted top spot. 
  • Don’t forget about hashtags with emojis: This can be particularly beneficial for niche accounts. For example, if you are a travel blogger, you might use these two specific hashtags: #travel✈️ and #travel.  

Competitor analysis is also important. Look for posts that have the same style or niche as you and identify their top and worst performing posts. Note the hashtags they used (e.g. branded, non-branded, and number per post) and analyze patterns. Test on your audience to see what sticks, and optimize as needed.  

Also, search hashtags on Instagram to get a better idea of which ones are popular. 

Resist the urge to stuff your post with hashtags, like #cats, #dogs, or #memes that have 100 million-plus posts. Your content will wind up getting buried on the Explore page often in a matter of minutes.

7. Track your performance and optimize accordingly 

Monitor and analyze your Instagram metrics on a weekly (ideal) or monthly basis. This allows you to spot patterns and trends and course correct if performance is trending down. 

Here are the metrics that you should track, what they mean, and how you can use those insights to optimize your Instagram marketing strategy, post great content, and grow an engaged audience.

  • Follower Count: Total number of followers
  • Net New Followers: Total number of new followers added in a given time period
  • Post Engagement Ratio: You can calculate this by adding up the total number of likes and comments on a post, dividing that number by the total number of followers, and multiplying by 100
  • Bio Link Clicks: The number of people clicking on the link in your bio 
  • Post Likes: The number of likes on all of your posts
  • Post Comments: The number of comments on all of your posts
  • Story Views: The number of views on your Instagram story
  • Story Comments: The number of DMs from real people on your Instagram story 
  • Story Link Clicks: If you have a swipe up link in your story, the number of people who clicked on the link 
  • Referral Traffic: The percentage of traffic that came to your website from Instagram
  • Conversions: This will depend on your desired goal, but this is typically either sales, email subscribers, or leads that can be attributed to Instagram.  

By keeping track of your Instagram analytics, you can find out what types of content work best for you and ensure that you’re getting the maximum number of new Instagram followers.

Say you run an Instagram account for an online sneaker brand. Here are some ways you can apply the metrics you are tracking to your Instagram strategy: 

  • A/B test different messaging and creative versions in your Instagram story. Track which version gets the most Story Views, Story Comments, and Story Link Clicks. Choose the winner and follow that template for future posts.
  • Test Instagram photo post captions to track Post Likes and Post Comments. Note the format, hashtags, type of content, time of post, and so on to see which factors influence higher engagement.
  • Change up your Instagram bio every now and again with relevant links. Track Link in Bio clicks and referral traffic to see which types of links drive the most engagement. Naturally, this will vary depending on your goals. If your primary goal is conversion, product-related links may perform better. If it’s qualified leads, social proof may come out on top.

Conclusion

The 80:20 of growing your Instagram account is to post quality content consistently, be relatable, display social proof early and often, and partner with influencers in your niche. 

Get in the habit of tracking your Instagram metrics on a weekly basis. You’ll be able to spot patterns, which you can use to refine your Instagram strategy over time.

The post How to Get More Followers on Instagram (Without Buying Them) appeared first on CXL.

The Application of Cognitive Psychology to User-Interface Design

Human beings have different perceptions of the same thing. We think, analyze, and create a picture in our minds. However, the thought-process responsible for the outcome goes unnoticed. This study is related to cognitive psychology. Today, every softwa…

Human beings have different perceptions of the same thing. We think, analyze, and create a picture in our minds. However, the thought-process responsible for the outcome goes unnoticed. This study is related to cognitive psychology. Today, every software company gives importance to cognitive psychology because of its essential role in human decision making. Cognitive Psychology […]

The “Marketing is Evil” Problem.

“I hate marketing.““Marketing is evil.““Marketing doesn’t work.““Marketing doesn’t work on me.““I’ll never buy from a company that markets to me.“

My best argument against…

“I hate marketing.““Marketing is evil.““Marketing doesn’t work.““Marketing doesn’t work on me.““I’ll never buy from a company that markets to me.“ My best argument against those kinds of reflexive, anti-marketing takes is this: people create wonderful things to help one another, to entertain, to make art, and yes, to make money, too. But just because something is wonderful doesn’t mean anyone…

Who Will Amplify This? And Why?

You’ve created a stellar email newsletter, but few subscribe. You’ve launched an intriguing podcast, but listeners are nonexistent. You’ve published an exceptional blog post, a compelling research report, a remarkable webinar, a top-n…

You’ve created a stellar email newsletter, but few subscribe. You’ve launched an intriguing podcast, but listeners are nonexistent. You’ve published an exceptional blog post, a compelling research report, a remarkable webinar, a top-notch video, a stunning visual… but the audience just isn’t showing up. In my experience, four root causes are to blame: You’ve produced something of low qualityYou’ve produced…

When Choosing Marketing Channels, Visualize the Curve

Business Owner: “We’re launching a new company/website/campaign and want to buy ads that can get us some customers. Once that’s working, we’ll invest in content and SEO.”

Marketer: “So, no one’s heard of you…

Business Owner: “We’re launching a new company/website/campaign and want to buy ads that can get us some customers. Once that’s working, we’ll invest in content and SEO.” Marketer: “So, no one’s heard of your brand, and you don’t have any existing digital marketing, but you’d like to start with ads, then invest in content and SEO?” Business Owner: “Yup! That’s…

Kids’ Video Game Obsession Isn’t Really About Video Games. It’s About Unmet Psychological Needs.

Many parents are concerned with their child’s seemingly obsessive video game play. Fortnite, the most recent gaming phenomenon, has taken the world by storm and has parents asking whether the shooter game is okay for kids. The short answer is yes, Fort…

Many parents are concerned with their child’s seemingly obsessive video game play. Fortnite, the most recent gaming phenomenon, has taken the world by storm and has parents asking whether the shooter game is okay for kids. The short answer is yes, Fortnite is generally fine. Furthermore, parents can breathe easier knowing that research suggests gaming […]

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How to Use Personality Science to Drive Online Conversions

Nir’s Note: This guest post is by Vanessa Van Edwards, lead investigator at the Science of People — a human behavior research lab. This exclusive book excerpt is from Vanessa’s new book, Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People, whi…

Nir’s Note: This guest post is by Vanessa Van Edwards, lead investigator at the Science of People — a human behavior research lab. This exclusive book excerpt is from Vanessa’s new book, Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People, which was recently named as one of Apple’s Most Anticipated Books of 2017. We all want more conversions. More sign-ups, […]

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