How has Instagram evolved since its inception?
In this time it has noticed several important changes.
The positive part is that it is more entertaining than a few years ago. Its rise to the detriment of Facebook, has made many people go on to tell the highlights of their day to day in this network. So, combining friends, family and close professionals, we have a pretty entertaining timeline.
Professionally, it’s an excellent tool to raise awareness of the most important companies and people, with a closer approach.
At least on the Internet, each time we read less. We have so much to consult, that we just scan one content and move on to the next. For this reason, among others, it seems to me that social networks like Instagram or Pinterest are very interesting.
How real is what happens on Instagram?
But the problem is when you go a little further and start to interpret the data of some profiles, to do some experiment with hashtags, to publish more frequently, etc. Your account starts to grow and you start to see the negative part.
This is a situation similar to the one that finally caused the Twitter crisis: false followers, bots, swollen accounts with thousands of followers and just a few dozen publications, automatic comments in different languages, etc.
Instagram has noticed and is already making decisions to solve it by eliminating false followers and likes. Hopefully they arrive on time and clean up the network.
The reality is that the followers and real likes, added to all the noise generated by the automated and false, generate a positive image in the social profiles.
We see that volume and we directly think “it has to be someone important!”. But everything that glitters is not gold.
How to know if an Instagram account is really influential?
How can we know if everything we see happening on an Instagram account is real? Normally, human followers who follow, make likes and comments in the publications of a profile.
The fastest way is to use tools like HypeAuditor, in which they show you a report (they send you the link to your email) with the main data. We have done a test with the profile of Cristiano Ronaldo and it turns out that of the 146.7 mill. of followers that he has, 43.2 million are suspicious accounts or accounts that use follow / unfollow tools (they follow you and when you follow them they stop following you, thus increasing their numbers), they do not see the publications.
And that the audience of Cristiano Ronaldo (according to this tool), has a good health (relationship between real and automated followers). Imagine how those who are in a bad situation should be.
How can I assess the quality of an Instagram account without tools?
But beyond the tools, just having a bit of common sense, you can look at:
- Ratio of publications and followers: if you see that with a few dozen publications has a large number of followers, you can start to suspect (unless it is a public figure is not normal). Formula: number of followers / number of publications.
- Low or zero Interaction: if you see publications with many likes but no comments.
- Balance between followers and followers: if you follow many and you are followed by few (except public figures) or if you follow and many follow you, you are likely to use automated tools to grow.
- Content quality: and of course, nothing is easier than assessing the contents you publish and see if they contribute anything, if they are “canned” images (famous phrases), photo gallery images, etc.
What are the benefits of using Instagram for companies and professionals?
After all these reflections, what is the use of being on Instagram? If we think about it, we are evaluating our experience based on things that are not entirely real. It is true that in the case of profiles with few followers, this effect is more evident in the profiles they follow, than in their own. But at the end of the day they are taking a wrong picture of things.
But in any case, on a personal level it has a series of positive benefits:
Sense of belonging.
Inspiration for purchases.
But, what benefits does Instagram have for a brand or a professional?
- Visibility: allows us to announce important news.
- Proximity: we can do it with a closer and different approach to other networks.
- Relationship: this closeness allows us to generate relationships with our audience.
- Return of investment (ROI): beyond the traffic that we can generate (from the profile or through advertising campaigns), we must try to measure the impact of our activity in the form of economic return.
- Indirect: in the form of brand generation, business opportunities (for professionals) or growth of organic traffic on your website.
- Direct: what happens to the traffic that comes from the Instagram profile? And of course, what results are we getting with the advertising campaigns?
Seeing the high percentage of false or automated activity, we believe that the measurement and the concrete analysis of the return on investment, are fundamental to have a real idea of what we are getting. If we look only at the numbers we see on Instagram, we could get the wrong idea.