Realistic expectations when boosting instagram posts
Instagram offers “profile visits” as an advertising goal. When people see that your profile and content are compelling, they’ll decide to follow you. This is a legitimate way to expect more real followers. However, there’s another path that tempts many people.
Why pay Instagram instead of buying fake followers?
In earlier days, bots created fake accounts that would follow you and like your posts. These bots depended on a public Instagram API, or tool. In 2018 Instagram shut down this tool to defeat these bots.
Companies still offer fake followers for money. Poorly paid laborers, often in sweatshop conditions, churn out Instagram accounts. More money buys you followers that have profile pictures or posts.
You’ll need to hand over your Instagram login if you want to pay these dealers. You’re also giving up your reputation.
Profiles and pictures or not, Instagram knows what fake followers look like. Buying them can get you banned. Potential customers won’t follow you because they can smell fake followers too.
Even if you could somehow fool Instagram and the public, what about your analytics? If you’re paying others to like and follow you, how could you know which posts that real people like most?
Without boosting a post, only a fraction of your followers will see it. Understanding a bit about the Instagram algorithm can improve your visibility. Yet promoting a post can get you seen by many thousands more who aren’t following you yet.
Stacy noticed she had a drawing of ducks that got some responses and feedback from her followers. She decided to boost that post with $100 over 5 days.
Instagram gives you several options for defining an audience. Stacey chose “Automatic,” where IG would target people like her followers. She chose “More profile visits” as her goal.
Almost 7500 people saw her ad. She got 64 likes, 1 comment and 17 people tapped “Save” to bookmark this boosted post. Yet only about 200 people clicked on it. Ten people became followers.
Paying $10 per new follower doesn’t seem worth it. What happened?
Stacey’s ad, a drawing of ducks, wasn’t like the rest of her feed. She mostly had newborn photos and invites to events.
To get better results, you’ll want to choose an ad that represents your company, brand and the posts you usually make.
Stacey also didn’t use a caption or call-to-action. Always use a compelling call to action in your ads and content.
Stacey’s close friends might want to see her baby pictures, but strangers didn’t. Make sure you post content that your audience will love to see. Taking time to define who your audience is and what they want is well worth it.
Due to the IG algorithm, some of Stacey’s followers probably hadn’t seen her ducks until she boosted the post. However, when you boost a post on Instagram, you can shortcut this algorithm and get seen by massive numbers of people.
Let’s see how putting a few of these tips to work can get you followers for a tenth of the cost.
Alex Armitage wasn’t trying to sell a product. He just wanted more awareness and followers for his landscape photography account.
He picked a photo that got some likes but wasn’t his best work. He chose to spend $50. When creating the ad, he selected IG’s pre-made audience called “Landscape Photography.”
Instagram estimated that 41,000 to 110,000 people would see the ad. A little over 32,000 saw it. Over 7200 people clicked on the ad. He gained 6700 likes for the photo and 4 comments.
However, he only gained 40 followers. He repeated the experiment with a far more striking image but got similar results.
Bottom line, it cost him a little over a dollar per new follower using IG ads.
Alex feels his business is too small to call these experiments successful. Alex didn’t offer an established product or service. You can do far better.
Alex recommends using your best photo. When you boost a post, make sure it’s already popular with your followers.
How can you succeed with Instagram ads?
Brand awareness is easiest. Instagram is happy to take your money in exchange for showing your ads to a large audience.
SproutSocial emphasizes that acquiring leads demands compelling offers and social proof in your ads. Getting sales/leads requires that you know your audience very well.
Your ad has one goal: get people to click. What people see next should lead them to other goals that eventually end in a sale.
Does boosting Instagram posts work? Yes. While it’s easy to waste ad money, there’s real potential to get leads, sales and brand awareness with Instagram ads.
Follow the tips here. Always use compelling images that are already popular with your followers. Employ motivating captions and calls to action. Set specific marketing goals and monitor your progress.