? IE 113: Stop Obsessing over IG Swipe Up & Focus on Engaging

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Are you obsessing over IG swipe up? I need you to stop obsessing and focus on proven strategies that work even better!

I’ll just tell you right up front that I expect to ruffle a few feathers with some of the things I am going to say today. And I’m okay with that because what I am going to share is something that I think needs to be shared.

IE 113: Stop Obsessing over IG Swipe Up as an Influencer and Business Owner

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Stop obsessing over IG Swipe Up and start engaging with your audience through these specific strategies #instagram #bloggingtips

But before we get into all of that, I want to remind you all that IEA, my live event, is a mere 6 weeks away at the time of this airing. I am so excited to finally have all of you in the same room with me as we make this podcast come alive.

There are so few tickets left though, so if you haven’t got your ticket yet, come over and check to see if there are any left. I would love to see you in Charlotte, April 2-4, 2019, as we dive into learning from our speakers and implementing everything we learn.

Now, on with the show.

What Is Swipe-Up on Instagram?

Because not everybody is on every platform all the time, I want to explain what I mean by swipe-up on IG.

When you get to 10K followers on IG, you get the ability to add a link in your IG stories. When you do this, at the bottom of your followers’ screens, they will see the words, “Swipe up.”

When they swipe up, they will be taken to whatever you have linked to, be that a recipe, a DIY, an affiliate post, whatever you’re trying to drive traffic to.

Why Having 10K Followers Doesn’t Matter

The problem with the swipe-up feature is that it makes people without 10K followers feel like they can’t win at Instagram. And I’m here to tell you that’s a bunch of baloney.

I see some pretty popular bloggers practically begging for more followers just to get the coveted swipe-up.

But here’s the thing, you guys. Even if you have 10K followers, or more, if those people aren’t highly engaged with your content, that swipe-up feature isn’t going to do you much good.

If your followers aren’t your target audience, they aren’t even going to take the action that you’re wanting them to take through the swipe-up.

The Validity of a Swipe

Let’s talk about swiping for a minute.

Maybe you’re in line at the store or waiting in the carpool line for your kids. What do you do to kill that time?

If you’re like the majority of us, you’re going to go into your phone. And you start swiping.

  • You swipe to scroll.
  • You swipe to read blog posts.
  • You swipe to look at photos.
  • You swipe to read text messages.
  • You swipe to find a contact you need to call.

The point is, we spend most of our time on our phones performing one action.


Swiping is completely non-committal. Good grief, my kids know how to swipe and they aren’t on my phone to purchase anything!

Telling someone to swipe-up in IG is not asking the follower to do anything that they don’t do all day already in every other platform.

Swiping up is no guarantee that they will spend any time on your content or be interested in what you’re selling.

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The Power of Using IG Stories to Create and Sell Products

Remember last week I talked about how to use your IG stories to create a product for your audience?

Well, it only makes sense that if you can use your IG stories to create a product, you can also use them to sell a product.

You do not need to have 10K followers to do either of these things!

Let’s talk about what you can do and how you can use IG to your advantage, even if your follower numbers are smaller.

Use Text On Your Stories

The first and most important thing to do is to use the text feature on your stories.

You already know, because I’ve told you a thousand times, that you need to add text to every single screen of a story if it’s just you talking.

Nobody is listening to stories with the sound on so be sure to add a text box summarizing what you’re saying in the video.

And then, in one or more of your slides, add text that tells your people to DM you for the information.

Once you teach your audience how to interact with you, how to make a commitment to DM you for the information they want, they will start to do it.

The people who take the time to DM you and ask for the info are committed. They aren’t mindlessly swiping; they want to know how to get what you’re talking about.

Live Links vs. IG Windows

Let’s talk about what happens when someone swipes up on IG to find something they saw in a story.

I know that for me, I swipe and I may add something to my cart. Then, I might decide to shop around a little bit more so I click over to the website.

And every dang time, I lose my IG window and when I go back to it, my cart is empty.

How many of you all think that when this happens, I go back in and start over?

Yeah, I don’t. It’s too frustrating.

So I end up just going to Sephora or whatever store I was looking at through their story link and buying what I want that way.

Don’t lose affiliate sales by doing this!

When you share a link with someone in a DM, it opens in a live window in their browser.

It doesn’t open that annoying IG link where if you make one wrong click, it’s gone.

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Strategies for 10K Followers

The amazing thing about using the DM strategy is that it not only works great for smaller accounts, it also works just as well for larger accounts.

I have clients with 20K, 30K, even 40K followers. These people have the coveted swipe-up feature. They’ve been using swipe-up for a while now.

And you know what they find?

DM’ing their followers and telling their audience to DM them has increased their engagement and click-through rates.

My client with 40K followers will get 100 or more Dm’s off of one little 15-second story!

Does it take time to respond to all these DM’s? YES!

But it only takes a few minutes and this is their engaged audience. These are the ones who will buy everything she sells and who will keep coming back for more.

What If I Already Have the Swipe-Up Feature?

Maybe you already have a large following and you have been using swipe-up for quite a while now.

What should you do?

My recommendation is to test. Always, always test.

Testing does not mean try something once and then decide whether it’s a failure. Testing means trying something for a predetermined period of time before deciding if it’s working.

The people who are the most successful at using the DM feature are doing several different things to make it work.

  • Share other’s DM’s. When you get DM’s from your audience, create stories that share those if you can. I do this with great success. If people DM me to answer a question I’ve asked, I share their answer in my stories.
  • Connect everything. Don’t share one story and expect the mountains to move. Weave everything together into one big connected web.
  • Use IG’s features. From the text box to the “ask me a question”, from the polling option to using the DM box to personally interact with every person who responds to the story, these folks use the features available to the absolute best of their ability to engage with their audience.

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Set Yourself Apart

Another thing I want you to do is to figure out how to set yourself apart on Instagram.

If you’re a smaller blogger in a niche that is very crowded, you have to find a way to distinguish yourself from the thousands of others who are talking about the same thing.

Can anybody say “keto?”

Keto is a huge trend right now and I’m not telling you not to blog about keto recipes if that’s what you want to do.

What I am saying is find a way to not look exactly like everybody else who is doing what you’re doing. Let me share a way I do this.

When someone DM’s me for information, I have started sending them back a 15-second story as a reply.

I especially do this if someone asks me a question which requires me to answer them. Instead of just typing out the typical response, they are going to get a personalized video from me, answering their question.

Again, does this take time?

Yes! But it’s 15 seconds to make a raving fan who will then come back for anything you offer.

Sharing Your True Self with Your Audience

I got one of those video responses from a very famous influencer recently. I was so taken aback when I got it.

There was a fair amount of fan-girling going on when I got it. I’ll admit that.

Now, does that person know who I am?

Oh, heck no. She has no idea who I am.

But I know who she is.

And that’s what you need to keep in the forefront of your mind when you’re creating strategies like this for social media.

Your audience knows who you are.

It’s crucial that you take every opportunity to share your true and authentic self with them. Sending them personal messages creates a relationship with your people.

Building Relationships Is the Purpose of Social Media

Building relationships with your followers is the purpose of social media. If you aren’t taking advantage of every opportunity you have to do that, you are missing the point of sharing anything at all.

Social media isn’t meant to make us feel bad when we see what appears to be the perfect lives of others. It’s meant to create relationships.

Be real with people. Answer the hard questions.

It boggles my mind when a blogger complains about getting “too many questions” from their readers. If you’re getting questions, start listening to what your audience wants.

They will help you grow and they will stick by you. They will share your content with their friends. And they will buy what you create for them.

Swipe-up doesn’t create these relationships for you. Interacting with your audience does. Stop obsessing over one feature that you don’t have and start using what you do have. Share from your heart and watch things fall into place.

Action Steps:

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