Is Instagram Swipe Up actually working for influencers and bloggers with tips on how to use IG stories without needing swipe up.
IE 132: IG Swipe Up: Is it Working?
I know that you all won’t be surprised to hear me say that I am firmly obsessed with Instagram stories. I use them almost every day for marketing my business. I engage with you all and the rest of my audience on there.
You also know that I have some pretty strong feelings about the Swipe-Up feature. I’ve been fairly outspoken on my opinions about Swipe-Up and how I think it’s highly overrated.
But today I am asking a different question. Is it actually working? Is Swipe-Up doing what it’s supposed to do and what everybody says it’s doing?
Are Influencers Actually Influencing?
I recently saw an article on BuzzFeed that highlighted an 18-year old girl with 2.6 million followers on IG.
The whole point of the article was to showcase this young lady’s inability to launch a brand regardless of her millions of followers.
This IG user needed to sell 36 t-shirts in order for her drop-shipper to send out the first shipment of shirts and she was unable to get the 36 orders.
A lot of questions were raised about influencer marketing as a result of this failure. This young lady was a macro-influencer. She had 2.6 million followers, you guys. This is not small potatoes.
And yet she couldn’t sell 36 shirts. And people wanted to know why. Is influencer marketing a thing of the past? Are influencers no longer able to influence?
Some of the criticisms of this “launch” were –
- The influencer never shared a photo of herself wearing her own product
- She only posted about the product on her feed once
- She shared one video about the launch
- She had never marketed or sold anything before
So, was she actually marketing a product? Or did she just assume that her followers were her target audience? Why didn’t she do more to market the shirts? Did she truly think that 1 post was all it would take to launch the product?
Do the Numbers Matter?
This brings up a conversation I have all the time with bloggers; do my numbers matter?
The answer is two-fold; numbers do matter but if the engagement isn’t there, the numbers won’t help you.
If your audience isn’t engaging with you through comments, responding to your stories with DMs, or sharing your content, it doesn’t matter how many of them there are.
Stop Obsessing Over Swipe-Up
Back in episode #113 of this podcast, I told you to stop obsessing over swipe-up and I am going to stand by what I said then.
If you don’t have enough followers to have the swipe-up feature, (and that’s 10K in case you didn’t know)…if you don’t have 10K followers, just don’t worry about it. It really doesn’t matter.
I can say this with complete and total confidence simply because I have clients whom I work with one-on-one who have 20K, 30K, 100K followers…and they’re seeing better results when they don’t use swipe up.
That’s right. Read it again if you need to.
Engagement is where it’s at. Not in the swipe up. And in order to help you stop obsessing over the swipe up feature, I have a free worksheet for you to walk you through it. LINK TO DOWNLOAD
Direct Messaging for the Win
The best way to engage with your audience is, again, the direct messaging box. And recently, Instagram has adjusted its algorithm to favor the content of those users whose audience is direct messaging them.
Now hear me, engaging with your audience in their inbox doesn’t mean saying, “Thanks for following me. Would you like to buy this product?”
Don’t do that. Don’t spam your people.
When you direct message your people and they reply to you, IG gets the information that your audience wants to hear from you. This bumps you forward in the stories to the front of the line.
It also affects the feed. They will see you in their feed more often when they are interacting with you.
That engagement is keeping them on the IG platform, which is exactly what IG wants. This is how they make their money, by users staying on the platform and seeing the ads.
I can’t overemphasize the importance of getting into your follower’s inboxes. Ask questions, let them ask you questions, do a poll, whatever it takes to get into the direct messages.
Using IG Features to Increase Engagement
Okay, you say, but how do I get my audience to talk to me? How do I get them to DM me so that I can respond to them and begin a conversation?
You ask them questions.
If you’re a food blogger, poll them on whether they prefer savory or sweet. And then DM the ones who respond to the poll. If they say savory, ask them what their favorite savory recipe is or if they’re looking for a particular type of savory recipe.
This not only increases your engagement, but it allows you to better know and understand your audience. And knowing them is what allows you to create the content they want.
Is Pinterest Really an Audience?
I’m going to be totally transparent and tell you something stupid that I said when I started blogging. I said, “I don’t need to know who my audience is. I have Pinterest to send me traffic.”
Oh, my goodness.
Do you know what Pinterest is? It’s a great way to get clicks from people who come, take a look at what they want, and immediately leave. And you don’t see them again. That’s not an audience.
An audience is a group of people who know, like, and trust you. You’ve shared with them authentically and they’ve shared with you. They ask you questions, they tell you their stories.
Are You Growing Your Email List?
Are you going to put all your eggs in a basket where the algorithms could change any day?
Are you going to trust your business to a company that, like Pinterest, could decide to go public?
What happens to your awesome traffic then?
You have to focus on engagement. Growing your email list is another place where you absolutely have to focus on engaging with your audience.
What Your Audience Needs from You
You need to be actively searching for ways to interact with your people and build those authentic relationships with them.
And IG stories is one of the best places to build those relationships through direct messaging.
Your audience wants to hear from you; they need you to solve their problems and show interest in their lives. They are looking for authenticity.
The young lady on IG who couldn’t sell 36 shirts to her 2.6 million followers has a cold audience. They don’t know her or feel connected to her.
Seriously, go read that BuzzFeed article to see what people said about her launch and where she went wrong. It’s fascinating stuff and it’s a lesson we all need to pay attention to.
We have to tell our audience what we want them to do over and over. It’s been said that we have to tell someone to do something 7 times before they do it.
If you ask your audience to respond to you once and then you don’t tell them again, they’re not going to do it!
Keep telling them. Teach them how to engage with you. Teach them to DM you and to answer your polls.
Comment below and tell me if you’ve been using DMs to engage with your audience.
And tell me one action step you’re going to take after this episode to begin to interact more authentically with your audience.
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