Maximize Your Social Influence with Neal Schaffer

131: How to Create Your Own Instagram Followers Policy to Increase Your Community and Gain More Engagement

October 18, 2018 Neal Schaffer Episode 131
Maximize Your Social Influence with Neal Schaffer
131: How to Create Your Own Instagram Followers Policy to Increase Your Community and Gain More Engagement
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Maximize Your Social Influence with Neal Schaffer
131: How to Create Your Own Instagram Followers Policy to Increase Your Community and Gain More Engagement
Oct 18, 2018 Episode 131
Neal Schaffer

On this podcast I first compare the concept of an Instagram follower policy with that of other social networks and then focus on detailing my experience on Instagram to help you create a policy that will help you grow both Instagram followers and engagement.

Show Notes Transcript

On this podcast I first compare the concept of an Instagram follower policy with that of other social networks and then focus on detailing my experience on Instagram to help you create a policy that will help you grow both Instagram followers and engagement.

speaker 0:   0:00
What's up, Les? Go! Welcome to the Maximize your social podcast. Follow me. Discover the latest social media marketing techniques from the world's leading experts from top to bottom, this is the podcast where business professionals come together to master social media without all the confusing mumbo jumbo with no further ado. Turn it out. Here's your host, the one and only Neil Shaper. Everybody, this is Neil Schaefer and welcome to another exciting episode of Maximize your Social. I hope you've been enjoying this relaunch for lack of a better word of my podcast. I really like this rhythm of having my own spoken, uh, social business unplug type of monologues combined with interviews from people that I truly respect and I feel are experts in the industry. And I hope that you also like this combination as well. You know, when I began this podcast, the whole idea about social business unplugged. The original name was going to be the solo monologues. And just like with any content creation, process it overtime and I boy, I did 100 28 episodes. I think before I did a relaunch, it requires an investment of time and creativity and even with my own blogging, there are some weeks when I don't block right, and I think that being able to interview experts provides good Segways. That actually provides a really, really good rhythm of my own monologue, my own ideas and thoughts combined with balancing ideas and having conversations with experts. You know, there's a lot of podcasts out there. I know there's a lot of I don't consider it a competition per se. I listen podcast myself. So there's a There's a lot of great people out there, but you know, there are a lot of podcasts are just focused on interviews, and it's similar with people or businesses and social media that just curate and share other people's content without having their own point of view without having their own perspective. And I wanna make sure that this podcast stays balanced so that it always has my own personal perspective and point of view stamped on every episode. And that's why, for me, it's important to maintain these monologues while still offering these interviews, because I get asked by a lot of people, a lot of businesses that will be featured on this podcast on There's a lot of great stories out there, you know? I like to say no one has a monopoly on ideas. No one has a monopoly on storytelling. You shouldn't just buy my books. You should buy a lot of author's books. You shouldn't just read my block post or listen to my podcast. You should be listening to and reading as many as possible because there's so many different perspectives out there. And I think that as humans and as professionals, that's how we grow when we get bombarded by different types of perspectives and opinions on similar subjects, so I'll stop there. But it's actually a great Segway into today's podcast, which is gonna be about the topic of Instagram, and I really want to zero in on Instagram following and followers and I've already had conversations with some people on Instagram. It's a instagram, probably right now is my most strategic social network. It's where I tend to spend most of my time. I find tremendous benefits both personally and professionally, that it's always been 100% personal, but I'm starting to mix in the professional and it's been interesting. That's the results, and it's also obviously because I'm writing a book on influencer marketing. It really is the focus of the influence of marketing industries. So part of the reason I spent a lot of time is also my own r and D for myself, my own brand and for my clients to better understand how influence and how marketing works on that platform. So the follower following thing is that is a very interesting subject that, you know, I've been on instagram for a few years now. I think it's almost been five years. If I'm not mistaken, I have to go back and look when my first photo was posted. But it's been a few years, and I've gone through a lot of different phases, and perhaps you or your business is in one of these phases. Um, you know, you just you begin you you know, you immediately have instagram saying, Hey, why don't you connect Facebook? Let's look for all your Facebook friends, Um or hey, let's look for your contacts from your phone directory and see if they're on Instagram. And inevitably, you begin on Instagram with zero posts and following perhaps a few 100 people in having zero followers and you know, a lot of what I'm gonna talk about here is also something that I talk about when I talk about a Twitter follower following policy. It's also the same thing that I talk about when I talk about a linked in connection policy. And I've been talking about a linked in connection policy since 2009 because it's really the same concept. At the end of the day, you need to have your own policy as to how you want to use. I mean, obviously, you need to have your own strategy as to how you want to use Instagram. Is it gonna be for personal, for business, for both. But you need to have a policy as to who are you gonna follow? And when someone follows you are you're gonna follow them or not? And should you consider at certain points in time unfollowed wing and what type of instagram branding that follower versus following ratio? And I'm gonna include ah linked to this Twitter blogger post I wrote on that same subject. What do you want? That Brandon look like an instagram? Instagram really is a special beast. There are many people that I am you know, influencers in their own outright in social media, authors, bloggers that we're connected on Twitter. We're friends on Facebook, and yet, no matter how many times I follow them and try to engage in the minister Graham, they don't follow me back. And that's really where my journey began. Why would these people on Twitter follow 6100 people? Why would they become friends on Facebook? Get on Instagram. They only follow 100 people or 200 people or 500 people are 1000 people. And why would they follow me when they follow me on these other networks? Now some of you may have found that I don't follow you forever. Reason So you may be thinking exactly what I was thinking, and at first I was a little bit bitter, right? This is social media. It's all about reciprocity. But now I realize that it's because of Instagram is a special beast and this is why your follower following strategy your policy on Instagram is going to be vastly different than on any other platforms so on linked in. Let's first talk about limitations right on the din, you're limited to 30,000 connections. Interesting data point today, and sometimes I've been able to accept invitations and get over 30,000. I've heard other people hinted that before. I don't know if that's just a temporary fluke or if I'm gonna be able to continue to do with this. But for most people, to 30,000 right for an overwhelming majority of people. So we think did I mean, boy, it takes you a long time to get to 30,000 for most professionals. I don't think you need to worry about it for a lot of the clients that I work with. And this comes down to the social selling playbook, and I'm gonna add that block post to my own Neil schaefer dot com site soon. But I'll throw in a link to this other site where, I guess, posted it. Um, you know, it comes down to on a daily basis. You have a playbook, and it's not just for linked in its for other networks as well. How many people might gonna consider connecting? Two are following, right, so that's one thing. But before we do that, we need to understand the limitation. So if Lincoln is 30,000 maybe you're gonna try to connect with I don't know. I know. For the clients that I work with, I try to set a goal of, like, 20 Right, um, for some more aggressive people could be 100 but you know that 30,000 limitation. And if you try to invite too many people too soon, you're going to get your hands slapped on or your wrist slap the lengthened And, uh, it's gonna take, you know, not everybody who invites gonna accept that invite. So even if you let's say, did 100 And even if I don't know, I'm trying to think of a good success rate here. Odd, say, And I'm just thinking about my client. You know, that's how you get a 50% success rate, which I think is actually pretty good. That means you're gonna have to go through 60,000 invites to get the 30,000 connections and 60,000 invites at 20 a day. It's gonna take you several months, gonna take a few years to get there. So I think for linking You don't have to worry about that now if you're one of these power networkers and I was a linked in open networker A lion back in the day And I talked about that. It laid in my book understanding, leveraging and maximizing linked in this windmill networking concept to social media, which I still I still cherish. And I still employ. Um, you know, you may be the point where you need to prove your connections and I actually have a one of the podcast of Maximize Your Social was why it may be time to prune your connections even if you're not at the 30,000 limit. And the reason is so I talked about the limitation and we're just talking about linked. And believe me, I'm gonna get the instagram, but I want to share with you these concepts air evergreen that they apply to all networks. But the way it's applied is gonna be different on each network, which is gonna come down to how instagram is very, very different. But the reason why you want a prune your connection. So I was at 30,000 and I connected with a lot of people as an open networker, these air people that may not even be real profiles. These were a lot of recruiters who were, I believe, the first open networkers that instead of pain for the Lincoln Service's they wanted to acquire the greatest network possible, said they'd have visibility and access into a lot of people. So, you know, I'm thinking, Wow, I have 30,000 connections. But if 1/3 of these are sort of irrelevant people, when I publish something are linked in, they're not gonna engage with it. And what happens is like any other social network, When I publish a post on LinkedIn, it's going to take a data sample. It's gonna take a percentage of my connections, and it's gonna send out content out to them. And guess what? If no one engages with that content boom, no one else is gonna be able to see that content. And that's why having you know, quantity is important. But the quality is even more important because the quality of the relevance in your connections is not there, right? You're content is not gonna be seen by anybody. It's gonna be seen first of all by irrelevant people. And, you know, if you've been unlinked in for a few years, you've probably tweaked your brandy. Maybe you're in a completely different industry or in a different role now. And that's why pruning your connections on a regular basis or dis one connecting disconnecting with people are linked in at the same time when you're connecting with new people. If you're at that 30,000 double, if you're trying to increase the engagement rate is something that I do on a daily basis. Ah, lengthen. It may not be daily, but I have my own process on Instagram. It absolutely is daily, and I'm gonna go into that I'm already sort of hinting at at the process here. But this process of pruning to get Maur relevant and therefore, increase your engagement. It's something that can be applied everywhere. It's something where on to podcasts ago I talked about how fresh is your content in this? This notion of deleting irrelevant content from my website maximize social business in able to increase my search engine ranking in my relevance with Google, right? Or maybe you have cold email subscribers, so you regularly delete them out in order to increase the relevance of who is getting your email marketing messages. It's the same concept. It's now being applied to social media, and I'd say today is a best practice. And on Instagram, it absolutely is the best practice. But, you know, I'm sort of going ahead. So that's sort of the way this is applied to linked in the notion of this limitation of connections, of a daily playbook of pruning and of wanting to increase the relevant so that you get more and more engagement. So what about Twitter? Well, Twitter, there's no limitation. Now. There is a limitation that there's this 2000 follower limitation. If you want to follow more than 2000 people, you need to get Maur than you need to acquire more than 2000 followers. So Twitter has its own limitation. That's pretty easy to overcome over time and Twitter by far his most open network, Where there's the fewest restrictions, you can't just be too aggressive, you know, you may want to not make sure you follow more than 100 people a day until you get to a certain point. But with Twitter, you know, length in will show you that you have how many connections do you have, or once you get to 505 100 plus and when I do social selling trainings. I talked to sales people. That's really the goal. Let's get you to 500 plus above and beyond that, it's gonna be part of your playbook. And it's going to depend on your industry. What have you But 500 plus is really the goal, you know, with Twitter. The goal, really is that everybody is going to be seen your follower following ratio. So that ratio is gonna become part of your personal brand. But also the number of followers you have. It's gonna be part of your personal brand as well. So you can't just follow 10,000 people if you only have five followers, is gonna make you look really bad. On the other hand, if you're a new brand and you have 10,000 followers, you're only following five people. No one's ever heard about you. They're gonna think maybe you're in the business of purchasing fake followers. So I think it's important to also show people that follow you that if they're really and relevant, you're gonna follow them back because it's social media. So that's why I keep you know, I'm just trying to think of what my current numbers on Twitter on today, I'm nearly 220,000 followers, and I think I'm at about 80,000 following. So Hey, you know, if you're a riel marketing professional, I want to follow you back because I want to engage with, you know, with marketers. And really, you know, there's somebody search is being done on Twitter. Yes. If you get a verify profile, maybe you get a little bit more juice in the Twitter timeline. But not everybody sees every tweet, right? Um and really, a lot of I believe of the views and the engagement you get aren't necessarily from the timeline per se, but they're from people doing searches on Twitter. So that's why Twitter you can be a little bit loose with that connection policy on with your follower following ratio. But that follow her photo ratio becomes very, very important When we talk about Twitter versus a length in. Now, when we talk about Facebook, it's very, very different as well. Facebook limits you to 5000 friends, but you can have more than 5000 followers on your personal profile. Should you wish to enable that, obviously, for Facebook pages, there's no limitations, but you can't follow people. And I should say the same thing for Lincoln Company pages. There's no limitations, but you can't follow people with Facebook. You're limited to 5000 friends, so it's really the same thing. And I think over the past few years you probably seen influencers, at least in social media space, start to unfriend people and prune their friends because these are people that never engaged with them. Or maybe they connected a few years ago. But they're they're not engaging today, so I want to make sure we get over to Instagram. But obviously Facebook is similar. LinkedIn, where you have 5000 friends and you want to prove to make sure you get maximum engagement. Obviously, you reach that 5000 limit on Facebook before you do are linked in Now, if linked in, if you're in B to B, you're in sales, and that's more important than you'll want to do pruning autumn or daily basis. But Facebook it becomes an important conference as well, because the 5000 limitation obviously is more severe than linked in, but obviously as well. For most people, they never even get about 5000 number. But even if you're not there, that notion of pruning if people that you friended three or four years ago that you've just never engaged with, you know, like I tell people, right? And I mentioned this in my first Lincoln book. Just because I disconnect with you on LinkedIn are just because I don't friend you on Facebook Maybe because you post a lot of political things or things that I just don't want to engage with because I use social media differently. Just because we're not friends on Facebook doesn't mean we're not friends, right? Just because we're not connected, linked in it doesn't mean like you're not my friend. It just means that I use these social networks very, very differently than you. D'oh! And that's okay. And it's not a big deal. You don't want to get emotional about it. And it goes back to when I saw those influences not, you know, reciprocating friendships on instagram of not getting bitter about it. It's okay. You have your own policy, got school. I know a lot of people, and I've gotten these e mails where, uh, you know, one of the things I look at when I prune, whether it's Facebook or Lincoln or Twitter is you know, I noticed that, like on Twitter, I was following people that haven't tweeted in like, three years. It's like, you know, this is sort of ah, you know, for lack of a better word, a waste of a follow. Right now I've had some of those people, you know, one in particular ver ver recently. That's on my email. Marketing this Say, Well, you're not following me on Twitter Even though I'm following you, you must have unfollowed me. And therefore you're not practicing what you preach on die just unfollowed you and I'm you know, I'm gonna delete you, delete myself from your email list And you know, when someone comes at you like that, it's like, what can you d'oh I don't think anything I could have said to that person would have been would have helped the situation. You know, there was a reason why if they were unfollowed or if they were pruned, there was a reason why that happened. And it's very, very similar. Instagram And over the last several weeks, I've had a few conversations with people on Instagram and I think you know one of the reasons why is that if you were to go into the iTunes store or the Google play store, there's lots of different APs for Instagram. And one of these is hey, get notified when someone follows you so that as well is very, very different from these other networks. I mean, Twitter might have usedto have that. I don't think that exists for Facebook are linked in. But Twitter. It's just so noisy. I don't think people are gonna go through and monitor that, because there's just so many bots that are doing a lot of following them. Following that sort of a good waiter introduce Instagram so on the same scale. And those of you that see me speak and I have Ah, I'll be talking about this and more depth in my upcoming book, The Business of Influence. But this notion of these two different types of social networks and wire instagram and Twitter more engaging, potentially then linked in and Facebook Well, they're definitely more engaging for companies for a variety of reasons, but there just more open and they have less limitations. So Instagram, though, does have a limitation the limitations, you cannot follow more than 7500 people. So when I began writing the business of influence, I was finding people that had tens of thousands of followers. Yet I have never heard of them. And some of them didn't even have a block post or a website. They didn't blogged and they didn't have a YOUTUBE channel. Or maybe they had a YouTube channel that only had like, 100 subscribers. And they had a website that had two or three block pose. And I'm thinking, Well, how the heck did these people get to be where they are today? On Instagram? How did they acquire this many influencers when they don't follow that many people? Because obviously, one way of building out of community is through social signals is topping people on the shoulder. And one of the tactics that use for that in addition to commenting and liking and you know different ways you can engage with people is definitely following them. So how did this happen? And you know, one of my clients is a Grammy Award winning musician. When I look at his instagram profile, I get why that happens and he's someone that follows. I don't know. He has tens of thousands of no yes, a few 100,000 followers. Any follows, you know, um, several 100 people. But you know, how did these other people get to where they are by following so few people? And therefore it raises the question as to how many of someone's followers on Instagram are really? Because I think that you know, Twitter, you could always buy fake followers. But Instagram is really up the game because having a lot of followers and Twitter isn't nearly as valuable today as having a lot of followers on Instagram. Because Instagram has become so popular for brands to utilize as part of their marketing, there's a free product to be had. There's money to be had, and therefore that's really what fuels the influence of marketing industry. Unfortunately, now I wrote, the Seabrooke recently will put a link in here in the notes in this block post about how artificial intelligence is really revolutionizing influence the market, and by using different data points, we can now help brands find out. Are the followers of this people real or fake? There's also a great service that I'm gonna recommend called High Pod it, and we'll include a link to this podcast that you should do it for yourself and Twitter. I think it's also got Twitter Roditi. There's also one for Twitter, where you can see how about your followers were fake and it could help you actually block those fake followers. We have limitations. We have follower following, you know, ratio in terms of personal branding or professional brandy, right? So whether your business pro for personal profile on Instagram with same, you still have that limitation of 7500 we have the notion of pruning because we want to maximize engagement. And once again, even more so than Twitter. I think that brands really are looking at the amount of engagement on profile. So, just like you can buy fake Instagram followers, you can buy fake instagram engagement. And even if you don't buy that engagement, there are ways of gaming the system to garner that engagement. I have yet to write about this, and you know there's a few block push you confined about it called instagram pods, and I'll include a link to one in this block post. Not that I'm recommending that by any means that you engage in that type of activity, but understanding that that is what exists that I think what generates a lot of engagement out there because brands are looking at Hey, what type of engagement did your content have? Yes, you have 5000 followers, which gives you a certain amount of micro influence or type of status. But when you publish how many of those people are actually engaging with your content and some of the standards out there are 1.5% is definitely one of the standards that sort of seen as an average. So immediately when I see people wanting toe, you know, people following me. And when I say people wanted me to follow them, I consider when someone follows me, they want me to follow them, although that may not be the case, right. But that's just my assumption. You know, there's someone with 10,000 followers, but the average number of likes and her last three block posts were 20 or 30. That, to me, is an immediate red flag that they bought a lot of fake followers, right? So this is another reason why you went to reduce your followers. If they're irrelevant, if they're fake and if they're not engaging, right so that you know the same thing with Twitter. I go in and find people that haven't posted an instagram in six months. Are they even still active? And, Mr Graham, I don't know. People come and go, right? People came to Google, plus Google Plus is now dead. But before Google pulled the plug on Google plus it already was dead by a lot of people, right? I don't spend a lot of time there, and I'm sure a lot of people unfollowed me because I wasn't spending time there. And that's fine, right? If you were toe stop tweeting for three months, you come back or on instrument, you're gonna find that a lot of people unfollowed you. And the reason why is they don't know if you're still investing in that platform, right? I for someone that's investing on a daily basis, investing time in that platform, I want to engage with other people on instagram that are equally invested in the platform. As I am right, I want to know that they're publishing on a regular basis. They're engaging on a regular basis. So this is one way in which we begin to look at the importance of not only the follower following ratio, but also this average engagement rate. And I would tell you, you want to try to get to 1.5% all your posts now. Obviously, every post is gonna be different. The golden sign of fake influence is when someone gets an approximate same engagement rate on all their posts because, I mean, look at my post. If I post a photo of any book like I recently did for my new E book on maximizing Lincoln for business in 2018 it gets a lot less engagement than when I do a selfie and my selfies lose out to my sunset pictures or when I'm traveling, like, recently in Italy, those types of pictures with some of them. I think I have a sunset picture that got, like, 6% engagement, and that's a really superstar ratio to be able to get. But I'd say 1.5% of the is what's considered an average. It's what's considered sort of your first step, then you want to aim for 3%. So I I know that when I am pruning my instagram following and it begins by, I mean there's two different ways of pruning, obviously, and you know, we really need to take a step back as to who are you going to follow it? Who are you going to follow back type of policy. And obviously I could go on for an hour talking about the subject because, like I said, I think it's irrelevant every social network out there and I've been doing this for several years, but it's really about, you know, Are you getting to that engagement ratio? Are your follow were seen your photos or videos? Because if they're not, it really doesn't make any difference if you have a large following and it's the same concept. If brands want to hire you as an influencer is because they look at your your activity on Instagram and they consider you an influencer right. Even if you don't want to become an influencer, your business should want to become more influential once again. One of the chapters and I'm working on on the business of influence. Therefore write, you should be judging your own instagram activity, just as if a brand wanted to reach out to you or your company to become part of their campaign. And that's why these numbers, I believe, are equally important. So I'm assuming you're already on Instagram, and I'm assuming that you're already following a lot of people. The first thing is that if you are following way, more people than follow you, you need to take a step back and look at all the people you're following, are they? I mean, first of all, why aren't they following you back? I'll still follow people like those influences I mentioned that don't necessarily follow me back because I don't expect them to. I don't expect Leo Messi's kind of followed me back, but I like to see his stuff in my time line. I know my my 11 year old son enjoys it every time I show him a Leo Messi post or you know Renaldo, Cristian, Ronaldo or whoever that is. I don't expect you to follow me back right, and that's really the sign of a true influence or when you don't expect them to falling back. And you know, one of the anecdotes that influenced me as well is when this small business, um you know, we were talking about that follower following ratio, and I I think it was on Twitter when I posted to Twitter follower following ratio link and they said, you know, we found it Works really got an instagram. In fact, we found that when we prove our followings and we only follow back like 10% of those that that follow us, we started to get a lot more followers. So, people, you know, it's social proof that people perceive of these people as more influential and therefore they're not necessarily gonna unfollowed if they don't get a follow back. Right? So there's a lot of different concepts at play here that I'm tryingto bring together. But the first thing is understanding that limitation. You should really only be following people, not really abstract Lee or, you know, just because they used a key word because there's a lot of keyword, spamming and instagram as well, where they want to use the key word. I mean, a great one is keywords related like influencers, influence of marketing or, you know, instagram marketing. Instagram tips just people that want their giveaways to get more. I've also use these ass tags, right? And, you know, some of unfortunately, a lot of us when we're early on instagram. We're trying to build our followers, rebuild engagement, and I've experimented with the zaps as well. The zaps were, Hey, if you like 10 post, you'll get 10 like so if you follow 10 people, you'll get, you know, the ability to get to follows. And it's a double whammy because you end up following people that air irrelevance and you end up getting followed by people that a relevant and therefore you're not gonna get any engagement on your posts when people like that follow you. And guess what? You've just wasted a number of followers or follows of your own on irrelevant people. So you're probably a state where you need to prune your instagram followers and, you know, guess what? It's okay. You're still friends with these people. I have unfollowed friends and instagram. It's the same thing with Lincoln and Facebook. We're still friends. I use instagram very, very differently. If you haven't posted and I have my own threshold, right, I'll look at your last post. I'll look at your follow following ratio. And here is another thing I want to bring up here. And you know, this is an example of these off the cuff conversations that I'm having with you because it's like an onion and we unpeeled more layers, which expose more ideas and more concept. So I talked about that 1.5% being one of these ideas. Well, another one is the 1500 rule. What is the 1500 role in Applied Instagram? The 1500 rolls engagement is so important on instagram Andi, when there's a lot of engagement to be had, it makes sense. It's an engagement economy on instagram. So if there is a 1500 rule, it applies to Let's say you follow someone that has 7000 followers. They're following 7000 people, man. They may have 10,000 followers, and you may know them. But if they're following 7000 people, are they really going to see your photos in the timeline when you're competing against 6909 99 profiles for your photo to get viewed, they're not gonna be able to very different from Twitter, right? Twitter that, you know, is my content gonna be seen on these people's timelines? It's less important because there's a lot of searching going on, but instagram it's limited, right? And there are people that spend a lot of time engagement content on instagram. Don't get me wrong. They can go through a lot of photos. But if you drop out of that engagement circle, what happens is your You may never get that engagement back. And therefore, really, every impression counts And what? This, uh, this actually came from this high pod, a tool that I'm gonna be introducing. Like I said, this notion that anybody follow that has more than 1500 fault that they're following more than 1500 people. They some of them might be influencers off scene influencers with blue check marks that follow 504,000 people. I follow and hinted I'm actually reducing my own following. I I prune ver very slowly to give people a chance to engage with me or, you know, or to change the way I think about them. But I have reduced my following from 7500 to about 4500 now. And my kids like Daddy, Why you follow so many people. You know, you know, there's sort of one barometer you should only be following like 1000 people. But regardless of those barometers, I don't liked Owen. Follow people. No one likes unfollowed, right? So I only want Owen follow if there's a real reason to. And there are a few reasons that I brought up already. But this 1500 concept that if someone is following more than 1500 people, unless they really know you are already engaging with your content there probably never going to see your content. They're never gonna engage with your content in the news feed because they're following a lot of people. And why are they following a lot of people? Well, one of the reasons why they're probably following a lot of people is they're following to build up followers. Now, everybody is this Miss podcast probably wants to build a smaller rather than a a larger rather than a smaller following on instagram, and I get that on the same way. But from that personal branding perspective, right, and from that notion that if you're following a lot of people that are over 1500 followers, it's almost like I'm not going to say they're fake followers. But you're probably not gonna get engaged with them. And that's why this tool is saying the Maur normal people, the more average people, and they define that a sort of people that have under 1500 followings, they might have 5000 followers, but they only follow 500 or 1000. Or they might only have 100 followers. But they only follow 100 and therefore the greater chance that they're going to see your convent engage with your content. Those that's really the sweet spot those the people that you that you have the greatest opportunity to build community with and the greatest opportunity actually gain engagement from. So I have a 1.5. We have the 7500 limit. We have the 1.5% the 3% engagement rule. Then we have the 1500 followings, and all this has really affected the way that I decide. Number one who do I follow back. I used to follow back a majority of people that followed me in the spirit of open networking and and Twitter. But Instagram is just so different and there are so many bots and fake profiles, and so many people would follow you and immediately unfollowed you that I've just stop doing that. It's just not worth it these days, probably out of 10 Instagram friend requests I get or people who follow me, I'll follow back maybe one or two. Now, I don't want to discourage you from following me. If you If you have the same ideas about Instagram, I'll definitely follow you back, especially if you're relevant market or social media market or same bus from Twitter. But these irrelevant ones that I used to follow back. I create the policy. These people are never gonna engage in me there. You know, we do not have that much in common. What is the relevance? And if you can't see the relevance when you look at their profile when you look at their photo, when was their last photo? Because some of these bots they haven't posted in a year, but the bots don't take a vacation and they're going 3 65 days a year, so I will still look at that. I'll also look at. By the way, if you're heavily invested in Instagram, you've probably posted a lot. You probably posted once a day or a few times a week for the past several weeks. In other words, how many post do you have on Instagram? If you only have six posts, you're not invested enough in instagram for me to follow you. It looks like you're just trying to game the system, even though you might have just started an instagram. And that's not your intent. But that's the message you're telling me. Or if you have zero posts, I don't want to touch you. So you know, I mentioned this on Twitter Before you follow people follow this or create lists, and unfortunately, Instagram does not about this functionality. So when you start to follow people, if you're relatively new, a newbie make sure that you've invested in the community. You invest in the community by publishing content, right, so I'll have a minimum threshold. It might be 10 post it might be 25. Post might be 50 post it might be 100 post. It's the only way to, you know, prune connections or followers after whiles if you have these thresholds and the threshold is gonna be a minimum number of posts minimum number or I should say maximum number of who they are following. Okay, you might have a minimum number of followers if they only have five followers and I don't know them. Why are they following me, huh? And there's probably reasons why they found you from ah hashtag that used or comment that you made. And then how recent is their last post? Are they frequently posting or how they not posted in three months? Well, as you can see, I'm really passionate about the subject. I think it's very misunderstood. And I promised a lot of people on instagram in direct messages that I was gonna talk about my policy. And I'm not going to give you exact numbers because they're gonna be different for every one of you. And it's going to depend on your stage as to do you need to prune. Do you need to grow what are already getting that engagement? Ah, what have you But I hope that this is really open your eyes. And if I'm gonna throw the south of fatherhood, followed you, um, send me a message and I will rectify that. And I've rectified that with everybody I know. It's for a reason, right? It's not too personally, uh, you know, try to virtually slap you in the face. But also remember that you know, an instagram follow. It's not. It's it's this virtual world, right? So don't become offended when someone unfollowed you, even someone that you know that your connect with another networks. But I do think you have the right to ask those people. I've yet to reach out to those influences because to me it's no big deal. There's no one billion instagram users. There's a lot of other people out there. But if it's a big deal to you and I get it, you know, direct messages people and say, Hey, what happened? And hey, sometimes mistakes happen. Sometimes there were tools that you use that you know you unfollowed to people and then before you know it, it's unfollowed. Other people without your intention. I mean, these things do happen. Your twitter had a very, very famous bug that it was unfollowed people without your permission. So these things do happen. Just reach out to those people. But I think that instead of focusing on that, you should focus more on building up your own community of deciding who are the strategic people you want to connect with on deciding your own pruning policy and your own sort of connections. Policy, your own thresholds for all these things that I talked about and tweaking those overtime, depending on the stage you're in. So that's really the best way I can find to describe this type of instagram follower following auditing process that I encourage you all to have. If there's something here that I didn't cover that I promised to cover, or that you're still wondering about mix you comment on my show notes on Neil schaefer dot com. Obviously, as always, if this was insightful, please review this rated on iTunes so that others can be exposed to this podcast. Wow, that was a lot, A lot of food for thought today, a lot of wow, a lot of food for thought for myself. I covered a lot more concepts, and I I thought I would and therefore This is probably like I said gonna be my longest podcast. Hopefully, it's one of my most fruitful podcasts. If you found that fruitful, please let me know. And, uh Hey, that's it. I'll be back with you next week with another expert interview. We're gonna be talking That's gonna be related to influence our marketing less on the instagram side and Maura on the content and blogging side. So be on the lookout for that next week. But until then, over the next week and every day, everybody make it a great social. Bye bye now. Thanks for listening to the maximize our social podcast. Make sure kids don't forget to subscribe. Rate the show on iTunes so others can enjoy it to someone to continue the conversation and empower your business. Your social media visit meal schaefer dot com Right now. Have a great week. Let's go. We'll see you on the next episode.