We’ve all checked our Instagram story views from time to time (read: every day), and let’s face it — that’s normal. Story views tell us who’s engaged with our profiles. This is a metric that we can use to optimize our profiles.
But if you’re closely watching the numbers, you may have experienced a few dips in your following recently. Don’t be nervous about this because you’re not alone here. We’ll give you the scoop on why you may have noticed fewer people are viewing your Instagram stories.
It’s happening everywhere
You read that right: you’re not the only one panicking about this. The thing is, some of those views you were getting were fake. In August 2019, Instagram began to crack down on “bots” that were watching people’s stories and interacting with certain profiles.
Where do the bots come from, you ask? Sometimes, growing influencers or profiles looking to increase followers will pay third parties to boost their following with fake accounts — known as bots. Although the numbers may increase, the quality doesn’t. These bots don’t add anything to your profile or business, and most people can tell they’re fake anyway.
With the Instagram bot crackdown, viewership will naturally go down. But like we said, it’s actually a really good thing.
How to increase your following
So you lost some views and you may be wondering, “Now what?” Increasing your following is an ongoing process. It usually doesn’t happen overnight. Here are our four golden rules:
- Perform an audit of your profile
It’s time for a deep dive into your profile. Look at your photos, captions, hashtags and any other messages you’re sending out into the world. Take note of which ones perform well. Every profile is different. While one brand may have great success with UGC, another brand may do well with product photography. Your starting point is knowing the ins and outs of your profile so that you can start to do what works best from here on out.
- Hone in
A common misconception is that Instagram profiles get popular by being the jack of all trades — the photographer, the traveler, the musician and the socialite. In reality, folks come to your profile for your brand. They want the unique things that make you stand out. Once you’ve performed an audit of your profile and taken stock of what differentiates you from others, hone in on your brand.
What do we mean by honing in?
- Tap into your niche. Do you give exercise advice? Are you funny? Do you post beautiful photos? Make this your path and ensure that every step you take is along that path.
- Add your location. This isn’t mandatory, but it’s a great way to establish common ground with some of your followers.
- Use your voice in everything you do. Establishing your brand means carrying it out in all directions. Your comments should reflect your voice. Your stories should line up with your brand. Your photos should reflect you.
- Use hashtags
After all, that’s what they’re there for! Hashtags let users find specific content that they enjoy. If you’re supplying that content, why not make it easy for them to find you? There are plenty of hashtag research tools out there. Start by defining your content and your niche and work your way up to hashtag research.
- Be consistent
It’s one thing to post when you feel like it; it’s another thing to consistently push content out into the world. Once you get a following, your new focus is to keep them. Users will forget about you if you’re not posting regularly, just like they’ll grow bored if you’re not posting about things relevant to them. Once you’re established, keep it consistent.
Now, it’s time to turn the bummer (losing some views) into a win for you! Your Instagram growth plan is always evolving and with your hard work and dedication, you’ll get there. But hey — sometimes we need help. We’re kinda all about Instagram growth, content strategy and ways to make your brand all about your business. Reach out and we’ll be happy to help you!