When Instagram’s interests are not your own

Now that I changed my mind and have augmented my personal Instagram account with a Bredemarket Instagram account, Instagram is sending Bredemarket helpful tips and messages. Here’s part of a message I recently received from Instagram.

Let EVERYONE know how to connect with you, including friends and family?

What’s wrong with letting EVERYONE know about your business social media account?

While there is some merit in Instagram’s advice, there’s one very important caveat if you are trying to build a business, rather than just trying to build follower count.

Only invite people to follow your business account who are genuinely interested in your business.

  • Obviously current customers are interested in your business, and inviting them to follow is a good idea.
  • The same goes for potential customers, a category that Instagram inadvertently left out of its pitch.
  • And some of your friends and family who are knowledgeable about the issues in your business may be good invitees, because even if they can’t provide business (and sometimes they can), they can serve as evangelists to others. Someone of my Facebook and LinkedIn friends have already helped me in this capacity.

But I haven’t gone out of my way to invite my friends who do not own or work for identity, biometrics, technology, or local (Inland Empire West) firms to follow the Bredemarket Instagram account. Why not? Because it provides no benefit to Bredemarket.

So why does Instagram want me to invite friends and family to follow the Bredemarket account? Because it does provide benefit to Instagram. The more people engaged on Instagram translates to more opportunities for Instagram to display ads, which benefits Instagram’s bottom line. But it won’t benefit your bottom line as a business.

So if my European daughters’ retired high school teacher is waiting for that Instagram invite from Bredemarket…keep waiting.

Shameless non-sponsored plug for Ray of Social

Incidentally, my thoughts on WHO to invite to follow your business social media accounts have been heavily influenced by Georgia of Ray of Social. Her Instagram account is here. Pay special attention to her “3 things that harm your growth,” especially thing 2 (although thing 1 and thing 3 are also important).

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