Often times we get sucked into the social media dopamine rush of likes, follows, and all kinds of positive social feedback. We take these as indicators that our business is successful, and that people like who we are, and what we do. They make us feel worthy and on course to reach our business goals. But before getting wrapped up in spending hours creating one cheeky Instagram post or thinking you need to immediately reply to every comment, you've got to step back and acknowledge that social media is the journey, not the destination.
As a subscription service provider (and not an influencer), having a large following shouldn't be your end goal. You should actually be trying to get your followers away from your algorithm-dependent feed and into your Subkit page or mailing list. After all, your end goal is to get them closer to becoming long-term subscribers.
Knowing this is easier said than done. Social media platforms are intentionally designed to keep you plugged in and wanting more. When you get a like or follow your brain is hit with a dopamine rush (this is the chemical associated with pleasure) which only leads you to crave more of that happiness. But you're a busy solopreneur with an agenda in mind. You can't spend your precious time chasing likes for the sake of likes. You want to get followers away from that cute new selfie you posted into your conversion funnel. So you've got to outsmart social media algorithms and even your own brain.
What can you put in place to make sure you're sticking to your conversion goals and not drowning in a dopamine detour?
You should stick to a content plan. Idly scrolling and aimlessly posting will lead you nowhere closer to your conversion goals. Take the time to set up a content plan where the goal behind each post is defined. Make sure you have a good balance between distinct content types that are educational, entertaining, and, most importantly, that drive conversions. If you're running low on ideas for conversion posts then check out this playbook on Converting Instagram Followers into Paying Subscribers.
Again, say it with me: social media is the journey, not the destination. Your goal is not to be so beloved on Instagram that you're getting thousands of likes. Your goal is to get more subscribers, therefore that's the metric you should be watching like a hawk. Whenever you try a new conversion post, whether it be through paid ads, giveaways, DMs or whatever you come up with, you should know the aftermath of what resonated with your community and what was a flop.
Tracking conversions can be as easy as having a spreadsheet with a column for conversion post ideas and another column for results. Even gaining one or two subscribers from a single post already tells you loads about what's working with your followers and it means you have to do more of that. By the same token, posting content that is intended to convert and get you lots of likes, but no new subscribers tells you there's room for improvement.
After years of testing out this feature, Instagram has finally given us the power to choose whether or not we want to hide likes and views (note: this as a new feature is location-dependent). If this is news to you, here's how to do it. The ability to hide likes will, without a doubt, help you focus your attention on getting more conversions. Now that you don't have to worry about consistently creating content that performs well on social media, you get to have a laser focus on the kinds of content that actually get you cha-ching...sales.
Set an intention
You should set an intention before you open up Instagram on your phone and set healthy boundaries for how much time you can spend on the platform. This goes for everyone, but it's especially true when you're using social media for work. A recent study actually found that even before we open up the app, arousal is increased in our brains in mere anticipation.
It's easy for constructive marketing time to get dragged into an extra 15 minutes of mind-numbing scrolls. So before opening up Instagram, establish how long you'll be on the platform and with what goal in mind. 45 minutes of researching conversion content ideas or a 5-minute break after a long day? Whatever it is, have that goal in mind and stick to it.
If you've tried and failed and are still struggling with making Instagram a good channel for conversions then it might mean you need some help. You could invest in professional assistance from a social media manager, or decide to put some cash behind Instagram ads. In general, the average conversion rate for accounts with 10K-50K followers is 2.2%, followed by accounts with less than 10K followers which have a 1.8% conversion. Investing time and money into learning conversion best practices and perfecting your targeting can pay off. But before you spend big bucks on paid media, do your homework.
Interested in growing your subscription business? Subkit is here for you.