I wrote a while ago about my experience doing an international hidden giveaway on Instagram (read about it here). While I gained followers, I wasn’t happy with the quality of the followers and how badly it changed my demographics. I “fixed” my demographics and my Dallas audience actually holds a higher percentage of than prior to the hidden giveaways. Keep reading to see how I “fixed” my stats and got everything from my engagement to my follower demographics back to normal or better than before.
How to Fix Your Stats
Back to Basics: Figure Out Who Your Ideal Audience Is
Step 1 is to go back to the start and redefine your audience. Remember that you aren’t just looking for the numbers, but a true, loyal audience that cares about who you are and what you have to say.
If you’re stuck here, think about the content you are putting out there, and who it would most appeal to. If you can, look back at demographics prior to the giveaway, or on your other social media or google analytics to determine who your audience was prior to the giveaway. Since I took screenshots, I knew my target audience was females ages 25-35 in the US, primarily Dallas, NYC, and LA.
Why do this: It’s likely before this giveaway you were just looking for numbers. If you’re reading this post, it’s likely you aren’t happy with the results even if you got decent numbers. This exercise will help to re-set your values and help you understand who would most benefit from following you, and who you and the brands you work with would most benefit from having as a follower.
As rude as it sounds, some people just aren’t helpful as audience members. Start to block those farthest outside of your target market. You’ll never get to everyone, so focus on those hurting you the most. In my case it was teenage boys from other countries who didn’t speak English and would never purchase the dresses I post. I was also in the midst of working on a liquor campaign, so I had to keep my following primarily over 21. After the hidden giveaway, my audience from ages 13-24 was larger than my audience ages 25-35, which was absolutely not ideal.
Here’s the annoying part. There isn’t a tool (that I know of) that will segment your audience and tell you who is male/female, over/under a certain age, or any demographics. So I spent days going through my new followers’ profiles and blocking those who I deemed not a valuable audience member. Remember, Instagram has limits on how many people you can block, so keep this to only the least effective followers (chances are they’ll unfollow you later anyways).
Why do this: 2 reasons. First, these are the people being shown your images at present. Instagram shows your new followers your photos because it is under the impression that they are interested in your content. If the started following you via giveaway, they may not even know what your content is or why they are following you. If when they see your content they unfollow you, that tells Instagram that they aren’t interested. Since this would happen in bulk, Instagram will lower your reach because it thinks that your followers are uninterested in your content. Second, you need to take control. I’m not a sit-around-and-see-what-happens type of person, so I like to take control of the situation in any way I can. In this case, if you don’t block them, they may never leave.
You can check out my hidden giveaway post to see more stats from the giveaway.
Promote To Your Target Market
Whether it’s through ads, giveaways, or collaborations, reach out to your target market! Start bumping up those numbers so that when brands reach out you can say with certainty, “yes, your target market is exactly my audience and I think they will love your (insert product/service here)”. The gist of it is, if a company’s products or services aren’t sold internationally, why would they want to work with someone who only has a primarily international audience? Reaching 500,000 people in another country doesn’t do anyone good if they can’t purchase the product.
I did a local giveaway with Dallas Bloggers and another with rewardStyle bloggers, which helped tremendously. I was able to increase my Dallas following and my following in the Liketoknow.it app, secure new partnerships, make new connections, and increase my sales. If you don’t know of or trust any giveaways that you’ve heard of start your own. That way, you can hand-pick the people in them!
Focus On What You Can Control
You’ll never be able to reset your account to before you did the giveaway, so control what you can, and be open about it. If a brand asks, or someone is curious, tell them the truth! Just let them know that you’ve followed the steps on to how to fix your stats and your target audience is stronger than ever. (It will be if you follow these steps!)
Correcting your stats won’t happen overnight, either. Remember that it takes time to find your audience, and getting Instagram to show your photos to the right people is a challenge under good circumstances. Don’t lose hope, though. Your audience will find you again!
This dress is my easiest, comfiest, throw on anytime and look great dress. I wear it a ton, it’s under $100, and comes in 7 colors. I would grab as many as you can, it is basically my favorite year round piece! I have also been wearing these wedges on repeat! They come in 3 colors but I chose the nude. I love the little ruffle, and the heel isn’t too high, so they’ve been great to wear or longer periods of time!
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