Instagram and Instagram services

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Joined Aug 15, 2003
Fairly recently joined instagram and got an account dedicated to sharing photos related to our food and restaurant and whatnot. Don't have very many followers right now, but it's growing bit by bit. I only recently learned how to use hashtags (lol).

Every once and a while I'll get contacted from "services" that say they can increase Instagram presence to, I assume, build a personal brand and greatly increase exposure.

I have to say that I'm not *really* interested in getting famous (or maybe I just tell myself that because odds are like winning the lottery) but I like the idea of bringing a little more exposure to the business and helping to make us busier. We've gotten a fairly decent amount of local/state level press, especially in the last 2 years or so, but more is better and I'd like to see that increase as well.

Are these services worth it? Anyone know? Are they just a scam or some sort of "like" farm out in Bangladesh or something? I have no idea what they charge (unlikely I'd ever bite) but it probably isn't super cheap...

I was just wondering if anyone had any experience with this type of thing.

Any ways to increase visibility other ways? Ways to get your name out there?
 
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Joined Oct 10, 2005
Just out of curiosity, what are they charging?

Back in the day F.B., Yelp, etc. would list or rate your business for free. But soon they would ask you to advertise with them— or failing that, pay a”fee” to have negative comments about your business removed.
Like the old bumper stickers you saw on beat up old Chevy vans used to say: Cash, grass, or Azz, no one rides for free”...
 
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I concur it's a pay-per-play thing, bots and fake accounts, imo, not worth it. Best way again imo is to use #'s, [email protected]@g top instagram hastags and scan the ones relevant to you and your biz.
 
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Joined Aug 15, 2003
Just out of curiosity, what are they charging?
I honestly don't know. I never even inquired because my fear was what was said above...lots of "fake" followers and likes, etc. The problem is that I bet that kind of stuff works, because my understanding is the more "likes" and attention posts get the more likely they are to be seen. So even a "fake" like is helpful if you are trying to increase visibility.

It just feels off to me to do something like that, and like I said, I'm more about raising awareness for the restaurant/business than I really am about building a personal "brand" or anything like that.

I concur it's a pay-per-play thing, bots and fake accounts, imo, not worth it. Best way again imo is to use #'s, [email protected]@g top instagram hastags and scan the ones relevant to you and your biz.
Thanks...didn't even think to google relevant hashtags. I'll give that a try.
 
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Is it worth your time to hire a local E-Marketing firm? Get a price up front and a contract. Any promises should be in writing.
 
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Joined Aug 15, 2003
Is it worth your time to hire a local E-Marketing firm? Get a price up front and a contract. Any promises should be in writing.
Meh probably not. The business I work for has something similar to that I'm sure. This would be out of my own pocket so I'm not really in the market for personal e-marketing. Well, maybe Tinder but that's about it.
 
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Joined Jun 5, 2018
I've been working on our instagram presence for about 8 weeks. We went from 24 followers to 3,500. The number of followers and likes, fake or not, does make a difference in the amount of visibility you receive from the instagram algorithm. Two of the products I used to build the following were Heepsy.com and tagscout.com. Heepsy help me identify instagram accounts that were influential (had a large number of engaged users). I was then able to follow those people and interact with them. Tagscout helped us grow by automating our interactions with with public in a targeted manner so that we built a following of people that would be relevant to our business. Hope that helps.
 
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Does the amount of followers translate into a sales increase?
That entirely depends on how you build your audience, what you're posting, your goals and how consistently you're using the platform. Assuming you were about to build a worldwide audience but only sell locally, you couldn't expect see much of an increase in sales. If you focus on organic local growth and build a real social presence I have no doubt that it would result in sales. You also have to be aware of demographics, Instagram trends toward a younger audience. If you're selling a luxury product, they may be fans and may be engaged, but, unable to afford what you're selling.
 
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Ummm... that’s the kind of an answer a sales rep would give, not a business owner.

Basically, are saying “ it all depends”? Or are you saying “ no, you can’t directly link increased sales no increased followers”?

See, when you say:

“I have no doubt that it would result in sales”. (direct quote from your post)
Then let’s take that sentence apart, word by word:

No doubt. Not an emphatic yes or no, not backed up by numbers or case history

Would. Not yes, not no, but would. As in, Woulda, shoulda, coulda...

Sales. Not increased sales, but just sales.

Gosh darn these (deleted) business owners! Just because they have (substantial) skin in the game, they think they know everything.....
 
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Joined Jun 5, 2018
Ummm... that’s the kind of an answer a sales rep would give, not a business owner.

Basically, are saying “ it all depends”? Or are you saying “ no, you can’t directly link increased sales no increased followers”?
Gosh darn these (deleted) business owners! Just because they have (substantial) skin in the game, they think they know everything.....
It's like saying, "I cook great food, Will I be successful" Is the food really great or is it total shite and you're the only one that thinks it's great. The food is only a small part of success. Are you going to execute flawlessly on all the other items required? I dunno.

Here's an example of a chef that's doing InstaGram so well that Bon Appetit called it out in the title of their article on him,
"The Chef Behind the Pasta Instagram We Can’t Stop Scrolling Through". https://www.bonappetit.com/story/anthony-andiario-chef-pasta-instagram. Do you think he would have that article without his InstaGram presence? Did instagram directly increase his sales? I'd say yes. Here's a link to his feed: https://www.instagram.com/anthonyandiario.

Blacktap is another instagram hit. They make incredible milkshakes and burgers. people started sharing their images on instagram and the next thing they knew there were lines around the block with people waiting to get their milkshakes. Their sales are entirely based on InstaGram and called out in their story, "MODERNIZED FOR THE INSTAGRAM AGE", https://blacktapnyc.com/our-story/. You can find their feed here: https://www.instagram.com/blacktapnyc/

So the answer is, other people are building sales through instagram.

Will you be able to build sales through InstaGram? Maybe.
 
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Nah. I build sales through wholesale accounts. No one but myself can claim to have “ helped” me.

Whenever I hear the word “help” in connection with business, the hairs on the back of my neck stand up: Everyone has a different idea of what “help” is, but more importantly, everyone has a different idea of how they should be compensated for said “help”

But did Instagram directly increase Anthony andario’s sales? Not your opinion or anyone else’s opinion, not “I’d say yes”, but sales figures—-pre instagram figures vs. post Instagram figures.
 
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I am also fairly new to Instagram, but specifically joined because I saw what it was doing for a coworker. He is a bit specialized and has a huge following on social media. Because of this, he gets contacted quite a bit about new job opportunities. He is often sent free products in the hopes he will like them and use them in his photos. His number of followers is viewed as a big asset by our employer and I believe that affected his compensation.
Instead of hiring another company to gain followers, here are the steps he shared:
-He bought a nice camera
-He took a photography class to help improve his posts
-He occasionally buys a sponsored post through Instagram (under $300) that brings him to the attention of new followers
-He engages with people on social media
 
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Adding my two cents here

While I do not have any figures pre-instagram and post-instagram I have to say, that business in general for several restaurants we work with have increased since starting their own IG accounts.
Now - I am not saying that this is magically due to Instagram - definitely not.
Menu's have been changed (updated and infused with several dishes that fit better to the public they are serving), drink selection has been changed, etc...
But one thing that the restaurant managers did notice is, that more and more people would come in every time they posted a promotion on a Monday for example
This indicated to them, that their followers were actually active and could be reached via this platform

Having said this, and in regards to the OP's initial question: No, I don't believe in companies / users / apps that promise more and more followers - because yes, they will get you more followers, no doubt, but will those followers be actual ppl or just bots, and even if they are real ppl, are they active or not?

Have the followers and likes translated to increased sales?
If I might borrow foodpump's question - that is really the question that needs to be asked

Exposure surely can be grown via Instagram, absoutely
Tried and tested
But exposure should not be put 1 to 1 with sales / revenue as that depends on a few other factors as well

Just my two cents
 
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Joined Apr 14, 2020
I agree, there are many fake Instagram accounts that many people use to increase the number of followers. But Instagram sees this and blocks those accounts that use such tricks. Despite this, I found a way to promote my cooking Instagram page. I googled and found a service that provides real followers. And this has a positive effect on the Instagram page and its rating. So I found a way to buy Instagram likes that are from real Instagram users. It costs a little more than the likes of bots, but it is safer.
 
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Wow....buying Instagram likes....

Everyone on this thread tells me it’s Verboten ( not allowed) to equate web presence to sales, so I guess my next question would be:

“ How does buying Instagram likes put bums in chairs?”
 
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Joined Aug 15, 2003
Wow....buying Instagram likes....

Everyone on this thread tells me it’s Verboten ( not allowed) to equate web presence to sales, so I guess my next question would be:

“ How does buying Instagram likes put bums in chairs?”
How does buying an ad in the paper put bums in chairs?
 
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