Is Social Media Creating Copycat Businesses?Jul 07, 2022
If you spend a decent amount of time on Instagram, then you might have noticed this, but when you scroll your feed, it's starting to become a lot of the same thing. Same trending concepts, same transition trends, same early audio alerts, everyone using the same trending sounds, etc. You might ask: well why is that a big deal? That's the best way to grow on Instagram, isn't it? And while the answer to that may be "yes," I'm going to break down in this blog why that might not be the best long-term social media strategy for you and your business.
If someone were to ask us: "Michael and Jill, what's the best/easiest way to grow on Instagram right now?" I'd say to create reels and do nothing but transition reels with trending audio and early audio trends. Because if you really take a look at the accounts that are growing, those are the ones that are growing by the thousands . . . but if you notice, we don't do any of that type of content. Which might lead you to wonder, "Well why not? Especially if you know that's the easiest way to grow?"
There are three main reasons why we don't do this. The first reason is that it dilutes your overall business and the products that you sell. The more your content starts to look like everyone else's when it starts to hinder your ability to maximize your value. Let me put it this way: would you be more likely to pay $1000 a month for a coach if their content was unique and innovative or if it looked like 500 other coaches' content on Instagram?
The answer is probably the one that has innovative content. Because unless you plan on doing reels transitions and audio trends, there's not really much they can teach you based on the content you're seeing them create. However, the coach that's creating unique content obviously has more education and ideas to teach, making that coach far more likely to be able to charge a higher value for their services. When your content starts to look like everyone else's, it affects the price that you're able to charge, because people pay for unique solutions. If they think they can get the same product in 100 different places, it dulls down the value of your overall product, and now you're competing on price, which is never a good strategy for long-term success.
The second reason we don't create that type of content is that it doesn't really show any knowledge or expertise that you have in your field. Showing audio trends that anyone can find if they simply search the reels tab doesn't add any value to them or help them solve any problems in their business. Which doesn't sound bad now, but wait until you try to launch a product or service . . . because you'll struggle to sell. The reason why is because if people don't see solutions in your free content, why would they think you have any solutions with your paid content? Or even worse, they'll think you're "holding out" your best stuff just to charge them, which is a major turn-off for a lot of people.
We know people who struggle to sell even $7/month memberships for this very reason . . . because people haven't seen any upfront value. I'm sure you've seen the people constantly selling on what seems like every Instagram post they make. However, if their content was valuable to people and helped them, then they wouldn't have to constantly be selling because their free content would do the selling for them.
The third and probably main reason why we don't create this type of content is that algorithms are always changing. Last year Instagram's algorithm updated at least 3 times that we know of, and I can guarantee you that it will happen again, probably a lot. So by creating whatever the "flavor" of content is that's working now, you're actually digging yourself a HUGE hole for your business. You're being "reactive" instead of "proactive" when it comes to creating your content. You're teaching the algorithm what content you create, then changing it, then changing it again, and again, to the point where it will hurt your reach and engagement in the long run.
Also, you may think it'd be the best thing in the world for you to have an Instagram account that has 100K followers, but I can promise you, it's not all roses. We run a lot of Instagram accounts, and I can tell you that the more followers you have on Instagram, the harder it is to grow, get reach, and ultimately engagement in your posts. Contrary to what you may believe, Instagram actually favors smaller accounts over larger ones, so while it may seem awesome when you see people growing thousands of followers a day, it's going to make their Instagram journey, in the long run, a lot harder.
All this to say, it can seem really enticing to create content on Instagram and other platforms that are "working" right now, but as a business owner, your job isn't to be a looking a move ahead but rather to be looking five moves ahead and truly asking yourself: "Is this the best social media strategy to be implementing for my business in the long-term?" Personally, I think it isn't. A much better strategy is to create highly valuable content in your industry that establishes you as a thought leader and someone that can provide actual value and solutions, because that is what people pay top dollar for, not information and "tips" that they can find in 100's of other places.