If you don't know what I'm talking about you can engage, use Instagram so much that it locks you out. It's never happened to me but there is apparently a level you can get to at Instagram where they lock you out from being able to like and comment. We looked up what would cause this to happen and so a few things one, Instagram has trusted accounts and accounts that they don't trust yet. Most of that is how much time you've been on the platform so in the first six months you can do less liking, engaging that makes sense because they're trying to combat people that are bot farms spinning up new accounts and doing a lot of engaging with them. That's how when people buy likes that's how it gets taken care of. For the first six months they restrict what you can do.
Once you're a trusted account which I assume most of you all are at this point so you can like and follow about a thousand times a day, it's got to be intervals of 28 to 36 seconds. I think essentially what Instagram is trying to do here is I'm sure they looked at the average amount of time between likes for people, it would be I think they're trying to combat you from liking every post in your feed right? That is not normal behavior. Excuse me. That is not normal behavior to like every post in your feed. If it takes you two or three seconds each post. Let's say it takes you three seconds you're liking every 10 15th post to stay in there within their guidelines.
Likes one every 28 to 36 seconds a thousand in a given 24 hours follows same things. Comments it's 12 to 14 comments within an hour with a 350 to 400 second break. We'll put this in some graphic somewhere and maybe we should do an FYI on it just because I wasn't privy to this information before. Instagram knows that people are one buying likes and it's trying to combat bots but two using services to go out and do fake engagement to try and drive traffic to your feed and get new followers.
If you're being pinged for excessive usage I would question why you are engaging that much. I would have a hard time believing that you're not engaging for the purpose of gaining a following. I've said it many times before that you can't hack your way to success in life in general. I think you can hack your way into some short term gains, you can do a giveaway you can go out and do a bunch of engagement and drive interest in traffic to your page and get more followers that stuff does work in the short term.
You are never going to build a brand if you think of yourself as a brand. You're never going to build a brand or a business on hacks, that's just not the way businesses and brands are built. They're built over years, they're built by putting a lot of care and thought into it. They're built by providing value in every single interaction you have with those followers and so there is a temptation to look for the hacks because we don't want to do the hard work of providing something that people really want but that's the key. If there's one thing I feel like I've beat the drum on in the show over the last few years it's that, if you can find that thing, if you can find the thing that people want and they will seek you out for and they will share with their friends what you're doing, that is the key to success, that is the only thing that you should be chasing. Is that thing is that product market fit.
The content that you're putting into the world has people sitting at drinks with their friends talking about it saying, "You got to follow this person you've heard of this person they're amazing." Has their friends DMing has people DMing your post to their friends saying, "Did you see this you got to follow this person they're incredible." If you really want to be successful that's what it has to be.
I think over 50% of our business here at Fohr is from referrals, it's because we spend all of our time and all of the extra money that we have providing an incredible service building technology that we feel is unique and helpful and we don't have any marketing budget. In fact you're looking at it, this is the marketing budget is my whiskey essentially. We don't spend any money on marketing because our hope is that we build products that people want. We provide those products and services that we have, provide value and then people talk about them, and that's worked. We make millions and millions dollars a year off people saying, "Hey you should hit up Fohr." Now I would say with referrals and return business and inbound requests that's 95% of our business.
How do you do that? You do that by building a brand, by being consistent, by providing value. By focusing not on how can I grow but how can I create something so good that it will naturally grow and that is what you should be spending your time on not I need to engage two hours a day on Instagram, all right? Because you're never going to get the hockey stick that you're looking for. Hockey stick is a way to talk about growth right? If normally things grow like this in a static line a hockey stick goes up really fast. In a start-up world that's what you're looking for is a hockey stick and you got to find your hockey stick as well. Teza when I met her, had 150,000 followers a year and a half-to-two years later, she had 500,000. That's hockey stick growth. That's finding something that people really connect with on an emotional, and high-level and doing it over and over and over and over and over again. There's no hacks there.
It's honestly sometimes why when influencers come on the show, I feel like sometimes those episodes are less helpful than other ones, because they don't have hacks. They don't have little tips or tricks, or I did this thing and it totally changed what I did. They just found a formula that worked and they kept doing it over and over and over and over again. You can't teach that. You can't talk about that. You can't say like, "I don't know. Go find a product. Your products, your content in this case that people want and then you get a following." That's every person on Drink with James that's been on as an influencer. That's the advice they have. Speaking of growing, let's go on to number two.
- Instagram usage ban, follower growth rates, unrealistic brand expectations