There is nothing fancy about this post. It just covers the challenge of starting an Instagram account, the type of posts that I see most frequently, what is working for me, what isn’t working and what I would need to do to make it work better.
Keep in mind, the reason I started an Instagram account was to create a branding channel for myself that created engagement and helped me learn some new skills in something I hadn’t tried before.
The challenge of starting an Instagram account
I really like to try new things and Instagram, though it has been around for years, was something I hadn’t tried before. From an outsider’s perspective, it seemed like everyone else was there and that I might be missing out on some opportunities.
I also knew that Instagram had become a big player for businesses in terms of marketing and customer engagement. These were areas that my companies could not afford to miss out on. With a personal account, the idea was that I could tryout new things and learn more about the social media channel and then apply those to the business.
My first post was in the beginning of July 2016. I basically just started out posting pictures of food stuff and workout stuff with a random here and there. No real logic.
From there, after reading about different concepts and strategies, my account took a more methodical approach to what and when I was posting. I’ve played around with using different # and tagging people.
Since then, my follower count has hovered around 45-50 followers.
What I’m seeing
- Men and women that are working out
- Motivational quotes
- Instructional videos
Is it working
What I’m seeing from my personal account is that very little traffic moves to my website from Instagram. This is true when I compare to our companies’ traffic sources as well. Given that Instagram makes it more difficult to link to pages, this makes sense.
As for building an engaging audience, this has proven difficult as well. Mostly, my followers consist of supplement companies (probably as a result of fitness related #) and of marketing “gurus” (probably as a result of business related #). I’ve noticed that most of them stop following after a few days.
My original strategy of check out every account that follows me or likes a post doesn’t seem to be working. My hope was that this would show some mutual interest. But now my theory is that those likes, comments and follows are just auto bots trolling Instagram and not real interaction.
However, despite all of this, I can see how this is a great channel to develop a brand. The imagery from some accounts is awesome and engaging. If done correctly, I can see how Instagram can really build an interested following.
The Rock is very good at this. First, his imagery hits the mark. Second, it seems like he is the one actually doing all the posting, though I’m sure he has an assistant for that. Third, his account is a constant stream of posts so they are going to pop up all the time. And fourth, with the new Instagram algorithm, his slew of likes and comments fuel the next post, putting him near the top.
Indirectly, setting up a personal account has helped by introducing me to some cool apps like Later.com. And forced me to become reacquainted with buffer.com (why did I leave you). These have huge applications in my companies.
What needs to be done to make it better
While I’m not fully prepared to take things to the next level, it is pretty clear what I would need to do to get there.
First, there would need to be a full commitment to building the channel. That means:
- Laying out a full content strategy including a content calendar of what to post and when to post them every day and every week (and knowing how to develop them).
- Dedicating resources to building better imagery.
- Connecting on a one to one level through direct messaging with influencers
- Better research and usage of hashtags #
Second, there would need to be external promotion off of Instagram. These might include email campaigns, Facebook posts and a bigger emphasis to follow from my website. Pretty basic stuff.