100 days a go we started our 2015 Instagram experiment to see how this social media platform could help our business grow its leads, opportunities and sales and connect with our customers - old, current and future. Simply search our site for our updates at the beginning, 4 weeks and after 8 weeks. 100 posts or 13 weeks on - how are we getting along and learning.
Every Day It’s About Instagram!
As we have said before, one of the challenges for any business wanting to use content marketing as a means of promoting themselves and building an audience is to find something to say and way of distributing this content. One tool we love to do both these things is Instagram.
Our Instagram Workflow Once Again
Our content marketing workflow to share photos taken on Instagram is helped using IFTTT to share the photos that are uploaded to our various social media channels. We have been using it over the last 4 years using our personal Instagram account, and copied it over to the new Conspicuous CBM Instagram Account.
It is a fantastic & easy to use internet plumbing service that allows you to use the event of taking a photo on Instagram to perform a number of secondary posting actions – see our diagram below:
Instagram / IFTTT Flowchart for CCBM by Lucy Walton
So functionally this is working well for us to create content, but were we getting the most “bang for our Instagram buck”?
The New Approach – 10 Ways To Treble Your Instagram Followers!
Originally published November 2014 as a blog post on the RED WEBSITE DESIGN BLOG website, this excellent infographic on the topic of Instagram and what to do to make it better, was entitled – “10 Awesome Tips to Treble Your Instagram Followers in Double Quick Time” which we think gives some great hints as to how to get more traction from Instagram. All the tips are fantastic ideas to treble your followers. This is the basis of our approach.
Our Tips For Using Instagram To Maximise Your Business Growth
We posted 12 tips on our round-up after 8 weeks in which we still think hold true, and worth reading at your leisure should you be interested in using Instagram more seriously.
Hootsuite produced a great article a few weeks ago called – “8 Ways to Get Likes and Followers on Instagram” with the following points which had some terrific advice. Read the article in full with the full discussion on each point but the idea of themes, sticking to a schedule, engaging with your followers all seem sensible advice which anyone should be able to follow when getting serious about Instagram.
Hootsuite recently produced another great article on Instagram regarding the perils of automation. What is their final thought:
There are a few clear lessons that stand out from this experiment.
– If you want to use Instagram bots, be prepared to lose your home feed.
– You can’t automate comments. The potential for damaging situations is just too great.
– Prepare to live in fear. Using these Instagram bots to comment or follow for you goes against Instagram’s terms of service.
– You will gain followers, but followers don’t equal engagement. You still have to put in work to earn engagement on your photos.
The conclusion is well worth noting – there is no shortcut to building a community without some hard word, great content and your engagement.
It is true that many of the followers, comments and likes we see do come from Instagram’s wild-west with many self-help and MLM type activities prevalent on our stream – perhaps they are the victims of using automation themselves!
We will look out for more articles or great ways to get more insight or information out of your Instagram accounts, and talk about them as we find them in the months to come.
The New Instagram Approach – 100 Posts In!
Over the last 13 weeks we have been conducting an experiment based on the above infographic’s advice and therefore changing our approach to see if we can get some more Instagram traction without changing our IFTTT workflow radically.
100 posts or 13 weeks in we have continued to post each day something relevant to the audience of the Blog. In raw terms how are we doing? Answer – 285 followers after 100 posts in over 13 weeks.
Our Instagram Account After 100 Posts
We reported about at 8 weeks on Dan Zarella’s great new tool where we saw this insight on the account:
The ConspicuousCBM PicStats.com Instagram Report
Sadly this tool is offline at the moment, which leaves the average number of likes and comments we have achieved to be guessed at, but the trend still looks positive.
Conclusion the new approach beats what we did with Instagram before in the previous 4 years. We have just signed up to Iconosquare on a recommendation, and report back as to how that is helping us understand our Instagram efforts more fully.
A High daily average of interactions (likes & comments) with under 300 followers is simply the best return of all the social media channels we use. David Moth in this article speculates that photos are easy to consume and the Instagram to like is an easy way to interact compared to a retweet, but what about all the Twitter favourites we see in our feed.
Your Instagram Call To Action
As this level of “interaction” appears to be rising for us after 13 weeks then not investigating Instagram (for many of the businesses we see) is a strange decision.
The usual lazy non-believer in any social media platform question is to say have you got any sales from all this. Well it takes a few minutes effort to post and a few minutes to check in and interact with any comments. Lets us see how we do after a year with our usual call for hard word, discipline, perseverance and planning we say is needed for any marketing activity.
There are plenty of people on Instagram who promise you riches and endless leads for your business – try them if you like!
However we are seeing more businesses that genuinely seem to looking to Instagram as a content marketing delivery platform. From this after a few months we see the tentative signs of better engagement and ROI from our efforts that continue on an upward path.
So as you can see in our very short experiment above over the last 13 weeks or 100 posts, that following the infographic’s advice does bring better results in terms of Instagram engagement and relationships.
Instagram is a great tool to create content for all your other social media channels. With a bit of effort and an iPhone you can use it to post something relevant every day to help your business with its 300M+ and growing active users too. Its interface is a lot simpler in some ways than Twitter which makes it a great place to start your content generation pipeline going.
As Instagram matures (and it appears to be getting more popular than Twitter), then ignoring this content generation platform to populate your social networks will be a big mistake for anyone serious about growing their business. If someone can tell us a better return of interaction for your social media activities then please let us know.
Get on Instagram today!
If you have any hints, tips or tricks about Instagram that you can share with all our readers then please let us know via the comments or via LinkedIn.
The Conspicuous CBM Call To Action
If you know of any other great experts from Staffordshire, the WestMidlands or beyond whose ideas we should share with all our readers then please let us know via the comments or via LinkedIn.
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