Back in July 2018, we sat down to work out our social strategy for the upcoming 2018-19 academic year. The result was an aggressive follower goal for our Athletics Instagram account: 13% growth to 18,000 total followers.
Background: The account had grown 11% over the past ten months, and generally within the industry double digit percentage growth is pretty intense. For reference, at my previous stop, our Instagram account had grown 17% over almost two years.
Lo and behold, aggressive goals can be met. We reached 18,000 followers just two months and 26 days! It all came down to two key principles that guided our approach.
1. Consistency Is Key
I’ve been thrust into the driver seat of a few Instagram accounts, and the biggest roadblock that I’ve seen coming out the gates is beginning activity on the account.
You want to fully plan your vision for the channel, make your mark on it, get people talking about it, etc. The problem is, while you’re trying to get all those ducks perfectly in a row, followers are wondering why the heck your account hasn’t posted in two months. People landing on your page are saying “this page isn’t active, why would I follow that,” and clicking away.
At the end of the day, you’ve just gotta start getting content out there. If you consistently post and show that your account is active, people will begin to follow along. It doesn’t have to be photos you’d hang in the Louvre, you can build up to better content as you go along and your vision becomes clearer.
I’m serious, it’s that easy. Just. Start. Posting. If you can do so in a consistent manner so that people know to expect activity from your account, you are on the right track.
2. Embrace Platform Purpose
“Capture and share the world’s moments.”
“Experience moments in your friends’ lives as they happen.”
At one point or another in the eight years Instagram has been taking up space on my phone, these tag lines have been used to share the WHY of the app itself. To put it simply, update friends (or fans in this case) by sharing great imagery.
You can’t change the purpose of a platform to fit what YOU want to do on it. Ya know, the whole round hole, square peg thing. Instagram is about IMAGES, so that’s what you need to be sharing in the feed. Be it moving images or still images, that’s what the platform is intended for and that’s what people are going to the platform to see.
Yes, you can still put graphics and all the info related stuff in your Instagram story. Instagram recognized that was a need and made it possible with the stories feature. This hammers home even more so that you don’t need to post anything more than imagery in your feed. There’s an Instagram story for your paragraph of information 😉
Instagram users don’t want to see graphics with a whole bunch of text about an upcoming event. Elevate your brand through great imagery that communicates who you are, and then people will want to find out about your events or whatever it is you want them to buy into.
Long story short: Keep it consistent. Keep it simple. Post images to the Instagram feed.