I’ve been fascinated for a while by the insane progress and engagement that location particular Instagram feeds get. The feeds for London or Sydney, are good examples. Huge followings, serious engagement levels.
I worked on a brand new York based marketing campaign in January and spoke to the house owners of a few of the most important NYC primarily based feeds. With lots of of hundreds of followers their Instagram real property comes at a (pretty unaffordable!) premium. Particularly when you’re a brand wanting a slice of the action.
In many respects it is smart. For me — my Instagram feed is pretty sacred. Unlike Twitter or Facebook, the place my feeds are fairly polluted, my Instagram is a stream of stuff I actually like to take a look at. Many Instagrammers really feel the identical — that Instagram ought to be as organic as doable — and I’ve heard a fair few people complaining concerning the introduction of advertisements into Instagram over the last month.
Your Instagram feed is inherently private. For me, rising up in Wales, feeds like Visit Wales and Brecon Beacons (my home area) are personal favourites. Especially when sat on the bus in gray, mountainless London. Both of the above are curated from the feeds of others Instagram users. The homeowners of the accounts select one of the best footage from their select hashtag, and share them with the wider neighborhood.
And the outcomes are gorgeous:
This obtained me thinking — might I create my very own Instagram group, purely centred on sharing lovely content material?
(Cymru means Wales, in Welsh).
Instagram Followers did some digging and bagged the above handle (and was fairly stunned it wasn’t occupied). I initially used some images from my personal assortment to brand the account and get the ball rolling.
From there I had 3 essential goals:
Create an engaged neighborhood — I didn’t need simply need any followers, I needed individuals who gave a shit about Wales. And photos of it. Maintain an honest editorial customary — Pictures must delight and entice followers. Not annoy anyone — Do individuals care in case you ‘re-gram’ (share) their pictures? Will they volunteer? Let’s find out. TL;DR.
On day 1 I had:
15 photos on the hashtag #discovercymru (which I’d use to supply images)
On day 14 it has grown to:
300+ photos on #discovercymru
80+ likes/ engagements on images shared
Content is king. The pictures I had on my cellphone bought me so far, however I needed more.
That is the place I was concerned about annoying folks. By asking if I may use their content material, I fearful they’d inform me to f*ck off. I surfed Wales specific hashtags and found some gorgeous creators and much more beautiful content material. Then I commented asking folks if I might re-publish them.
The response? Overwhelmingly constructive:
Despite having <10 followers at this point, people were more than happy to share their incredible imagery with the wider community.
And so the stream started to grow.
2. Inviting individuals to submit content material for a function.
Asking individuals whether or not I could use their content material was time consuming (and arduous to maintain track of). So with each publish I invited people to tage their photos with #discovercymru for an opportunity to be featured on the account.
14 days later there have been 300 more posts on the hashtag — and I've an ever growing choice of beautiful content material to share with the wider neighborhood.
And other people love being featured.
3. Engaging with the neighborhood.
You don’t get 1,000 followers this shortly via beautiful content alone. So, I spent a while participating with the vast community sharing their pictures of Wales. I appreciated great footage, adopted unimaginable creators and confirmed appreciation in the feedback.
There are additionally tools to help you discover related accounts to comply with. I did this periodically, but ensured my follower base at all times remained bigger than the number of individuals I was following.
Remember rule 1 — the group should be engaged, plus care about Wales. So I made positive to only follow the followers of area of interest Welsh Instagram accounts. That way I might ensure they’d have an interest.
While debating this with friends some argued that this kind of engagement is spammy. I’d argue the other, for just a few reasons.
Firstly, you’re not buying the followers — and that is extremely simple on Instagram.
In actuality engaging/ following is simply sending a sign. They get a notification after which it’s up to the individual whether they comply with back. Which brings us back to the content you pedal. Especially, if like me, your Instagram feed is a sacred space of issues you want to take a look at.
Define ‘engaged followers’.
On average the posts I share by means of the feed are getting 80-a hundred likes (or 8% — 10% engagement price at current follower stage). Social Bakers report that the 25 most engaged brands on Instagram get 3.3%, whereas Sprout Social report 4.2%.
As a caveat, @DiscoverCymru clearly isn’t a model so ought to count on larger engagement, but that is higher than many accounts I’ve found. The sentiment beneath the posts is also overwhelmingly optimistic. Plus, I obtain regular DMs / tags from folks eager to be featured.
So, there you might have it.
People like to share and engage on Instagram — especially when the content is domestically relevant, and more importantly, appealing. I’ve been surprised at the willingness of creators to share their content material — but it’s additionally a optimistic reflection on the Instagram neighborhood.
Of course, as the feed grows, individuals shall be keen to be featured for self-promotion. But I’m cool with that — there are some unimaginable photographers showcasing Wales on Instagram — they usually deserve better recognition.
The incredible @wallywanders, @steffjohn and @and1harry are all discoveries I’ve made prior to now 14 days. Check them out.
Questions? Comments? Be at liberty to ping me on Twitter @edmaughan or email me at [email protected]