I've just gotten through the third and final week of this 21 Day Instagram Experiment. It is technically week 4 now. I'll be writing up a summary of what I've learned and of all the tips I've shared.
So what have I learned so far and what did I try out in week three?
I've increased the number of followers on both of my Instagram accounts, mostly due to using the "guerilla following" tactic mentioned in last week's post. The number of followers on both of my Instagram accounts has remained pretty steady because I haven't kept up with doing the "guerilla following" tactic on each account. It can be a time consuming process and while this tactic can increase your number of followers, I'm not sure if it will get you engaged followers. More on that later in this post.
How did I do with the 7 tips shared in last week's post?
I didn't exactly plan my posts in advance (which was Tip #1 from last week), but I did manage to post almost every day on average, actually I posted 9 times since last week's post 21 Days of My Instagram Habit: Week 3!
As for Tip #5, I've noticed that for my personal Instagram account @felishalin, my followers are not online in the later hours of the day, i.e. 10pm or later. When I've posted past 9pm I didn't get that many likes out of the gate, but the likes did come in later (the next day or days later), especially for my posts related to the 21 Days of Instagram Habit. This is hugely encouraging to me. It tells me that people are really getting something out of those posts, especially since the graphic each week is essentially the same.
On the other hand, the followers of my other Instagram account @ICarteverywhere might be a bunch of night owls because I've posted past midnight and gotten a slew of likes. Actually, I've noticed that the followers of @ICarteverywhere are from all over the world, so I suppose the time that I post doesn't seem to matter. This past week my posts on this account have been getting tons of likes. Most of the posts done this past week have gotten 80 or more likes. It's also not unusual for a post to get 30 likes or so in the first half hour it was posted. I'm thinking that since the @ICarteverywhere Instagram account is really purely visual, it is really easy for people to just browse it and like the photos I share there.
With @felishalin I've noticed that the posts with the most likes are the ones that are about my blog posts about social media tips for Facebook and 21 Days of My Instagram Habit. This tells me that the followers on this account like posts will quality content.
What I've written above is solely based on my personal observation. I didn't try out any of the Instagram tools in Tip #6 like Agorapulse, Iconosquare, Social Bakers, or Social Rank to look at my Instagram analytics, but maybe I should. I'll have to try this out and maybe I'll blog about my findings when I write up a summary post about what I've learned throughout this experiment.
I did finally try out Tip #7: Ask a question in your post's caption, from 21 Days of My Instagram Habit: Week 2. And in fact, the photo that I decided to use on Instagram with the question: What Do You Need to Say Yes to? in the caption inspired me a to write a blog post on that very topic.
Here's that post:
Only one person wrote an answer to the question in the comments, which tells me that most of my followers on @felishalin are just not that engaged with me, or perhaps this question is not one people feel compelled to answer. Or maybe I need to ask a simpler question. Some more experimentation and tweaking is in order here. While I've been able to increase my followers, it doesn't seem like they are that engaged. But perhaps they are just not engaged yet and I need to work on engaging them.
I did try something new, namely Instagram's carousel post function which allows you to share a series of photos and videos in a sort of swipeable mini slide show. I tried this out on both of my Instagrams account. Below you'll see a carousel post that I did on @felishalin. The blue dots indicate indicate a carousel post. Here's the first photo I shared in a carousel post.
And here's the second photo of the carousel post:
I thought this carousel post was a perfect way to share these photos because the "Yes mural" was on one side of an underpass. Directly across from it was the same word yes represented as the arms of an octopus. Interestingly, the two posts above both have a caption with the question: What Do You Need to Say Yes to? Of the two, the carousel post got twice as many likes.
If you'd like to know how to do a carousel post on Instagram, I'd suggest reading this by the Social Media Examiner: How to Use Instagram Multiple Image Posts.
I have yet to do a Boomerang post on Instagram too. Need some tips on how to do a Boomerang post? Check out Refinery 29's article: 11 Tips For Taking An Awesome Boomerang.
I also came across this great list of daily hastags to use from The Social Ms:
- #ThrowbackThursday #TBT
Time to summarize some of the tips shared in the post, plus a few more:
1. Use Instagram's photo carousel function. Learn how to do this and get some tips on how to use photo carousels in the Social Media Examiner's article: How to Use Instagram Multiple Image Posts.
2. Use Instagram's Boomerang function. Refinery 29 has 11 Tips For Taking An Awesome Boomerang.
3. Use daily hashtags in your posts. The Social Ms has a great list of daily hashtags to use in thie article: 16 Inspiring Ideas to Spice Up Your Instagram Feed With Creative Posts by Susanna Gebauer.
4. Post a video. Videos get twice as much engagement on Instagram. They are a great way to tell a story, about yourself, your product/business/brand.
5. Geotag your posts. Here's a great post explaining geotags and how to use them on Jenn's Trends: How to Use Geotags on Instagram For Your Business.
6. Look at posts using the same geotag as your post to see what hashtags are being used and to see what else is being posted for a particular location.
7. Use user generated content. This works especially well if you have a brand with loyal customers or are a celebrity/public person with fans. Followers are asked to share their photos with a product or as part of a photo contest. If selected their post will be reposted and featured on your Instagram account.
8. Try out some of these 9 Instagram Apps and Tools
I'll be back next week with a summary of what I learned during the 21 Days of My Instagram Habit.