I don’t call myself a master of marketing, I’m not particularly good at social media, but one of my recent accomplishments that I’m really proud of is pushing one of my Instagram fan pages past 50 thousand followers. For me that was mind-blowing. Check out the video:
Long story short – a couple of years ago I started an Instagram fan page called Vanlifer Wannabe, where I would just post my inspiration – things that inspired me that had to do with vanlife and van conversions. It picked up traction, as vanlife was a trending topic then, and it’s still trending now if not more so. And this whole COVID-19 situation encourages people to consume that content a lot more, because people are shifting their values, seeing what kind of things can happen in life worldwide.
But I didn’t want this post to be the typical “how-to” do well on Instagram, like the majority of tutorials without any significant substance. In stead I want to reverse engineer what I did on Vanlifer Wannabe, which apparently pushed it to its “successfull” state right now, and hopefully share a bit of advice. You probably know most of what I’m going to talk about, there are a lot of resources on the topic, but hopefully it will reinforce your existing knowledge, and some motivation – as this is a fresh account, and you can’t argue that it’s “been around” for a while, which is why it cut through the competition.
Here is one thing you already know, and I will repeat it again:
- Content really is king. actually did a case study with some of my content. I took photos that I posted last year, recycled the ones that did well – had 300-400% over the other photos, and I reposted them with a fresh caption and hashtags, and guess what? They also outperformed all the other photos that I’m posting right now. Which means there is certain content which just does really well, and I’m still trying to figure out the formula for it, because seemingly they aren’t connected. When I think some will perform really well compared, it doesn’t, and when I think something will be mediocre, it outperforms my expectations. But for the most part, reposting well performing photos from back then, also performed well now.
- Consistency is crucial. That’s not to say that I have no life and I hang on instagram all day ( even though I have no life and I hang on Instagram all day). This is also something I noticed – there are periods of three or four days, if I don’t have time to post, my engagement falls drastically, followed by the amount of new followers, interactions and all other stats. If I resume posting every day, the stats climb once again, the followers increase. If I post content several days at a time that performs really well, all the stats just skyrocket. There was a period when I posted four or five photos which had epic engagement, and my weekly amount of new follower went up to 2000/week, which was the highest it ever was. Whereas now it’s at roughly 1000. You can see that there is a spike where there was a particularly successfull piece of content, and then it went down.
- Hashtags are not dead. Unfortunately we don’t know which hashtags perform well. We have the most basic statistic – and that is how many engagements we get through hashtags, but it’s enough to know that it’s always either the first or second place, depending on whether I got on the explore page. Hashtags are extremely important. As an example I will take a photo I posted a couple weeks ago – an illustration of a van. It got insane engagement – currently the most engaged with photo on the account, at 11k+ likes and counting. 160 comments, 1500 sends, 4000 saves – those statistics are insane. 88% of people who engaged with that photo were not following my account, which means that a little over 2000 people were already following me, whereas over 9000 came there because they found it through the hashtags or the explore page. Again, some people say you have to be using new hashtags for every single photo, some people say you have to keep hashtags which are the best for you, switching them out every so often to determine which one works best. I try to keep a combination of niche hashtags, global hashtags and everything in between, so that I hit all categories, depending how well my photo performs.
- Authentic interaction. I tried everything from follow for follow, like for like, engagement groups. I never bought followers because that is a big no-no. I’ve boosted photos (not on this account, but I’ve done it on other accounts). Luckily this account is “pure” and it works organically, which I’m super proud of. Authentic interaction – it is tedious, it takes a lot of time, it may not be fun, but I try to spend at least a half hour every day just commenting on other top creators in my niche, giving out value, trying to connect with real people, and in return people are interested in the content I have to offer. I think authentic interaction, particualrly in this day and age, regardless of what network you are on – is the key to social media success.
And so I will keep on posting daily, keep tracking my success – maybe a little down the line when I hit the next milestone, I’ll create something connected to content with a little more in-depth detail. If you’re interested in a particular niche topic about all this, write about it in the comments and I’ll see if I can develop it into another post, which will hopefully help you in maintaining your social media.
Thanks for reading! Vanlife is still on pause, while I’m trying to research all the legal aspects – some poeple are opticimistic, some are not, and say that it can’t be done here. I’m keeping my hopes up and doing the research and hopefully one day soon we will be vroom vroom on the road!