Ahh yes, the dreaded Instagram games. Whether you are a blogger, photographer, fashion model or just want to become an influencer, you’ve got to play the ‘games’. Instagram can be pretty stressful, constant algorithm changes means that you’ve got to stay on top, otherwise fewer and fewer people will see your kick-ass posts.
You haven’t spent hours on a photo for it to only get a few likes. Hell to the no!
There are a lot of ways to try and increase your engagement, like ensuring engagement on other profiles, commenting as much as you can, producing content that can be reposted by brands/pages and so on, but I tried out the Instagram promotion feature to see whether it would boost my account. Here is what happened….
FIRSTLY, WHAT IS INSTAGRAM PROMOTIONS AND WHAT DO THE CLAIM TO DO…
You basically pay any amount of money that you choose, and in return one of your Instagram posts is ‘sponsored’ and shows up on other people’s feeds, even if they don’t follow you.
You can choose for a Photo, Video, Carousel, Stories or Collections add.
I have found that the easiest way to run an add is by promoting posts that you’ve shared on Instagram. Simply select the post that you want to promote, then track how many people see and interact with your promoted post in the app.
WHAT’S THE INCENTIVE?
Generally, the idea is that your posts will be seen by other people that don’t follow you, and will encourage them to like your photos and hopefully follow you. It reaches people with similar interests to you as well, so hopefully, the people who do see it will actually like your page in general.
You can choose what your incentive is as well. So whether you would like people to go to your blog, shop or just your Instagram Page.
The downside of it is that you have to have a ‘business account’ on Instagram. Most bloggers and companies have this, and it’s a free thing for you to set up (you’ll find ‘turn to business profile’ in your settings!).
I have heard rumors that business account reach fewer people then if you have a personal account because Instagram wants you to buy these promotions. Since they are part of the Facebook group, this would not surprise me if that is true.
WHAT’S THE COST LIKE?
To be fair it may not be as much as you think. It literally starts at $1,- and you can increase it with as much as you want.
I found this pretty fair and therefore wanted to give it a try. If the outcome is tremendous, then it would be worth a few dollars!
LET’S GIVE IT A TRY AND CREATE AN ADD
Like I said, the easiest way is to pick a photo that you like and post it as per regular. Underneath the photo, you will see the ‘Promote‘ now button.
From here you can choose where to send people
- Your profile
- Your blog/website
- Your shop front
- Your direct messages
Since my gain is to increase my followers, I opted to send them to my profile.
Then you can select your target audience
- Create your own
Since this is my first time using I opted for the lazy and easier route and used the automatic audience.
The next step is to set your daily budget as well as the duration of the add. I opted to spend $6 for a 1-day promotion.
All promotions are ‘checked’ by Instagram to make sure they follow their policy. For example, there can not be any nudity or swearing. My add was accepted within the hour of placing the promotion. So they are pretty quick.
After 1 day, and $6 payment, I got 293 likes on my image, 16 comments and 1 saved to a collection. Which I am reasonably happy with.
Now here comes the part where I start to wonder if it was worth it. I only got 11 promotion clicks, of which 11 were from the promotion and 1 click on my blog (WHOAH)
The photo received 1,364 impressions of which 778 came from the promotion and I received 1 extra follower.
Now, you might think that sounds great, I think that’s pretty SHITTY. Excuse my language.
The reason for placing the add was to send people over to my Instagram account and increase the followers. So for 6 dollars, I received 1 extra follower. I think that’s pretty shitty.
I don’t think spending money on an add to increase your Instagram followers is worth it. It might, however, be effective if you just wish to increase the number of likes on a photo or send them to your blog. I have not tried that yet and maybe it is more effective if that’s what you want and would like to improve.
Getting 1 follower for $6 doesn’t make economic sense. Sorry, Instagram.