Digital Marketing

Instagram Marketing & Avoid Being Scammed

I’ll be real; I’m not a big fan of social media.

Ask my significant other. Ask my friends. Check out how my Facebook and you’ll see why I get messages asking if I’m dead. I’m not obviously but hey, if you’re dead online you might as well cease to exist.

And I ceased, hard. I was pretty happy about that; being that guy who said, “Facebook? Yeah, I’m not on it.” It wasn’t until I was at a restaurant with my partner,having lunch with her ex-boss. At that time I was 

a serial scriptwriter, trying to make it big via word-of-mouth and pub crawls. Never wanted to considerdigital as a place to spread my work.

I admit, I was very pretentious back then. So my partner’s ex-boss asked me about how I tell people I work as a scriptwriter. I say that I mention it whenever people ask me, but otherwise not that much. I just wrote. And I hoped that one day it’ll make me money. The ex-boss didn’t buy it, and set me straight.

You need social media nowadays, or you’re just another writer who doesn’t exist.

That made me more alert than all the dead comments. I realised then that there was no chance of me

ever becoming a writer, creator, storyteller if I just kept it to myself. It’s so obvious now, and I’m sure you might be reading this thinking, yeah. No s***.

Instagram Marketing is God of Social Media Marketing

Today’s session, as I mentioned in my previous blog, is about Social Media Marketing (SMM). Specifically Instagram marketing. Which I’d consider to be the granddaddy. Now I should be careful saying that, because in the long run, just sticking to Instagram as your main SMM plan isn’t that great. Mostly because your a lot of your audience could be somewhere else. Like Pinterest or Tumblr.

 

instagram-before-growth
Here’s how I pretty much started, three days ago.

So I decided to do a test and I wanted to report back my findings to you, dear viewer. A week ago, after feeling super pumped up during a digital marketing lecture, I made a

instagram-likes-woah
If you get the right hashtag, someone may follow and like all your images!

fresh Instagram account. It’s not my main one, but afterthe results I might as well make it so.

I started with around 15 followers, after I followed a few of my friends and they followed me back. 

I didn’t want everyone to know/follow this account because in order to make it grow, I had to do something I always despised before. Make it spammy. Yuck. However, my goal was to see if I could reach 50 followers in a week. Luckily I am a photographer with far too many photographs on my hard drive that I don’t upload. So I thought, I had my content down. Next was my strategy.

 

Growth “Hacking” is not technically hacking?

As I was doing research to see the “Top 10 to become Internet Famous on Youtube” articles, I noticed

instagram-keyword-research-for-growth
Do some keyword research. Copy them into a notepad or use an app like Preview.

some crucial details. Here is a list of my own top 3:

  1. There are people who have access to your account and do your work for you. I’ve had a very surreal experience with this. I did something incredibly stupid, and thankfully can now share with you. Let’s just say my eagerness to become internet famous got to me.
  2. Instagram has changed their app in more ways than just aesthetic. A lot of rules have changed that I just wasn’t aware of. Many apps that were designed to remove followers stopped working. Many apps had features where you could “spy” on other people’s analytics, allowing you to copy their strategies to grow yourself. This was also removed.
  3. It’s all about consistency, and a little bit of sucking up. I’ve downloaded this app called Preview. It helps you create a common theme for your photographs, colored filters that help your photographs stay consistent in theme. There’s also a section to schedule when you’ll release your photos. This is probably the best feature. If you have an hour, just plan your photographs. The captions. The hashtags. Get it all sorted and figure out when to upload them. I tried to upload five times a day, with unique hashtags for each photograph. This way I could use Preview’s otherfeature. The analytics. Here you can see which hashtag, which photograph, and at which time did you most engage with your audience. And in regards to sucking up. Like everyone’s photographs. Comment everywhere. If you’re feeling it, follow everyone. This is spammy, but if you’re just starting out, you will reach your first 100 followers. I haven’t yet, but I don’t have the patience to keep following and unfollowing myself.

Story Time: Don’t Be Stupid With Growth

When I was looking for different tactics to quickly grow on Instagram “organically,” I found a website which I won’t link. I found them on Reddit, whilst I was searching for what tools people use. I read that a Redditor has been using this service from this company, and supposedly they use an “algorithm” to grow your Instagram following organically.

Now keywords like “legal,” “organically,” and “algorithm” quickly sold it to me. Without doing further research, I clicked on the site, saw the seven day free trial, and gave my credit card details.

Whoops. Now at first things seemed alright. I got excited when someone named Emma, who was supposedly an account manager for the team, messaged me asking which Instagram accounts are similar to what I want to do. So I gave her a few which were mostly traveling accounts. At first I thought it was strange that I didn’t have any sort of log-in, or anyway to track how I’d be getting followers. When I asked her about this, she just said that her algorithm will do the rest.

instagram growth after
40+ followers in the span of a couple days! Keep in mind many unfollowed as well. Now imagine if you dedicate a week; a month.

Sketchy, for sure. I checked my Instagram and there I saw my follower count rise slowly, however I saw that I was starting to follow a lot of people right away! So to me it just seemed like another follow/unfollow service. Something I could do myself and not pay money for.

It was only then I began to research this company. Better late than nothing I suppose. Well I couldn’t find it anywhere. Even when I type on google, the website won’t show up. Not on Trustpilot, not on anything! I tried searching up this Emma person and again, nowhere to be seen. The website itself says it’s been on Entrepreneur and other News Outlets. When I cancelled my account, I told them that it was highly suspicious that I couldn’t actually find them on any one these news outlets. Today I checked and they have removed all these claims that they were featured.

Now at this point I’m thinking, they have my credit card details, and I’ve been duped. I was ready to cancel my card and I’m (still) checking my bank account for any suspicious activity. So far nothing has happened, but they still have my details. Let’s just hope that this company is actually just trying to be something. They don’t want trouble. But who knows. Everyone wants to be famous, and these “growth hackers” are everywhere.

Confusion among the masses (of this blog)

Now it hasn’t been long since the Internet gave birth to this website. I’m still trying to work out the kinks, the appearance, and essentially the purpose of this blog. How will I attract new users, How do I retain existing users. How can I make this more about us, and less about me. I think the best way to do it is if we all collectively learn a new skill. So today is the First of June (Summer!) (Actually still looks like Winter in London!),  and it’s Web Development! I’m super excited for it. My only hope is that people can join in and share that excitement with me, but I understand that’s going to take a while.

So the month to learn Digital Marketing has come to an end! It was short but sweet, and it taught me that it’s a career path that I, essentially, want to get into. So now I’m looking for jobs within the marketing industry, which is believe it or not, a nice change from the writing industry. Building a new CV and new cover letters make me tired of myself, but hey. That’s life.

So if you were able to finish this blog, and you have some feedback you’d like to give me. Please! I’m super interested to see how can I improve. I’m trying to take this seriously, and I want to be committed. So let me know. Thank you!

 

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