In April 2017 Instagram reached 700 million users and it feels like almost everyone we know is using it. Doesn’t it? Most probably you use it as well…
Some people use it just to share photos and videos with friends and family, sponsored riders to grow their personal brand and promote their sponsors, companies to promote their products and raise brand awareness as well as event organisers to promote the events and so on…
In this article, I will share with you how we manage our Instagram account @longboardmagazine.eu and which tool we use to optimise the workflow.
Interested? OK, let’s go!
Over 4k new followers in 4 months
We started our Instagram account in 2013 but we haven’t really been posting much and the number of people who followed us was quite low.
The situation changed in March this year when we decided to post more regularly and started using some cool tools to make the workflow easier, faster and more efficient.
Since then, the number of people who follow us on Instagram grew by 4000.
That’s a 1000 new followers each month.
Believe it or not, those numbers are not even that impressive. While we peaked at around +350 new followers per week, some Instagram accounts go up to +500 new followers per week or more…Some a lot more.
How we utilise our Instagram
With our Instagram page, we aim to provide a place where longboard enthusiasts can discover new riders, connect with them, catch up with the ones they already know, get inspired by their adventures and see what’s up on the scene.
Everyone is welcome to submit photos or video clips via the link in our Instagram bio or through this form on our website. We check the submissions every day and hand-pick 4 to 6 which are then scheduled for reposting on our Instagram page.
We don’t make any money with our Instagram account…
So far running our Instagram account only cost time and money, but we keep running it because it keeps us connected with the scene and it promotes Longboard Magazine Europe.
That’s all there is to it right now…
Our Instagram posting schedule
We implemented a content submission system which seamlessly connects via the link in our bio and we use our Instagram account to feature other people’s photos or videos, as well as our own when we have something to post, most often to promote the best content published on our website.
One thing we had to establish right at the beginning was how often we should post photos on Instagram in order to maximise the engagement or how many posts per day is too many.
After two weeks of testing, we learned that we could post round the clock all day long and as long as we published the posts 3 to 4 hours apart, they all had the same outreach and engagement regardless of what time they were published.
That’s how we decided to post 6 times a day and the result of more frequent posting was a much faster following growth.
So, you might be wondering if we hang out on Instagram all day long?
Of course, we don’t…
Scheduling Instagram with Onlypult
We use Onlypult, an online Instagram scheduling SAAS (software as a service), to prepare and schedule the posts on a computer one day ahead which saves us a ton of time.
So, instead of logging into our Instagram and posting 6 times a day, we spend approx. 2 hours every morning to prepare the schedule and Onlypult publishes the posts automatically for us.
Here’s how the admin looks like…
Onlypult is not a free service
Onlypult is not a free service and that’s actually a good thing.
Free services often disappear over the nigh since they thend to run out of resources because nobody is paying for their work. No money, no honey. Right?
While paid online services are being funded by their customers, people behind them are highly motivated to provide a good product in order to keep the existing customers and get the new ones. This means that the service is regularly maintained and upgraded.
Another good thing that comes with paid services is a constant and fast support.
In case you need help or if something doesn’t work as expected, you can send an email and expect almost immediate response.
The basic Onlypult account costs 12 $ if paid from month to month, but you will get a solid discount if you decide to pay for 6 months (15% discount) or 12 months (30% discount) in advance.
Please note that the pricing can change, so it’s best to check on their website.
Of course, before purchasing we wanted to save some money or at least make sure that the money we were about to spend was well invested, so we tried out few other free and paid solutions.
None of them came close to Onlypult and at the end we decided to give it a try for 6 months which costed us exactly 57,54 Euros. So far we’re nothing but impressed.
In contrast to many other free or paid services, Onlypult is compliant with Instagram’s rules, so you can rest assured that your Instagram account is safe.
You would be surprised how easy it is to get your account blocked or “shadow banned” when using apps and services like Instagress, Followliker or Mass Planner, or services like Boostly, Social Envy or Socially Rich…
Some of those are already out of business which makes a lot of sense since they were only able to help you to get a bunch of “fake” followers your to get your Instagram account banned.
Publishing the scheduled posts is not the only thing that makes Onlypult our favourite.
The biggest difference between Onlypult and similar free services is that Onlypult actually publishes the posts for your and it enables you the completely control of your Instagram publishing.
You can edit everything just like you can edit in the official Instagram app, except much easier and straight from a web browser on your computer.
Here’s how the editing of a scheduled post looks like…
I could write another thousand words about what functionalities Onlypult has, but I will sum it up by saying that Onlypult is the most complete solution to handle your Instagram from a computer.
It really does everything: You can post a single image, video or gallery. You can tag others on the photo, you can search for the users and @mention them, you can edit the post, comment and whatnot. We don’t miss anything in there.
Instagram reposting with ease!
With Onlypult you can also repost other people’s Instagram posts. What I like the most about it is that it feels a lot like sharing on Facebook.
Here’s how that looks like…
To repost an Instagram post in Onlypult, you just navigate to “Favourites” tab where you can choose to search by #hashtag or by @username.
The app will list the post and all you have to do to is to click “Repost”. You will be presented with an editing form already filled in with all the information. Change the text to add some personal touch to it and schedule or publish immediately.
Onlypult also enables you to save other Instagram user for tracking which is especially useful for companies, brands and team riders. This will create a special feed under the “Users for tracking” tab with the posts from users you chose to track.
Click “Repost” again and you’re good to go in a second.
Your team managers will love this…be sure to show it to him :)
For example, a company can track their team riders from a single place and repost their posts much faster and much easier.
The basic account comes with a limit of 10 users for tracking…fair enough.
Statistics – grow your following smarter and faster
If you’re a bit more serious about growing your Social following, you must know how your activity performs. The statistics will help you to determine what kind of content brings new followers, what people like the most, when you will receive the most interactions and so on…
Unfortunately, a personal Instagram account doesn’t provide with any statistics. You can only look at the number of people who follow you and the number of likes and comments your posts received.
To see some basic statistics, you have to switch from personal Instagram account to its business account. This might not make much sense to you if you’re not running a business, for example, if you’re a sponsored rider. Although that is or at least it should be some form of a business.
Onlypult provides with useful statistics that enable you to see how the number of your followers is changing, how many interactions are your posts receiving, at what time the posts received the most interactions and similar.
Of course, you will not benefit from it by just looking at the charts and numbers without taking any action. You will have to be able to recognise what kind of photos or videos work best and focus on creating more of them in a similar fashion.
That’s a wrap!
I have to stop somewhere, otherwise this post could go on forever. Hopefully you’ll get something smart out of it or it might give you an idea about how to grow your Instagram following.
The bare essence of this post is that in order to grow your Instagram account faster, you need to post more frequently.
How much? Well, I guess a good starting point would be to post at least once every day. Yes, that is 30 posts a month and it’s a lot of photos to collect, but don’t worry…
Soon I’ll share some tip about how to get your Instagram covered even if you don’t have 30 photos of yourself, which you will be able to start practicing right out of the box.
If you have any questions or if you want to share your own experience with Instagram, leave a comment below and we’ll continue the conversation there…
When I'm not editing this website, I take part in other projects and aspire to grow the European longboard community, including Longboard Magazine, KnK Longboard Camp and No Man's Land.