With the Facebook dumpster fire growing bigger and brighter every day, and the reach of my Facebook page underdelivering, I have spent all of March focusing my social media efforts on moving the main platform for GRM over to Zuck’s other property, Instagram. While I’ve never had much reach on any social platform (last one of note being my SoundCloud), I decided that I was going to make a whole-hearted attempt to get the GRM art in front of interested eyes and start working on an additional sales funnel for prints and commissioned pieces.
Starting with a measly 65 followers, I setup some simple goals that I could reach for. By the end of March, the plan was to accomplish the following:
- Reach 500 followers
- Reach 100 likes on any single post
- Get featured in at least one community Instagram Post
During the first few days, I posted in-frequently, usually every other day, while I did some research into exactly how I would reach 500. looked into the community both locally and abroad and dug into what posts/styles were gaining the most attention, what community channels were available, what hashtags are popular, and who the major influencers might be.
I tried to max out the 30 hashtag limit on every post with what I started to call my ‘Hash Mix’.
- 10 art related tags (#photoshop, #artwork, #landscape etc..)
- 10 genre tags (#gamers, #sci-fi, #fractal, #vaporwave, #glitch etc..)
- 5 local tags (#ptbocanada, #lovelocal etc..)
- 5 wild card tags – This is where I would target a specific niche hashtag, go after a brand hashtag, and/or include some generic tags for beginners like #followme, #f4f etc..
Applying the Hash Mix to every post saw immediate results with new likes and follows trickling in at a decent pace if the post was able to sit on the featured posts area for at least a few minutes.
After coming up with a simple hashtag strategy and plan of attack, I immediately moved to posting original pieces every single day (some leniency on weekends). When I doubled my post frequency I noticed that my intake of new followers more than doubled suggesting that frequency may have been one of the biggest factors in determining my follower uptake.
Easily the most important facet to building your following, regular organic engagement is bread and butter of building followers. Here are some tips I stuck with during the month:
- Search out popular influencers in your community and interact with their pages/content (you would be surprised how often this can spark up a conversation and even an opportunity to collaborate or cross promote).
- Monitor comments on your posts and make sure you respond in a timely fashion.
- Don’t be afraid to Follow back and spread the likes around. I use to be very stingy with follows and likes, reserving them for only the cream of the crop in the community. Once I relaxed a bit and started liking things more generally, I saw a lot more interaction from the community on my page.
As many of you may know, there are many options currently available for automating the grunt work of building your following (automatic likes on certain hashtags or communities, automated follows and unfollows, etc.). Id be lying to you if I said I thought I was above the practise of temporarily turning my account into a bot to increase follower uptake, however, my finding was that my organic activity achieved a much higher follower retention. When I did a small automation test, I did see an increase in reach, but most users we’re quick to follow and subsequently un-follow. Plus, even in 2018, its usually pretty easy to spot a bot account on Instagram. From my (little) experience, organic is the way to go for now.
1. Reach 500 Followers – Completed on April 7th.
2. Reach 100 likes on any single post
Turn out this was an extremely easy milestone to reach. Just one month later and all of my posts are receiving 100+ likes.
3. Featured in at least one community post
On March 22nd, the kind folks over at Electric City Makers, a Peterborough based community of makers, featured one of my works.
Our team is growing! We’re excited to be connected with so many amazing local makers ✨ This piece is by one of our newest team members, @grmcreatives ! Graham is a graphic artist and designer based in Ptbo, Ontario. Head over to his page for a look at more of his incredible work! . . . #ptbo #peterborough #electriccitymakers #grmcreatives #graphicart #graphicdesigner #localptbolove