We all know the story, you’re gaining momentum with growing a particular platform, buzzing your tits off at the fact that you’ve finally hit that milestone you’ve been aiming for, but before you know it you’ve lost 10 followers taking you back to square one.
I’ve hit a wall the size of the Great Wall of China and felt that I needed to come and vent to you about the struggles of it all. Instagram is essentially a new age form of a popularity contest – you sit there creating content which reflects the true you, only for the fickle world to shun you (I know that sounds pretty extra, but stick with me) in favour of those who are more beautiful, have enough money to shed loads of cash on the latest and greatest gear, whether that be makeup, fashion, travel, food or fake followers (I feel like I’ve got a radar for those that have bots set up for the bastard follow/unfollow trick).
I always try to keep a positive mindset – positive mind = positive life. But when you’ve seen some organic progress for the last 2 years or so, only to plateau – it makes you sit back, re-evaluate your content and wonder where you’re going wrong.
I’m not here to be fake, buying followers, getting bots to follow and unfollow people, commenting on content that quite frankly, I think is boring and samey – I want to follow people I’m genuinely interested in and hope that people do the same with me.
I just started to wonder where I’m going wrong? Am I not pretty enough? Am I struggling to grow because I don’t have the best camera out there?
So I decided to do something I’ve never tried before – promoting my Instagram account. No bots, no buying followers – just straight up promotion through the Instagram app.
I decided to take screenshots of the entire process and document what impact the promotion was going to have on my account – is it all a sham? We shall see…
The post I decided to promote was a snap I uploaded on Friday. It had 156 likes after being up for about 4 days.
You first select what your motivation is; more profile visits, more website traffic or more promotion views.
I opted for profile visits as I’ve been struggling to retain followers and have been toing and froing over 1.3K – it seemed like the most relevant to me right now and I haven’t been struggling with my blog views since I uploaded my Buying a FAKE Gucci Marmont Belt on Depop post.
Instagram automatically sets the budget and duration based on your followers – I adjusted mine as I didn’t want to spank £5 a day for 6 days, but I could live with spending £3 a day coming in at a total of £18.
You’re then taken into the summary page and the payment method used is PayPal (winner – we all know I love me a bit of PayPal!) – my £3 a day was going to reach an estimated 3,500 to 9,200 accounts (whether that was each day or overall was unclear). Once I submitted my payment, I received a notification that my promotion was being reviewed. Moments later, I got the approval and my promotion was live! Time to start monitoring!
The day before the end of the promotion, I thought I’d head on over to Twitter to ask my followers whether they’d used the Promotion function before and if they had whether it made a difference to their stats.
Luckily, a couple more people answered this poll than my last one about fluffy sliders (lol), but more people hadn’t tried it before than had. Penny Hearne from Lostor Living replied to the question;
I’ve noticed my overall engagement for the last month has been shoddy to say the least – so started to delve a bit deeper into how far my posts were reaching (thinking that at least half of my followers would seem about right).
These posts were all uploaded after the post I promoted – it shows that the ones that have been up longer have a further reach, which I think sums up how we all see people’s posts a couple of days after they’ve uploaded 🙄
I had 1,302 followers when I started this experiment. This went up a little in the week, then went down again with the inevitable follower/unfollowers came out to play their silly games. On the Sunday, I followed a couple of new accounts that piqued my interest and they kindly followed back, which left my total follower count at 1,310 by the end of my experiment.
Here’s a final look at my overall stats for that one post;
So, was it worth the money? I personally don’t think so – I think it’s madness that I need to pay to promote a post so more of my followers can see it and not really gain anything extra. I’ve had loads more engagement from posts in the past that haven’t needed promotion from Instagram.
Let me know what you think in the comments below and whether you’ve tried out Instagram promotions!