This is another post for any of my fellow Instagram-ers and bloggers out there. I’m sure you’ve all noticed that since the latest shift in the Instagram algorithm, Instagram has been really pushing business account users to take advantage of advertisements.
Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I’m not willing to invest in my business on Instagram. I realize at this point, after putting $0 into advertising over the last two years that it’s probably time to take the leap. Rather than resort to alternative advertising/growth methods, my thought was to play by the rules and pay Instagram for more exposure considering that’s what they’re after.
So a week or two ago I did just that. I decided to roll the dice with a promoted post, and created an advertisement.
I took some time and rewrote my mission statement and bio, shared it in a caption of a new photo of Owen and I on my feed (this is required in order to create an ad).
I went through Instagram’s steps to promote the post which are super intuitive, waited about a half hour for the advertisement to be approved and kept a close eye on activity over the 24 hour window I had selected.
*The image above and to the left here notes my stats before the promotion began and the image to the right gives insight into pricing and estimated reach.
I gained 73 new followers, the post received 15,310 impressions, 53 clicks and 504 likes.
It’s important to note that your ad operates separately from your original post. It’s not a boost, it’s a separate ad.
Oddly enough, Instagram didn’t use my full $300. Had I created an ad for the amount of money they actually took, I still received less than half of the estimated exposure noted. The whole point of increasing the budget was to reach more people, which was clearly not achieved.
I gained less than my normal amount of followers and failed to see any sort of increase in activity on my account otherwise.
Now all of this being said, I realize this was a complete experiment. I promoted the post on a Saturday which can be a little spotty in general in terms of engagement, and outside of my personal audience and past clients I know very little about ad creation.
Since I committed to $300, I decided I would run the same promotion with the remaining money on a Tuesday (a day that is generally great for engagement). The results weren’t much better, but they were better.
Second Advertisement Results
I gained 49 new followers, the post received 23,769 impressions, 64 clicks and 756 likes.
My Take Aways
1. Switch back to a personal account. Until Instagram gets specific with businesses about what they need to do to utilize the business account, I have switched back to a personal account. I am willing to invest monthly, but I am not willing to throw money at their app with zero results.
2. Promote posts on strongest days for engagement. If and when that time comes and I choose to invest in ads I will only promote on my strongest days for engagement.
3. Don’t hate the player, hate the game. When you’re working hard at building a business organically it can be incredibly frustrating to see people taking shortcuts, but at the end of the day, we’re all just trying to create profitable businesses. Everyone has their own way of doing things. Stay true to you and your ethics!