For a few years, Donnie and I published income reports on this little blog of ours. When we decided to stop doing them at the beginning of 2017 (you can read about our reasons in this post), we still wanted to continue to help bloggers, so we decided to do a series of “experiments” on the blog. The idea was to focus on areas where we felt like we weren’t awesome and really try to “crack the code” and figure out how to improve in those areas.
This month I decided to hone in on Instagram. As I sit here and type this, my Instagram following is sitting at just over 30,000 followers. While that’s not a tiny following, it’s not massive either. I’ve always felt like I didn’t quite “get” Instagram, so this past month I set out to try to understand it better and implement some new things along the way.
One thing that I struggle with when it comes to Instagram is that it can be hard to measure its effectiveness. Sure, you can measure the number of followers you have, but I’ve found it hard to justify trying to gain followers just for the sake of having a bigger number of followers.
If I try to measure the effectiveness of Instagram in terms of pageviews it brings to my site, it’s hard to justify spending much time on it because the number of pageviews I get from Instagram compared to Pinterest or search traffic is significantly smaller. (Google Analytics tracks Instagram now, and I also use a service called Link in Profile which allows me to see how many people have clicked over to my blog from a particular Instagram post.)
One thing I can’t measure is the people who see a post on Instagram on their phones, then hop on the computer to take a look. I’m guessing that number is relatively small though. Most people visit Instagram to scroll through pretty pictures, not with the intention of reading a bunch of blog posts, so I’m not sure how realistic is is to expect really big traffic numbers from Instagram.
Another way I could attempt to measure the effectiveness of my Instagram account is whether or not I could use it to generate income. I use the Like to Know It feature from RewardStyle to add links to some of the products in my photos, though I don’t see a ton of payoff from that strategy. (If you’re not familiar with Like to Know It, Instagram users are able to sign up for RewardStyle. When one of my followers who has signed up “likes” one of my IG photos that is linked with Like to Know It, they get an email with affiliate links to the products in my photo. If they click the link and make a purchase, I earn a commission.)
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