Account Manager & Content Creator
Articles by Craig
Doubling A Client’s Instagram Followers
How we added 10k new followers in a quarter of the time it took to acquire the previous 10k
In September of 2020, we launched brand new social channels for one of our clients. They had no social media presence previously, so when we created an Instagram account their total number of followers was zero.
After a little over two years, the following on Instagram eclipsed the 10k mark. It took almost 600 posts, stories, videos and Reels to get us there, but the account had reached a significant milestone. The next 10k came much quicker than the previous 10k, as we reached the 20k follower benchmark in just seven months. Not only that, but we achieved that feat producing a mere fraction of the posts it took previously.
Between September, 2022, and March, 2023, we posted 250 times on Instagram. Of those posts, 90 percent of them were in the form of IG stories or Reels. Why is that important? Because in August, 2020, the platform made a significant pivot towards pushing Reels in an attempt to compete with the rise of short-form video platform, TikTok. Over the next few months, Instagram feeds would take on a whole different experience.
The growth that we saw in the past six months is likely a direct result of catering our content to the platform’s recent changes. While both engagement and impressions dropped year-over-year — common for most accounts on the platform after IG’s changes — our number of followers soared. Six of the last seven months, we added more than 1,400 new followers to our audience. It wasn’t that more people were seeing our content, it was that our content was being consumed better by people interested in what we produced. Because we were producing Reels, the algorithm better served our content to people with similar interests. Our Reels were showing up in people’s Feeds and in the Explore page because we had optimized the content for the platform.
This approach is applicable to other platforms as well. YouTube has made a big transition lately to Shorts — its way of competing with TikTok and Instagram. Twitter has recently changed the maximum character limit from 280 to 4,000. Facebook stories are relatively new to the platform, and TikTok allows for videos up to 10 minutes long. It’s important to adapt your content to take advantage of all these changes as the platform adapts as well.
Do you want to get your followers up? Get in touch with our team and get ready to level up your business.
250% Growth On YouTube In Just a Month!
How we took one client from middling channel to thriving social platform in 30 days
A focus for one of our clients is to have a strong presence on social media. Their social media footprint is one of the most diverse in our IOI portfolio, and for any small business, for that matter. They have accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, and even Discord and Giphy. While it’s nice to have a presence on as many platforms as possible, you can sometimes spread yourself too thin with limited resources and content.
We’ve gotten ‘The Big 3’ – FB, IG and Twitter – to a good place for the client. So in 2023, the focus was to elevate some of the other channels, like YouTube, to make it a quartet of thriving social medias.
In just 30 days, we posted 31 Clips and Shorts that generated more than a half million views, and channel growth of 250 percent.
Consistency is key for YouTube growth
The biggest component in all of this is consistency. Post something.
The easiest solution to producing content was to repurpose what we were already posting on other platforms, like Reels on Instagram. Trending audio is an important component when sharing content via Reels and Shorts. However, it’s important to remember that the audio trending on YouTube isn’t always the audio trending on Instagram or TikTok. We had to repurpose our content to fit each platform accordingly.
In addition to repurposing our own content, we repurposed content from other accounts in the space as well. Competitors, media outlets, etc… any other source that shares content relevant to our audience, we posted and repurposed their videos to fit our channel and audience.
Then, after all of that “repurposing” of content, we were able to produce our own, original content. For instance, we posted three Shorts throughout the course of the week (Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday) that were 10-15 seconds apiece and generated 8,000 views. After that (Friday), we packaged those Shorts together into a longform two-minute Clip and provided some commentary around the three Shorts. That generated another 5,000 views and an additional piece of content for our channel.
Reaching a new audience on YouTube
Shorts are blowing up right now on social media. In my mind, they’re no different than Reels on Instagram or videos on TikTok. However, we have to remember that our audiences can vary greatly from platform to platform. What someone follows on IG might not be the same on YouTube, and vice versa. So it’s important to share our content on as many outlets as possible.
We mentioned our audience growth on YouTube (+250%), and the importance of YouTube Shorts right now for this reason: Of the 975 new followers we acquired in the last month, 828 of them found us through Shorts. Of the 560,293 views our content generated, 520k came from Shorts.
In social media, it’s so important to strike while the iron is hot. What worked yesterday may not work today, and what works today might not work tomorrow. As good marketers, we have to adapt and be flexible. One thing we pride ourselves on at IOI is not just ‘checking the box’. Don’t cross tasks off your list because a Facebook presence is a must, or Instagram accounts are necessities. Both of those statements are true, but we also have to adapt and improve our content to make the biggest impact we can on our audience as it changes as well.
Find a social media strategy that works for you by contacting our team HERE!
Social Media Engagement, How To Get More Of It
One of our five non-negotiables for social media at IOI is ‘No comment or DM goes unresponded.’ As leaders in the social space, we’re constantly looking for ways to get our followers to engage with our content. So when they do, we have to re-engage with them.
Small-business brands don’t have the luxury of an ESPN or Nike or Netflix that draw thousands of comments, responses, retweets and shares simply by hitting ‘post.’ For those of us with a more niche audience of 200-300, or even a couple thousand, any engagement is gold. It should be treated as such, whether those comments are positive or negative.
No engagement is bad engagement, in my book. Someone responds positively to your post and says, “Yes! I love it.”… Great! What specifically do they love about it? Them expanding upon the post in their own words adds more substance. “Oh this sucks”…I’m sorry you feel that way, what can we do to improve? It’s an opportunity for you to go deeper into your own content. If they respond, great. Now one comment turned into three comments. If they don’t respond, at least we tried. Not to mention, the next person to come across that piece of content now sees we have the decency to respond and engage.
According to Convince&Convert, answering a complaint on social media can increase customer advocacy by as much as 25 percent. Conversely, not answering can decrease by as much as 50 percent.
Engagement Leading To Engagement
Small businesses on limited marketing budgets are starved for organic reach on social media. What helps improve your post’s organic reach? Engagement!
Facebook uses meaningful engagement as an important signal that a post should be prioritized. The more engagement, the more your organic reach increases. Engagement can come in the form of likes, favorites, comments, DMs, replies, shares, retweets, saves, clicks and mentions.
Here’s a real-world example of where I engaged with our followers and it led to additional engagement:
We interviewed the U.S. Hockey National Team Development Program’s (USNTDP) director of player personnel, and he was full of great quotes. I assembled some of those quotes into a carousel post on Instagram that netted some great engagement.
One follower liked the post (one engagement). He then commented on the post (second engagement). He commented on the post a second time (third engagement). We ‘liked’ his comment (fourth engagement). He ‘liked’ his own comment (fifth engagement). We replied to his comment (sixth engagement). A different person ‘liked’ our response (seventh engagement).
This sequence of events was one of five interactions we had with our followers on this particular post. It ultimately netted 507 engagements and 4,349 accounts reached; all organic.
Turning Negative Engagement into Positive Interaction
Social media can be nasty. It’s easier for users to ‘hate on’ a piece of content they don’t like than to lift up content they do enjoy. I’m fine with people disagreeing or voicing their displeasure with my content; I actually welcome opposing comments or negative feedback. As long as you don’t allow yourself to get sucked into the rabbit hole, there’s a lot of positivity that can come from dissenting viewpoints.
Recently, we’ve made a push encouraging people to create an account to access content on our website. This particular social media post made mention of that. One user was quick to accuse us of it being a money grab. This gave us an opportunity to set the record straight, and reiterate to our audience that it was free to register and the benefits of doing so.
Similarly, another member was unable to create an account. Engaging in this back-and-forth provides assistance to Tony and gets him set up properly. It also helps us correct any problems in the process for future registrants.
Engagement is only negative if you never address it. Letting critical comments go unanswered allows others to tell your story. By responding in a timely and appropriate manner, it turns those negative interactions into positives.
Crowd-sourcing Information Through Engagement
We’re all experts in our field. However, no matter how well-versed or experienced we are, nobody knows it all.
Some of the most valuable engagements I’ve had with our followers is when I check my ego at the door. Am I an expert in this space? I’d like to think so! I can also accept the fact that there are a lot of areas where the audience may know more than the presenter.
In this case, our social media post made reference to top youth hockey teams in Canada. One user ‘called us out’ so to speak on our lack of Quebec representation. Be comfortable in acknowledging your shortcomings. We didn’t know much about teams in Quebec, so I prodded for more information. Angelo, Scott and Gabriel – while they may have been displeased with the lack of Quebec teams – were happy to provide us with accurate information.
First of all, they’re engaging with the content and commenting and others are liking their comments. Second, they’re providing us with information we didn’t have before. Third, now we have more information to create more content that we know resonates with our followers. Let’s Work Together
Diving into TikTok Ads and Growing Your Audience
Social media has been tough sledding as of late. Engagement on “The Big Three” – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter – has come to a screeching halt while TikTok seems to be the one major driver of engagement among platforms. TikTok is still very much in the learning stages, though, and many of us are trial-and-erroring our way through content for the platform.
I recently shifted a third of my budget towards TikTok advertising, boosting both pre-existing and new posts, and netted big, big results in a short amount of time.
With this client, our main focus is building an audience on social media. That will eventually lead to site traffic and lead generation, but the primary focus is growth. Growth on TikTok almost relies on “going viral” and hoping one of your videos blows up to 10K, 50K or 100K views in order to have any significant type of impact on followers and engagement. That can be quite the challenge to find the secret sauce in what makes one video pop and another flop.
As new and fresh as the platform is, TikTok advertising is uncharted waters for many of us and there’s much to be learned in terms of what works, what doesn’t and how to maximize success on varying budgets. What I did to help boost engagement and impressions was simple: Boost some of our best-performing posts from the past while also putting resources behind any new content we shared. I found that a little bit goes a long, long way!
83K views, 96K views, 159K, 221K!! We had good content all along, but organic reach just wasn’t quite taking off like we had hoped. Sprinkle in some paid, and posts started erupting. Our audience grew by 10 percent, profile views spiked, shares shot through the roof. The account was finally gaining some traction on the platform with very little monetary resources behind it.
Now, CPC and conversion numbers look grim on the surface. But remember, none of our paid ads were geared towards driving people to a site or lead generation (yet). No links or landing pages were included in any of our paid ads. The motivation was strictly audience growth and awareness. We certainly didn’t have an end goal in terms of registrations, purchases or form fill outs (yet).
Now that I know a bit more about TikTok advertising as a whole and the ROI it can produce, the focus can shift to those other metrics. I can spend the next few months benefitting from the overall awareness of the account, and use future ads that are more geared towards linking back to our site, driving leads and purchasing behaviors.
Continue to push the envelope of digital media and marketing with IOI Ventures today!