While I’m not working, I think it’s important to identify any gaps in my skill set and see what I can do to improve it. As well as reading plenty of articles on digital marketing, and particularly social media usage, I’ve been partaking in a little social media experiment myself. While I’ve had my own Instagram account for years, I’ve never had success at creating a targeted Instagram account. When I worked for the All-Wales School Liaison Core Programme, I trialled an Instagram account when we running a campaign on New Psychoactive Substances (legal highs), but didn’t have much success due to not having enough lead time to build the account up before we released the posters being used for a campaign.
So what am I doing to give myself a chance to experiment with Instagram? I’ve done what any sane person does and I’ve set up an Instagram account for our cat Casper. We adopted Casper from Holly Hedge a few months ago and he’s settling in really well. He went from being a quiet, shy cat while in Holly Hedge, to a cat full of character once he had settled in. Casper may be nearly three, but when he isn’t sleeping – which like any cat, he does a lot, he is just like a kitten wanting to play, or will quite happily jump up onto your lap for a cuddle.
I set up the Instagram account on the 26th March and set myself the target of 50 followers in the first week – which I achieved! Now on the 20th April, Casper has 171 followers and has no shortage of likes per post. I think the most he has achieved is 69 likes on one post. Obviously I would like a post to smash the 100 likes mark on a post, but we need to be a much bigger account to achieve that – I can’t even imagine being into the thousands of followers mark like many cat accounts out there.
For Casper’s account, I post between 1 and 3 pictures a day; it averages 2 pictures, but slips to the 3 mark if he happens to do a cute picture and not be glaring at the camera. I try and take a few pictures of Casper in one day so that I have a stash to use and I don’t have to be constantly taking pictures of him. Before I started the account, I did some research and took notes on what hashtags are popular for cat accounts as it is the quickest way to get likes on each post and have a chance of making Casper even slightly Insta-famous. It’s also important to have interaction on the account; I can’t just post pictures of Casper and leave it, I have to like other cat pictures and comment on them to encourage people to do the same to Casper’s pictures. I also have to ensure that I am following other cat accounts – of course I hope they follow me back, but like many other accounts, I don’t unfollow an account just because they don’t follow Casper back. I’ve seen this happen quite a lot with Casper’s account (and my own account), and they must be accounts that are very serious at building their accounts up.
This Casper account is a chance to have a bit of fun, taking pictures and seeing what can be achieved on a targeted account, and as long as Casper is happy to have his picture taken – and does more than sleep each day, I’ll see how far I can take this account. The nest step is achieving 200 followers for this week, so wish me luck, and if you want to see plenty of pictures of our cute cotton wool ball (his fur is just like cotton wool when it’s brushed), please following Casper on Instagram.