You Ask, I Answer: Organic Social Media Growth on Instagram?

Joelle asks, “I work in CBD, so advertising isn’t an option most of the time. Have you found any successful tactics for organic social media growth on Instagram?”

It depends on what you consider organic growth. Audience? Engagement? Conversion? We have to be clear on that first, and then start doing some social media data science. There’s a 7-step process I recommend for finding the answer for your industry; watch the video for details.

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Machine-Generated Transcript

What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for watching the video.

In today’s episode, Joel asks, I work in CBD.

So advertising isn’t an option most of the time.

Have you found any successful tactics for organic social media growth on Instagram? Huh? Well, it depends on what you mean by organic growth.

Because there are a number of different metrics that you can work with.

I would assume, though, that you’re probably talking about either audience or engagement, maybe not even conversion, because you wouldn’t necessarily need to run well, you wouldn’t need to run ads for that.

So we have to be clear first on what the goal is, what are you trying to do? And then that’s when you start busting out the social media data science.

So the way to tackle this and to find out what’s working for other companies in your space or not, is Number one put together a exhaustive list of as many business accounts in the industry or in the CBD industry as possible, can just be a spreadsheet or whatever.

And step two is to extract the data, the public data from those accounts, there are tools like CrowdTangle Talkwalker.

I’m sure there’s many others, I would use CrowdTangle for this to extract the post level data, which is going to have the account name, size of the account posting, the number of likes, the number of comments, etc.

And that will give you the raw data you need to start understanding what’s working for accounts in this space.

Step three is to group the accounts together by account name and then summarize the changes.

So if you’re looking for audience growth, number of followers, then you would have take that spreadsheet and roll it up by date, my individual day and then bye The size of posting the change in size it posting.

So do they gain 15 more followers that day, whatever the case may be, or the different types of engagements.

But you’ll have a summary spreadsheet that will take what could be, you know, a many thousand line spreadsheet and boil it down to a couple of thousand lines depending on how many accounts we’re talking about.

Once you’ve identified that, and you you’ve summarized it, you should know at that point, who are the top 25% of accounts that have grown the most by the metric that you’ve you’ve decided you care about the most likes, comments, things like that.

And at that point you’ll make you’ll you’ll move the data science tool, your choice from a spreadsheet all the way up to Watson Studio or whatever.

You’re going to take that data and feature engineer it.

So you’re going to extract additional features from the content itself.

So Things like the emotions written the post length, how many words? Is the description? The post type? Is it a video? Is it an image is a carousel Is it ictv? The image subject, what’s the what’s the the picture of the video about etc.

This step typically does require more of those Advanced Data Science tools, again, this something that you can find in our Python or Watson Studio.

And what you’ll end up with is a essentially a really large spreadsheet really like table of these accounts, their posts, all the features that you engineered, and then your target viewer response variable, whatever that is, if its audience growth, if its engagement, etc.

you run a regression analysis against the response variable and see what correlates the most.

How do things like Certain tone work or certain post type work or certain day of the week, certain time to give you mathematical relationships that forms your testing basis to figure out okay, now what if posts on Wednesdays that are better joyful and have a picture of a grow house.

If that’s your hypothesis, then you can start testing and putting those out on your account and prove true or false that that type of content matching those variables actually does drive the outcome that you’re looking for.

And this is an iterative process, you’ll keep doing this over and over and over again, either proving true or false different combinations of variables until you’re at the point where like, okay, now I’ve I’ve got something that has statistical significance, and that leads to the outcome that I care about.

Now, this isn’t the easiest thing in the world, but this is the best way to get at what’s working, especially in industries where you’re appealing to a very specific set of audience, right? It’s not the general population.

If it’s a, you know, if you’re in b2b, for example, this is a technique you want to use and b2b as much as possible, because you don’t have a ton of people you’re looking at, you’re probably looking at average b2b companies, probably only looking at 500 customers, right? do this to with your customers accounts, do this too, with your customers or competitors to find out what’s working for them.

Anybody in that industry, boil the data down so that you can have you can build a testing plan to see what’s working and you may find that not intuitive things work, you may find that sometimes they may not even be there, they’re right people, you what you may find is that people in your industry are just flailing around trying everything and any Growth they see it just happens to be luck.

That is a possible outcome of this experiment.

But you won’t know that until you do the scientific analysis and testing of all these different variables.

So give that a shot.

It, like I said, it can be done in the spreadsheet, you’ll not be happy.

But it can be done in a spreadsheet, it would just require a lot of manual work, you you Your best bet is to use modern data science and machine learning tools to do a lot of the heavy lifting for you.

But it can be done in a spreadsheet and see what you come up with see what you find for what factors drive growth.

So that’s that would be the approach I would recommend.

It’s going to vary by the way, it’s going to vary by industry.

It’s going to vary by time, tactics that worked two years ago, may not work now to hell tactics that work six months ago may not work now.

So be aware of that as well.

Take a look at what’s happening in your industry.

And if there’s another industry that’s like yours that’s either highly regulated or unregulated.

You may need to pull in some of their content as well to see what works for them.

So really good question.

It’s a tough question and does require, you know, some heavy lifting on the math side, but it will give you answers that you can then take action on.

If you have follow up questions, leave them in the comment box below.

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