Instagram is something I have only used to see what my friends are up to. Sure, I post pictures of myself, but really with no other intent than sharing some pictures with my friends. I wanted to see what it was like to try to gain a following of people purely from the content I produced. I made an Instagram page that was dedicated to me trying to learn how to hold my breath for 5 minutes. The page was built completely from scratch without following anyone. The only way my page would get noticed was by using hashtags, people sharing my videos, and producing content.
I started out this project with one rule: I cannot follow anyone. Sometimes pages will follow thousands of people, just to get them to follow them back, but I wanted to start from ground zero, and only get followers that were interested in what I posted.
I made my posts using Adobe Express. This is a great tool for making posts, specifically that are text based. Since my posts would largely be text based, I needed them to be visually appealing. My first post was explaining the mission of the Instagram page.
My posts could be divided into three categories: progression posts, educational posts, and results posts. Progression posts showed the effects of lung exercises I was practicing. Educational posts taught about the science of apnea training and the benefits that come from it. Results posts showed how the exercises had improved my time after two-week periods.
In order to increase outreach I would post as many hashtags that I could think of that related to the post. I found that this helped increase engagement.
A problem I ran into later on in the project was finding new topics to make posts for. I felt like I was running out of content to post that would be interesting enough to not feel repetitive to viewers.
At the end of the project, I had 26 followers and 12 posts. My most successful post was my final reel that currently has 222 likes.
I found that my progression posts had the least engagement, with educational posts being second most successful, and results posts being the most consistent in engagement. I also found that visual appeal played a huge factor in how much engagement I received.
The reel I made was the most visually appealing, and the easiest to consume. It was also the most fun to make. I believe Instagram’s reel feature is best way to get content to be noticed.
This project has taught me that making Instagram content is hard. It takes creative control, and knowing your target audience, and a lot of trial and error to build up a following.