How I accidentally became an INSTAGRAM expert and what you can learn from this for other social media platforms…

Like most people in my industry Instagram grabbed our attention when in April 2012 Facebook bought it for $1 Billion! Now that’s a lot of money and at the time there was a lot of criticism in the press of why a two year old company sold for so much money, especially when you consider that in 2012 Instagram didn’t sell anything and only had 50 million users. Now looking at Instagram it seems that Facebook actually got a bargain. They’ve just gone over 400 million users and now have an income stream through advertising on the platform.

So since Instagram grabbed our attention in 2012 most marketing companies have been trying how to figure out how to run an effective marketing campaign…

…and failed!! And continue to fail today.

Myself included, I looked at it for about six months and did a lot of testing without generating any decent results.

Then a year ago the accident happened. Like most I initially put it down to the fact that because Instagram was made for mobile, unlike other big social media platforms that have adapted to mobile, it was considered a ‘young persons’ platform. But I found myself using the app and really enjoying being a consumer of the product rather than trying to think how I can make money from it. Now looking at who the user stats of Instagram, it’s not just kids using it. In fact the biggest growth over the last six months has been women aged between 30–55!

The turning point in terms of how to use the platform for marketing changed after a conversation with my 10 year old son Callum, who was also starting to use Instagram but wanted to grow the amount the followers he had and increase his likes and comments so that he was engaging with people on the platform rather than just looking at pictures.

For me this conversation was big…

So out came the flip chart, I don’t need much of an excuse to get the flip chart out, and we started putting in place a strategy. One week later and he now had an extra 155 followers, his last four pictures had each got over 50 likes and on average his pictures had been getting 8 comments engaging with him. Also, and most importantly, we setup a trackable link in his bio to track if we generated any traffic to a website and we did, and not just one or two… 58! Oh and it get’s better, because on the site we had a simple subscribe to receive emails call to action and 24 people had subscribed. This results in 42% of the traffic took action!

Since then we have been running campaigns for clients and getting some great results and are now launching a service specifically for authors using Instagram to build a following and sell their books.


The big learning curve here is that if you want to start using any social media platform as a marketing strategy, you have first to fully embrace the platform and use it first as a consumer whilst always taking notes on how you are giving, influencing and engaging on the platform. Because I’ve done that I can genuinely call myself an ‘Instagram expert’.


The good news is that releasing my new book very soon all about how to use Instagram for your business. If you want to get priority notice of when it’s released then please visit

[ About the author, Scott C. Campbell is a Marketing Strategist Expert // Author // Host of the #AskScottC Marketing Show & Founder of Affecting Peoples Lives. are marketing experts inspiring business owners get actual results through developing and implementing effective marketing strategies.

If you want to discuss your marketing strategies, then please feel free to contact me via our website: ]

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