Social Media Content: Is It Really Important?

I have always heard that content is king, and for so long I have agreed with that statement. But the current oversaturation of social media has triggered much more focus on technical aspects of audience grow which do not actually include content.

During the last couple of weeks, I have experienced working with Instagram. Although the content was very original and powerful (mainly photography), it was pretty obvious that unless we pay for promotions, the number of followers and likes was very low. The account was created in April 2016 with posts every 3 or 4 days. It reached 230 followers in February of this year. Indeed, the growth has been very slow, event though the content was very good (high-quality images of very exotic places around the world)

The general technical strategy was very good; they were posting at the right time, and they were using a combination of hashtags that appeal to a wide audience. Of course, the big issues was the frequency of post, but it was understandable as the account and owner had a limited number of original photographies.

When I got the account, they were pretty open to new ideas and experimentation. After a couple of days I decided to go for a very technical approach (some people may see it as shady) that included posting every day and follow the regular model of following and unfollow account to get more viewership and likes.

Using a simple mobile application called Followers +, I was able to dig a bit deeper into more relevant hashtags and unrequited accounts. After one day of review and presentations, I was cleared to follow a daily schedule (1 post per day) and start to freely follow and unfollow accounts.

During the first week, we tripled the amount of followers and we got 35% more interaction with our posts. It took me an average of 2 hours every day to get my job done. The post was up at 8 am, I would spend an hour liking content, commenting and more importantly, following an average of 20 new accounts in our niche, and getting rid of unrequited accounts. I would repeat the same interaction process during the night.

It all looked very simple and automatic. The client was happy and the account grew to 1000 followers in just a couple of weeks.

After a month, I decided to experiment and try to determine the real influence of interactions (commenting, liking, following, unfollowing) in comparison with the influence of the content. During 2 weeks we decided to post 3 times per week instead of the regular 5 time and we deleted any kind of caption and hashtag; in fact, we even aimed at posting the worst images in the bank. That was the variant; the content. On the other hand, I kept the technical approach to following and unfollowing, etc..

Surprisingly, the numbers didn’t drop as much as we were expecting, probably a 3 or 4%. It allowed us to save more content and spend less time creating content (something important for travel photographers). The account has now reached 30K followers (I am not in charge of it anymore) and everything is great.

That was a huge eye-opener to me. As a creative, I have always thought of content as the main influence, but for the first time, I saw the advantage of a very technical approach.

What do you think about this? Have you experienced something similar?