Blogger Success Story: @ginger.ninja.vizsla

We have launched a series of guest interviews with Buzzweb Instagram influencers who share their stories, best practices, and tips.

Today the owner of pet @ginger.ninja.vizsla page will tell us her story of growing and give us her tips of a successful giveaway.

The Beginning

It’s true what they say Hungarian Vizslas are definitely ‘velcro’ dogs!  Being the proud owner of one of these somewhat crazy but totally charming characters and preferring to be behind the camera rather than in front, my phone gallery is full of doggy photos.

In March 2017 I decided to share some of the everyday adventures and mishaps of my happy hound on Instagram.  To start I chose a few photos then found fellow pet accounts to follow.  Soon pet accounts were following back and Ginger Ninja Vizsla was born!

Growing Followers

By being active and following, liking and commenting on like-minded pet accounts, Ginger Ninja Vizsla grew quite quickly.  In fact, it was a fantastic surprise when the number of followers hit 7,000 on the account’s four-month anniversary.

In April I was fortunate to collaborate with the new and upcoming pet company Doggy Style by Archie and hosted a giveaway post aimed at personal pet accounts and their owners.  During this period, I saw a significant increase in the number of followers and whilst some unfollowed once the campaign was over I also connected with a number of awsome dog accounts who are very entertaining!

Tips For A Successful Giveaway

Based on my campaign with Doggy Style by Archie here are my tips for running a successful giveaway campaign:

1. Decide on length of competition

Accounts with a very large number of followers can easily run a short and snappy giveaway.  As my account was new and growing a short competition post would not have had the desired reach.  On the other hand, too long and people may not have had the impetus to enter there and then.  We settled on running the giveaway for 3 weeks which turned out to be a great length for this particular campaign.

2. Eye-catching competition photo

Make it instantly apparent the photo is hosting a giveaway your followers will want to enter.  It is easy to scroll through photos without taking the time to read captions, so including GIVEAWAY on the picture will help people recognize there is an exciting prize to be won.

3. Keep entry simple

The fewer steps to enter the competition the better.  Complicated entry requiring people to jump through too many hoops may put potential entrants off.  Links in captions don’t work and instructing followers to enter via the link in bio requires people to leave Instagram.  An easier entry could be to follow the brand and tag a friend in comments.  Allowing multiple entries by tagging more friends will also help increase the posts visibility. We decided to offer bonus entries for reposting the giveaway photo which again helped to increase reach and engagement.

4. Drive traffic to the giveaway

Instagram photos can quickly be lost in followers feed so it helps to keep directing attention to the giveaway post.  I changed my bio and status to announce the giveaway and used the URL for the campaign post as my link in bio.  Additionally, I mentioned the giveaway in future posts with a call to action and found running a countdown towards the end resulted in late entries.

Increasing Posts Engagement

I have definitely learned a few things along the way.  To increase engagement on photos I needed to increase the number of people who saw them. Posting a photo doesn’t guarantee followers will see it!

I discovered one fun way to increase reach is to take part in themed hashtag photo challenges and games. These can range from something as simple as posting a black and white photo for #blackandwhitechallenge to the more elaborate, for example, attending a virtual dog prom #dogpromtake2.  I like to tag these photos and pass on the challenges. Whilst not everybody will accept the invitation those who do are inclined to like, comment and send a challenge back.  At first, I only tagged a few fur-friends, now the challenges come rolling back in so fast I often use the maximum 20 tags! These themed challenges have the added bonus of inspiring different photo styles and adding variety to page.

Tracking The Engagement Level

Converting from a personal to business Instagram account gives access to Instagram insights making it easy to monitor engagement and reach.  I took the time to experiment with hashtags and found the ones which worked best for me…  With top posts for the most popular hashtags hitting five-figure likes and views, niche ones definitely work better for my smaller growing account!

The Last Tip For Instagram Influencers

Like and comment!  Making the effort to like and leave personal comments tends to be reciprocated.

More recently I joined a couple of group DM chats which could be described as ‘like and comment pods’.  These are great for connecting with like-minded accounts.  Witty captions and using posts to ask questions can also trigger comments.  Finally, don’t be disheartened if a favorite photo doesn’t receive the reaction you had been hoping for — it can be surprising which posts prompt the best response!

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