On June 1 we started our 100 Days – 100 Crafts campaign. With 200 followers on Instagram and a mission to promote kids’ crafts in our pockets, we embarked on a 100-day journey. Today I want to share some befores, afters and durings of our first organized attempt to leave a mark on Instagram.
All the little ones will recognize themselves in desperately trying to make an impression in this very crowded place. When we started our campaign, we didn’t bother defining the size and scope of the impression we were trying to make – out of hurry, fear of jinxing it, but mostly out of the annoying impossibility to cast any reasonable prediction.
Just in case you didn't follow us, each day we obliged ourselves to post a photo of one kids' craft from our app TutoTod (photo above). Here's the outline of what needed to be done to make this happen:
Not that fancy and not that different from what most respectable brands go through on social media, but challenging to the first-ever campaigners with little experience, very few tools and a big obligation to post one very particular photo daily, no matter the circumstances.
The challenge was even bigger since it coincided with another major event in the life of our startup – our CEO’s visits to the US for the entire first month. This meant that the factor that usually glues the four of us together will be gone, and the three of us will have to chase each other around for our parts.
Instagram as an organism
In order to make a really beautiful campaign, we realized soon enough we don't just need beautiful photos, but we have to look at Instagram as an organism which you either control, or it will take the matter in its own hands and turn into something you didn’t anticipate and don't like.
Our IG Before and After the Campaign
As we didn’t want that to happen, this is what we needed to take into account:
- Since all our photos are on a colorful background, we couldn't have the same color next to or above each other.
- We wanted to celebrate all the funny days and holidays during the campaign.
- Since we get less reach on weekends, we needed to post our weaker photos then.
- We didn’t want to have similar crafts appear close to one another. (We have a lot of chicken crafts.)
- There are some color combinations that just don’t look good – we had to avoid those.
We really did our best to consider all of the bullets. But looking backwards, this not-so-simple algorithm needed quite a lot of planning, which wasn’t done. We thought of the campaign the day before it started and decided to handle all of this as we go.
And when you don’t plan, you bump into many unplanned things.
Like that thing when your designer just can’t edit the photo that day so you open Pixelmator for the first time at 10:00 PM trying to recreate the template and partially succeed.
Or when you realize in the middle of the campaign that the photos you took with iPhone are actually not good at all and you need to do it all over. The joke here is that at the beginning we thought they were amazing – indicative of the fact that the more you post and commit (to anything), the higher your criteria get.
Our summer nautical Dominoes
When what you like is not what they like
Probably a lot of you who take IG seriously have had that one post that you think gonna crush it, and then it crawls up to 16 likes and one “This is cute!”. From the first day of the campaign we had our eyes and hearts set on one particular craft – our summer nautical Dominoes. This is what happened – on the day we planned to break the Instagram with it, the Instagram broke on its own and the hashtags stopped working. Of course, just for that one day. If you knew how anxiously we waited to publish that one, you would agree with us that it’s more than a coincidence.
Luckily, there are other kinds of surprises too. We almost left out this Little Snowman, but decided to post it thinking it’s going to be the worst ever – it gathered by far the most likes at the time!
The Snowman Miracle
A lesson to be learned – you never know what your followers will like and all you can do is try to guess, then listen, learn and apply. But they like snowmen for sure.
Was it successful?
If we’re measuring the success of the campaign by the most obvious indicator – the number of followers and likes – without a properly set goal and point of reference, it is hard to say. Bluntly, in 3 months we climbed from 200 to 800. In my opinion, not a spectacular failure nor success, but this one I leave to you to judge for yourself.
However, if we take into account that what we expected to get is a structured and meaningful way to organize our posts – it was a success, no doubt. We improved immensely in taking photos, writing, organizing and managing social media, and sometimes that has to be enough to make a campaign successful.
In the end, the mere fact that we pulled through every day is enough to make us anxious to plan another campaign – this time, the Halloween edition. We’re smarter now, and we will expect a little more from ourselves and our IG. So see you in the next one!