My Instagram account was something I had started in January of this year, with no idea of what I was planning to do with it. I’ve been writing poetry for a few years now, and I was looking for a place that would not only encourage me to write more, but to share my words with the people around me and gain an online following of readers.
I look at my poetic inspirations and ‘social influencers’ to find ways I wanted to share my content and create it – examples like Beau Taplin, a Melbourne based poet with a cult following of readers who are inspired by his daily writings.
My Instagram page started with around 72 followers at the BCM112 pitch at the beginning of Semester 1 and grew to 117 followers by the beta presentation. Since then and the start of Semester 2, I continued to use the account without a sense of direction or attention to detail/consistency, leading to a loss of engagement.
I decided for BCM114 and BCM206 that it would be a great challenge to find a way to grow this account and make an aesthetic that would be interesting and engaging to people online. I decided to change my current layout of handwritten and drawn works, to a simple typed format consisting of similar poetic content, however finding what the audience is more connected with and running with that.
Just from a first glance, you can see all the changes. A massive increase in followers, from 153 to 277 over 9 weeks, a change in aesthetics from the handwritten and amateur drawing style to a simple Times New Roman font. I decided with a change in aesthetic, I would need to find what the readers are emotionally connected to, so I can find what they will invest a follow, like or comment in.
This was the original process.
I would write on my iPad using the Apple Pencil and some simple hashtags and would do some illustrations and post. This is different from the new process below.
I would use an app called UNUM which would help me design my layout and schedule posts and find relevant hashtags and suggest timeframes for me to post. Also, as the process was now simple and could be done on my phone, I could produce more content.Here was my most liked post in Semester 1 and in comparison, to my most liked this semester. The likes have increased substantially, and I found that short love-based poems are what people are more drawn to liking and responding to, rather than complex styles and a clash of aesthetics that do not connect.
I found that there was a consistent rise in likes and followers and found similar results in whatever I was writing – however with the same aesthetic and around the connotation of love. Trial and error was used to see if I could explore other elements of the human experience, however it wasn’t always what the audience was seeking in my writing. I didn’t fear this failure, it only encouraged me to grow stronger in my ability to write content that would be engaged with.
I will continue to create on this account and interact with more poetry communities online, with an end goal of making a collection that I could sell online and make profit and business out of. Hopefully this will come, however I will not back down from failure.