Welcome to Grace - Cycle Sprog's new Instagram guru!
"Cycle Sprog needs to be on Instagram", "Instagram's the way forward", "Everyone's on Instagram - why aren't you?" These are some of the things people used to say to me several years ago. To be honest, I wasn't really sure what the attraction was, but it seemed that the ability to scroll endlessly through photos of other peoples meals, holidays and interior decorating successes is unbelievably addictive.
And so Cycle Sprog joined Instagram in March 2017. At the beginning it was great fun watching our follower numbers go up. I started to learn exciting new terms, such as "hashtag bank" and "regram". However, after the first few weeks finding things to post became problematic. The Cycle Sprog boys can only do so much cycling, and just posting photos of them riding their bikes was getting a bit tedious!
I then decided to invite our followers to use #CycleSprog in their posts so I could regram them (I was learning fast!). It was a great idea, and lots of you took up the challenge - thank you so much!
Through this I met lots of inspirational cycling families and had great fun regramming all your photos. It certainly made me realise that Instagram can be used to inspire others to get out cycling with their children, which is the raison d'etre of Cycle Sprog!
Then something started to shift. Over time I realised I was spending more and more time regramming and scrolling through other people's feeds. With loads of posts tagged #CycleSprog it was taking hours of my time each week. But to what effect?
Our follower numbers had stagnated at 850, and nothing I was doing was causing this to increase. We now have over 90,000 page views each month on our website, so there seemed to be a real mismatch between the popularity of our website and our Instagram account.
In trying to rectify this I was spending considerable time each week regramming pictures which a handful of people "liked". I could have been writing articles that would be helpful to tens of thousands of parents every year, for years to come.
I decided to go cold turkey on Instagram for a while, and rethink the plan.
Taking a break and doing some research has made me realise that yes, Instagram is a great platform for inspiring people to cycle with their kids. It's a great way to let parents (especially those just starting out on their family cycling journey) know about Cycle Sprog.
BUT I've also learnt that effective Instagramming is a skill. The rules of the game are constantly changing, and you need to be able to dedicate time and energy to it. Yes, I could learn that skill, but do I have the time, energy or even the interest to do it?
What I really need is someone who just "gets" this stuff. Someone who knows what makes a good Instagram post.
Someone who knows what the hell IGTV and Instagram Stories are. Someone who can design a "grid" and a "weekly posting schedule" for me.
I need someone with the time to concentrate on this, to see if we can grow our audience, or confirm that we're doomed to stick at 850 followers for ever.
Thankfully, I've found Grace!
Grace has recently moved from London to Kendal, seeking a more outdoors lifestyle. More importantly, she knows all about Instagram and has her own social media marketing company!
Over several hot beverages we've discussed the potential for Cycle Sprog on Instagram and Grace has used lots of words I don't understand.
The happy result of all this tea drinking is that Cycle Sprog now has its very own Instagram consultant.
Grace is taking over the reigns for the majority of the Instagram posts and stories for a while, so if you're one of our Instagram followers you'll be mainly interacting with her. She's got lots of ideas on how to get Cycle Sprog more engaging and exciting so please head over and take a look.
I know you'll make her feel welcome in the Cycle Sprog community.
Grace is also keen to get Chris and I more active on Instagram. If she succeeds in this, we'll be careful to sign off any chat we're having with you within the comment sections so you know whether your interacting with me (Karen), Chris or (most likely!) with Grace herself.
Do keep tagging your photos #CycleSprog as she'll be choosing her favourites each week to regram.
So, if you're not already doing so, head over to the Cycle Sprog instagram account now and say "hello" to Grace!
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Photo credit - Le Buzz on Unsplashed
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