BLOG 28th February 2023

Why we deleted our Instagram

We recently went to an event where a guest speaker talked about social media and someone in the audience asked why they should bother being on LinkedIn when they knew only 1% of people on LinkedIn were actively using the platform on a regular basis. This person argued that LinkedIn didn’t seem like the place where they would generate high engagement or grow their business.

And they had a point, why should anyone spend time and effort on a social media channel that their audience doesn’t use? Why should anyone create content for an audience that isn’t listening, or doesn’t live on that channel?

Social media can be a double-edged sword for organisations. We want to connect with our audiences, engage them, tell the story of what we do and for many arts organisations – sell some tickets while we’re at it. The problem is that it takes time to do this, and skills to do it well. Not all of us have the luxury of having large teams, or marketing savvy staff – many organisations have neither! Working with what you have, to maximum effect is always our advice at thrive. There isn’t any point in spending hours of time, thought and effort in trying to reach your audiences on platforms that they aren’t living on. Understanding who your audiences are and focusing your efforts on where they spend time on online is a better strategy, which will reward you with a better relationship with your online audiences. A growing follower base, positive engagement rates that are consistent across your posts and active replies and comments on your threads or posts are all good signs that you’re in the right online space for your organisation.

What happens when you’re not on the right platform?

Sometimes we can be quick to jump on the latest bandwagon. Every couple of years, a new social platform hits our screens, often accompanied by loud headlines proclaiming it’s the new place to be. This can be tempting – we all want to stay ahead of the game! Sometimes we think that we all need to be on everything, doing everything, all the time. Nearly every organisation we speak to is on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Plenty are on more – some use YouTube, Reddit, LinkedIn or others. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It can be a savvy move for your organisation, if you have time and a dedicated marketing team who love content creation. Covering all of your bases can help you to reach new audiences or connect more deeply with those you already have a relationship with. This isn’t always the case however, so it’s worth digging deeper into your analytics to figure out what is working, and what isn’t.

How did we make the decision?

We track our social and online analytics every month. Everything that happens across our online platforms is closely monitored and discussed every month as a team, so we all know what is working and what isn’t for our followers across our channels. Over time, we had noticed a consistent pattern with our Instagram. It wasn’t performing how we wanted it to. More importantly, our team didn’t have the time to help push our posting on this platform, to counteract this trend. We knew that our highest performing posts involved photos of us out and about exploring, visiting venues and chatting to clients across NI, but we were doing less of this. Since the arrival of Zoom into offices everywhere, we were out and about much less than before, as lots of our meetings had moved online. An alternative posting strategy took a lot more forward planning and wasn’t likely to bring us a lot of engagement on this platform anyway, as we knew our audiences weren’t that interested in what we were currently posting.

We use our social media platforms to drive traffic to our website so our online visitors can read and download our latest resources. Instagram is just not the right platform for this. We decided to put our money where our mouth is and stop pumping time and resources into this platform that would be better spent elsewhere.

We have now stopped posting on Instagram. You can still find us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn – the places where are clients are still happy to follow and engage with us online. As an organisation, we always strive to live by our own advice. What was the point of us telling our own audiences to only use the social platforms that work for them strategically, without doing the same ourselves?

Has this got you thinking about your own marketing, comms or audience development strategy? We’re here to help. Sign up for a free audience appointment with one of our team today and let us help you get to the bottom of whatever thorny problem you’re currently facing. We also love to chat about research and evaluation – so give us a shout if you ever need a little extra help.

Sarah Blake Knox

Client Programme Coordinator

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