At the neglect of my actual assignments for the course, I’ve been working on the creation of what will end up being my business website for the airsoft photography business I’m building and planning to expand. As per my project and business proposals, this expansion will take the form of developing a photography presence within other similar industries to airsoft such as re-enacting and live-action roleplaying. But, for now, it’s all about trying to grab my piece of the airsoft market.
To do this, I’ve been trying to establish a following on both Facebook and Instagram. Who’d have thought it would be so time-consuming! I’ll no longer take the piss out of my niece who works on the social media marketing team for Boots. My social media presence is being done by the creation of a Vision41 Photography page on Facebook and an account on Instagram. As I knew would be the case from previous experience of trying to establish a page on Facebook, the going has been slow, very slow. I have no doubt in my mind that the platform software and algorithms throttle your natural reach to potential followers/clients to a point where it is virtually non-existent. This is, obviously, done to force you to pay them large sums of money so that you can run ‘marketing campaigns’. Well, at this stage, I’m not willing to pay them until I’ve tried reaching as many airsofters and airsoft game sites etc. as I can naturally.
Instagram started off well as my followers quite quickly increased. This happened until I got to where I am now, around 225 followers, and that too has now slowed down. I seriously don’t get how that platform works as the average ‘Likes’ I get on there is somewhere around the 5o mark. One image, however, shot up to around 250 ‘Likes’ without me doing much different to all the others I’d posted before or after. That image also got a bit more attention on Facebook because I posted it in an airsoft group on there. Because Facebook owns Instagram, perhaps the algorithm is the same and one feeds off the other. If it does well on Facebook, does it then get put in front of more people on Instagram?
I also don’t get how the hashtags work on Instagram as (I realise I’m massively biased here) I’ve posted images that are decent and are a bit more interesting to look at and I only get my average amount of likes. Next thing I see is some crap phone image of someone looking crap in their tactical gear stood in the safe zone of a game site and it gets a few hundred likes. When I check the hashtags they’ve used, they’re the ones that all us airsoft image posters use.
I really could do with a social media guru coming online (I’m at college during COVID 2020) to talk to us.
I’ll persevere with this social media presence as I know it’s important to what I do and the success of my business plan but, as of right now, I’m a bit perplexed with it all. Hopefully, I’ll get a break and one of the big ‘regram’ accounts picks up one of my images and reposts it with a credit to me. I’ve been tagging the big airsoft regram accounts in some of my images and getting ‘Likes’ from one or two of them but none have yet reposted. Maybe this only happens when they see you’ve got over a certain amount of followers already? God knows! I’m already thinking “**** social media!”.
Because of my current negative feelings towards the amount of effort for lack of reward on Instagram, I’ve succumbed to splashing out a massive £2.99 on an e-book that’s going to save the day (yeah, right).
The authors of the book are Anvil Tactical Airsoft who are an online airsoft retailer. I’m always sceptical about these kinds of books anyway but, considering their Instagram account has only 3685 followers, I’m even more so. Can’t do any harm to have a read though, right?
Ok, this post was supposed to be about the progress I’ve made with my website instead of working on course assignments but would appear to have turned into a rant about Facebook and Instagram. Sorry!
It is still very relevant, though, as a social media presence is part of what I’m attempting to create as part of my project.
I’ll bang on about my website in the next post. Honest.