Venus Trapped in Mars Sports and Lifestyle Blog Dallas

01 September 2016

Growing A Local Instagram Account || What Works, What Doesn't

As you may know, I started a local Dallas based Instagram account a few months ago called Dallas Love List. I wrote an entire post with what I'd learned in the first couple weeks of starting a local Instagram account, and told you guys I would keep you updated on my progress. 

First - to backtrack real quick.... WHY did I want to start a local Instagram account? Well, I'm just going to be frank here, I wanted free food, tickets, booze, whatevs. A full calendar equals a very happy Sarah Webb. Could I get collaborations... like... say for insance, Untapped Beer Festival through Venus Trapped in Mars? Yes, but I'm pretty sure that most of you guys don't really care about Dallas based events, seeing as my readers are scattered all over the country. So I decided to make a targeted Dallas Instagram account. 

It has now been almost 3 months and the account has nearly 3,650 followers. How did I do that? If you want the simple answer... CB and I stopped going to the same old places for meals and started trying new places, I stock piled every Dallas based photo I have ever taken and put them into a Dropbox folder for easy access, I used Dallas based hashtags on every post and I liked other people's photos like crazy.... and that's pretty much it. 

I DID NOT do the follow unfollow method that is such a trend on Instagram right now. That is rude as hell, in my opinion, and I will never do that. For those who don't know, people swear by the idea that you follow as many accounts as possible, wait for them to follow you back, then immediately unfollow them. That isn't my style on my personal account and that won't be my style here. 

If you read my "Instagram Hashtags for Bloggers that Will Triple Likes" post, you'll know that I totally nerd out on experiments with social media. This is why I want to be totally transparent on this account and tell you exactly what works and what doesn't and what I'm struggling with. So, let's dive in! 

What is working
Liking photos from anyone's account who lives in Dallas.

When Jenny Smith sees "@DallasLoveList" liked her picture of her 5 year old little boy, Charlie -- she's more likely to click over to see what @DallasLoveList account is all about --- for sure more likely to click over than if just @iamsarahwebb liked her photo.

If I take a solid 10 minutes and like photos from anyone who has a "Dallas, Texas" geo-tagged recent photo, I'm guaranteed to get 10-20 new followers.

What I thought would work but hasn't really been helpful
I thought the key to my growth would be getting regrammed. Oddly, this has not really helped to get more followers at all. I was even regrammed by A Beautiful Mess (go figure, why couldn't that have happened on my @iamsarahwebb account?!?) and I really didn't see much of a boost in followers.

That actually makes sense though.

What I'm peeved about
Hah! We all have something that makes us whine to our boyfriends/husbands, "WOE IS ME" I have ONE thing in particular that CB's ears are probably going to start bleeding if I bitch over it one more time... 

There are these things called "Media Dinners" that I have yet to be invited to. I know, I know, it has only been a few months, but I wanna goooooooooooo! I don't know who puts these invites out, otherwise I would contact them myself and be like, "Yo, pick me." 

What's a media dinner? Well, local food bloggers all meetup and the kitchen at a specific restaurant will cook up pretty much everything on the menu, wine and dine you for free, and you take photos. 

Do you see why I would like to go to this now??  I wanna goooooooooooooooo :( 

What kind of free stuff has come my way
Not much, but here is exactly what has come my way in the first 3 months.
Also: no one has paid me anything either, but I can't say I'm really looking for cash money. (Said no one ever.....)

-A Box of Dallas Based Goodies from Dallas Box Co. 
-Two BrewFest Tickets + Two to Give Away
-Two Tickets to Best of D Magazine Party + Two To Give Away (which was BOMB) 

What I need to change to be successful
I need to get out of my little nook of Dallas (Oak Cliff, Deep Ellum, Design District, Trinity Groves) and explore neighborhoods that maybe aren't my cup of tea, like Uptown. Just because I'm not the biggest uptown kinda girl, doesn't mean my readers aren't! 

Expand my neighborhood reach, and I could see a boost in followers! 

Oh, and I still get SO embarrassed taking photos of my food. Not sure how to fix that. 

Where it has been fun
I am a creature of habit, growing up, I had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich literally every single day from 2nd grade until 11th grade. I can eat the same meal, over and over again, and be fine with that.

CB and I have really enjoyed adventuring out and trying new restaurants that never would have been on our radar.

On having a face vs not having a face 
This is one where I am TOTALLY not sure what to do. I personally am no where to be found on this account. Part of me wonders if that is a problem or if it is a good thing. Still not sure, but as of right now, no Sarah face to be found. 

 That's all I've got to report so far on Dallas Love List! I'm sure I'll be back in another few months with some new experimental social media findings!  

In more important news... GO VOLS, IT'S GAMEDAY BABY!! 
#GamedayVibes in full force for me right now....

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