The Unexpected Benefits of Running an Instagram Challenge
Instagram is definitely my social media happy place.
Before my ‘I run my own business now’ days, I’d share pictures of my dinner and random memes that inspired me. That quickly came to a halt when I realised beans and tofu didn’t really have the aesthetic I needed to be an ‘Insta-success’ story.
I admit, transitioning from just posting things when it tickled my fancy to thinking strategically and aligning my posts with my brand colours, font, and campaigns, made me love Instagram a little less. I began to treat it more like an acquaintance than a friend, and in time it felt like just another marketing ‘thing’ I had to do.
I’ll be honest; I was going through phases of getting jealous and frustrated by all ‘those’ female entrepreneurs and their perfectly curated visual stories and 50k followers. How was it that they could resist the temptation to post pictures of messy yet tasty food and I couldn’t? What skills had they mastered that I clearly didn’t possess? I was ready to investigate this further; I purchased some Instagram training.
To inject some fun back into my relationship with Instagram, a challenge was suggested. So, I decided to run a 5-day #veganbusinesschallenge to give vegan businesses a platform to share their stories, connect and just have some fun!
These were the daily themes (feel free to re-use these if you like):
- Post an image or video about who you are and what you want to create in the world and why (who you are, what you’re doing, why you’re doing it). This is your vision.
- Post stories about a challenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it.
- Post helpful advice to someone looking to start their own vegan business. Pay forward your success!
- Post a video or quote that inspires you to stay committed to your vision.
- Shout out to someone (tag them) who inspires you (could be a family member, mentor, influencer or brand you’d love to work with).
I announced the challenge on Instagram live seven days before it started. From there, I began to promote it every day across social media and via my email database. 27 vegan businesses registered, yet the night before the challenge, fear set in, “What if nobody turns up?!”
Fortunately, though, this didn’t happen, and instead, I woke up to see people had already posted. As the days went on, I was filled with more and more joy and gratitude. I got to learn so much about people in the vegan business community that what started out as a way to fall back in love with Instagram, transformed into something really memorable and special for everyone.
Together we lifted each other up and shared some pretty vulnerable parts of ourselves with the Instagram world. People who were previously scared to get in front of the camera stepped from out of the shadows and shared some deeply personal stories around the challenges they’d overcome and the people who’d inspired them along the way.
To me, this is exactly why social media can be such a positive platform because it allows us to:
- Connect with each other.
- Build communities from the ground up.
- Empower ourselves and our audience through storytelling.
I admit I went into this challenge not knowing what to expect, and I ended it making some really great connections. All in all, if you’re looking to nurture a community online, I highly recommend trying out a 5-day Instagram challenge.
If you do, I’d love to know what yours will be on and who you hope to inspire?
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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