Here’s What Happened When We Built A Brand By Buying Instagram Followers  - Part 2

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We recently ran a campaign, in which we created a fake energy drink called Woqe, where our main goal was to see if we could create a brand through the use of Instagram — purely by buying followers.

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The hypothesis was, perception alone could help us build a brand.

So, if we could get enough of a following, copy the branding of an existing drink, and gear all content towards millennials, then we wouldn’t need “authentic” engagement to help us grow.

If you want more of the backstory check out our first article: “Here’s What Happened When We Built A Brand By Buying Instagram Followers.”

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Built A Brand By 

Buying followers, Here's  What Happened

It dawned on us, based on results found through buying instagram followers, that we should try the whole process again with the same conditions, minus buying followers.

So, we did.

We created another account titled DrinkWOQE, with the same fake logo, branding, social posts, etc.

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The campaign was conducted over a 3 week period which differs slightly from the first attempt of 2 weeks and linked to the same landing page (just a random page created on or agency page, The Creative Exchange).

Woqe Drink
Social Media isn't just a marketing tool, it's a lifestyle, born from the very fabric of who you are. We have embraced…www.thecreativeexchange.co


During this time we posted a total of 20 times using the exact same content and relatively the same type of hashtags as before. Keeping in mind that, very little engagement from a community management perspective and no budget was created to promote the page itself, we ended with an overall following of 37:

Woqe (@drinkwoqe) * Instagram photos and videos
37 Followers, 20 Following, 20 Posts - See Instagram photos and videos from Woqe (@drinkwoqe)www.instagram.com

vs the original WoqeDrink page which ended with 1400+ followers:

Woqe (@woqedrink) * Instagram photos and videos
1,415 Followers, 18 Following, 22 Posts - See Instagram photos and videos from Woqe (@woqedrink)www.instagram.com

On paper, the numbers scream that @woqedrink did far better than @drinkwoqe, given the short time frame.

But we’ve learned that you can’t just look at the numbers on paper. There are statistics and then there are statistics within the statistics, that’s where we often have to look to find our answers.

When looking at the @woqedrink drink account, most posts didn’t get any higher than 5–7 likes and no comments at all.

Going a little deeper, we calculated the actual engagement rate and found how embarrassingly low it was (note that the first 5 posts were before followers were bought so overall engagement rate got a huge bump because it was still natural engagment).

Total engagement on account (likes + comments): 348

Total engagement: 1.12%*

*Note: This percentage was again, drastically improved because of the first 5 posts which, alone, accounted for 229 of the 348 likes+comments. On average, each of those posts equated up to 45.8 likes. By just analyzing those 5 posts the overall rate jumps to 3.23%, which is double that of the rate above.

Consumers have gotten far savvier and no longer just pay attention to brands/companies with large followings. They must now have more depth, equating to things like:

  • Strong Values
  • Deeper Mission
  • Authentic Stories
  • Real Engagement

Now, shifting our focus to @drinkwoqe account, most of the posts received roughly 30 plus likes, almost as much as the total following number itself.

Again, going deeper the stats revealed this:

Total engagement on account (likes + comments): 833

Total engagement: 112.5%

While the overall following number was incredibly low, the engagement number ended up being 100x better than the @woqedrink.

Authenticity matters. They may not manifest themselves into the overall “eye-test” of following but if you put in the time, build relationships, and actually engage with your audience then your engagement number will reveal it.

On a limited budget, we created two ads to promote specific posts. The results were as follows:

Instagram post 1 was promoted with $10:

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Total Clicks: 4

Total Likes: 61

Toal Reach: 1,064

Total Impressions: 1,067

Relevancy Score: 7

Instagram post 2 was promoted with $15:

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Total Clicks: 4

Total Likes: 72

Toal Reach: 1,780

Total Impressions: 1,796

Authentically building a brand through social media is challenging, but paying to build it is suicide to your authentic growth. While your numbers overall may not immediately reflect all of your efforts, that doesn’t mean that your engagement won’t.

Remember this as you scroll through your instagram explore page and see accounts with massive followings and embarrassingly low engagement,

Building a community takes time, and that’s ok.

If you like what you read don’t hesitate to hit the applause button and follow along in our creative curiosity and our belief that:

“Creativity Doesn’t Need Limits”

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