The Details and Results of My First Instagram Promotion

The beginning of this post, may seem a little odd. But, in the name of transparency, I wanted to share why I decided to create an Instagram promotion. If you just want the facts, skip ahead, otherwise it’s about to get real personal.

Last week, I didn’t write a single blog post, I barely responded to emails, I binge-watched Gilmore Girls and cried… a lot.

I wish I could sit here and tell you that every day of running JPD is dream. I do nothing but succeed, exude confidence and embrace this wonderful journey. But, that’s not even close to the truth The truth is, JPD pushes me. It pushes me hard to be ALL THE THINGS and last week, I broke.

I cried to Joey, called my mom and considered just throwing in the towel. I didn’t feel cut out for this. Talking through it, with people who were being a little more rational, helped me discover something.

I’m not great at marketing myself.

I can design, blog and help my clients. But, I just can’t promote myself. I’ve told almost no friends or family about JPD, I barely promote my services and I hate Instagram.

So, I did the only logical thing, I opened up Instagram and created a promotion on a whim. The only way I do anything, if I’m being honest.

Today, I’m sharing with you all the details of how that Instagram Promotion went.

The Details and Results of My First Instagram Promotion | I'm sharing all the background information and results of my first #instagram promotion. Read the full post at

The Post

Let’s start with the details of the promotion.

Since this was on a whim, I didn’t plan out a detailed post with call-to-actions and witty captions. Instead, I just promoted my most recent post (at the time) hoping to increase the number of followers of my Instagram.

Luckily, that post was engaging, educational and pretty to look at. It was an inspiration board with a few simple tips to help you create your own.

The Details

Once I’d selected a post, it was time to define the details of my promotion.

To get started, I had to decide what my goal for the promotion was. Since I didn’t have an outlined plan, I decided to focus on profile views. Since I still have a small following on Instagram (~500 followers), I thought this was still beneficial long-term and had a better rate of success.

Next, I had to select my target audience. I was able to choose between Automatic, Local or Manual. I went with Manual for a few reasons. First, my business and this promotion doesn’t need to only be targeted at Minnesota-natives. So, Local didn’t make sense. Second, I have a little bit of a wider audience on Instagram than I consider “ideal”. For example, friends and family follow along but they aren’t my ideal clients, so I don’t want to pay for a promotion based off my existing followers, which bumped Automatic out of the running.

For my Manual promotion, I was able to select a location, interests, age and gender.

Lastly, I set my budget. Since this was on a whim and I’ve never done an Instagram promotion before, I decided to keep it simple at $1 per day for 5 days and waited for my promotion to be approved.

The Results

The promotion insights shares the analytics of the promotion. These insights are broken down into five sections. Side note: I assume the details of your insights will vary based upon the type of promotion you create, so this is what the Manual insights look like.

The first section shows a small version of your post and highlights the likes, comments and number of saved collections.

My results:

  • Likes: 113

  • Comments: 6

  • Collections: 6

The second section is named “Interactions”. This shows promotion clicks, profile visits and website visits. It also breaks down the information by the percentage of the results brought on from the promotion.

My results:

  • Promotion Clicks: 27

  • Profile Visits: 36

    • Percentage from promotion: 75%

  • Website Visits: 2

    • Percentage from promotion: 0

  • Get Directions: 1

The third section is named Discovery. This captures the number of people reached, impressions and follows. The number of people reached is further broken up into two sections: percentage of people who weren’t following you and the percentage that came from the promotion. The impressions also shares the percentage from the promotion.

My results:

  • People Reached: 884

    • Percentage from non-followers: 80%

    • Percentage from promotion: 71%

  • Impressions: 1,115

    • Percentage from promotion: 57%

  • Follows: 1

The fourth section is name Promotion. This shares the details of the promotion, such as number of days the promotion ran and the amount spent, I ran my promotion for 5 days at a maximum spend limit of $1/day. At the end of the promotion I had spent a total of: $4.83

The final section is Audience. Since I created a specific audience for my promotion, the results are similar to what I created.

My results:

  • Gender: 100% Women

  • Age Range: 47% 18-24 year olds, 40% 25-34 year olds, 13% 35-44 year olds and 1% 45-54 year olds.

  • Top Locations: 15% California, 8% Texas, 7% Georgia, 6% Florida, 5% New York

Overall, I thought the promotion was only minimally effective. I’ve ran Pinterest Ads before and they have a much higher success rate.

However, even though the promotion didn’t send my Instagram into super stardom, it helped me reach more people and the more consistently I appear in front of my ideal clients, the more likely they will recognize me and choose to follow my account. So, I still consider it a win and I will definitely run another promotion in the future.

Have you ever ran an Instagram promotion? What did you find the be most effective? Let me know in the comments!