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Kansas Jayhawks – Instagram

Kansas Jayhawks – Instagram

Beginning in the Summer of 2013, I made Instagram the top priority social platform at Kansas Athletics. As the fastest-growing of the top social networks, and the most engaging platform according to our internal analytics, it made sense.

In August of 2013, the @kuathletics handle had a little over 9k followers, a year later 37k Jayhawk fans are enjoying filtered photos and videos from Rock Chalk headquarters. (the third largest Instagram following in the NCAA) How’d we do it?

1. Quality: Our first Instagram rule is to only post photos and videos. No graphics are ever posted to the account. We believe in following along with the purpose of the network which is to “capture and share the worlds moments.” Additionally, my team was given strict instructions to only post content if it met our extremely high-quality standards. No matter how interesting the subject was, if the photo was blurry or overexposed photos were not posted. I believe it’s this idea more than anything that grew the account. It should be immediately apparent upon viewing the profile that followers can expect high-quality and engaging content on a regular basis.

2. Engagement: Speaking of engagement, we strived to be active members of the Instagram community. By constantly monitoring hashtags, photo tags, and mentions we kept up with how our brand was being discussed and jumped into the conversation when appropriate.

3. Promotions: In March of 2014, we locked up our Instagram account and for a week we made it private. By promoting this fact in advance, fans jumped on board before the deadline to ensure their access to our content. In March alone we added over 6k followers.

4. Sharing: Finally, instead of just asking our Facebook/Twitter followers to also join us on Instagram we found clever ways of sharing our Instagram content while making it clear where fans could find more. See digitalhoopsblast.com’s take on this strategy “Kansas Basksetball Spotlights the Best Instagram Moments

As Instagram has continued its fast growth we’ve expanded our reach on the platform with sport-specific accounts for @KUBaseball, @KUTrack, @KUFootball and others. Looking forward to seeing what comes next on this exciting network.

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