theScore hits 20K Instagram followers – and this is how you helped us!

By Kenny Norton
Digital Marketing Manager

20000 fans July 2013 FINAL

theScore on Instagram reached a massive milestone this week: 20,000 followers. We’ve been delighted and humbled at the rate our community on the photo and video sharing social network has grown, and we thank everyone responsible for making theScore one of the most followed Canadian-based companies on the platform. Our engagement on Instagram has been huge, totalling more than 500,000 likes and 20,000 comments in the first six months of 2013 alone.

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Instagram itself has been so successful because images are extremely effective as a storytelling device, particularly on mobile, where you have just a second or two to grab people’s attention. Images tap into our emotions and capture a moment in time. For these reasons, Instagram is the perfect fit for sports – and a perfect fit for theScore.

So how did we get to 20,000? Here are some of the techniques we used to grow our Instagram base.

In the moment:  Being timely is extremely important. If a big game is happening that we know a ton of people are watching and, for example, LeBron James emphatically blocks someone, we’ll put up an image of it as soon as we can. This type of timely content has helped us hit Instagram’s “Popular” page multiple times, which gives us a huge follower bump by increasing our discoverability.

theScore's most popular Instagram photo to date - Ray Allen hitting the game-tying basket in game six of the NBA Finals.

theScore’s most popular Instagram photo to date – a photo collage posted moments after Ray Allen hit the game-tying basket in game six of the NBA Finals.

Quality content: Ensuring images are visually appealing, high quality and “social” are top priorities. And by social, we mean photos that others will want to share. And we find a lot of our followers tag their friends in the photos to make sure they see ours. This has been a big contributor in growing our follower base.

Sharing the love: In addition to posting our own content on Instagram, we also like and comment on other people’s images too. This has helped us create a strong bond with our existing followers and also helped us to acquire new ones. But we don’t just randomly pick great content to “like” – it has to be worth it!

Tagging: Many of our photos involve teams, leagues or players, so when we post we make sure we include relevant hashtags. This helps us become more discoverable, and helps get our photos more engagement through likes and comments.

Follow theScore on Instagram at instagram.com/thescore