BYU Instagram is not only the fastest growing social media account on campus, it’s also among the highest ranked in the world.
BYU Instagram ranks 16th in the world for the most followers in the education category and is the fastest growing social media account on campus, according to BYU social media intern Amanda Chase.
“We just recently got an analytics program for our Instagram account and were surprised to see we ranked so highly,” Chase, a BYU junior, said. “We have a very high standard of quality and take a lot of time crafting each post individually.”
BYU Instagram currently has over 79K followers and 880 posts. The social media team’s goal is to create an easy and quick way for students to keep in touch with the university.
BYU freshman Bethany Bulloch said she enjoys following BYU on Instagram.
“I think BYU’s social media team is doing some really great and innovative things,” Bulloch said. “They’re really involving the students and making it a social media for them and to represent them.”
The account was started by BYU Communications in 2013 and had a slow beginning, according to BYU social media manager Jonathan McBride.
“We were a little late to the (Instagram) party,” McBride said. “If we were going to do it, we wanted to do it right. We hopped into Instagram with both feet, and it’s been incredible to watch the account grow.”
McBride and Chase said the social media team originally planned to post photos mainly from university photographers; however, now students produce about 90 percent of the photos.
Chase said there are multiple ways the social media team picks which student photos to post.
“We’re pretty particular with our content,” Chase said. “Every day I search through photos people DM’ed us, photos that have hashtags related to BYU, photos people have tagged us in or posts that have BYU as a location tag.”
Chase selects photos she thinks are well-composed and represent an interesting aspect of the BYU experience. She then begins brainstorming a caption.
“After selecting the photo, writing the caption is probably the hardest part. Sometimes that takes me forever,” Chase said.
McBride also said the social media team puts tremendous thought into captioning its photos.
“Crafting the perfect Instagram caption can be tricky,” McBride said. “It’s a bit of a science and an art. Some captions come to us right away, and some captions take about 15 emails between four different people to get it just right.”
The social media team said captioning is important because they want to have a unique voice that is both fun and consistent with the BYU mission.
Chase said one of the team’s main objectives for the future is continuing to grow its following by allowing select BYU students to perform an “Instagram Takeover.”
“Instagram Takeover is something we are starting with our daily story,” Chase said. “We find someone who posts interesting things often related to BYU, and give them our account information so they can post on our story for one day.”
Bulloch was recently chosen for the Instagram Takeover. She said the experience made for an exciting way to document her day.
“It was a lot of fun being featured, although slightly embarrassing because I don’t love having a spotlight on me,” Bulloch said. “They told me to do 13 to 14 clips of my day, just showing a day in the life of a BYU student.”
McBride said overall the BYU account is successful because of it’s devoted fanbase.
“The truth is that while we are very deliberate with our strategy, it always comes back to the fact that we have an incredibly beautiful campus with incredibly awesome students,” McBride said.