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Brand Interview #106 – CapeTownMagazine.com is living it up on Instagram

Continuing on with our tourism theme, here is our interview with CapeTownMagazine.com!

We spoke to Jonathan Goodchild, who is in charge of the account, he told us a little bit about himself and his work:

I began work on the Instagram account at CapeTownMagazine.com in August 2014, since then I have grown the account from 2638 +/- followers to 60K. We are aiming to hit 100 K before the end of the year. This account has been my heart and soul since moving to Cape Town and I am honoured to be able to share this with the rest of the world on Instagram.

Great stuff! Here’s a little info about the @capetownmag account:

60.6k followers
1.31% engagement rate
On average 105.5 media posted per month

Here is the interview – enjoy!

Q1 – @CapeTownMag posted its first Instagram picture on the 26th February 2013. What were your motivations back then? What made you join Instagram?

When we discovered Instagram, all we really knew was that it was a cool way to share images with your friends and followers. This instantly made sense to us, we could now feature from both locals and international visitors who share their Cape Town discoveries. Whether it’s be beautiful places to view the sunset from, a nice restaurant to go for lunch, a vibrant shot of the city streets during the hustle and bustle of the work week in Town, anything! We incorporated this idea to help people discover more new and exciting things to do in the Mother City. The community we found has only ever been a positive and welcoming one. Ultimately, it’s a great way to connect with our readers and followers and vice versa.

Q2 – How relevant is Instagram for @capetownmag? What benefits has it brought you?

CapeTownMagazine.com is all about helping people make exciting discoveries around every corner in the Mother City, and Instagram enables us to share more unique experiences, but from different and diverse perspectives. It has been a great journey for us to grow our account so that when we feature things to do or places to see, we can also get the people who live in Cape Town to re-discover their own beautiful city. Additionally, our Instagram posts now have the reach and engagement level that many of our partners constantly benefit from. We are not just trying to grow our own Instagram account, but also those those of people making the most of Cape Town. Instagram has furthered our connection with locals and visitors and solidified our status as proud ambassadors of Cape Town.

Q3 – What are your main Instagram goals at this point in time? (In terms of reach and growth)

Our main goal at the moment is to reach 100 000 followers by the end of 2016, our account is currently growing at an average of a thousand followers every 5 to 10 days. We are aiming for anywhere between 100 and 150 followers every day. With a reach of 100 000, we should be able to get an average of 2000 likes per post and 100 comments on every single image. This will really allow us to post content that will help both locals and tourists in Cape Town to find new and exciting things to do, whether they are looking for a place to eat, go on a wine tour or maybe even find accommodation for a quick weekend getaway just outside the city. Another important aim is to increase the followers of people who are being featured by us. They capture the picture and we want them to be discovered by more people as well. Numbers aside, the real goal is to always share special discoveries showcasing everything Cape Town has to offer.

Q4 – What are your thoughts on videos for Instagram?

Videos are definitely the future (actually ‘the now’) for media. A picture is worth a thousand words, but a video can tell a story and expand unique perspectives. At CapeTownMagazine.com we are constantly sharing experiences of all the best things to do and places to see.We are currently working on exciting video strategies that we will implement in the not too distant future, but if you’d like to see some videos that we have featured from around Cape Town, you can check out #capetownmagvideo.

Q5 – Do you use any particular strategies to attract new Instagram followers and keep them engaged?

We are constantly growing #capetownmag by telling to our followers to tag their best shots of Cape Town so that they can be featured.

We are also running an ongoing and awesome campaign with a local helicopter company @nachelicopters that in addition to being on the quest to find the 100 most breathtaking scenic pictures of Cape Town also offers one Iger a heli flip over Cape Town (!) if their image is the winner: People can use #capetownmagscenic to enter. Our first 60 images can be seen in 100 Best Scenic Pics of Cape Town.

We have also implemented weekly weekend takeovers on our account, which sees unique or lesser known Igers in Cape Town curating our account and sharing their Mother Cits discoveries and hidden gems. You can check out #capetownmagigers to see who has already taken over the @capetownmag account in the past.

You can find out which competitions we are running every week by using #capetownmagcompetition. We have giveaways running almost every week, if the prizes are cool enough to share.

Content wise, we’ve also created unique editorial content from the discoveries we make on Instagram. Every month, we curate 10 Incredible Photos That Prove Cape Town Is The Most Beautiful Place On Earth as well as 10 Food Photos That Prove Cape Town is the Culinary Capital of South Africa

Over the last two years, we have grown our hashtag to phenomenal proportions and it has become one of the most popular hashtags to use in Cape Town.

Q6 – Do you think that your Instagram presence has encouraged more or better tourism in Cape Town?

Of course, especially because @capetownmag gives a broader diversity of images as well. And it’s great to see people are constantly commenting on how much they miss Cape Town or how badly they want to come and visit. If you really want to see all the aspects that Cape Town look no further than @capetownmag on Instagram. We’ve managed to create interest in Cape Town as far as California in the U.S.A. and New Zealand. We’ve created interest across the world and together with the other channels the online magazine is one of the most important vehicles for destination development for the city of Cape Town.

From the start CapeTownMagazine.com has been about story telling instead of selling. We are a small independent group of dedicated people working the hardest to achieve this and apart from 500 000 – 600 000 readers a month on the online magazine, we now get every post to be seen by 59 000 people generating an additional 180 000 likes a month on Instagram.

Interestingly 2,5 out of 5 foreign readers have not been to Cape Town yet, and 1 in 5 readers have visited Cape Town 4 times or more. If we can convince an extra 10% of people to come and then an extra 10% to come again the economic impact is tremendous. So, yes, we do play a big part in promoting Cape Town as a tourist destination.

Q7 – What are the features you like and use the most on Iconosquare?

We’ve used nearly all the features that Iconosquare offers from Optimisation and Comment Tracking to Followers Location and Engagement tools. The optimisation tool has helped us to track exactly when we post images so that we can constantly share the beautiful views of Cape Town at the right times.
The comment tracking tool has given us the means to answer any possible questions and provide helpful feedback in a friendly and concise manner.
The Engagement tool has enabled us to get a true perspective of exactly how well each image we post is doing, whether it gets more likes or more comments and also which time of the day is the best to share a certain view of Cape Town.

Q8 – Which characteristics do you seek out when looking to follow an Instagram account?

Important elements for whatever we do are discovery, excitement, diversity, curiosity, unbound, leadership and connected together, so these elements are essential when choosing who to follow.

@Capetownmag loves Cape Town and so we love anyone who adds to it. It is with thanks to the beautiful people who explore the city that we have grown to nearly 60 000 followers and it is the people who we feature that we follow. We also follow many different events, restaurants, experiences, bars, designers, musicians and anyone who adds excitement to Cape Town and around the Western Cape in sunny South Africa. And of course people.

Q9 – What would you like to see on Instagram in the future?

A slide button to see only videos, perhaps. Also, it would be great if Instagram could group a set of 3-4 images that you can slide between. This would be an awesome way of showcasing products and experiences without having to type out image 1 of 4, 2 of 4 and repeating the same caption in each image.

Q10 – Work aside, what are the 3 Instagram accounts you recommend following?

In South Africa, the ever-popular @GarethPon, and there’s something unique about @ISeeADifferentYou. As for the Cape Town- based Igers, @thelawry and @brendon_wainwright are worth following if you want to see Cape Town’s natural side as well as some of the architecture on offer in this amazing city.

A photo posted by Gareth Pon (@garethpon) on

A photo posted by Mike Eloff (@thelawry) on