**I’m going to start with a disclaimer here, to say that I am in no way shape or form giving professionally informed advice but merely presenting some of what I’ve found helpful that will hopeful spark some thought and debate.

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I think we all start with differing goals from our running accounts but I think these might summarise a few of them:

  1. To share our achievements in a forum that is supportive and replicated by others
  2. To garnish support and advice when things aren’t going so well
  3. To get tips on runs to enter, trainers to buy and workouts to do
  4. Raise the profile of an event we are doing
  5. Raise the profile of our charity fund raising
  6. To meet people to run with
  7. To separate our normal accounts with the running so that our friends and family are not over-loaded with running
  8. A plethora of other reasons…

And given the slightly different motivations we also have very different visions of how we’d like to present ourselves and our running and what we deem important.  For some, we are very open about what we share and other are more guarded. Some are hell bent on growing a large following and for others it’s important to follow many accounts.

I set-up my INSTARUNNING account in February- THISDADCANRUN- when I started to get friends commenting on my running posts in my personal account in a way that let me know it was getting too much.  This for me was enough to set up a separate account and make it clear it was dedicated to my running.  Funnily enough 5 months on and my other accounts are very much dwindling, I hardly ever post to them as the running account holds more purpose and enjoyment to me.  In the last 5 months I’ve grown a following and network of INSTA-friends that I find are a massive support and help to motivate me on a daily basis.

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You might even run into some insta-friends at running events!

Here are my tips:

  1. Post on your main feed regularly, but not too much.  I stick to once or twice a day, never more.  This way followers are regularly seeing your content but never become over-whelmed.
  2. I try not to over do the selfies, though this hard when I spend so long running alone, mid-week.  I always try to utilise the great images from races, I am lucky, that my local parkrun always has a photographer (great place to find content).  Runthrough seem to always have great photographers as do most of the big runs.
  3. Don’t be afraid to post pics of yourself looking drained and sweaty, that what running is like, embrace it.
  4. Balance your story and mix it up a bit.  I try to tell my own running journey, promote my charity raising, give and ask for advice.  This keeps this fresh.
  5. Use hashtags liberally.  You can use up to 30 in Instagram and these work really well to ensure that engagement for your posts is good.  I like to use hashtags that are popular and used by other runners I follow, along with trending hashtags.
  6. Don’t only post images of your routes, instagrammers like to see pictures and maps are probably at the lower end of the engaging spectrum.  Consider taking a picture of somewhere en route and then post a few images from the run and include the map if you’d like.
  7. Follow accounts of people and runners that you admire and would like to emulate.  This helps to provide ideas and inspiration.
  8. Comment on posts with something relevant.  This is social media, engage with other users, give and take advice, compliments and support.  You might even bump into them at running events.
  9. Use Instastories. Regular followers can keep in regular touch with what you are up and won’t be bombarded via the main feed.  I like to use it for some more fun stuff and use boomerang and loads of emojis to keep it engaging.  It also helps to promote your content in a different way.
  10. Use video content.  It always gets more likes.

I hope you’ve found some of this useful and do let me know if you have any other tips or questions on an INSTARUNNING account.

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