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A great example of how giving up control of your social media can increase your audience

We spend a lot of time thinking and talking about how to grow our audience (and more importantly our engagement) on social media. We draft plans, write blog posts, schedule tweets, measure analytics, design infographics and consult experts.

But doing it all ourselves may not always be the easiest way to grow.

I have seen no greater example of this lately than when Down East Magazine gave up control of their new Instagram account, for a weekend, to the well known, well liked and social media savvy Corey Templeton.

Down East Magazine is known throughout Maine and the United States as the go-to magazine for the best in Maine Maine travel, food, vacationing and photography. I (like many) love the images they publish online and in print and think they do a great job capturing Maine and showcasing some of the state’s best qualities.

I don’t know when Down East began using Instagram but I can tell you exactly when I noticed they were using the social platform.

It was with this tweet:

I have been following Corey for a few years on twitter and even tried to recruit him at one point to be a blogger for the company I work for. Corey runs the site Portland Daily Photo and also contributes his work to Unseen Portland.

By letting a local and well known person take over its Instagram account for a weekend, Down East not only gained great content and another angle on their already stellar photography reputation, they gained a new evangelist. Down East and Templeton promoted the event for days before it happened, on Facebook, Twitter, the Down East website and of course, Instagram.

I was excited to see that during the weekend campaign, Down East Magazine’s Instagram account received 119 new followers (which is 36% growth in a weekend).

What I love even more is that Down East is really embracing the idea of community and the power of social media with this campaign. They proved they can share the spotlight with local people and highlight the great work of others. It is a very “rising tide raises all boats” sort of attitude that works so well on social media.

Below, are the before and after shots of Down East’s Instagram stats. Truthfully I hope they keep doing this and find partners for takeover in places like Bangor, Rockland, Bar Harbor, the St. John River Valley and Western Maine.

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