Is it worth it to even start on Instagram at this point?

Hello! Long time lurker, first time poster. After a lot of research I decided giving Instagram a go, starting with a personal account that mixes high quality, original infographics with viral content.

Niche is quite peculiar: wine and oenology; I’m a certified sommelier based in Italy, and I’m currently looking for a side gig to get extra money since I’m a medical doctor already.

I reached 1k followers starting from scratch within a month, using with very light, full manual F/U but mostly through hashtags and hitting Explore twice.

I did analyze my competitors, and noticed big collaboratons (Zalto/Riedel glasses, big wineries with fat stacks) start at around 25k, with the most-followed Italian Influencer sitting at 88k.

My question is: am I late to the game? Is it even worth it to start an account now? Is the Instagram bubble about to burst? Are my numbers ok? Am I going too slow?


You’re going to get 2 kinds of answers to your question depending on who is answering. Anyone who has had little success the past 6 months or so will tell you not to bother, whereas people who have adapted and are still having success will tell you to give things a go but to test, test, test on alternate accounts before risking your main account.

Personally, I’m in the middle. I haven’t done any Instagram marketing/growth activities for almost 1 year now since my entire network go wiped out. However, I know many people on this forum are still having success.

Overall, I would give it a try but do not expect things to be easy- expect things to go wrong.


My personal opinion, and it’s probably an unpopular one, is that no it’s not worth putting much focus on Instagram exclusively. I think at this point in time they’ve truly destroyed their own platform. However, that being said, it’s worth being diverse and covering all your bases - focus on multiple platforms but don’t put all of your eggs into the Instagram basket. I don’t think they want you to even use it, unless you’re paying for ads.

Reach and growth are at their hardest point ever, and with all sorts of random-seeming action blocks limiting real-world use, there’s not much of a reason to try making Instagram your bread and butter.

Basically this.


This would be my big concern personally- Instagram isn’t going to increase organic reach at this point. In fact, they’re going to continue decreasing organic reach until it’s nearly non-existent. I predict things will still be better than Facebook in regards to organic reach due to the built-in discovery options (explore, hashtags, etc) but I definitely wouldn’t devote 100% of my time to Instagram at this point.


Thank you very much. I think your comments point towards a new marketing platform - such as tiktok. I’m struggling to figure out how such a young and fun-focused audience can be interested in a deep niche such as wine. Is it just a matter of time before adults get their hands on tiktok? What is your opinion?

and what are other platform you suggest ? for me i think tiktok is a must in 2020

so what are you doing instead ?

If you do not have a client-base (growing accounts for clients) and the account is in a popular niche, there’s no need for automation.

There’s a certain result you expect from automation, which limits your mindset on what is actually possible on Instagram.We have many clients who expect us to gain anywhere between x and y amount of followers for them on a monthly basis, yes, automation is amazing for that and highly scalable. However, in your case, you should put all your effort into the following:

  1. Create/Repost engaging content (something people can relate to - goal is to tickle the ego and make people feel special or like a part of something)
  2. Posts between 1-2 times per day
  3. Post before and after working hours for your target audience (location based)
  4. Quality, not quantity of hashtags - Not everyone agrees on the use of hashtags, but there’s nothing to lose from using them (personally, they work great)
  5. Use engaging captions - A question, a story, something of value
  6. Like and respond to comments ASAP! Put simply, the algorithm seems to reward you with more reach for engaging on your post within a short window. When we don’t do this on large scale posts, it makes such a drastic difference.

Please note that copyrighting, sales and building urgency within your caption/content are great skills to try and learn if the goal is to make money and not just grow your account.

These tips may sound cheesy, but if done right will work wonders - For example, our most recent account has grown to almost 50k in less than 4 months (with 0 automation) and is currently a stream of income by promoting another business we own. I’m only sharing this to show you that there is no limit on what you can do, many people grow much faster/slower and are probably generating more than our account.

So to answer your questions - Yes it is worthwhile to start on Instagram, No your are not too late to the game, The bubble has already burst IMO, Yes your numbers are great!, No your aren’t going too slow.


What a cool, in-depth reply. Thank you for your time Mr. Mastema.

Congratulations on your performance with that new account – you clearly know what you’re doing, so I appreciate greatly the effort you put into your answers to my questions.

Your opinion about the Instagram bubble is the most inspiring one though — why is everyone here bothering with Instagram marketing if the bubble has already burst? Am I missing the big picture?


Instagram is not facebook, it never will be, they will not be able to limit it too much, they would risk the crisis, so it continues to work


First off, don’t do f/uf if you already hit explore and hashtags.

And no, it’s not to late but it depends on your long-term goal. I wouldn’t start automation now if I had to decide. On the other hand, if you want to grow your personal brand, go for it. Still plenty of growth out there.

Also, don’t neglect the fact that we have a new player out there - TikTok! Growth is insane if create content on a consistent basis.

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While TikTok is hot, you also have to consider the demographic. The people you would be targeting with Wine info are likely not on TikTok. Just because the numbers are exploding doesn’t mean everyone should jump on and devote their energy to it. The platform is an entirely different beast with a different audience that is MUCH younger than Instagram overall.

In my opinion, stick with IG. Its still got plenty of room to grow amongst the demographic you are looking for. Team up with influencers in niches that might pull the same crowd, like cigars or travel and focus on Content. Learning the automation game right now is just going to lead to a lot of frustration, if you put that same energy into content you can still grow and do very well on Instagram. Most people here are thinking about things only through the eyes of numbers, focus on quality content and building relationships with your followers and you will do great. Don’t get caught up in a numbers race.

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Any reason why you advice against F/U if I’m doing well with hashtags/explore and overall reach? Even though I hit Explore 3 times during my fist month I’m getting just likes with it, no follows. Also, Hashtag reach is much higher than Explore at the moment (if that makes any sense).

This is why I love this forum. People are incredibly competent and well-educated about whatever they’re talking about. Lots of food for thought in your reply – thank you very much for your insight.


Especially now its worth starting (when other people struggle). Big question for you is, will you get a ROI on your plan? The way I read your post you gonna be the “influencer” himself and most of the time influencers are really delusional about their goals and the ROI. Just don’t leave out the business calculation on this venture please :slight_smile:


I don’t disagree but Instagram has been associated with teens and a young demographic for a very long time until it changed and businesses started to jump in. And don’t get me wrong, focusing 100% on TikTok isn’t the way to go - for now. Instagram is still the most important social media platform and we are all here in this forum because of Instagram. However, we should plan ahead and diversify our “portfolios” and put maybe 10% of our energy into understanding and growing TikTok.


The ultimate goal is keeping your ER as high as possible and getting reach from explore and hashtags. U are there already so no need to do f/uf. Just post awesome content and grow organically.

And yes, it’s perfectly normal that you are getting more impressions from hashtags and those aren’t really converting into followers. Explore page impressions on the other hand are converting much better.

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My goal is literally beer money and being invited to bigger wine events. That’s all, really. I don’t wanna sound like an ass but I think a medical degree will cover most of my money needs on medium-long term, so that comes secondary.

Building skills with a personal account allows me to think bigger in case I wanna scale up in the future, that’s for aude. But as I said, this is not a priority right now.


Alright, thank you. F/U is harder to scale on bigger numbers, too. My sources are complete trash, literally .1-.12 FBR but I think it has to do with wine being a difficult niche. Older people tend to value privacy (lots of private accounts), if that makes any sense.

Did you think about starting a YouTube channel and creating content about wine or your medical studies?

Medical studies — not gonna happen. I can practice as a physician and charge upwards of €150-200 per hour, YouTube will never pay that much unless I became the new DoctorMike.

Wine — possible. I think YT is oversaturated with this kind of content though, I don’t think it’s worth it. Harder to grow there, too. And no interaction with subscribers, which I value.