Ever growing in popularity, feature accounts are in an undeniable abundance on our Instagram feeds. Whether it's a collection of deliciously captured cuisines or breathtaking destinations providing that travel inspiration, you've likely come across a feature account in your time.
For those unsure, a feature account is a page where the owner showcases other Instagrammer's content. Whether the niche is travel or food, the account will feature a collection of beautiful photos to spike follower engagement and build a small online community around this interest. These pages are great for sharing content with like-minded followers, introducing smaller accounts to a wider audience and providing these small, yet talented content creators with the attention they deserve.
Interested in starting up a feature account of your very own? Here's some advice from an individual who has formed a strong online presence through the creation of two feature accounts.
Mike Clegg has been regularly blogging and heavily involved with Instagram for around four years. He spends most of his time travelling to new destinations around the world and creating content for his two feature accounts (@travelanddestinations and @bestcitybreaks) and his blog (travelanddestinations.com) through travel photography and writing. It's through these very successful travel platforms that Mike continues to offer inspiration, photography tips, and traveling hints to fellow adventurers.
"The intention behind creating the accounts has always been about helping other photographers and travellers," explains Mike. "I love all things travel so it made sense. Also at the time of creating the accounts, I was getting featured a lot by other hubs and wanted a way to give back to their owners, as well as help my friends and other photographers around the world."
"To grow to what they are now it has taken a few years. I have never adopted any bad tactics such as buying followers or the follow-unfollow [tactic] as I don't believe that its good for the community, so growth hasn't been super fast. Generally growing an account takes patience and persistence."
Although growth initially started slow, these two feature accounts have proven to be a success for Mike, with both pages having an engaging community and a combined total following of over 450k.
"When I first started with feature accounts I was trying to see what would work, so I started an account called @postcardplaces," explains Mike. "I really liked the name of this account but unfortunately it just never kicked off. I then created @bestcitybreaks and eventually @travelanddestinations."
"Both of these started slow but once they got to 10k they grew quite rapidly and still do.
Mike emphasizes that the satisfaction received from running the pages and helping other people is a key reward, however, he also highlights a few of the other benefits of operating a successful feature account.
"Having such a large travel audience means I can offer a lot of exposure to tourism boards and other travel brands. As a result, I have been on quite a lot of press trips to various destinations including Canada and Thailand."
"I think it's important, if you get to a good level, that you stay true to yourself and don't just work with anyone. I generally only work with high-quality brands and wouldn't promote a company that has a bad reputation."
For those thinking of starting a feature account, Mike puts an emphasis on patience and persistence. Don't expect unbelievable success right from the start.
"I also wouldn't recommend putting all your eggs in one basket as Instagram ultimately have all the control and could delete or change the whole way [the system] works whenever they want.
"Look at getting involved in other social media platforms too such as Pinterest, Mix, and Facebook."
Follow Mike on Instagram (@mikecleggphoto) and check out his feature accounts (@travelanddestinations and @bestcitybreaks). Also, have a look at Mike's Travel And Destination blog post on how to successfully set up a feature account.