Oh how 2021 flew by! From lockdown, to plenty of travel opportunities, and back into lockdown. But in between, we managed to experience a ton! With 2022 right around the corner, this seems like the right time to look back on milestones we reached for Go Beyond The Usual over the past half year. Because yes, even though it seems like forever, we only started Go Beyond the Usual just over 6 months ago. So if you’re thinking of starting something similar, or already have, our overview of 2021 can give you a look into how we did over our first half year!
In the middle of yet another lock down here in The Netherlands we started brainstorming on how to satisfy our hunger for travel, as worldwide tourism was put to a halt. And so, we skipped the faraway tourist highlights (and their crowds) and went instead on a search for hidden gems in our home country. The prettiest, most unique and hidden gems we found, we started sharing on our Instagram and travel map. And with that, Go Beyond The Usual was born! With all the overwhelming enthusiastic reactions we’ve received and our growing curiosity to find more hidden gems, we quickly expanded our website with a travel blog and updated the look and feel of the website.
So, approximately a half year in, with our first Instagram post on the 25th of June, and our first blog on the 31st of October, where are we at?
Half a year of Instagram: what did we reach?
Starting from 0, these results are something we are honestly quite proud of. We’ve put a lot of time and effort into Go Beyond the Usual, and think that these stats reflect the fact that it has quickly become our biggest hobby. Because reaching over 600 followers in just the first half year is something we had definitely not expected! Some more detailed figures of the last 90 days (as this is what Instagram likes to tell us):
- We reached just over 16.500 accounts. Reels were by far best for our reach, with over 15.000 accounts reached, while our posts reached nearly 2.200.
- In 90 days, we achieved 1.905 interactions on our posts (likes, comments, saves). Our most popular post got 73 likes, and our most popular reel got 133 likes.
Of course, growing Go Beyond the Usual is something that’s always on our minds: how to reach as many people as possible? How to get more people to follow us? And how to make sure we stay close to what we want Go Beyond the Usual to be like in the process? We’ve learned some major lessons this year that have helped us get to where we are now. The major C-word that you’ll read on any page about how to grow (no, not the pandemic-related C-word), consistency, led us to make Friday our weekly plan-the-week-ahead-day, a great success in making consistent posting easier for us. Kirsten has spent a lot of time experimenting with and reading about how to use the right hashtags, location tags and account tags to increase the reach of every single Instagram post. And we’ve both still got so much more to learn and try out.
With our blog starting only two months ago, growing the number of posts and relevance for our target group is now one of our main focus points. We’re always looking for tips & tricks with regards to this, so if you’ve got them, be sure to let us know!
Looking back on our travels
All of this social networking and blogging is something we’re truly enjoying learning more about, but as we said, our main goal in starting also was – and still is – to make sure we get to see as many new, cool, surprising and enriching places as possible. The best overview of everything we’ve seen in 2021 is honestly our Instagram feed:
But to try and sum it up in some figures, in 2021:
- We visited 7 countries: The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg, France, Italy, Spain and Croatia. Our major holidays were spent in Italy (2 weeks in August) and Spain (2 weeks in November).
- We took 4 flights: a return flight to Zadar in Croatia and a return flight to Málaga in Spain for our remote work week.
- We set a goal to visit all 12 provincial capitals of the Netherlands, but managed to visit only 7 as the borders reopened during the summer months. The remaining 5 will move to our list for 2022.
What about 2022?
So with the new year around the corner, we’ve not skipped on setting ourselves a few goals for 2022. When it comes to travel goals, we’ve planned two intercontinental trips to Jordan and Mexico, obviously with the idea that we will see what’s possible at the time, and will add many more short getaways. And for Go Beyond the Usual, our goal is to post a new blog every friday, so keep your eyes peeled and be sure to follow us on our Instagram!
What did you find most surprising about our 2021 stats & experiences, and what are your goals for 2022?
Kirsten & Thomas