This month we are showcasing Microsoft MVPs from around the world who have explored new ways of engaging their audiences – specifically by using social media and their creativity.
According to Forbes Kazakhstan, Catherine Rekhert is the only person in the Central Asian country to have received the Microsoft MVP award. Catherine was selected as the recipient of the award due to her unique engagement efforts on Instagram with the business community of Kazakhstan.
“Instagram is one of the top social networks in Kazakhstan, or at least in big cities like Almaty and Nursultan. Every business, professional, and community has their profile there. People are used to searching on Instagram, for example, if they are in Almaty and need a health care clinic, a haircut, or even a place for breakfast, they'll first look it up on Instagram,” she explained.
Naturally, it made sense for Catherine to format her outreach efforts to the channel in order to grow her own company — DataBoom — a 30+ person outfit that for more than two years has provided training and consulting in data skills and technologies.
“[We focus on] mostly PowerBI, SQL, Excel, Python,” Catherine explained. “We get up to 60% of our clients monthly from Instagram, including paid and unpaid traffic. Of course, I also didn’t have a second thought to open an Instagram account for the Kazakhstan BI community.”
The community page counts more than 2000 followers and organizes free meetups and workshops about Power Platform. Catherine said that she is usually the person who designs the unique visuals and graphics that are posted by the KZ BI on Instagram, but sometimes it’s a member of the DataBoom marketing team or a KZ BI community volunteer.
“Most of the time we use canva.com — a free website where you can find a lot of frames, samples for Instagram posts. When we have a big event like a conference or have some budget/sponsorship — we hire professional designers. For Instagram Stories, we use an app called InStories (lots of editing options, samples) and also InShot for video content,” she said.
For her fellow MVPs, Catherine offers the following tips to create fresh and exciting technical content on social media:
- Make it fun. Include memes, humor, jokes. Not just in content, everywhere. That helps a lot with engagement and increases the probability of people actually learning new things that you share.
- Try switching to short video content if you choose Instagram as your platform.
- Don’t be a perfectionist: “Better done than perfect,” Catherine said.
- Ask for feedback — ask your audience regularly about what they would want/like to see.
- Invest some amount if you can and make promotions from time to time to expand your audience.
Catherine currently runs three profiles on Instagram, you can check them out by following the links below:
// POWER BI // SQL // Python // Excel (@databoomkz) • Instagram photos and videos
СООБЩЕСТВО АНАЛИТИКОВ (@kz_bi_community) • Instagram photos and videos
Екатерина Рехерт // PowerBI (@rekhert) • Instagram photos and videos