Instagram struggles are real, Y’all, especially if you are using it for business and trying to earn an income with it. I can remember when things seemed pretty simple… When getting over 1k likes on a photo and it having 15k + impressions wasn’t that hard. But, things change and we all know that technology is going to ebb and flow forever, so that just isn’t my life currently with this app.
Recently I listened to Jenna Kutcher’s Goaldigger podcast, and in particular, her “Don’t Do These 3 Things on Instagram,” episode. Jenna is an expert in online marketing and social media guru; aka, NOT ME, haha! I was driving to photograph a wedding and as I sat and listened, I thought, “Oh, crap! I’ve so done this.” Actually, I did every single thing Jenna said NOT to do, and that’s the biggest reason I wanted to write it out in a blog post to share. Conviction = Inspiration [at least generally for me…]
Here’s the first thing she says NOT to do:
1. Instagram Pods
What are Instagram Pods? These are invite-only and exclusive group users who all have a similar following. The goal is to connect with a community of like-minded Grammers and to help one another. That sounds really great, and in theory, I did enjoy being in one for a while. I was good friends with some of the other mamas in the group, but there was many a time that I did find myself trapped in the comparison game. I started unintentionally paying attention to THEIR growth, and how well THEIR posts were doing. How it worked was you would immediately send a new post (photo) to the group, reminding them to go comment and like it so help boost engagement. But when you have a handful of women in a group who are all sending each other their posts, your time on Instagram can very quickly be consumed by interacting with only THEM. That’s not really the point (at least to me) of the community of Instagram. My the time I went through and engaged with their posts, my eyes would often be blurry, my fingers sore from all that typing, and I didn’t really have the energy to invest in other women. SO, before I heard Jenna’s podcast, I actually felt it was time for me to step away from the pod I was in, and I did. There wasn’t any hard feelings, and I still naturally and organically engage with many of them when I see their posts on my feed :) And I don’t feel as though I ‘have’ to engage on any given day.
2. Follow and Unfollow People
Don’t hate me too much. You should know ultimately that I really don’t know a WHOLE lot about the way in which Instagram works, and so my intentions were NEVER to be hurtful. Before Christmas, a friend of mine explained to me that she had started using this new software, ‘Boostgram,’ and she was gaining a lot of followers. Intrigued, I signed up for a free trial and began using it too. I had NO business in doing so, because I didn’t really know how to set it up or organize it for my benefit. I let it basically do its’ own thing, and before I knew it, I was following 4,000. OH MY GOSH, GUYS. That gave me SO much anxiety, because prior to that, I was only following maybe 400! The whole gist of it was that it went through and liked Instagram users posts who they THOUGHT were similar to my feed. Then, the program would follow a bunch of people with the goal that they would follow me back. After a certain amount of time, it would then UNFOLLOW people too. I actually had quite a few women message me and ask WHY I had followed/unfollowed them. Talk about a moment of humility, right?! I was 100% honest with them! And then I realized, it just felt gross. It wasn’t really working for me anyway; my engagement never increased (duh, because probably half of those accounts I was following weren’t REAL) and the program just didn’t make sense. So again, before I heard Jenna’s podcast on this I was already done using this system, but it was another point in her episode that I thought, “Crap… that was totally me.” OOPS. NEVER AGAIN, Y’ALL! NEVER AGAIN!
3. Stop Complaining about Instagram
That was her third point. How many of us are guilty about doing this though? I know I am!!! I have recorded SEVERAL stories complaining about the fact that I was dropping followers, that Instagram wasn’t letting my posts be SEEN, and yada yada yada. In this episode, Jenna’s whole point was that if you’re not engaging with your people on Instagram yet you are complaining?? QUIT. And I will yet again be honest and say I’ve been there. Instagram is HARD sometimes, Guys. Getting on and commenting/liking on posts can be SO time consuming, but how can I expect YOU all to do that for ME, if I’m not actively trying to do the same for YOU? She also reminded me of the “power of one.” If you have ONE invested follower, be thankful! I know that can be very hard to do when the numbers game is REAL via social media, but she’s right. I like to envision having my followers over for dinner. Currently I have 22.2k followers [though WAY less actually converse with me] so can you imagine thousands of people over at your home to share community and fellowship with you? If there are even TEN people, REAL PEOPLE, that’s actually a big number to host and invest in, am I right? There is power in one, so don’t overlook whoever that may be who is loving you and investing in you via this platform.
There ya have it, friends. Three pretty simple standards that I was completely humbled and convicted by. Remember that just because a person may have a LOT of followers on Instagram does NOT mean they know everything or all the ins and outs of this platform. I am constantly learning, constantly!! I’ve literally hired a consultant to try to help me get my life together in regards to my blog and page views and Pinterest and understanding Instagram BETTER, and there is zero shame in that. And I want to do better for YOU. I want to be able to love y’all and learn what’s going on in your life; it’s why often I ask what you need help and prayer for, so I can attempt to lift you up. We don’t ever have to be alone, so I hope if you know me personally, you have never felt left out by ME.
PS: thanks for all your grace + support here via the Interweb ;) Leave a comment below with your thoughts on this post + which number resonated the most with you!