Hey guys, what’s up? As you all know, we live in an age of technology. The world has developed so rapidly within the last 100 years due to so many technological advances. From flip phones (RIP) to iPhones, from dinosaur-like first generation Apple computers to portable MacBooks, we’ve made some incredible strides as human beings in such a short time. Even social media has come a long way only in the last ten years! When I think back to Instagram, I downloaded it simply because I was interested in the fake “film photo” filter. I only posted photos because it was the only way to save them with said filter! How bonkers is that?? Today, it is a social media powerhouse leading the way in the virtual world. Instagram in particular has gone through so many updates, which have been both beneficial to its users but also a little destructive. In today’s post, I want to talk about engagement on Instagram and why maybe you’re not improving as much as you’d like to.
The Business Side of Instagram
Here is my main point of today’s post right off the bat: Instagram can be a fun, creative place with tons of positivity, but in reality it is now a place of business. As I mentioned above, I downloaded Instagram only to use one of the filters. I mean, I found it through a freaking Facebook comment! What a turn of events. Facebook is now becoming less and less used and I never in my life would touch an Instagram filter, let alone use the app because of one. Social media is very funny that way. Anyways, my point is that Instagram is now a business tool. Whether we like it or not, in order to grow we must treat it as one. The app is used by large companies now to grow their platforms, so can’t small bloggers use it in the same manner? Totally!
Playing the Game
Some may or may not believe this. In my experience however, Instagram has become a bit of a game in many different ways! As in any other board game, you need to know how to play the game and what kind of a strategy to use. Many people take the easy route: buying followers, likes, or comments through sketchy sites. While this may give them a temporary increase in numbers and a short lived social media high, it simply won’t last. Creating a genuine audience that interacts won’t come from dollars, euros, pounds, pesos, or whatever the currency is wherever you are right now. What I recommend: having a true interest in growing a real life audience. What I mean by “real life” audience is people that will interact with you online; real people who love networking too and want to keep coming back to your content.
Your game plan: find as many accounts that you genuinely enjoy. Like their photos, comment kind things, and of course give them a follow! As for myself, since my niche on Instagram is fashion, beauty, and lifestyle, I normally always follow accounts that have similar content. I also really love finding people that I personally believe would enjoy my content. I don’t find anything wrong with reaching out to lots of people to grow your name and giving some love in return for their follow. And yes, I do try to keep my following ratio down. There are mixed opinions on this. However sometimes if I end up following too many people, it’s hard to sift through all the accounts and my feed gets overwhelmed. If I truly enjoy your content, I will never unfollow. Unfortunately this is the new game of Instagram, so why not be strategic about how you play it?
The Algorithm & My Insta Experiment
The dreaded algorithm. We all know about it and we’ve all felt its effects. Probably the biggest no-no Instagram pulled was creating feeds out of chronological order. I actually heard a rumor they were bringing back the chronological order feeds, can anyone confirm or deny this in the comments? The changed algorithm made it so much more difficult for users to connect with new accounts and expand. They also introduced “promoted posts.” Like any other major business, Instagram is looking for ways to make more money. Promoted posts was the perfect way to do this.
Now guys, I did a little experiment myself. I wanted to see just how much promoting one of my posts would help grow my numbers. I chose one of my photos to promote for a total of 7 days. This cost $7, or $1/day. Not too bad. With this, Instagram promised about 1,400 views on this single post. At first, it was a very slow incline and I didn’t see much difference in my numbers. However, by day 7 the post had reached its goal and Instagram gave what they promised. Did the promotion actually help with numbers? Yeah actually, it did. Have I reached those numbers before, completely on my own? Absolutely! The main takeaway is, there isn’t always a shortcut when it comes to this stuff. Sometimes if you play your cards right, create genuine content you love, and network with as many other bloggers as possible, you can totally do this on your own! I don’t have any promotional posts planned for the future, as Instagram is almost a competition with myself. I’d rather see how far I can get on my own and keep trying to beat myself with each new post. This experiment was very interesting though and showed me just how far you can get on your own if you’re truly passionate about something!
Why You Aren’t Growing
So to sum things up, there’s a few reasons why your Instagram isn’t growing like you want it to. The kicker is: you’re probably not reaching out and getting your name out to other bloggers or Instagramers. Other times it may even be your content! If you don’t care about your photos and you’re throwing one up just to post, odds are that won’t work in your favor. Instagram is also supposed to be fun and creative, so get creative! Create content that you would want to see and would double tap on! Another tip: consistency is key with everything. I’ve tried to get into a habit of scheduling posts or having photos backed up from previous shoots. Having too many photos can come in handy in the future.
I hope you guys found this post helpful in any way! Let me know down in the comments any social media tips that you may have! Being genuine online is one of the most important things to me, especially when it comes to my content. But remembering that Instagram has become a business platform is necessary for today’s digital age. Talk to you all in the next post!