Why Your Instagram Doesn't Suck
Your Instagram doesn’t suck. I get the messages all the time...hear the frustration...see the posts in all the groups.
“I used to get 678 likes now I only get 50 and my content hasn’t changed at all! I want to just GIVE UP!”
I teach businesses to grow their brand using Instagram, and I don’t care about how many followers you have OR your engagement. GASP.
While I’m not at all making fun of your plight, I first and foremost want you to remember that Instagram is in fact, an app. It is the definition of #firstworldproblems.
But, as someone who is immersed in client work and live workshops (i.e. I’m in the trenches), I have noticed that SO MUCH OF WHAT YOU READ ONLINE is outdated advice.
I was listening to The Rebel Boss podcast today and one of the remarks from the guest was this (paraphrasing): a lot of people are seeking passive income and wanting to get out of 1:1 coaching, but 1:1 coaching keeps you in touch with what’s ACTUALLY going on.
So what’s ACTUALLY going on with Instagram in the latter half of 2019?
With a flood of new IG users and algorithm changes, you cannot compare the engagement you're getting today with what you used to get. So let's pretend your IG is brand new and quit obsessing over every like and comment. It isn't the same platform it was even a few months ago. (Also note that IG is experimenting with taking away “likes” altogether.)
Instagram is first and foremost, a business. There aren't many places you can market yourself for free, so don't be afraid to do a few promoted posts, even if you only spend $3! I hear a lot of negative comments how "Instagram just wants you to pay to play!" and I would say... well yes, they're a business. Not a non-profit
Instagram is such a powerful and unique marketing tool for your business because it creates COMMUNITY and allows others to see the human element of your business (GOLD!). This does not and should not “scale.” Replace the word “FOLLOWER” in your mind with “PERSON.”
Another HUGE factor to remember for your sanity is something I have dubbed “fried egg on toast.” Before you think I’ve had a mini stroke, I’ll explain.
There is an influencer/blogger I used to follow who recently posted a picture of a fried egg on toast. She got 7,755 likes and 238 comments. It was unremarkable in all aspects - photo, caption, very few hashtags used… so HOW THE HELL did she get so much engagement? Answer? She was dubbed long ago as someone who has relevant/popular content by the Instagram gods, therefore she can get away with subpar posts NOW and likely still have her posts shown to the masses.
I don’t give this anecdote to induce cries of “that’s not fair!” Rather, I want to hammer home the point that you can’t compare yourselves to other users, especially larger, more well-established folks. And as I mentioned above, in today’s Instagram “climate,” you can’t even compare to your OWN previous engagement rates.
Let me wrap this up with a few action steps you are in control of, though:
Be consistent. Even when employing best practices with every post, there will be posts that FLOP (that you thought would be epic). You can recreate the same post a different time and it might go viral. Have you ever put money in a slot machine? Sometimes you win BIG BABY. That same money gets you nada the next time.
Unfollow anyone who puts you in the comparison spin. (Also remember that a crap-ton of people with large accounts likely used tactics you should avoid, like buying followers, and now their engagement is shot.) “10,000 followers in 10 days” is not a thing in 2019.
Take a break from your analytics if they make you angry. Also, take a break from the platform altogether one day a week. I personally don't open Instagram on Sunday unless I have to for a client.
Use only one call-to-action (CTA) per post. If you want someone to click the link in your bio, you can't also ask them to “comment below.” If the main objective of your post is to get them to do something other than comment (like click the link in your bio, watch your stories or send you a DM), then it’s ok to have fewer comments/likes on the post itself. Note that any CTA that keeps users ON the platform will be favorable to the algorithm, though.
Keep up with your outward engaging, and when you are feeling you need a defibrillator for your account, increase the amount of accounts and posts you engage with for a greater impact.
Click below to download my Engagement Checklist if you’re unsure where to start!
TL;DR: Your Instagram doesn’t suck. You are a freakin’ unicorn rockstar and an algorithm doesn’t mean a hill of beans. Instagram is a powerful tool in your marketing toolbox, but it isn’t the only thing that defines your brand. 😘