Learning how to Instagram...again
Let's chat about something a little different today guys, this has been bugging me for a while now and I'm sure a lot of you will be able to relate - Instagram. Instagram is my biggest platform, I begun posting there before Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and even before I started this blog. It was somewhere I could chat to like-minded people, get inspiration from, share my work with, but these people that I had been following right from the very beginning started to disappear under adverts, celebrities and brands.
Now I've seen two different opinions floating around the big wide web, some people haven't noticed a change and are sick of seeing others 'moan' about the A word ... and then there's everyone else who feel like their hard work is going unnoticed, hidden from their following. I'm on the fence, caught in the middle, and can see both sides of the story. Somedays on Instagram are great for likes and engagement, other days are not so great, and these are the days when I end up deleting my posts in frustration.
Maybe it's time for a change of attitude. No more blaming the algorithm, it's time to take action!
One of the things that really baffles me on Instagram is how if I have over 5K followers, why do my posts struggle to hit even 100 likes? Are my photos that bad? Are people just not seeing them in their feeds? Maybe. Or, maybe its the fact that when I was new to the app and desperate to build up my following, I fell into the trap of F4F, follow for follow. This in turn has led to little ghosties!
If you're a blogger, or work with brands through Instagram or any other social platforms, you may feel the pressure to have a huge amount of followers to get more opportunities to work with even more brands, bigger brands! Increasingly, companies are looking not only at your following, but at your engagement too. How much attention does each of your posts get?
Well lets be honest, those people that we trade follows with may not be interested in the things we post about, and vice versa, so we're not going to get much interaction out of them...
Recently I downloaded an app which shows me which of my followers have never liked or commented on my posts. I knew that if I started to unfollow them, they'd unfollow me straight back. So I did, I took the plunge and started tapping away at the unfollow button. It's a little scary to see your numbers drop a bit, but it'll be worth it!
Already I began to see more of what I enjoy on my feed, nail artists that had been hidden away from me started to reappear! Great!
Likes & Comments
So apparently Instagram gets very touchy if they notice that you're liking or commenting on too many posts per hour. They assume you're a bot/spam account. I don't know how true it is, maybe it's another myth? Either way, I made the decision to start putting more of my likes into people I follow rather than celebrities and brands. Unless I really, really, really like their photo.
Commenting is something that I hold my hand up to say that I don't do enough of. I mean, if someone leaves a comment on my photo, I always try to reply, but as for commenting on others posts - I'm very lazy.
This is something I want to improve on, so don't be surprised if you start noticing more comments from me! Interaction is key, it's why I joined instagram in the first place, to connect with others who enjoy the same interests as me.
Instagram Stories vs. Posting Photos
Which do you think gets more attention? I sometimes see more people watching my stories than liking my photos. People tend to comment more through direct message on Instagram stories than leaving comments on photos. I mean, I still get some comments on some photos, but I find that more often than not, I'm interacting more with people who respond directly through the stories. By the way I'm not complaining about this! I love chatting with you guys no matter which way, all I'm wondering is - is it because you see me more on the stories and not so much on your feed?
So if thats the case should I be putting more attention into my stories and posting less to my feed? Maybe a healthy balance...let me know what you think and which you find gets more engagement with your followers.
When to Post
This is something else that stumps me because when I look at the statistics on Instagram it tells me that (for example) most of my followers are active between say 5-9pm on a Thursday, but if I post between those times on that day, my photo can still flop getting only a handful of love especially when compared to my followers.
When did it all get so hard haha?!
I tend to post between teatime and bedtime any day except weekends - normally. I try not to worry about it too much anymore.
These have all been the points that really stick out in my mind over what I struggle with on Instagram. I think the main things to take away from this post is to avoid f4f, and interact more, don't just expect people to connect with you - it's a two way street!
I will be working on improving my page so stay tuned, as Instagram really is one of my favourite platforms and I need to put the effort back in to see results.
Lastly, if there is anything you would like to see on my feed/stories - leave a comment below. I'd love to know and I will take any suggestions for improvements.
Thanks for reading,
Love, Leanne Xx