Instagram is a fickle platform. Not a week goes by without someone complaining about the algorithm or the lack of engagement or the fact that they never see posts from people they ACTUALLY follow on their feed anymore. I’m not immune to the moaning – I’ve done my fair share of it. I think it’s hard not to, in this industry, when you know IG is a platform that can accelerate your growth.
Which is why it’s difficult to write a post like this because if you’re a blogger or in this industry in any way, shape or form, chances are you’re using Instagram but the WAY people use it is vastly different. Some:
- Use is as their main source of income, have a high number of followers and regular brand collaborations
- Use it as an addition to their blog, whereby you may see the odd ‘ad’ but that’s not their main income source
- Use it as part of their business; particularly lifestyle coaches or anyone with an online business
- Use it solely as a hobby, with little to no ‘ads’, posting whatever they want, with no main theme
Whichever category you fall under is perfectly okay, I’m not by any means saying one of these is better than another. It entirely depends on you and your circumstances. For me, it’s not a source of income (aside from the very occasion IG specific collaboration) but I do use it both as an extension of my blog and to talk about the things I’m passionate about AND to share snippets of my life.
It certainly wasn’t always like that and I’ve gone through huge waves with my Instagram, ever since the platform came into fruition! In fact, shortly after the rise of Instagram (but before my blog), I was TOTALLY obsessed with it. Frequently taking part in those F4F and Like4Like threads – cringe. I was playing the numbers game. For no other reason that to look and seem popular and cool. Double cringe.
Like I said, I’ve been through plenty of phases with my Instagram. At one point, my engagement was on the floor and my content was so boring – I knew it was and I desperately started to change things up. I’ve also struggled quite a bit with my theme and how I edit my photos which has also caused me some aggravation.
Anyway, back to the point, Instagram is one of the only platforms to cause people to feel such distress and it absolutely shouldn’t be the case, regardless of what you use it for. Over the last few months, I’ve finally found a system with it where I love the platform and thoroughly enjoy using it – rather than just stressing about it.
So I wanted to share those tips with you today. Some of these might not apply to you – depending on what you use Instagram for – so take what you want and leave what you don’t!
Here are 6 ways you can start enjoying Instagram again:
Hide your like count
SUCH a simple change to make but one that’s had such a big impact on my ability to use the app without being obsessed with the numbers and ultimately feeling bad about myself. Hide your like count to start aiming your focus more towards content and creation and the fun elements of Instagram, rather than the vanity metrics.
Unfollow anyone that doesn’t make you feel good
I think this applies to most social media platforms but particularly for Instagram, where the comparison game is often too high. Just unfollow. Don’t think about it. Don’t second guess it. If someone is making you feel bad – intentionally or unintentionally – for whatever reason, unfollow them with the best of your intentions, move on and make your feed a better place to be.
Scrap the schedule
You’ll have to take this one with a pinch of salt because sometimes schedules are convenient and needed but I noticed my enjoyment with Instagram skyrocketed when I stopped thinking about when I was posting and just posting. Like it really is that simple – just post. You might want to choose a day or time where your followers are more active but other than that, literally nobody cares if you don’t post one day.
Choose an editing style that YOU love
It can be SO tempting to follow the crowd when it comes to editing your images and going with what seemingly works the best for engagement and following. But if it’s not your style and doesn’t fit in with your vibe, then it’s going to have the complete opposite effect. Experiment and have fun with editing and choose something that speaks to YOU.
Engage with your community
Instagram is a SOCIAL media platform. I think we often forget that. We’ve taken the social out of social media and just made it a media platform to push our own images and agendas. Let’s turn that back around to how Instagram was used when we all first started. Freaking TALK to people. Comment on their content. Throw them a DM to say they’re latest post was great. Put the social back into social media.
Mindset is everything
I think with most things in the creative industry, your mindset has to be hard as nails to manage the constant pressure, changes and comparisons. So working on your mindset around Instagram is a great tool to help you enjoy it more. Remember these things:
- Your feed doesn’t need to be a masterpiece
- There’s no right or wrong way to use Instagram
- YOU can choose who or what to follow
Literally there are no rules! So don’t make any unnecessary ones to put more pressure on yourself. If you’re not enjoying Instagram, then what’s the point? I hope this post helps you start enjoying Instagram a bit more!
What do you do to ensure you enjoy using Instagram as a platform? Let me know in the comments!
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These are great tips. I use my main Instagram account just as a hobby and I certainly enjoy using it that way.
That’s great 🙂 x
I have been struggling with Instagram a lot recently and this is a really fresh way to look at it.
Spent so much time worrying about posting the “right thing” that I have ended up not posting anything in weeks now.
Thank you for this one.
I’m so glad you found this post then and hope this encourages you to get back on Instagram!
I’ve loved reading this post! Not only do I remember those cringe moments with the whole ‘F4F’ and “LikeForLike’ days, but I completely agree with you about what you said how people have forgotten that Instagram is a SOCIAL media platform. It’s very rare I see people actually commenting thoughtful comments on posts, especially with business pages. This has honestly helped me with my thought on Instagram, so thank you Jenny for sharing this! ^_^
~ Jayne | ourjourneyinchapters.com
Yessss absolutely! I also enjoyed it when it was more about photos and sharing snippets of your life rather than Videos but hey ho!
I’ve hidden my like count, had a good old clear out of accounts and followed some new people x
These are some great tips, Jenny! Like you, we use Instagram as an extension of our blog and to share some day-to-day life bits, but I have honestly been so annoyed at it I haven’t posted since February…call it a break, call it whatever, I just couldn’t deal with it anymore. Hopefully these tips will make me go back to it in a different mindset x
Oh no! Well hopefully the break did you some good and helped you step back and reflect at least x
I’ve recently just decided to hide my like count and delete people that don’t make me feel good and it’s the best thing I could have done. I no longer worry about the amount of likes I have compared to others and I’m following people who make me feel good. I use Instagram as an extension from my blog and I love it. I love sharing my photos of the food I’ve made! I’ve finally fallen back in love with Instagram. Thank you so much for sharing this lovely Xo
Elle – ellegracedeveson.com
That’s great to hear, I’m so glad you made those positive changes that have allowed you to enjoy IG more!
I feel like I failed the “social” aspect on mine, I’d go on there to quickly post something because I hadn’t *for days* then didn’t get round to interacting with anyone else, even though it’s fun to! I totally agree about creating the content in the style that you like though x
The social aspect is hard, especially when you’re so busy!
What an awesome post! I have been posting weekly but not forcing it, and that definitely makes me enjoy it more. I have noticed that many people have turned off likes now, and I did not know how to do that so thanks for linking the article!! 🙂
You’re welcome! Yeah I turn off my likes and it’s made all the difference!
Absolutely loved this post Jenny! Instagram should be about doing it your way, I’m posting as and when I feel like it these days and it’s made me enjoy Instagram more! x
Lucy | http://www.lucymary.co.uk
Thank you! Yesss I totally agree x
Awesome post. Thanks for the tips.
Thank you x
Great tips! Following your own editing style great advice. It can be easy to see what works or what’s aesthetic, but it’s important to showcase your own style and uniqueness! Thank you for sharing!
Thank you 🙂 Yes I agree; your style might not be the same as someone else’s, so there’s no point copying that because it’s “trendy”
These are all great points! I’ve noticed a little less engagement, but it’s still a really thriving platform that’s a lot of fun. I love Instagram and look forward to injecting some new life into it.
Yes I agree, I hope the platform can improve the engagement and algorithm aspect!
I hope so, too!
Honestly, when I ditched my old fashion/lifestyle page and started my bookstagram, I discovered an entirely new world. The community is WAY more supportive and genuine, I found myself inspired, and I’ve learned to enjoy utilizing the app so much more than I once did. It’s still a source of income and a place to promote my blog, but it’s less frustrating than it once was because I’m not so absorbed in it!
That’s great to hear, so glad you’ve found that happy space!
I think hiding like counts really helps. I have a very on for two weeks/ off for 6 months relationship relationship with Instagram these days and only very randomly feel the urge to post – which doesn’t bode well for the algorithm and taking that need to look like I’m doing well when I don’t really care that much myself reallllly helped me adjust to the fact I can use it sporadically if I want to. Still struggling with not making it look like a masterpiece though, I definitely feel the pressure there. Great tips x
Thank you; yeah I’ve been through those phases before! I feel like I’m fairly consistent at the moment but without pushing it.
Love this!! These are such good suggestions, especially about not worrying about the schedule. honestly, it’s hard to keep up with scheduling everything so you have the exact same pattern on your grid. It makes being spontaneous hard and I just have to go easy on myself for not having it perfect. 🙂 Thanks so much for this post, Jenny!
Thank you! I prefer not to have the exact same pattern, it definitely makes things more interesting!
Great post! I think this will help bloggers or fellow content creators fall back in love with their Instagram content- especially because it can be such a difficult platform x
Thank you 🙂 It really can x
I hate those follow for follow posts, too. I only follow people if I want to see their content and honestly, I don’t want people following me if they don’t feel the same.
Yes exactly. I used to be obsessed with them like 10 years ago haha!
I rarely take pictures. I post once in a bluemoon in instagram. Maybe, once I start traveling again , I will take IG seriously.
Travel is a great excuse to get on IG.
Great tips Jenny! IG has been so lousy lately but oddly I still enjoy it. I keep on engaging with people whose content I love and think of it as a platform to meet my fashion loving friends. Results can wait as I am not using it as a source of income.
Yes exactly, neither am I so it’s much more chilled out!
Dropping the Instagram guilt and doing things my own way, rather than what the Insta gurus say massively helped me enjoy Instagram again. I think to be successful at Instagram you’ve got to me on it 24/7 which for most people’s (definitely mine) isn’t feasible. I still have the like count on mine, but tbh it’s something I very rarely look at now. Part of me thinks I should put more effort into it, but then another is like I cba as i don’t think it’s ever going to be a huge stream of income for me.
From an outsiders perspective it seems like you’ve found a really good place with Instagram because it looks like you’re enjoying what you post!
Great post! I’m so hit and miss with insta, I like but tend to use it personally rather than for my blog and rarely check it x
Personally isn’t a bad thing 🙂 Mine is a mix of both!
If I were to use Instagram again, I would only use the stories. I miss the stories. I miss the ability to edit stories and share them on other platforms other than Instagram. Because let’s face it: WhatsApp stories suck. It’s just not the same. Never thought I would say this, but I miss the creative outlets that Instagram provided. I am on the fence as to whether or not I open it again. You are absolutely right – we should ONLY follow people who don’t make us feel bad about ourselves. We should curate social media platforms so that they lift us up rather than tear us down.
I didn’t even know WhatsApp had stories haha! And yes totally agree with your sentiment about curating our social feeds x
WhatsApp stories hardly even count as stories in my opinion, since they are very lame stories with no ability to edit them whatsoever.
Great post! It realy does get tiring trying to keep up with algorithms and what others are doing. I think it’s a good call to post whenever you like, it’s more fun that way!