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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