Did you see the Instagram glitch a few weeks ago? Where people’s follower numbers dropped (they did come back)? I spotted some people mocking those who were worried about it, comments centring on their vanity and shallowness as they were worried over numbers. Well, it’s not quite like that for those of us who use it as a part of our business. It really was a problem, but thankfully they did come back. Let me explain a little more about my relationship with Instagram, from the loves to the loathes.
As a blogger, Instagram is quite important to me. It’s a big part of my work, and it seems that brands are very interested in your Instagram page. Where once it was Facebook, now it is Instagram. Which is quite fortunate for me, as I am not a huge fan of Facebook but on the whole, I do love Instagram. There are things that I love about it and then there are things that can drive me a bit potty about it at times! It’s the platform that I see most bloggers talking about wanting to grow, along with Pinterest, so here are my thoughts and reflections on it.
1. Instagram is a great community. Instagram is fun. Instagram is my favourite social media platform.
2. For those of you who are not bloggers, Instagram is what it is. The fact that it is no longer chronological in your feed might irritate you, but aside from that, it’s people posting photos of moments captured. Some people use it purely to capture snapshots of their day, some use it as a micro-blog, some to have fun with their photography skills. I like to follow a mixture of people so get a mixture of snaps and chats.
3. I enjoy Instastories. They are a fun way to capture and share moments in my day, mundane or exciting, with people. I don’t overthink my Stories, stuff comes into my head and I share it! I get lots of interaction there and it’s fun to connect with like-minded folks.
4. I love that I have over 10,000 followers there, that was always the magic number for me. Not because it’s an arbitrary target amount, but because it means that I am able to use ‘swipe up’ on my Instastories which makes it easier for me to share content with my followers. It is as simple as that. So whilst 15k, 25k would be lovely, as long as I am over 10k, I am happy!
5. It is a powerful platform for businesses, I see that and I see the value of it. I am happy to promote products/brands/campaigns over there when I feel that it would make sense for my followers to do so. Sometimes I get excited to share new products or news in this way as I just know people will be interested. And of course for me, this is a key element of my business and I appreciate the likes, comments and support that I get on any ads that I do feature.
6. I have the #BringBackPaper hash tag in use over on Instagram, and I love seeing people using that when sharing any papery photos. It’s a lovely tag to scroll through, usually filled with happy mail, stationery, books and more, all things that I love to see. I also like how easy it is to search through Instagram tags to find pictures of anything at all that makes you happy or connect with others. I sometimes like to check out my favourite authors for a little book chat and lately the #miniaturedachshund tag has got a lot of attention from me!
7. Overall, for me, I love the people that I chat with on Instagram. That’s why it makes me happy to spend time there. You build up these relationships with the people that you follow, the people that follow you. I love checking in on how they’re doing, seeing snapshots of their lives, hearing their news. I love it when people message me with ‘saw this and thought of you’ photos, it makes the community a lovely place to be.
However, Instagram can be a source of frustration. I do have a few gripes about it.
1. We’ve all heard of the term ‘Instasham’ and I think there is a lot of that on there. The same shots, the same flat lays, the photos that have been taken and edited over and over. To be honest, these are the photos and accounts that I just gloss over, but I can see how these can get people down. No-one’s life and home can be as shiny as an Instagram perfect home, right?
2. Then there are those bloggers and Instagram influencers who don’t have a genuine following. Which means that when a brand comes knocking, they might compare my page to theirs, see they have more followers or more likes, and go with them. Which may well be a mistake as whilst there might be less people following/liking/commenting on mine, they are actually REAL people! You are actually real people! I am not part of a comment pod or any Instagram threads, I don’t buy followers and I don’t buy likes. And I do sometimes think ‘more fool me’!
3. Placing ads on Instagram can be stressful. When someone has paid you to promote their product, you want to do a good job. Of course. So unlike posting a snap of a cuppa and a snack (which always go down well, I do love my Instagram audience!) these photos are really thought through. I want you to like them, to engage with them, to connect with them. I know that not every ad will appeal to everyone, but I try to only take on projects that I do feel are relevant, to help bring people’s attention to campaigns or products that might be useful to them. But then as soon as that ad is posted I am watching it, panicking! Hoping that people like it. If you do see one of my ads (and I can assure you that they will always clearly be marked as such) just know that I appreciate every like and comment that I get on those. As I do with all of my pictures, to be honest.
4. The algorithm. Why oh why can’t we just see everyone’s account when they post it? Like the good old days? I hate that certain people’s photos don’t come up in my feed and I want to see what people have just posted, not posted yesterday! As I have now switched to a business profile, Instagram also bumps my photos down the list of those shown in people’s feeds which is disheartening. I know I am not alone in loathing this, it is frustrating!
On balance, you can see that there are more Loves than Loathes, which does feel right to me as I do enjoy Instagram. it’s my happy place online. Lovely people live in my phone on there and chat to me, so I want to say ‘thank you’ to those lovely people, I do appreciate your support and chatter. It cheers me, it makes me smile, it makes me feel like I have found others who think like me, and it helps me to continue doing what I love doing here. Cheers to Instagram!
So that’s my Instagram loves and loathes, do tell me yours….