Oh, Instagram. We love you, we hate you and at the end of the day, we come back for more every time. I think there’s some aspect of this platform being built by real people that keeps it growing no matter how much they change things. We love being entangled in each other’s lives. In a world where there’s less talking and more typing, Instagram gives us all the feels with less work…
Well for some of us.
Some of us use this platform for a business or to further a cause and for that group, it can be the most all-consuming and frustrating part of your business. I am by no means an expert, but I have found some peace with Insta so I thought I’d pass along the things that work best for me.
Let’s start with what sucks:
First, there’s the instant need for likes. No matter how big or small your account is when you post a picture you hoping to get to likes.
The second pressure is that of the audience. Followers are important in any sort of online platform. The amount of meaning we assign to this particular number is astronomical. If you don’t fall into the category of having a lot of followers it feels discouraging and as if what you’re doing isn’t good enough (By the way it is!!!).
Thirdly, there is the pressure of maintaining an image. Especially when you brand or page is built around images it can be rather difficult to step around this. We also fall into the trap of comparing our feeds to those and wondering why they aren’t perfect.
So while there as lots of little pressures that drive us to post an overly edited, photoshopped photo that’s an eighth of the real scene, there are ways to overcome the whelm!
I don’t take 100 pictures of the same thing anymore. I take maybe 10 and then I walk away. If there’s a good picture in there great. If there’s okay picture in there still great.
I edit minimally. Mostly just lighting. I like to brighten things up so you can see it, but I’m done making my avocado look super green or my strawberries look crazy red. I buy the same food and products as everyone else. Mine don’t come in super glow or absolutely perfect and there’s no point in making it seem that way.
I post and then I turn my phone over and do something else. I realized watching likes pop up or not pop up was literally causing my heart to race. So I put it on silent and walk away. I have a snack, walk my dog, answer some emails, finish some reading, whatever I can get absorbed in.
I check my followers once a week. I started doing that because during the day my followers would be all over the place. I had myself convinced that it was because of something I was doing or wasn’t doing, but now I realize that isn’t the case at all. There is a natural ebb and flow.
If you don’t have something you want to post, don’t. It is not the end of the world if you miss a post. Literally not even close. Remember to give yourself some time off. Generating new content constantly at any level is hard!
Completely unplug. Just do it. Get away from all of it and give your brain a break. I set 9:30pm as my no more social media time. This doesn’t mean I don’t take pictures and it doesn’t mean that I don’t post if I’m at an event or it’s the weekend. It’s a general time when I stop fully interacting with the platforms. You can post the photos tomorrow and answer the messages then too. If you are constantly on social media it’s like being at a mixer or a happy hour that you never leave. No one would do that in real life. And not only are you at a nonstop party but you’re also missing the real-life party!
What’s your favorite step? Any other ideas?