I suppose my love/hate relationship with Instagram began pretty early on. We have a long history. I first opened an account back in 2012, actually. I used it for a little while, but it hadn’t really taken off yet. So, after a few months, I deleted my account.
I opened a new account a few months into 2013, and despite a few handle changes, have had it since. But in case you hadn’t noticed, things have changed.
When I first started on IG, I didn’t think to leverage it for business purposes. I was mostly posting cute pictures of Miles and using entirely too many filters. Somewhere along the way, I thought I had to become more strategic about my posts. And let me tell you, that’s not always fun.
So, here we are. Instagram, I love you, but I hate you.
IG is a powerful marketing tool…
…but authenticity can suffer as a result.
I don’t hate all branded content. In fact, I have definitely purchased things I’ve seen promoted on someone’s account. What gets to me is when I see an account I love slowly turn into one giant commercial break. I’m all for sharing products you love. I simply don’t want that to be the only thing you share. Mind you, that is strictly personal preference. “Influencers” in my opinion need to gain trust by actually letting me into their lives a little. And so help me if I see another Fab Fit Fun box…
IG is a fun way to share pictures…
…but not enough engagement can make you crazy.
As I mentioned above, I used to use Instagram mainly as a platform for sharing adorable shots of my son. My first ten posts averaged five likes, and I didn’t care at all. Now, if I post doesn’t garner double digit likes within the hour, I get super bummed! I’ve never deleted a post for not getting enough engagement, but it does make me question what I’m posting. And that’s terrible!
IG is great for meeting new people…
…but is it real or just for numbers?
I have been very lucky to meet a lot of great people because of Instagram. And I’ve been even more fortunate to meet many of them in person. Some of them were even lovelier than I had hoped. Others? Not so much. It’s becoming harder and harder to tell which IG interactions are genuine. And now that bots are becoming more and more common, it’s even worse! I get caught up in the numbers game sometimes and force myself to do a purge every few months.
In the grand scheme, I have a relatively small following. I know that. And I think a big part of that is because I’m still trying to figure out the balance between “producing content” and just sharing my life with people.
I’m hopeful that one day I’ll find that balance I’m looking for. While I’m working that out for myself, I’ll probably just keep doing what I’m doing. Sometimes that means posting diligently — at least once a day, six out of seven days a week. Other times, I’ll be disappearing for a few weeks to reassess.
Algorithms be damned! But also, follow me. K, thanks. 😉