How to stop getting so hung up over the gram...
Everyone is constantly moaning about Instagram, getting so hung up over it and I honestly think it's time we all just started to enjoy the platform for what it is. I'm not going to tell you to stop caring about numbers, because we all know that the biggest goal on insta for most (particularly bloggers) is the next milestone. Growth means a bigger audience and bigger opportunities so if you're an influencer then you're lying if you say you don't care about hitting the next round number! I do try to focus less on numbers these days as I feel that I have a decent following and engagement as it is but there's nothing wrong with trying to achieve something more. I'm so close to 10k which means I'm that bit closer to finally getting that beloved swipe up feature and it's a goal I've been trying to reach all year so I do get a bit excited when I post a photo that gains me some new followers - let's be real! But the aim of today's post is just to have a little chat about some of the things you can do to start enjoying the gram a bit more despite the algorithm palava. We have all been waiting years for Instagram to make changes and not an awful lot has actually changed so instead of having a whinge, try to think outside the box and get on with it...
Losing followers... meh.
If someone unfollows you, drop the bitchy mentality, suck it up and move on. Yeah sure we all get a tad upset when we lose followers, particularly if it’s people we thought we were friends with or got on with, that's totally normal - but why continue following someone if you have stopped enjoying their content? I’ve unfollowed so many people who I’ve been on friendly terms with, and it’s nothing personal at all, I just kept seeing their photos in my feed and I wasn’t enjoying them so I didn’t see the point in having them there. Instagram is about browsing through content that you enjoy, and looking at content that inspires you and if someone isn’t ticking those boxes then you have every right to remove them from your feed. It’s exactly the same when someone unfollows you for, most likely, the same reasons, just don’t take it to heart. If you actually enjoy someones content and you unfollow them purely because they have unfollowed you then you're just as bad as those that play the follow unfollow game. Focus on filling your feed with people and photography that you love, it doesn't matter if they follow you back or not if you enjoy it. If we all followed every single person back then we would rarely see photos on our feeds from the people we actually want to see. If your feed is like this, then go and have a clear out, it's crazy how much of a positive affect it can have on your mind.
You don't have to follow a trend.
Forget about trends - unless you fall in love with one, seriously, just post whatever the hell you want to. I created a new editing style on Photoshop that I actually quite like, so I have now stuck to it because that's what I want to do. Some people aren’t really into “themes” but they feel forced into them which is a bit crap, it's completely fine to be on either end of the spectrum and you should do you. I follow such a mixture of feeds because if I was constantly seeing the exact same photos when browsing my feed then what would be the point? I personally love a good theme, but in the sense of how I edit and not what content I post. I just love my grid to be consistent with the editing style so that’s my jam. I did however start posting more of a mixture of content because I wanted to, and even though I stopped growing as fast because of it - so what? I’m enjoying what I’m photographing and uploading on my grid and that’s what's most important to me. Don't feel forced into photographing fashion content because it's what others are doing who are growing faster than you. If you stop doing what you love then you will fall out of love with the gram so fast that it's just not worth it. Everyone has different tastes and styles and there will be plenty of people out there who love what you do, it's just about being patient and waiting for them to find you.
Find a way around the algorithm.
When the whole algorithm crap came about on insta, I am definitely guilty of letting it get me down. It was really quite shit when nobody was seeing my photos anymore, but I eventually found a way around it. I now comment on more photos than I ever have before, I started making the effort to try and not scroll past a single photo without engaging with it. And it paid off, engaging with content constantly means that people are much more likely to engage with your content back as you're essentially making friends almost. It's like starting a conversation and being social which is exactly what Instagram is all about. I have the most lovely regular commenters on my content now and I make the effort to try and engage with all of their content on a regular basis too. I also make the effort to reply to every single comment I get left and quickly go over to their grids to return the favour. They seem like such small tasks but my engagement is better than ever now, even before the algorithm messed everything up! Don't expect people to engage with you if you can't be bothered to put the effort in, it's no different to friendships.
Don't underestimate the potential of insta stories.
Insta stories are so much more likely to be seen these days than the photos on your actual grid. The second I upload an insta story it can have over 50 views within ten seconds, it's actually mental. A story comes up instantly when someone uploads something new, particularly if you view that persons stories regularly so whoever is online at the time can see it very, very fast. Make use of this and upload regular content to your stories! Instagram now even has the option to share a photo from your grid to your story so you have the potential to get that seen even quicker too. I do like to make my stories look pretty occasionally but my favourite way to use them is to just upload quick snaps of day to day life, and sometimes treat them as a sort of 'vlog' kinda thing. This has worked so well for me in terms of getting new followers and engagement as people see the more regular, relatable gal behind the high quality shots you know? Definitely do not underestimate what insta stories can do for you - just look at Mrs Hinch!
What are your top tips for feeling successful on the gram? You can find me here!