This may be a bit of a weird post, but it’s something that was on my mind. And when something’s on my mind, I write. So enjoy! And let me know your thoughts – I’m keen to see if anyone else agrees with me!
I started my Instagram a couple of years ago. It was a place for me to document my (dare I say it) health and fitness journey (yes I hate that term too). It’s grown to my own little community – I have just over 3,500 followers there, which has taken a long time. Sure, some girls have come and overtaken my follower count within months of starting their accounts. But that’s just how life goes sometimes.
I would say I’ve worked hard for my following, but I’ve not worked too hard. I comment back when I get a lovely comment, I like people’s comments, I like everyone’s pictures that I follow (that’s why I follow them, because I want to see their content!)
I don’t buy followers, I don’t follow and unfollow people in the hope that they’ll follow back. I work full time, so I try to post once a day – but I like to post good quality content, so I don’t just put any old grainy picture up for the hell of it.
And I certainly try to not let that little follower count get to me. Which has been tough recently.
If you’re not on Instagram, you may not have noticed (although the people I follow on Twitter also talk about it). Instagram used to be like any other timeline – you saw people you followed’s posts in a chronological order, with the most recent at the top.
Recently, however, (well, I say recently but this might have actually been about a year ago for all I remember!) Instagram has brought in a new timeline algorithm. Instead of seeing the most recent posts first, Instagram now decides which posts you see. Posts with higher engagement get put higher up your feed – regardless of whether they’re from 5 days ago or 5 minutes ago. I haven’t spoken to any big brands about this, but I have seen a lot of bloggers talk about it. Because of this algorithm, engagement is down, and follower counts are down. This is not only frustrating for someone like me, who gets a smaller number of people engaging on my posts and following me anyway, but it’s also frustrating for those who live off this. Instagram is their job, and they get commissioned for different projects based on their follower / engagement rates.
It’s disheartening to see that, after a post that you’ve put up because you love it, you have a notification for 20 likes and 5 new followers, only to check back and see you now have less followers than before.
I put time and effort into my ‘gram grid and it’s a carefully planned and curated set of pictures that I am in love with – I make time on weekends to shoot new pieces, I come up with ideas for and make time to film videos, and Dom takes time out of his own life to help me. I’m not entirely sure what Instagram is doing, it it’s frustrating, disheartening and, quite frankly, annoying.
Have any of you experienced this? What are your thoughts? Have any of you tried something that’s worked to increase engagement?