Do it for the gram! Do it for the gram!
How many times have you heard this slogan? I use it myself quite often, more so when I see teenagers awkwardly taking selfies or posing with their friends. On the outside, I am walking with purpose, taking no BS kind of woman who knows how to take care of business. On the inside, I’ll always be that weird corny Aunt! These are the facts.
So, you’ve decided to use Instagram as more than just a place to document your various selfies. You have a concept and a goal. You know that Instagram connects millions of people every day and you are ready to tap into that market.
You know that you need to be consistent and you need to stand out to gain followers, but even with your incredible photos, you can’t seem to get your Instagram to budge. What is going on?
I’ve had multiple Instagram pages over the years and each one ended up getting deactivated for one reason or the other. I personally don’t particularly like Instagram. I find that authenticity gets lost in the sea of accounts that competes with one another to be the most popular.
But, I understand what an effective tool it is to get yourself and your business on the screens of millions of phones around the world. For a blogger whose goal is to reach as many people as possible to spread positivity and destigmatize depression and anxiety, it is far too hot of a platform to be ignored.
I’ve never had an account grow to hundreds of thousands of followers so I can’t tell you what that’s like, but I am an expert in starting a page and working to grow that page to the first of many milestones, such as your first 100, 500, 1000 followers! In this article, I’m going to tell you what to really expect when growing your Instagram to your first thousand.
It’s A Big, Big Time Commitment
I think the first thing that people don’t really talk about is the time it takes to seriously commit to growing your account. Sure people might complain that they are always on Instagram, and yes browsing is a time sucker in its own right, but interacting within the app with purpose is a completely different beast altogether.
You will spend most of your time, liking, messaging, following and unfollowing accounts to build a network of people and businesses that you vibe with and who love and want to see your content. There is no way around it, social media is exactly what it means, socially sharing your media. Otherwise, it would just be called anti-social media.
There are apps to help chip away the time you will spend with the administrative and operational tasks of Instagram. Here are a few of my favorites below:
You Can Very Easily Become Depressed
Out of all the different social media platforms out there, Instagram is the most likely to trigger anxiety and depression among young people, specifically in ages ranging from middle school all the way to the years following graduation from college. You can read more about this here.
There are a lot of different complexes that can arise from Instagram, such as poor body image issues, loneliness, FOMO or Fear Of Missing Out, bullying, and a slew of other issues. How could you not develop certain anxieties? Instagram is full of the best parts of people’s lives and whether those snapshots are real or curated, people can’t help but feel envious, especially when their own lives seem just ordinary and boring compared to the thousands of scrolling magical moments that appear on Instagram.
If you find that you experience these feelings you can always take a break and temporarily deactivate your account to give you some space. I’ve had to do it a few times! When you’re ready, just sign back in.
Your Followers Aren’t Loyal
I can not tell you how many times I went to bed with 750 followers and woke up to 35 new followers, and a new follower count of 710.
You can do the math… I’ll wait.
Keeping followers is the most annoying and puzzling concept of Instagram, especially when you are just starting out. They also keep changing their algorithm, which doesn’t help. People are constantly following and unfollowing each other like crazy. I believe there are several reasons why this happens:
The #follow2follow Gang. This practice is widely used to grow your follower count quickly. Basically, if I were to follow you, you would also need to follow me back, if you don’t, well then I’ll unfollow you and if you unfollow me at a later date, I’ll most likely have an app that will detect your unfollow and I’ll unfollow you right back. It’s a recipe for paranoia and anxiety.
There are people who follow 20 and unfollow 40. The method behind this is if you rapidly follow a bunch of accounts, the result is you will get a bunch of follows back, some are quality accounts, a lot are bots. After you get the follows, you then quickly unfollow more accounts than what you followed. This is a really terrible way of “cheating the system”, if you do it too much, you’ll get blocked.
There are also bots, so many bots. You can tell that they are fake accounts because they typically don’t have a profile photo. Other tell-tell signs are that they will have zero photos but 11k followers, or if they do have a profile photo, it’s usually young women (or very very young, I know it’s horrible, just report them and keep it moving) and there are a few photos of these girls and these pages usually have thousands of followers. Stay away from these accounts they aren’t real, and if they are, it’s just bad news.
The number one thing to remember is that you do not own the people that follow you, they will always come and go as they please.
The other thing to remember is that since you are going to lose more followers than you gain in the beginning, you might as well be picky with who you follow. Make sure that you are inspired by their content and that you vibe with their message. Don’t feel compelled to follow someone because they blow up your page with likes, or even because they ask. Follow because you want to.
Instagram Can Get Very Spammy
I’m sure you’ve seen sponsored posts pop up on your feed that promotes a page that you don’t follow from time to time. I’m not talking about those posts.
I’m talking about the DMs, or direct messages that you get from people that follow you and they want nothing more from you than your email and your follow of course. Most of the time they don’t even say hi and sometimes you don’t even have to follow them back to get one. These messages are often generic copies sent to multiple accounts.
I also have one, it’s a welcome note that I created and I typically send it out to people that have followed me and then later to accounts that I follow, and I would like them to follow me back. Like I said when you are using Instagram with purpose, you have to network. I don’t think there is anything wrong with this message. I can appreciate everyone’s hustle.
Instagram has been proven to boost the careers of many people and has also been beneficial to many businesses, you just have to be strategic and aware of the realities of putting it all out there for the world.
I would like to maintain that this article was intended to be honest and truthful about Instagram and talk about the things that a lot of bloggers and influencers don’t talk about. There are many more realities of social media that are both positive and negative.
Even though I don’t particularly care for Instagram, I do enjoy networking and connecting with many different people from all sorts of backgrounds! I’ve met some pretty dope people and also found people that I can go to when I have questions, and they can come to me as well. At the end of the day, social media should be fun!
Did I miss any other Instagram hidden truths?
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