Instagram – The love/hate relationship

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The other day I posted this photo, along with a very long caption about my (as of late) instagram woes. I wouldn’t normally post such things, but as I mention in that post, I feel it’s important to remain transparent and honest. I say that I no longer see much point in posting because engagement is WAY down and it’s just a lot of work to maintain a beautiful and inspiring feed.

I don’t know about you, but pages that consistently post the same images or the same kind of images, bore me. Yawn. Although, those types of pages seem to always have the most engagement, so maybe I don’t know anything. I always try to also post something new, something different. Maybe that’s where I’m going wrong…

Let’s back it up and explain what I’m talking about. If you read my “about” section, you already know that my insta profile basically exploded in 2016. I went from having 500 followers in March, to over 20K in July, to over 80K in November. I would wake up every morning with 500+ new followers. Now, things were different back then. Instagram was fun! Instagram was easy! Instagram wasn’t full of ads. Instagram was a GOOD way to market your brand. Anyways, I was basically only posting, embossing, lettering and iPad lettering videos. So of course engagement is going to be better with that sort of content. People like to be entertained, wow’d, shocked, surprised, pleased, etc. Pictures (what I mostly post now), just aren’t the same.

I often get asked, “How did you grow your following?” or “How on earth do you have so many followers?” And the truth really is, embossing and lettering WERE HUGE in 2016 and it just snowballed. I sometimes feel as though people accuse me of buying my following, which I can promise you, I have never done. Back when I only had 1 or 2K, I did think about it. But never pulled the trigger. I also don’t track my followers. That’s just too much stress for me. For example: there is an app that you can get that tells you when and who unfollows you. Yep, I don’t want to know that. Ha. I guess that’s part of the reason I bring this issue up. I am embarrassed. I’m embarrassed that I have 89.6k followers and only get 400-1000 likes per post. It certainly looks bad. So what can I do differently? How can I make more people happy?

That’s not all that’s different. As most of you know, instagram itself has changed completely. The forthcoming of the “algorithm” has changed posts from being chronological, to “most relevant” according to instagram. Yep, they get to decide what you want to see, even if it’s 6 days old. The best way I can describe this is on my personal account. Every time I log in, I always see posts made by people I actually know in real life. Even if they are super old. And then once I scroll past those, then celebrity accounts will show up. And the same goes for my stories. Always in that order. But never chronologically…

posted 3 hours ago

posted 20 min ago

posted 4 days ago

posted 56 min ago

posted 2 days ago

posted 1 week ago

So yeah, in a way, that’s kind of nice, I guess. But it’s also hurting us in the long run. Last year, I used to be able to post and within 5 minutes, it would already have 250+ likes. Now days, it can take up to 30 minutes to get only 100 likes. Likes = exposure, and exposure = more business. When you work really hard to take beautiful pictures that result in very few likes, it’s incredibly discouraging.

Let’s pause. I REALLY DON’T WANT YOU GUYS TO THINK THIS IS A CRY BABY, WHINER POST. 

After posting on instagram about this, so many of you resonated or hailed “PREACH” because you feel it too. Many of you commented that you don’t have nearly as many followers as I do but that you also feel irrelevant or “not seen” in this saturated world. I honestly think everyone has felt the impact, maybe in a small way, maybe in a huge way. The bottom line is, instagram sucks now. Hahahaa.

BUT, I can say that without it, my business would not be where it is today. And that’s where the love/hate relationship stems.

I love it because I can make a story about a restock and instantly sell out. I love it because I have met other makers and some of my best friends via instagram. I love it because I take pride in my feed and what I have established on the platform. I love it because so many of you consider me to be a role model or an inspiration. I love it because there are some genuine people on there that really care. I love it because I can be real and transparent with all of you (stories).

I hate it because it’s so judgy and cliquey. I hate it because you work so hard for such fews likes, it really wears on you. I hate it because no matter how strongly we voice our opinion, instagram just doesn’t give a shit that their changes have impacted us significantly. I hate it because I know that I rely on it as a small business. I hate it because I feel like I am letting people down when I don’t post everyday. I hate it people some people feel the need to be bullies. I hate it because of all the copying.

Okay, those are long lists. OOOFTA. I hope that as you read this, you feel similar in some aspects. People don’t want to talk about this because it is deemed negative. And no one wants to see negativity on their feeds! Poo poo to that right? I feel ya. But also, we are human. And this is real. And it’s okay to feel this way.

One thing that I learned after posting the other day is that a lot of people “like or love” the content but just don’t actually double tap. This is something I never even considered. I’m a tapper. When I scroll, I legit “like” things that I like. So I guess I didn’t even think that there were people out there that did like what I was posting without actually “liking” it. Whoa, how many times can I write the word “like”. Another point was that some people said they stopped “liking” posts because they didn’t want me to be annoyed by them. Another thing I just never thought of. Trust me, I am not annoyed by you liking my posts lol.

So what can we do? Well, I honestly wish I had that answer. I would LOVE for someone to invent another type of platform so we could all just say “peace out instagram.” But sadly, I fear it will just continue to get worse. More ads will appear and soon we will probably have to pay to use the platform. My advice is to genuinely engage with pages you enjoy. There are things called “pods” where a group of people make a commitment to “like” and comment on all of each others posts, the second you post. Let me just say that I was part of one and it was sooooo fake. It also took up so much of my time. There was awkward pressure involved and I just felt dirty doing it. To each their own, but that was my experience.

Thank you for being a loyal follower/fan :). I appreciate it more than you know! And I hope you enjoyed this read. Or at least understand things a little better. Maybe you didn’t know about any of these changes, or maybe you yourself questioned how I got so many followers. Well now you know :). Have a great rest of your Thursday or Friday (for all my international friends!)

xoxo –
Linz

6 thoughts on “Instagram – The love/hate relationship

  1. This page was sooo relatable! My posts seemed to be shadowbanned post by post. I can’t figure out what causes the shadow ban. I’ve tried everything- changing up hashtags, changing my post times… nothing seems to work. Instagram seems to do what it wants regardless! I think we all just need to be supportive of each other. Good luck and I’ll see you on Insta!

    Great post!
    Xoxo
    Lauren

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ugh! So frustrating! I don’t even use hash tags anymore. It’s SO MUCH ADDITIONAL WORK and I never really saw the benefit of using them. Engagement is the same with or without, at least for me. And yes, I agree! 😉

      Like

  2. Up until now that Instagram has enabled hastag following (or whatever it is officially called) I haven’t seen much point in flooding my posts with multiple hashtags. I just use a few that are relevant to me if any. Then again, I only have a personal account and am a part of feel good collab with friends who enjoy live music, going to gigs and sharing some of that with others on IG @meidanvuosi2017. We’ve gotten noticed and liked by some of the artists we support and a handful of other fans with use of some @-tags and hashtags.

    Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that Instagram’s current algorithm is annoying and almost derogatory or at least patronizing because I’d like to decide what I want to see and when. If I had that choice I could tolerate the ever increasing number of ads better. And if it’s like this to someone who has less than 100 followers, I can only imagine the frustration of a small business owner such yourself.

    Having said that, I enjoy your feed, your posts and stories and I truly appreciate how you make your content uniquely yours. Thanks!

    Like

  3. Thank you so much for this information! As someone who follows your Instagram and those of a few other artists I have to admit to being wrong. I “like” a lot of things but assumed that you must know that, so I hardly ever click on like. I guess I was of the mindset that is would be annoying and you must know your stuff is fantastic.
    Dumb, ridiculous me 🙂 I know that I love some validation so why wouldn’t you? Thanks for the reminder & by the way I agree I can never figure out what makes one thing vs. another pop up on my instagram.
    P.S YOU ROCK!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Couldn’t agree more! IG is KILLING ME 😭 it’s kind of like an abusive relationship. I just keep coming back even though it’s not all that good for me anymore

    Like

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