Oh Instagram, the last few years have seen you turn into an incredibly powerful beast! Those years have also seen many, many changes within the game…
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I still remember the day I first downloaded Instagram. I was 22 years old and stoked to post a photo of my YSL Arty ring that I was so incredibly proud of – hideous Valencia filter and all. Those were the days. The days where nobody actually new why you would download Instagram when you already had Facebook, only a select few friends actually downloaded Instagram, in-built filters were revolutionary (and, in our minds, the quick answer to beautifying all of our images) and getting 50 likes on a photo seemed like it would be the biggest feat in the world. Yes, those were the days!
Alas, Instagram is nowhere near as innocent as it used to be.
This loss of innocence isn’t necessarily all bad. The growth of Instagram has single-handedly created a whole new industry of social media marketing (or at least propelled it so far from where it initially was with just Facebook), it has helped businesses to flourish, and it has exposed millions of people to things they otherwise could have been oblivious to. It is hard to imagine where the marketing world would be without the powerhouse that is Instagram. Such a huge portion of what I do requires the use of Instagram, so it is hard to imagine where I would be without it!
With all of the positive changes, comes some pretty crappy ones too. Once upon a time, we were all able to scroll through photos in the order that they were posted. Not anymore. Oh, and remember that time there was no spamming because Instagram wasn’t a ‘game’ yet? I do! Though the worst change of them all has to be when the algorithm that decides your account visibility changes… again. See you later engagement, it was nice knowing you.
Has your engagement dropped? Don’t panic, it isn’t you,
it is me it is Instagram.
The sneaky, behind the scenes changes that Instagram implements affect everyone. Don’t believe me? Just ask your Instagramming buddies and, I can guarantee you, everyone is seeing some sort of change in their engagement. There are speculations galore as to the cause, but the one I find most likely to be true is that this new business feature that everyone was so excited about, might not actually be so great after all. Remember, Instagram is now owned by Facebook and just take one look at how businesses are forced to get engagement on Facebook. Yep, we could be seeing exactly the same thing happening on Instagram!
Unfortunately, there really isn’t all that much you can do to change the behind the scenes action at Instagram.
Whatever changes they make, we have to cop. I suck, don’t I. That wasn’t news you really wanted to here. That isn’t the be all and end all though. If you can afford to, try making sure your account isn’t set to a business account. While this feature has umpteen pros to it (I do miss the stats and the ability to add links in my Insta stories), it could also be helping Instagram target people to pay for exposure. Just like with Facebook pages, you can only boost posts when you have an Instagram business account. Coincidence much? I tend to think not. I switched my account back of a business account a few months back, and while things aren’t the way they used to be, I can see a visible improvement to when my account was on a business account.
The other way that you can deal with decreasing engagement on Instagram (and my favourite way) is to just keep doing what you love doing! The less relevance that the numbers have to you, the happier you will be. Being 100% behind your voice and aesthetic on Instagram no matter what, will further consolidate your feed. Your point of view is what people follow you for – don’t let it waver.
How many of you have seen a noticable change in your engagement? Has anyone else tried switching back to a normal business account?