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Raise your hand if you’ve been personally victimized by Instagram 🙋
If you’re an influencer, I’m sure you’ve seen your reach and engagement slowly but surely decline over the last few years. If you follow influencers, I’m sure you’ve seen them post things in their IG Stories like “Do you see my posts?’ or “Please turn on post notifications so you can keep seeing me in your feed!”
You guys. I’m tired of this.
I started my blog almost eight years ago before Instagram existed, and man: I miss those times. A year after I started blogging, Facebook Pages were the thing. Yes. Facebook Pages. Then Twitter was the hot platform. Now it’s Instagram. And do you know what all of these platforms have in common? They all implemented a crappy algorithm.
I hate Instagram for a lot of reasons (ex. the people who buy followers and likes and/or do endless loop giveaways, the algorithm, etc.), and it’s never been my main priority — I don’t think one social media platform should be anyone’s primary focus. Here are three things you can do to grow your brand that don’t involve Instagram.
Dive Into the World of Video
I need to take my own advice here (I’m filming content as soon as I’m done writing this post!), but video has been a thing for a while, and if you’re not already creating video content, I would hop on it. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve met over the last year who figure out that I blog and are very disappointed when I tell them I don’t have a super active YouTube channel that they could subscribe to.
It’s a hard transition if you’re used to creating stills — trust me. And I need to get over the fact that my first YouTube videos aren’t going to be perfect. But you have to dive into it and start creating. You’ll learn tips and tricks along the way, and become a top-notch video producer in no time.
The best part about video? You can likely repurpose it for Instagram as well, and video content has a higher chance of hitting the ‘Explore’ page than photos do (because I know: we still care about the ‘gram at the end of the day)
Focus on your Website & Email List
Do you know what I’ve learned over the last eight years of blogging? Your blog and email list are the only two things that you truly “own.” In 2012, I focused on growing my Facebook page, and the algorithm hit that hard. I focused on building my Twitter account in 2013, and now I couldn’t get a sponsored Twitter campaign in 2019 for the life of me. The only thing that’s remained constant for me over the last eight years is that I have a website (and I started an email list a few years later).
I’m not going to lie: with the rise of Instagram, blogging has become a bit more challenging. Gone are the days where I can upload an OOTD and expect a ton of traffic: you don’t need to write a 300-word article about your new favorite jumpsuit in this day and age. I 100% agree with Dana in this post — I’ve had to come up with ways to produce meaningful, long-form content on my blog over the past couple of years to continue to bring people to this platform. And the result? I’ve created evergreen content that someone could read (and enjoy!) for years to come.
Get Creative With New Platforms
You have to have the mindset of a social media manager when you’re an influencer, and always seek out platforms that are up and coming. If I were a little more confident in my public speaking skills, I would without a doubt start a podcast right now — but alas, I’ll leave that to the pros. I think my target audience is a bit too old for Tik Tok, but it is the leading video platform in the U.S. and Asia right now and worth a look.
Now: I’m not telling you to ditch Instagram entirely. It’s still a major power player. However, if you’re frustrated with the algorithm, maybe spend a little less time creating content on that platform and start producing content for other outlets. It’s always good to have a Plan B, C, and D in this industry!
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Photos by Tom McGovern