Social media challenges are a hot topic among my friends as we share careers that revolve around our online presence. If you’ve been keeping up to date on the changes with the Instagram & Facebook algorithms then you can understand why. For those that aren’t up to speed, in a nutshell, you have to pay to play. This can create many challenges in using our favourite social networks for work and can take us on a downward spiral of questions and concerns we have about our brands.
This post isn’t going to get into the ins and outs of social media and how it works but is speaking more towards what I’m doing about the changes. If you follow me on my Instagram then you’ve read that I’m creating some of my own changes.
When Instagram began, it was a great way to instantly share what we’re doing in the moment. It then evolved to a channel that we could upload previously taken photos or our work and was used as an online portfolio. Fast forward a couple years later and bloggers of all industries were at the forefront of the application using it to start their own businesses, review products and get paid. That’s what I did.
In seven years, Instagram has changed many times over. Some changes have been for the better and some have been for the worst but how we deal with it is what matters. You can look at my Instagram account and say that you enjoy my content, I have a lot of followers and that I’m doing just fine but do you know how I feel about it?
I look at my account and see images that I think are stellar, that I’ve worked so hard to create. Sometimes on my own and sometimes in collaboration with my photographer and brands. I look at my follower count and think, fuck. How is it that in seven years I have less followers than someone who popped up six months ago? Sometimes it’s the algorithm favoring the account and sometimes it’s straight up purchased followers (which by the way… there are so many sites and apps that we can use to search those that are purchasing their followers and how many and you might wanna stop.) But do these numbers really matter?
For a brand, these numbers mean eyeballs for their sponsored product. As a brand, this means my income. Some have said to me “don’t even worry about your followers, just forget about it and don’t spend so much time trying to gain them.” But this is my job. Would you tell me to not worry about my job and to not spend so much time working hard at it? No.
In the grand scheme of it all, my follower count means shit all. It doesn’t define me as a person and it doesn’t dictate my offline friendships but if there is a way to handle the situation at hand it’s to go with the flow. If social media challenges stray me from going where I wanted to go, then I need to change my direction. I’m going to take my Instagram back. In the last few years I’ve been posting images that I think Instagram wants to see in order to raise my Instagram following. I need to be posting what I want to be seeing. Maybe that’s inspiration images, maybe it’s a different style of outfits because that’s how I’m dressing now or maybe it’s a photo of my with my friends.
I don’t know if this is something that will do well for me but it’s definitely something I feel good about posting. Will I feel this way in 6 months? Maybe, maybe not. But much like the reason Instagram was created, I’m going to live my online life for the moment.
Do you feel this way about your Instagram account? I would love to have you share your story with me!