If you have an Instagram account, you probably have noticed something has changed within the past few months:
Engagement is down.
Either you aren't seeing as many amazing photos in your feed (sometimes going a few days without a single photo from an account you follow) or you notice your engagement per photo has drastically dropped. Maybe you notice both and you keep wondering:
"What is going on? What am I doing wrong? Is it something I did? What do I need to change? Is anyone else struggling with this or am I the only one?"
These questions have been burning in the back of my mind for awhile now and it took some major research (and trial/error) to realize exactly what was going on:
It wasn't me at all. It was Instagram (or should I say Facebook).
Instead of being the social media platform that I have been using for years to share what I love with those who love it, Instagram has purposely been limiting my engagement/exposure (as well as millions of other users) for their own monetary gain (aka limit the amount of people who see your posts and eventually you will be forced to buy sponsored content).
I don't know about you, but as a small business owner, I thrive on platforms like Instagram that give me a voice to share my passion without sacrificing my content or vision.
Acting as free advertising for my business is a big (yet essential) plus.
Without it, the way I do business changes, drastically, especially if there aren't solutions available to get my content out there (without bankrupting my business first).
Basically, if I had the funds to pay for sponsored content, I wouldn't need to pay for sponsored content.
Do you see the problem? Instagram doesn't.
And that's fine because they are a business that needs to make money (or they too will begin struggling). So while I understand the changes they are making, I am still discouraged by it and constantly think to myself:
"Do I stay on Instagram and struggle to get engagement (and thus the orders to stay afloat) or do I abandon my favorite social media platform for something else? But what else is there really for what I'm doing? Can I even leave Instagram?"
And my honest answer, for the moment is ... no. I can't leave Instagram (and you probably can't either)
So, what exactly are we supposed to do?
Well, after research and more research and even more research, I found some solutions to help better equip your Instagram to obtain the maximum amount of engagement (as well as not miss out on a single photo from any account that you love):
Any of these options (or a combination of all three) will help increase your engagement for now. But, when it really comes down to it, no matter how hard we try to stand out (with creative posts or good photography) or how frequently we do or do not post, none of our hard work will matter if the platform we are using limits what we can and can't do.
What does matter is how we embrace change (good or bad) and how we grow with it (not against it), so let's make the necessary changes, stay on our toes, and cross our fingers that Facebook doesn't decide to charge all of us for using their platforms because, let's be honest, we'll probably all pay up eventually.
This month's #stitchventure pattern is in collaboration with illustrator and teacher, Alexis Winter!
Read on to learn more about her process and to enter to win this month's hand embroidery pattern!
This month's #stitchventure pattern is in collaboration with Deanna Maree Creative Studio.
Read on to learn more about her process and to enter to win this month's pattern!