Instagram is quite the dumpster fire right now.
All the drama has been bubbling under the surface for a while now due to lower engagement and increasing unrest amongst users. And if I had to pinpoint the time it started – I’d say around the time they gave us the gift of Reels.
Add onto that the constant changes, the constant glitches and the introductions of new features every 5 minutes it’s turned Instagram into a pretty shit user experience.
Now today’s episode is not to spend the next 10 minutes bitching about Instagram – because that doesn’t help you.
But I do want to share what you can learn from the Instagram drama (particularly what NOT to do) and what it means for your business.
So let’s discuss.
A snapshot of the Instagram drama
As I mentioned, this has been brewing for a little while now. Engagement has been rapidly decreasing and more and more people are taking extended breaks off the platform.
I’ve experienced a drop in my engagement and I also deleted the app off my phone.
To be an online business and use Instagram as a tool for your marketing has become increasingly complex. And if you’re a social media manager – shout out to you because fuck I feel for you even more.
People are finding it challenging to reach their soulmate clients and grow their community.
It doesn’t help that there’s been new features and tests and changes rolled out seemingly every single week.
It’s the hottest topic in the online space right now – what the fuck is going on with Instagram?
On every coaching call I’m on.
People are talking about it all the time on stories.
And it’s the hot topic of conversation amongst biz besties.
The catalyst for this drama has been the testing and rollout of a new look to the feed, which resembles TikTok.
It led to this post by user illumitati
To this day it’s been liked 2.2 million times and it’s even been shared by Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner.
It led to Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri sharing this video. He addressed publicly some of the biggest concerns of users and how Instagram are working on making Instagram a better experience for its users.
Now in my opinion – it was basically gaslighting at its finest.
Instagram saying “we hear you, but we don’t really care.”
Adapt or die.
Now to add a twist to this tale – a couple of hours before recording this episode, Instagram announced it was ditching its test of the new feed format due to user feedback.
Which is great news for you but also fucking hilarious that the power of the Kardashians won. 2 of the most followed people on the app spoke out against these changes (I mean they only shared the post) and Instagram changed its tune pretty quickly. When I saw Kylie and Kim had shared it, I had an inkling this might happen. So if you’ve ever spoken badly about the Kardashians – you owe them an apology. The devil works hard, but Kris Jenner works harder.
No idea what else they’re going to scrap or reassess (hopefully the over reliance on Reels) – but consider it a small victory for online businesses.
What you can learn from Instragam?
Particularly what NOT to do.
- Listen to you customers, clients, consumers → if they’re overwhelmingly telling you they hate something, it’s in your best interests to listen to them and take action to improve things. Ignoring them is not a smart strategy because you exist in business to serve them. And on the flip side, if they love something you’re doing → DO MORE OF IT. It’s that simple. They are your greatest source of information and inspiration.
- Don’t change what you’re doing every 5 minutes. Recently it’s felt like Instagram has been throwing shit at a wall to see what sticks. But it can become messy and chaotic if you are constantly changing the front end of your business (aka the stuff your community sees). For example your offers, your messaging, your content → there needs to be some degree of consistency. If you’re constantly making changes that impact your community, it can start to feel super overwhelming for them and create a disconnect, which you don’t want.
- Stick to your own lane. Stop trying to be like every single Ron, Harry and Hermione on the internet. Instagram has become so caught up trying to compete with TikTok that its lost its identity. When you try to transform yourself into something you’re not – you just blend in to the same sameness out there. The reason Instagram exploded is because it nailed what it did best – it was the photo sharing app. But the moment it started to look at what Snapchat was doing and TikTok and tried to emulate that – it lost its unique selling point. You want to embrace your unique blend of magic because that’s what makes you stand out online.
And what does this all mean for your business
Well I’ve been saying this for years – so not to say I told you so but…
If in August 2022 you’re still focusing 100% of your sales and marketing on Instagram, you’re standing on shaky ground.
For the love of dogs – don’t put all your eggs into the Instagram basket.
It’s simply not a smart or sustainable business strategy (no matter what the experts on the Gram are telling you).
Instagram is NEVER going to change back to what it was. They don’t care about you (which IMO is the dumbest business strategy of all). To them you’re just another user. They want you to spend more time on the platform. More time = more money for them.
And the longer you resist changing your strategy, the harder it’s going to continue to be. It’s on YOU to change what you’re doing.
Stop spending ALL of your time invested in a platform that doesn’t even know you exist.
Start looking at other ways and other platforms to market your business and grow your community.
It’s the reason I started this podcast – it’s another way to connect with you outside the world of the Instagram algorithm.
It means that my business and my content is not held hostage by what Instagram wants me to create. Because my business doesn’t exist to serve Instagram. It exists to serve you.
And honestly trying to keep up with all the Instagram changes all the time is exhausting! You don’t want to be spending all your time focused on keeping up with the never ending updates. Content creation is only one part of your business.
It’s another reason why I’m such a big believer in creating your content in a way that can be repurposed across multiple channels WITHOUT it taking more time.
So moral of the story – don’t be like Instagram.
And also don’t lose sleep over Instagram either. It’s not worth spending your energy focused on things you can’t control. You can only control how you respond and what steps you take next.