One of the conversations I often have in the land of creatives is how to get more Instagram followers. This goes hand-in-hand with commiserating around how much time is spent on Instagram, why some posts do better than others, and why followers sometimes drop off like stampeding elephants.
Instagram is mysterious and fickle which makes it a potentially serious threat to motivation and confidence. Conversely, it can be a source of community,encouragementand inspiration. So, how to manage this complicated relationship?
From my own experience managing JNA’s Instagram feed as well as partaking in these conversations, here are some tips & insights I’ve learned:
Just because no one liked your post doesn’t mean your art is bad. JNA sometime goes through days where likes are low. When I first started posting, I was admittedly freaked out. Then, I realized; this isn’t just people, it’s software—software with potentially ulterior motives! Likes do not reflect the quality of art nor how much people value your work. Many of the pieces I’ve posted that didn’t get high likes were amazing art which have licensed multiple times. Remember, as Instagram members, we are all prey to an alogorithm which can hide us from followers without them or us ever knowing it.
Know when to stop. Shocked at how many hours you’ve spend on Instagram? Tell me about it! The platform is like potato chips; built to suck you in with little hints of satisfaction here and there. I’ve developed two rules to reclaim my time a la Maxine Waters (though not nearly as cool). Rule #1: If I keep picking up my phone and looking at Instagram every minute, as if it’s going to reveal the secret to happiness, it is time to PUT THE PHONE DOWN. Rule #2: Set clear posting & time spent goals and stick to them. I typically post to Instagram three times a day, tops. And I’ll spend maybe every three days stalking artists I like, responding to comments, and seeing what’s new in the creative community. Any more than that and I’m taking time away from real life.
People on Instagram can be jerks! Let’s face it, social media can be a cess pool of bad attitudes and desperate feelings. People go on there to blow off steam, find approval, confirm their best and worst fears. Many times, trolls are trying to spread negativity, like it’s an illness. Remember this. Remember that you don’t know these people and they do not know you. You can take a jerky response as an opportunity to practice mindfulness. Notice the upset feelings you have, accept them, and watch how they change—instead of replying with your own negativity and spreading the illness (or giving the troll the satisfaction!).
Instagram vacations are magic, in more ways than one! Over the holidays, we took a break from posting on Instagram. It was so nice to unplug and not be beholden to the invisible world of Social Media. Do you know what else happened? We earned over a two-thousand new followers. Now, I’m not trying to undo the message that getting Instagram followers is the end-all-be-all, because it isn’t. I’m just saying that taking a break from Instagram might get Instagram to want you back. And how do they get you back? By recommending you to other users, so you’ll get more followers and they hope you’ll come back. Maybe take a break and see what happens?
Let us know in the comments below! Kindly, Jennifer