On Wednesday 24th of April 2019, something happened. Instagram deleted 604 of the 706 photos I had up on my grid, leaving just 102. I felt like years of hard work, waking up a 7am at the weekend to go take photos, efforts to curate the perfect feed had gone down the drain. So I panicked. Almost cried. Felt powerless. And took a step back.
I breathe and started thinking.
Maybe this was not so bad after all. Maybe, this misadventure could be an opportunity to change my approach to Instagram, how I use the platform, start fresh but also come clean.
I started using Instagram back in July 2015. In one year, I got up to 10k followers. How, you may ask? By engaging, non-stop, with as many people as I could. Back then, it might have looked like a good way to get followers fast. Now, I can tell it was not. As a matter of fact, I was not discriminating in whom I was engaging with, regardless of their age, gender or niche. Thus, people started to follow me just because I had engaged with them and not because they necessarily liked my content.
As a result, my engagement has always been very bad. And as a consequence of this latter fact, reach has been awful too and my growth was always pretty slow.
Now, time for the confidence I guess. A few years ago, I was in a blogger group on Whatsapp. One of the bloggers promoted follow/un follow method as a legitimate way to get new followers fast. She used it and it seemed to work. Back then, it was not as controversial as today although still not looked in a good way. So I tried it. There I said it, I did fall into the follow/unfollow game for a while.
But first of all, I was following so many accounts that the number looked absolutely insane. Second of all, my news feed was full of dodgy accounts with bad or irrelevant content. As a result, I could never see the photos of the people I liked, and thus unable to engage with them, which lead to a drop in my own engagement. I’d be lying if I’d say I stopped to never go back to it. I did give the follow/unfollow more than one go, to the same result always.
I guess some lessons take longer to learn. And I am not very proud.
The thing is, when you stop, you will want to unfollow everyone and those who had followed you back will unfollow. You will lose a consequent amount of followers in the process. Not super productive in the end. Also, following and unfollowing hundreds of accounts per day takes a lot of time so I highly doubt anyone doing it will do it manually. It is most likely that they’ll use an automated software, also known as bot, which costs money (and often not a small amount) and becomes quickly unsustainable. First because you might not always be able to pay, second because the second you stop, you are back to square one.
Another thing I did, is taking part in threads. And before you ask, no, I do not think threads are either cheating, being like a bot or a bad thing. I think, depending on the usage you do of them, and who is in those, they can really help. The thing with those threads is that reciprocation is mandatory, which only makes sense! It would not be fair otherwise! BUT, if you take part into a follow thread for example, you will have to follow everyone in the thread regardless of whether you like their content or not. And when said content will appear on your feed, you will not want to engage with it, since you don’t necessarily like it. Likewise on other participants’ side. So you will have more followers but not necessarily higher engagement.
However, if the thread or pod is just made of people who already followed you and just don’t see your content when you post, then the thread will just help them see your content. Likewise if you’d have commented naturally on their photos anyway.
BUT, the dark side of threads and pod, when they are “like” or “comment” threads, is that when you start, you need to do it all the time. If you stop, your engagement will drop since most of it came from thread. Because most people participating are probably not your followers. Threads are time consuming. They will take you a lot of time to complete, time that you could have used for some other things.
Which is why, I decided to stop doing threads altogether and will solely engage with people I already follow and from hashtags I follow, whether on my main Instagram account or any other Instagram account I may have.
Reach, engagement and growth were never really good on my main Instagram account. People never see my photos when I post them, but only hours later. As a result, the algorithm never pushes the content to more people, meaning that it is less and less visible. And I would lie if I’d say it did not affect me. On the contrary, I had (and still have) a complex about it. Because, no matter what we say, numbers do matter, and that will never change. That’s just how business works.
So I took a step back. And decided to change my approach to Instagram, beyond what I just said.
I have decided to merge my main Instagram account and my baking account together. Thus, I am making What Corinne Did a lifestyle Instagram again. It was when I started until a year ago and will go back to that from now on. As a result, I will have more creative freedom to create content. I also post things that are not solely fashion focused. Now that I am moving to NYC, that I don’t know anyone nor have a photographer, I won’t have so many opportunities to take outfit photos anyway.
Thus, expect to see a bit of everything on my main account: from baking to buildings, to flowers, outfits or travel snaps. Or even my cat. Why not after all! It will mostly be in the moment, much less curated, more spontaneous and probably also photos taken with my phone!
HOWEVER, because I still love fashion a lot. I think that’s what I am best at (at the moment), I have created a brand new Instagram account that will solely be dedicated to fashion. It is called What Corinne Wears (original, I know). I will post there all my outfit photos and videos (I want to give a go to those).
If you were already following my on What Corinne Did, or not, feel free to follow me on What Corinne Wears to. It would mean the world to me! I am posting there twice a day and trying new things as well, including editing, collages and small videos!
Have you ever felt the Instagram fatigue? Or that your content was not good enough because of bad reach or low engagement? How did you grow your Instagram? Did you ever regret using certain tactics?
Don’t forget to follow my new Instagram!
Thanks for stopping by. Hope you liked this post.
See you soon,
*The dress is a gift from Select Fashion.