Mid-May I had a lot of things going on in my personal life. (An unexpected move, packing, lack of motivation..) So many things that I had to put some of my business tasks on hold for a bit. Enter my Instagram hiatus.
I knew I had to put some of my business on the back-burner because it became necessary to do so. And I had to choose carefully which parts were [temporarily] going.
I decided that, after scheduling my posts for the rest of the month, I would be putting Instagram aside.
Read about my experience in putting my Instagram aside for a month (and counting).
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How does Instagram work?
Instagram, like any other social media channel, works best when you engage with your followers daily. If you just drop a post, add a couple of hashtags and run, you will not get the full potential of the platform back in return.
It is my understanding of the algorithm that, to gain the maximum effects of Instagram, you should be doing (at minimum):
- engaging with those who follow you (comment/like their posts) before AND after you post
- utilize the ‘explore’ page and find new accounts to follow (that fit your interests/niche)
- research and use the correct hashtags for your post/business/niche
The BEST advice I found and follow for this is Gary Vee’s $1.80 method.
Why did I choose Instagram?
I ultimately decided to go on an Instagram hiatus because out of all the platforms I frequent for my business, IG took the most work (for me).
Yes I had my graphics created, my captions planned, and my hashtags researched; unfortunately, it was the engagement that killed me and that’s why I decided to take a much-needed break.
I honestly felt like I wasn’t using the platform to its full potential anyway, and the events going on in my personal life gave me the perfect excuse to take the break I’ve been debating on taking with IG. (This has actually been floating around in my mind for about a month or so, to either close my IG or start a brand new account.)
So what happened to my IG?
*As of this post, I have been on my IG hiatus for about 4 weeks.*
I still have my Instagram up, I just don’t post daily as I have been before. Once my scheduled posts ran out, I slowed to almost a stop on the platform. (I did post a few stories here and there, informing my followers of sales or discounts on my services.)
On my last post, I let my followers know that I was taking an Instagram break for an undisclosed amount of time (because I didn’t really know how long myself), and reminded them that they can still find and follow me on my other platforms (Facebook & Pinterest) or join my newsletter list. I also reminded them of my Pinterest course that was still available.
Of course, I also made it apparent that I was still in business! (Just not frequenting IG.)
I felt that even though I only had a handful of followers that actually engaged with my posts (no more than 30 accounts, with 1500+ followers) I needed to be honest with them and to not just up and ghost.
My follower count did go down some (as expected) but not as much as I thought it would. I know that Instagram has been cracking down on fake accounts so I expected to continue losing the 3-5 “followers” a day. I also expected to lose some accounts that I no longer served a purpose for (since I wasn’t sharing anything new).
All in all, for the 4 weeks I have been off of IG, I’ve lost less than 100 followers. I’m totally okay with that!
I have also been receiving quite a bit of new followers each day as well, which is a total surprise for me! (And something I’m totally grateful for.)
About a week ago, I did add a new post stating that I would be back soon, and in my caption explained my situation and asked if they benefitted from my IG at all. (Because if no one really cared, wanted it, or seen it, it would make my decision to close my account an easier one.)
On the first week of my hiatus, I received a DM asking if I was still in business and taking new clients! It felt awesome and was a great opportunity for me. It also told me that my IG was well laid-out and easy to understand.
After posting about my break, I received tons of support from my followers who are local to me! They understood that sometimes a break is necessary, and really affirmed that I was taking the right step for myself (and my business.)
Recycle, recycle, recycle!
While I was fully on pause on IG, I still had my Facebook business page and Pinterest account to keep up with. However, because I put so much work into my IG posts and captions, I was able to supplement my Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn posts with one click of a button!
I recycled my IG posts by sharing them to my other platforms! I shared directly to Facebook and Twitter and shared my Facebook and blog posts directly to LinkedIn. Pinterest was taken care of by Tailwind! (I’m telling you, Tailwind is a GODSEND when it comes to scheduling pins.)
I always heard of recycling posts or rewriting them to fit other platforms, but never got around to “trying” it. However, I saw my opportunity to do it, and it worked so WELL for me and the situation I was in!
What I learned
Because I had been debating between closing my account, starting a new one, or just keeping this one, I had a hard time just leaving my account to the wolves (lol). I’m extremely glad that I was able to schedule out some posts, as well as leave a post announcing my departure and alternative methods of contact instead of just ghosting my [few] loyal followers.
After being away from Instagram and focusing on other areas of my business, I felt strangely.. free in a sense. It was nice to not be constantly on IG, posting stories, finding ideas, researching the best hashtags of the week..
To be honest, I’m not even sure that my business was/is benefitting from Instagram, and I am still wondering if I actually need the platform or not.
4 weeks later and I am still on the fence about starting up my Instagram again. I am really enjoying the break, and I am also enjoying that I don’t have to come up with new content at the moment.
Howeverrrr, I am fighting with myself because I am now coming up with all these new ideas for my IG. (Yes, I am soooo horrible at making decisions, ugh.)
So now I am back in my dilemma.
I have been thinking of doing another trial run (for about a month) and utilizing the evergreen function on SmarterQueue. Basically, I’d enter all my posts and it can be recycled every so often. And, I can also add to my queue and still be on track!
Share your thoughts!
So, what do you think about Instagram in general? Does it benefit you, business-wise? Leave me a comment letting me know your opinion of IG! Don’t forget to include your niche/business too so I can gauge correctly.
I’d LOVE to hear other’s opinions, and what works (or what doesn’t!) for them!