As I began to build my brand in 2020, I noticed how having likes and followers on Instagram is important to me. As I discovered how to use tags professionally, I felt a shift inside of me when I began to gain attention from people who I don’t know. I had a private account for years, and only people I knew in person or through Facebook could be added and see what I posted, which was for the most part just selfies and my cat, Shadow.
When I opened my profile to the public in the summer, and began creating content rooted in recovery and wellness, I began to doubt my efforts. There is a simplicity in keeping it familial and familiar, and I began to feel the pressure of being recognized and popular. I felt a shift in innocence, and I started noticing the follow count on my profile, and others, which became an unhappy habit. I grew in frustration as my followers’ count either stayed where it was, or went down.
It was especially confusing to see my count not go up when I began to regularly get new followers, through my tags. But I learnt that this is the deceit of Instagram, and it’s something that anyone who has a brand should really understand. There is a game on Instagram, taught by professionals in fact, that says the road to influence is to follow people and then unfollow them, after they return the favour. This looks attractive to members seeking fame, because the followers to following ratio is drastically disproportionate, giving an air of demand and status.
So, I make an appeal to anyone who, like me, has been disenchanted by Instagram, and who perhaps, as I do, miss days of yonder, when it wasn’t about the likes, it was just about having fun and connecting. We don’t have to complicate social media, and ultimately, if we are using the platform for our business, our success will not ultimately be determined by this platform.
May 2021 bring peace of mind and perspective to us as we navigate a new year, and social media!