The Only Reason We're On Instagram
This is a topic I’ve been eager to vent about for awhile now … so here goes! There used to be a time when I absolutely adored Instagram. No surprise, I’m a very visual person so I’m naturally drawn to beautiful photos. When I react or comment on photos that I like, it’s genuine. And, back in the good ole days, it would appear when other people commented or liked my photos, it was also genuine.
Fast forward to 2012. Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion dollars. And since this time, the platform has transformed from a fun place to share photos with friends and followers to an overpopulated arena of fakers and bots. Now, I have no idea whether or not the Facebook acquisition had anything to do with this distressing turn of events however, I’m leaning toward it did.
Over the past year, I’ve seen a staggering increase in the number of bot-like comments on photos we post to our Little Marketing Genius account. Actually, I just looked back at our six most recent posts and a whopping FOUR of them have been commented on by bots. I’ve highlighted this ridiculousness below …
And what about those hashtags? Really? It was bad enough when you had to worry about simply coming up with quality content but now you need a hashtag strategy as well?! Heaven forbid you use a banned hashtag from the ever-evolving List of Banned Hashtags and get yourself blacklisted!
Now moving along to the most irritating thing I see happening on Instagram. The constant fluctuation in followers. People following your account in hopes you’ll follow them back and then, just as quickly, unfollowing you. It’s absurd! Honestly, what happened to the days of following accounts because you were genuinely interested in the content?
So with all of these grievances I just shared, you’re probably wondering why the heck we’re still using IG. The answer is quite simple: because it’s a necessary evil (just like Facebook 🙄).
The bottom line is we live in a world where being on social media legitimizes your business somehow.
I’ve been to networking events and marketing conferences where people don’t even pass out business cards anymore. Instead, they share their Instagram handle. And if you don’t have a handle to share with them … well, CLEARLY you’re not a professional.
The only reason we’re on Instagram is because, as a business, we have to be.
Do new leads come flooding in every time we publish an Instagram post? Nope. Do we close more business because we’re on Instagram. Definitely not. Does Instagram help support and build our brand. Absolutely! Not to mention, it’s provides another avenue for us to share helpful content with you guys! And for that reason, we’re here to stay (for the time being anyways).
Now I’m not saying that Instagram can’t be a main lead and sales driver for a business. What I’m saying is that for most small businesses, it just doesn’t work that way. Unless you’re an influencer or know the secret for regularly developing viral content, chances are, your small business is not going to explode just because of Instagram. Social media typically plays a part in your online marketing success but does not define it. It does, however, serve to compliment your other marketing strategies such as blogging and content creation.
Wow! I’m feeling much better now that I got all that off my chest! I’m curious, what are your thoughts on Instagram? Have you found success or do you feel frustrated most of the time? Comment down below!