These past few days have been rather quiet for me on social media but a whirlwind in real life. I’ve been distracted with a project ending and another beginning straight after. I’ve still popped onto Instagram to have a look at what my friends have been up to or to look up something inspiring in spots of not-so-free time. One of the main criticisms that Patrick has had of social media, Instagram in particular, is that it constantly needs to be fed. In order to grow your following, your engagement and numbers you constantly need to create and cater for it. And he’s right. You can’t expect to get engagement unless you engage and create room for it. I don’t worry too much about numbers but I do notice if they go up or down significantly.
As of this post going live, I haven’t posted on Instagram in 5 days. That’s not typical for me, unless I’m travelling without great service (a situation which is typical of many places I visit but 5 days is still a stretch). But over these 5 days I’ve noticed my numbers have actually gone up – meaningfully (people are commenting, liking and engaging). Everyday I’ve had new-to-me people stop by and have a poke around my gallery and engage. This really struck me because I hadn’t been posting content, nor had I been engaging that much.
It made me realise that sometimes you just need to take a break, to sit back. I needed a break from the posting and my friends probably needed (without realising perhaps) a break for yet another person taking yet another photo. I felt that being off Instagram gave me time and space to see what content in my gallery people engaged with the most. It also made me realise that it is okay to take an extended break (even if it was unintentional) and that my friends wouldn’t all run away because – shock horror – I hadn’t posted in 5 days! I’m not encouraging myself to do this often but I am giving myself the freedom to step away when I need to. And if you’ve developed your social media presence organically, authentically and thoughtfully I feel like you’ll be able to grow your engagement without constantly have to feed it. A few days here and there won’t hurt you and might actually be just what you need to better understand yourself and your social media presence and engagement.
After my 5 day Instagram leave, I’m back and you can find me on Instagram here
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