Remember when Instagram went down a few months ago and everyone was forced to take a break from it? Yeah, well that’s kind of how it was for me last week. I have a pretty in depth Instagram strategy I use as I’m building my business and attracting new followers and customers each day. That begins to be a problem when Instagram stops working.
For most of this past week my stories would say ‘failed to load’ or when I tried to post it would say it
couldn’t. I spent every waking moment trying to refresh the app, check to see if I missed an update, and then just continued to be frustrated when nothing would work.
Then I was listening to Jenna Kutcher’s podcast and she was talking about shadow-banning.
Which, for those of you who aren’t familiar, it’s when Instagram starts to hide your posts because you are using too many hashtags on your posts, you’re liking and commenting in ingenuine ways on others posts too often, you break one of Instagram’s other rules, or you consistently use the same hashtags for each post. All of these makes Instagram think you’re behaving like a robot and they try to hide your post to anyone who doesn’t follow you.
It had seemed as though Instagram was hiding my posts for like the last month and then this was happening. Jenna said one thing that had been useful for people was taking 48 hours off Instagram completely. Like not even opening up the app. It’s almost like giving your page a reboot.
I really didn’t want to do this. My life is on social media every day and it’s how I’m building my business (obviously besides my blog and email list). I for sure thought it would set me back but I was going to do it anyway. Read to end to find out how instead of setting me back it actually helped me gain more eyes on my page.
During those 2 days I was way more productive than usual. Many times I find myself mindlessly scrolling through the app, or I’ll go on to post 1 thing and it’s 20 minutes later and I’m still there. Sound familiar? We can waste so much of our own time by spending countless hours looking at how much more interesting everyone else’s lives are rather than doing something with ours.
Another thing I noticed about myself was I felt so dang good about myself those 2 days. I am a perfectionist. Anyone who knows me knows this about me. In all my years of school, I would get anxiety over having all A’s. I cried in 6th grade when I got an A- in science class and cried again in college my last year when I got an A-. Nothing has changed. While I believe it’s good to have some form of perfectionism to push you to do your best, it can be debilitating when I’m constantly comparing my success to those around me. And when I base what I should be doing or looking like to those who have been at it way longer than me and have more experience.
Through those 2 days off, I found I really enjoyed what I did and how I looked. I loved how I don’t fit into this cookie cutter mold of what everyone else is doing. And I had a million ideas bouncing around in my head that I probably would’ve ignored if I was sitting on Instagram looking at all the ‘better’ ideas other people have.
The third and last big thing I noticed through those 2 days off was how much more intentional I was with the attention I was giving and receiving. I struggle with putting my life out there for everyone but at the same time, giving everyone near me the attention they deserve. I know I need to get way better at this for Cody. While he supports me in everything I do and pushes me to pursue all my dreams, I know he struggles with me being constantly on my phone from time to time. And I don’t blame him. He deserves my full attention when I’m with him. We had 2 of the best days together because I was fully present with him. I was reminded how these small acts can add up quickly.
Moving forward, I am going to be way more intentional while on the app. I want to follow and engage with those accounts who bring me value and push me forward rather than make me feel like I’m not enough. I am going to set perimeters with how much time I spend on the app at a time so I don’t catch myself sitting there for an hour. I’m working on being productive verses being busy. Believe
me girl, I know it’s a lot easier said than done but already one week later I can already notice a difference mentally.
I said I would touch on how it boosted my page to be seen by more people. I knew Instagram
was hiding my posts because I have a creative account. Which means I can see insights on how my posts do, who my audience is, and then I create content surrounding my audiences interests! When I looked at my posts from a month ago, I would reach over 2,000 people in each of my posts. Before the 2 day cleanse, my posts were reaching around 800 people and my hashtags weren’t generating new
followers despite them being individualized to each post. The post I did right after the 2 days did pretty poorly, then on Monday when I posted, I again reached almost 3x the amount of accounts that I was a few days prior.
I read somewhere that when you take 48 hours off the app, it’s kind of like rebooting your
account. Sometimes Instagram may think you are behaving like a robot and will hide your posts from others and will shadowban you. Which is what I think they did to me. When I took my hiatus, it’s like Instagram ‘forgot’ about that about my account because I wasn’t active on it. Which is why I think my engagement rate went up again once I got back on.
Who knows if that’s exactly why I got more engagement or if I was putting out better content or whatever the reason, but I’m so glad I took the break. It was much needed! Now here’s to being more productive and servicing you all better.
Let me know if this was helpful to you on my last Instagram post and if you would like more
direction on Instagram tactics and how I’m continuing to build my brand through social media.