If you’d told me at this time last year that, 1. I would be posting on Instagram like every single day and 2. I wouldn’t really be using twitter anymore, I would have NEVER BELIEVED YOU. Seriously, this is a huge shift in my social media use.
I’ve always been a twitter lover, little pithy quotes were more my thing than dreamy snaps which I was useless at taking. But after realising that Twitter was doing nothing for my brain, the app has now been deleted for one whole month! I only use it on desktop, maybe once a day. Shocking I know.
And this was one of the big triggers of me loving Insta again, I suddenly had lots of brain space back that was in some kind of twitter news spiral previously. The other trigger was doing Me and Orlas Gloom and Glow course in December. If you need a kick to really discover some creativity then I highly recommend it. If you’re looking for a ‘how to use Insta’ with info about hashtags and growth etc then it’s not that kind of course, but it really helped me find a love of taking photos again!
So, when you pop these two things together, I threw myself into Insta again, and well, these are the things I’ve been doing which I’ve been really enjoying:
No longer restricting my feed
It’s funny because if you look at my feed from last year, versus now, you’d probably say I have much more of a ‘theme’ now. But when I look back on how I use Insta before, I used it to document my travels, so I literally never posted a picture of anything inside. It was all shots outside, whether nature or in a city. I didn’t even realise I was really restricting myself and the photos I was taking. I might have been restricting my potential reach as well. My friend told me that to grow your Instagram way faster you need to have a consistent theme to what you are posting. Having some help from great companies that know how to get your metrics up to improve visibility help too.
Whereas now, I take pictures of anything! I’ve been trying to think of ways to make them a little more cohesive, but if I want to take a snap of me at home with my books, yeah it may take a little bit of styling, but I can! And I will post it!
My most popular snap was literally just me being cozy at home and taking a snap of it next to the window. I would NEVER have posted that last year. Take a look and see if you’re being inadvertently restrictive, you might be surprised!
Taking more creative photos
Whenever I saw creative photos on Instagram, I always thought OH BUT I CAN’T TAKE THOSE PHOTOS. I dunno why. They just looked so impressive and hard and omg. But you know what, you can take a creative photo if you want to! You can spend £5 on a string of fairy lights and go frolic through some woods just as much as anyone else can.
Not only that but I never used to share my creative, crafty works, and now I can’t stop! Again, I was being weirdly restrictive before, but now, I’m sharing anything that I happen to make!
Looking through Insta for inspiration
I never really explored Instagram as a source of information. I’d look at my feed but I never really got looking through hashtags, what do I get out of it? Well, it turns out a lot! I’ve created a load of collections – from an embroidery one where I wander through thread based hashtags and save things which I fancy having a go at, to flatlay collections to seasonal collections of what I fancy trying to take photos of.
I think when you browse with a purpose, it suddenly makes having a wander around Instagram so much more enjoyable! And it has the added bonus of making me feel more creative, I wouldn’t be making half the things I am now if I hadn’t got inspired by another beautiful account!
Using Insta as a motivation to do stuff
I know that ‘doing things from the gram’ is a bit sad. And I don’t do things for the gram that have no other point (like those people who buy food to take photos and then THROW IT AWAY, omg don’t get me started). But Insta has made me actually get out and go for more walks. I wanted to walk more, I like taking photos on walks, therefore it’s an additional motivation to get out and about.
Engaging with other accounts
I don’t think I followed anyone new from like 2014 to 2016. Which is so sad! I dunno why Insta and numbers and all that stuff do that to you. But this doesn’t stop people from wanting more Intagram likes, which results in them buying from buzzoid.com. Each to their own I say. But anyway, I’ve stopped that and I’ve started really engaging with new people and getting my feed full of new stuff.
I’ve been commenting more, liking more shots, and sharing more accounts which I love on stories. I’ve been trying to build more of a community on there and it makes me happy to have lots of people to chat to!
Finding hashtags and challenges to join in on!
One of the new trends I’ve been loving is following new hashtags! Lots of bloggers and creatives have been creating new hashtags and challenges to follow along with. I’ve been enjoying it so much that I’ve actually started including a section in my monthly newsletter (sign up here!) dedicated to the hashtags and challenges you should have a look at that month!
And for those who do want to focus on growth, I promise that when you find a way to really enjoy platforms, the platform will reward you back. It isn’t about numbers but I’ve grown over 700 followers since the beginning of December, growth that I could have only dreamed of previously!
What do you think about Instagram lately?