My New Instagram Strategy: No Strategy At All

February 22, 2018

A few months ago I shared my advice on creating an Instagram strategy, but I’m here to tell you I’m throwing it all out the window folks and I welcome you to do the same if you’d like.

After months of going back and forth on best posting times, questioning whether or not to use hashtags, wondering if I should focus on my feed or my stories, mulling over whether or not if I should try to take ultra-posed images that seem to be going viral these days or stick to my more natural aesthetic, I’ve taken a deep breath.

I’ve realized that whenever I get too caught up in strategy, the beauty (and enjoyment) of what I actually do fades away. 

I put out a question this past Monday about what has been working for each of you on Instagram. Your responses (some public, some private) were just the push I needed to let it all go. Here’s what I have gathered:

Hashtags

+ Hashtags aren’t as affective as they once were.
+ If you’re going to use them, relevant, personal hashtags are the way to go. Avoid tags with millions of images, stick to smaller, more niche audiences.
+ Don’t count on them for your likes and engagement.

Posting Times

+ There seems to be no rhyme or reason to posting times these days even when if you’re using analytics to track your optimal time.
+ Be natural – post when it works for you. While early engagement on posts has a level of importance, it seems as though posts have a longer shelf life than they used to.
* Can you see me throwing my hands in the air? I don’t know what to tell you guys!

Instagram Stories

+ Share more!
+ Viewers are a little sick of the constant push to follow others, and want more of your real, every day moments.
+ Use all the available resources – swipe up if you have it, polls, GIFS, etc.
+ I’ve noticed (this is purely personal) that when I post more stories I get more views on all my stories. That being said I’ve probably never had more than 10 up in a 24 hour window.

Captions

+ Keep it real people. Short, long, just be honest! Remember that people are following you for YOU.
+ I’ve always been a big fan of starting them off with something engaging or a question. Remember that people have to actually click the read more button so make sure your major point is right up front.

Posed or Natural Photos?

+ Do you, whatever is your thing have at it.

Engagement

+ Be an active part of your community, respond to comments and direct messages in an authentic matter!
+ Don’t be spammy. Instagram picks up on an influx in short comments, likes, follows or unfollows (on your end), purchased likes or follows and so on.

Major lesson people, be real. End of story.

I apologize if this post isn’t overwhelmingly helpful or up-lifting. I wish there was a fast and easy answer to it all, a way we could all help each other pass through the challenges we’re all facing with this platform and come out on top. I truly believe that answer is rooted in authenticity. Stop thinking about what other people want to see or hear and just be yourself. Feels kind of freeing right? What would Instagram be like if everyone just dropped the strategy and stopped taking it all so seriously?

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