Quitting Instagram: 3 Valuable Lessons We Learned

We know how it sounds: ludicrous. Now more than ever, marketing is mostly limited to social media and deleting one of the most popular platforms would be counterproductive at best, so why even try? We’re not trying to stage a coup against Instagram – experiences are subjective. For some businesses, it’s the perfect medium. But if yours is not a visual brand, it might be time to bid farewell.

YOU ARE NOT A VISUAL 

Instagram started as an indie platform for photographers, hipsters and the artistic-types who wanted to share their visual creations with the world. Now, with over 1 billion people using the platform every month, it’s become the second-ranked traditional social network in terms of active users, behind Facebook.

But with growth come unspoken rules, particularly that of “Instagram-worthy” pictures.

At its core, the medium is a photo-sharing one. Simply put, it requires appealing visual content. For creative businesses, it’s the perfect fit, but even then, gaining followers and engagement on the site entails using a professional photographer.

Of course, smartphones are continually coming out with better cameras. Still, they don’t compete with professional lighting, great angles, and a DSLR.  

Consider if your business is on Instagram because it genuinely benefits from the perks, or if it’s because you think you need to be active on every single social site. If it’s the latter, you might be…

YOU ARE MISUSING THE APP

Like every social media account, your business needs a curated goal-driven strategy.

If you don’t have one, you run the risk of doing more marketing harm than good.

Ergo, the problem with having so many features in an app is that you might be inclined to use them all. All the hashtags, all the filters, as many characters as you can fit, etc. etc. Some companies might also feel the need to share “personal” company photos (outings, parties, activities) on Instagram, which is a great way to connect with your customers, but Instagram is simply not the right medium for it

Of course, it depends on the business (some can get away with the more “light-hearted” photos). Still, generally, Facebook would be a better suit.

Another misuse of the app is posting pictures that, although visually entrancing, do not inspire organic engagement or sales. Same goes with stories. They account for up to 37% of total impressions for businesses, but this number is void if they are used to promote rather than engage.

“The goals for your business might differ, so when looking at the analytics for your site, make sure to bear in mind what pages people are visiting, how long they’re there and if they’re converting how you want them to. Then you can truly see which platform is working the best for you.” – Gina Lucia

YOUR TIME COULD BE BETTER SPENT ON A DIFFERENT PLATFORM

Instagram requires constant attention. Continuous posting, commenting, liking. If it’s your platform of choice, you must be devoted to it.

It’s also important to note restrictions on the app itself:  you can’t add links in the descriptions, you are forced to create videos using its in-built software, and most importantly, the desktop version is sloppy at best, making it almost exclusively smartphone-based.

If your target demographic doesn’t use their phones that much, it’s time to reconsider the platform, especially if the time you put into it doesn’t generate much in return. Note also that Instagram’s algorithms have recently changed, making it more challenging to reach organic traffic.

Look at your stats and check how much traffic your Instagram is generating, and whether visitors are converting. This will help you decide if the figures show that your time could be better spent somewhere else.  

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Although posting in every social site might sound like it’ll give you a wider reach, sometimes effectiveness comes from devoting your resources to one platform, rather than trying them all. Instagram is useful, but it might not be right for your business. It’s more important to find a platform that is relevant to your company and create a strategy that allows you to grow your online presence properly.