Redefining success on Instagram

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Maybe there is a new way to think about engagement

Ok, so before I write this I want to be honest and say there are some days I get very sad and frustrated with my lack or growth on Instagram and my lower engagement rate, I’m not going to lie. Some days I feel like it sucks but day by day I’m getting better and I, for one, can’t wait until Instagram hides likes because I feel like the pressure will be off me.

The whole idea of Instagram hiding likes has made me really think about engagement and what engagement really means. Good engagement normally means getting lots of saves, likes and comments with some influencers offering shout out for saves to try to improve a post’s performance. Don’t get me wrong, getting a lot of likes and saves on a post feels good.  And with brand and users alike being obsessed with numbers, I guess a high number of likes or saves will always be the goal. Whilst it will certainly stroke your ego to get a “you look great babe” comment and get you places that others can’t access, what do the likes, saves ,shares and comments really mean in terms of your followers, and what you are doing for them?

I guess perhaps I was never meant for this influencer world; a quiet girl who wants to do anything other than be loud, who cringes when she sees people offering shout outs in exchange for saves (trust me, no one will follow you from this), and is yet to understand what comments like ‘you’re really creative’ even mean. There has to be more than ego, popularity and been in the right gang to influencing surely?

It’s been something I’ve battled with a lot, it’s something I’ve thought about a lot, and something I’ve researched a lot. The closest so far I have found to any answer is the words of @officiallyquigley, who has started to turn influence on its head measuring it by what we give, rather than what we get, which I kind of dig. Our followers got us where we are, surely, we owe it all to them?

This got me thinking about what I want to bring to the world and what I think engagement is. What is my yardstick for success not what is someone’s else’s? Sounds so simple, but it’s no easy task I can assure you.

I’ve taken a lot of time with myself and with my mum thinking about this and we (eventually) figured out how I want to serve the world and what I feel my job here is to do. While I won’t go into that here, because honestly, who cares but me? But what it did do was change the way I think about engagement. If I’m here to do X for the world and I want my followers to feel Y, then surely I judge success of a post not on likes, saves and ‘you look great babe’ comments but on real conversations I’ve had with my followers on the things that matter to them and to me. The amount of people I’ve made feel something deep rather than something fleeting. The amount of conversations I’ve had about important things other than letting people know where I got my latest dress, earrings etc: (not that I won’t sometimes do that sometimes, or that there is anything wrong with it).

What I’m trying to say in a somewhat long winded fashion is that engagement or success can be whatever you define it as. And if we let other people define success for us will we never be happy. So in a world where engagement means everything, I’ve decided that meaningful conversations are what matter most to me and I suggest you redefine success for you too, believe me it’s so freeing.

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