O Instagram why do you tease me so? I have spent so much time courting you, spending time trying to get to know you. What makes you "like" and what makes you "unfollow"? Are selfies really that important to you?I am steadfast in my commitment (possibly addicted?) and will not give up the pursuit!
This is how I have been feeling since December 9th, 2014 when we posted our first ever Instagram. I thought I could tackle this social media thing fairly easily. I'm social. I read People and US Weekly. I text. All we have to do is put great content out there, and the people will flock. Right?
In a word? No.
Why do we care so much about increasing our following on Instagram? With so many social outlets available (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat...) why make Instagram the priority now? For starters, we are a small company—literally two people—and the toughest decision we make each day is how to prioritize our time. Instagram is straightforward and image based. It fits our brand, and quite frankly, we like it best. Last but not least, I'm the one who's in charge of social media, and to be honest, Instagram just seems like something I can understand.
Remember, I'm forty. (and as a good friend of my advised me, "You can stay 40 for a few years, then 41 a few....")
The first few months on Instagram we had a very small following of almost exclusively family and friends (Thank God for Irish Catholic families with abnormally large amounts of kids- you are our best supporters!!). Growing our following has been a major priority for us over the past six weeks. If you read our blog, then you know how much Alt Summer 2015 helped us hone in on this effort. We took a hard look at what people were responding (and not) and starting really utilizing the dream toolIconosquare to monitor our wins and losses—and learn from them. I became much more active on Instagram. I started following a ton more people and checking it almost constantly.
Basically, I have become a power house millennial and I love it. (FYI-Nell edited that line in)
We've also (well, mostly Nell) been working on creating a much higher quality feed. We invested in a new lens and Nell has been working on her photography skills, creating custom backdrops, and trying to find the best way to capture the playfulness of childhood and creating a style all our own.
We've learned that growing a large and genuinely interested following takes time. Time we have invested in creating really beautiful imagery, time to spend fostering relationships online and time to wait for it to grow organically. As much as I wished and hoped and dreamed that 1 million followers would happen overnight, I know that is unrealistic.
...well maybe not entirely unrealistic. I'll leave you with this fun social experiment, or more of an observation. Kendall Jenner is one of the most followed people on Instagram, in the world. Visit herfeed (this is not an endorsement of content) and click on her most recent image. Then click refresh. Click it again. Watch her likes grow by tens of thousands per second!
Oh to be a Kardashian/Jenner.... or Not.