Oh Instagram. The social media platform we all love to hate, and hate it we do with its continuous algorithm changes that make our jobs so much harder and leave many of us *face palm*-ing with frustration when we see we’ve gained another 20 followers but lost 40. Oh Instagram, home of those girls with the legs up to here and golden tans that appear to spend approximately 98% of their time on the beach and the other 2% eating disgustingly healthy acai bowls and doing yoga while I sit at home in my flat eating mug shot pasta sachets and share sized bars of Galaxy every evening.
I’m not bitter I promise, I’m just increasingly frustrated. See I’ve come to a conclusion – and I beg of you here to prove me wrong – that without a large Instagram following it’s becoming very difficult to have any success within our industry. I don’t remember the last time a brand asked me how many people actually follow my blog, or asked for my monthly blog stats – instead they look at the number of Youtube subscribers you have (if video content is your bag) and of course how many Instagram followers you have.
More and more frequently, micro-influencers are being defined by the following they have on that platform alone rather than the traction they may have on Twitter or their blog instead, no matter what their primary platform of choice may be; and this is increasingly leaving me questioning whether or not it is actually possible for me to be successful until the glorious moment my numbers have a ‘k’ after them rather than just a few measly 0’s.
I hate that I’m even stressing myself out over Instagram, but as someone who takes pride in every single piece of content I produce no matter how big or small, it’s soul destroying to see it get lost in the masses. I think it’s doubly frustrating after the recent Instagram bot drama that saw so many people outed for using underhand tactics to get ahead. The sad thing is that while I wouldn’t engage in it myself, I actually don’t always blame them. The whole ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’ saying springs to mind and it makes me wonder how those truly honest bloggers among us are supposed to enjoy even a shred of success for the content they’ve worked so hard to produce when those who’s desire to succeed burns so hard they’d buy their way in with brands.
But then again, hasn’t that been the way of the world for centuries? Some gain their favour in their trusted network or industry by sheer talent and hard work, while others buy their way in and never look back.
This post is fast turning into something I never intended it to be, but I guess maybe I’ve been hanging onto these feelings for a while. I guess all I’m really trying to say is that while Instagram is still a huge love in my life, I am starting to resent what it has become; and resent even more that without a strong Instagram following, hugely talented bloggers and Youtubers are being passed over for those with a ‘k’ no matter how they achieved that number.
Do you think you can be a successful influencer without the Instagram numbers? Let me know in the comments.