This week, I want to talk about the elephant in the room: Instagram.
We’ve all seen content floating around out there with the “3 best tips to grow your Instagram following” from people who think that they’ve got Instagram all figured out. On almost all of these “3 best tips” lists, frequency of posts is almost always referenced.
“Post 4 times a week, 2 times a day”
“Post 7 days a week, 1 time a day”
“Post 5 days a week, 3 times a day”
Every Instagram guru pronounces their own royal posting formula, but the general consensus is this: post as frequently as you can if you want to have any success on Instagram.
I don’t know about you, but that advice gives me a major ICK (for many reasons).
If you don’t already know this about our brand, we are anti “create-shit-just-to-create-shit.” In other words, we harshly disagree with the idea of creating a mass amount of content for Instagram just for the sake of posting frequently.
I think most of us have probably had issues or “break ups” with our friends growing up and, as a consolation, most of our parents have spouted the ever-so-cliché “quality over quantity” as they try to remind us that the quality of the friends we have means much more than having a large group of friends that don’t actually see or understand us. Although many of us may have rolled our eyes at this sentiment as angry thirteen year-olds who only wanted to be friends with cool-girl Sally again, most of us, as adults, can now look back on that time in our lives and realize that our parents were, in fact, right (ugh).
Sally wasn’t a substantive friend and was never really all that nice to you. She wasn’t worth the tears or frustration. Your other friends, the ones who stood by your side no matter what, were the ones that truly mattered…even if that meant that your social circle was smaller. You had less friends, but the ones you had ended up being friends for life.
Trying to post on Instagram 7 days a week just for the sake of posting is like trying to maintain your friendship with cool-girl Sally: a tremendous waste of time.
We want to foster substantive, valuable, and intentional relationships with our communities through our content. We don’t want to flood our communities with content just for the sake of “playing by the algorithm’s rules.” This mentality fosters careless, watered-down content. If the point of our content is to provide value to our communities so that we can build and nurture relationships of trust (so that our communities can, in turn, feel comfortable working with us), then the content we create needs to reflect discernment and care.
What we should all be aiming for is consistency rather than frequency: posting consistently valuable and intentional content on Instagram as many times per week/per month/per year that feels sustainable to us (news flash: this isn’t a set formula given to you by a random Instagram guru!). You can have success with less posts (gasp!) if you make the content you do post actually matter. If you get hyper-focused on the strategy behind your posts, the needs of your ICA, and the cohesiveness of brand voice, you will see your posts get more traction within your community. You will see a better ROI. And, most importantly, you’ll no longer feel like you’re on the tireless hamster wheel of content creation.
So this week, when you catch yourself putting up a post because “you haven’t posted in a while and really should”, take a breath, gift yourself some grace (the frequency in which you post says absolutely nothing about you or your success), and pause: are you really going to give cool-girl Sally the time of day? You’re wiser now. You can choose differently.