How to stay happy on Instagram

Instagram can be a wonderful, inspiring social network and amazingly powerful for growing your business – however it can also be addictive, create FOMO (fear of missing out) and bring you down. If you’re feeling a little blue from Instagram, don’t worry, I know I’ve certainly felt like that at times, but with a few simple steps you can get back to loving the platform!

So, here’s a quick guide on how to get back to enjoying Instagram.

1. Remember it is not real life!

Instagram is only showing a snapshot of someone’s life, not the everyday reality. It is a few key highlights that are often highly edited. If you can accept that what you are seeing is not reality, is makes it easier to not get jealous.

Never compare your backstage life to their highlights reel.

2. Only follow accounts that make you happy

If accounts that you are following make you feel inadequate, jealous or down, ask yourself, why are you following them? Choose to only follow accounts that inspire you or whose content makes you smile and you’ll enjoy the platform a lot more (if that means you feed is mainly filled with kittensofinstagram, so be it).

What about if there are friends or colleagues you need to follow because they would be offended if you didn’t but that aren’t making you happy? Luckily Instagram has a solution for this. On the right-hand-side of an image in your feed, you can press the three dots and you will see an option come up including “mute”. This allows you to still follow someone but not see their posts or stories.

3. Don’t focus on the numbers too much

Remember, having an engaged audience is more important than lots of followers. Try not to worry too much about someone else’s numbers, after all, you don’t know how someone has got their numbers – they could have bought them, done lots of paid advertising, or just spent years working at creating awesome content, in which case, try to be happy for them and learn from them!

4. Engage, engage, engage

If you are trying to grow your audience, make sure you are engaging with those already following you. Remember you are trying to build your tribe, not just collect numbers. Focus on gaining fans not followers!

5. Limit your time on the app

I go back to point 1 – Instagram is not real life, so make sure you are actually living your life! I know lots of people who have routines where they don’t allow themselves to look at Instagram just before bed or first thing in the morning. Limit your time on the platform – if you have a business account you can see how long you’ve been using it for – I’d suggest anything over 30 minutes a day might be excessive.

6. Plan your posts in advance

If you are using Instagram for your business, make sure you plan your posts in advance to take the daily stress away. There are great apps like Preview which is my personal favourite that allows you to do this. You can then plan all your posts at the beginning of the week and then focus on spending your time post post engaging with your audience. 

If you’re not sure how often or when to post check out my tips for this here.

7. Don’t get hung up on unfollows

This is something loads of people obsess about and we’ve all had it. You gain 2 followers one day but loose 5 the next. Try not to let this worry you, there are plenty of reasons someone might have unfollowed you. Often they are playing the follow/unfollow game to try and increase their following and it has nothing to do with you (see why not to do this here). Or maybe your content is no longer relevant to them? For instance, if you are a baby brand and they followed you when their children were babies but now your content is less relevant to them, it doesn’t mean your content is bad, it is just no longer as relevant to them. Or maybe you are living a wonderful life, showing your adventures and it was making them envious, in which case, try to be grateful for what you have rather than worrying about someone unfollowing you.

Is now a good time to ask if you’d like to follow me on Instagram?!

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