Opinion

Why I unpublished my business’ Instagram account

Marketer Jane Hillsdon decided to deactivate her business Instagram account when it was less than two years old. In this crossposting from Smallville, she explains why.

Last week I unpublished my business’ Instagram account.

I started the account in April 2016 and in the time between then, and now I had amassed 3,296 followers. However, there was something that just did not feel right.

As a marketing consultant who spends a good many hours a week marketing on behalf of other small businesses, my own businesses marketing can sometimes be a little neglected. I am certainly active with my marketing as, after all, this is what I espouse and champion with not only my clients but also my tribe. Marketing is an essential ingredient when it comes to growing a business.

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

However, just like most small business owners, I have very limited time to attend to my marketing channels.

I’m lucky that I know what I’m doing so I can get my own marketing done pretty efficiently. This though does not mean that I have time to waste on ineffective channels that don’t work for my business. So when I identify a dud. I’m out.

Disclaimer: I have quit my business Instagram profile; however I still have a personal Instagram profile and an Instagram account for my podcast. These accounts are going just fine.

So why did I quit?

I will preface these reasons with the fact that I didn’t make this decision overnight. I studied my business account as well as a whole host of other accounts to try and ascertain if there was something I was missing before I quit. There wasn’t.

The engagement on my posts was so unbelievably low.

To make sure that it wasn’t just dud content or bad timing that was causing this disturbingly low figure, I shared the posts out via my Facebook page as well. The same posts were going great guns on Facebook.

The content on this Instagram page used to get awesome engagement. But that all changed last year when changes were made to the platform that affected organic reach levels. I did also check to see if my page had been shadow banned – it hadn’t.

I’m not convinced my ideal client uses Instagram in the way I need them to.

When I say, ‘ideal client’, I’m referring to the target persona that I have identified as being a perfect fit for my business and who will, at some point, part with their cash to engage me for their services.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved getting likes and comments from people, everyone does. But does this shift the business needle in the right direction?

I provide a professional service, so I don’t have a lot of awesome imagery to share.

And I’m not a graphic designer either. And I’m not willing to pay one to create gorgeous content for people to just like. People are on Instagram to look at beautiful and inspiring imagery; this is just not something I could deliver easily.

Not everyone has Insta-perfect photos to share

I love reposting other people’s awesome and beautifully crafted content. But that’s not a page that reflects my business, that’s a page that curates’ stuff from other people’s businesses.

It just felt like vanity metrics to me.

For a lot of reasons, I just did not feel like I was making a change with my Instagram page. I felt I was contributing content for the sake of contributing content. The likes just felt like validation as opposed to momentum.

My other social media pages (Facebook and LinkedIn) are where I feel that my business creates real impact. It is on those pages that I feel I can add real value.

The learning from this revelation?

If you notice that one of your marketing activities is not performing, it’s time to review its relevance and priority in your marketing plan and budget.

While I was not paying any money to promote my content out via Instagram, it was taking a lot of time to create the prolific amount of engaging content that Instagram accounts require to thrive.

These days, time is almost more valuable than money, and it’s not something that any of us can afford to waste.

Jane Hillsdon is the founder and managing director of Dragonfly Marketing. This post first appeared on smallville.com.au.

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