2018 has been an intense year. Very intense.
In case you didn’t know, we are only 2 people behind Preview app: me and Andrew. I mostly take care of our Instagram account. So I totally get you if you ever feel overwhelmed by Instagram. I’ve been there, done that. I’ve been burned out too. And I’ve also been totally in love with my Instagram experience: meeting people from all around the world, preparing fun posts, scheduling, searching for new hashtags, featuring you guys, watching your Insta Stories with your beautiful creations (your feeds!).
I’ll be totally honest: it has been a roller coaster.
I’ve felt overwhelmed and I’ve also felt totally in love with Instagram.
And my oh my, this year, I’ve found the sweet spot: how to stay totally in love with Instagram everyday. Yes, it’s possible.
Want to know what goes on in my mind every time I plan our Instagram feed and post?
Here are 5 things I’ve learned about Instagram in 2018:
1. Plan your posts in advance
Ok I’m not saying this because of Preview. Planning helps. Planning works. I mean it. When I don’t plan some posts in advance I’m stressed. When I plan posts in advance, I’m looking forward to the next time I have to post on Instagram! I’m excited! I’m in a good groove.
When I plan, I can also see that you guys are loving our posts more than usual. This is awesome! So I’ve learned to really take my time to plan my posts and enjoy the process.
2. Find your own routine
Have you ever said something like this: “OMG, my analytics are showing that my best time to post is 10pm. But I can’t post at 10pm every day, I’ve got other stuff to do or I’m too tired at the end of a long day. What should I do? Should I post anyway? But I don’t want to post at 10pm *sad face*”.
Here is what I have learned: Don’t force Instagram into your life. Instead, fit Instagram into your life. Find your own routine.
Before, I used to be so strict with myself. So strict, that I would dread posting on Instagram. I would be scared. I would look at the clock and think “Oh gosh… I have to post soon!”.
But that all changed.
I assessed how my days looked like. And thought: “Okay, when is the best time to post for me and my life? When am I not too busy? When can I spend a lot of time on Instagram? When do I have time to read all our DMs? When do I want to check out what our peeps are posting? When do I want to chill and have fun the most?”
For some of you, some of these questions might sound ridiculous. Maybe posting at your best time fits your schedule and you’re having a blast. If that’s the case, keep doing what you’re doing. But if you have ever been in a situation where you don’t feel like posting, keep reading.
Once again, I’ll be totally honest with you: There are so many things I want to do during the day. I love working on Preview to create new features for you. And I also LOVE being on Instagram to hang out with you. So if I could, I would spend the whole day on Instagram. But that’s not possible. I have to set a time aside to be on Instagram otherwise I can’t work on new features.
So I decided to fit Instagram in my routine. Here is how my routine looks like:
- Morning: Check DMs, comments and post an Insta Story.
- Night: Post on Instagram, reshare your Insta Stories in our Insta Story, check out what you guys are posting.
Some days are packed and I’m only able to open Instagram at the end of the day. And that’s okay. By the end of the day, I’m so excited to open my Instagram app and check the Insta Stories you tagged us in. It’s a nice way to end the day.
You might like to start your day with Instagram.
Whatever suits you, find your flow and find your own routine that fits your life.
Like we always say: “Instagram is an app, not a torturing device”.
3. Don’t focus on the numbers
Talking about torture. Numbers (followers, comments, likes) can make you happy, disappointed or sad. Right?!
Have you ever thought: “oh… I didn’t get many likes… oh, I didn’t get many comments… My followers number is not growing…”. We’ve all been there.
Of course numbers can help a lot (analytics).
But I’ve learned that numbers shouldn’t dictate your entire Instagram experience every single day. Otherwise they can kill your vibes and creativity.
Instead of focusing on the numbers, I focus on having fun, helping people, meeting people and sharing my passion. I also take screenshots of the nice comments, messages and Stories you send us. They motivate us. You motivate us. We save them all in a special folder and re-read them.
I also change the way I look at numbers:
Now, behind every number I see a person.
It’s a simple thought, but it is powerful.
Think about it: We see a number of “followers”. But do you realise that if you have 1,000 followers it means that 1,000 people pressed the “follow” button for you? Imagine 1,000 people in a room. That’s a LOT of people!
4. It’s ok to have a break
It’s ok to have a break.
Don’t burn out because of Instagram. It’s totally ok to have a break. Instagram will still be here tomorrow and the day after tomorrow, and the day after that.
Sometimes I take a break from Instagram for 2 or 3 days.
I have learned that after taking a break I feel more refreshed and creative. And when I’m refreshed and creative, I’m having even more fun on Instagram.
Which brings me to my final point…
5. Have fun
What the heck am I doing on Instagram if I’m not having fun?
I made it my motto that:
- I should always have fun when I’m on Instagram, and
- I should always have fun when I’m preparing new posts in my Preview app
Thinking like this dramatically changed my Instagram experience – for the better. I was not focusing on numbers anymore. I was focusing on fun! And then, everything became easy.
If you use Instagram for your business, I challenge you to think this way. It will make such a big difference in your work and life.
If you use Instagram for fun, but you feel stressed, I challenge you to stop putting so much pressure on yourself and to just have fun and create what you want to create.
I truly hope this motto and mindset will help you in 2019 as much as it helped me this year.
That’s it! These were my 5 biggest Instagram lessons of 2018.
What did you learn this year? Do you have other tips that would help us and other people too? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.
And until next time, happy New Year to you, happy planning (have fun!) and see you on Instagram!
Alex & Andrew