Instagram, it’s a learning process.

This morning I was groggy. I could barely make myself get out of bed. My cat was calling for his food from the other room, my phone was full of unread emails, and my to-do list was not doing itself. I literally rolled out of my bed, my feet catching their balance before I hit the floor. It’s definitely a Thursday.

As I was on the elliptical in the gym before work a message popped on my phone: “Congratulations! You got us to 300!” Immediately a huge smile spread across my face and my work out got more intense with the sudden increase in adrenaline. It was a message from my Mom, and she was telling me that we had reached another goal- 300 followers on Instagram.

Now 300 may not seem a lot to most- especially Instagram influencers who have thousands of followers- but for a small business starting completely from scratch? It’s definitely a milestone to celebrate.

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve gotten into an almost obsession with how to Instagram correctly (yes I just made Instagram a verb, thank goodness English is such a forgiving language).  I’ve been listening to hundreds of Youtube videos while at work and reading articles on increasing followers and engagement. Their tips have ranged from strategies on how to correctly pick hashtags to how to get around the Instagram algorithm.

After listening to all these videos, I started to implement all of these changes at once. I brainstormed hashtags that corresponded with our strength as an Instagram page, meaning if you have under 500 followers and use a hashtag that has over 1 million uses your post has very little chance of being seen. Conversely, if you use hashtags that have under one thousand to five thousand uses, you are more likely to be on the “Top” Instagram posts for that hashtag.

Then I was working on trying to post more regularly. We decided that we were going to do a #12daysofideas for gift giving ideas. This was the perfect excuse to get into a habit of posting every day and so far it has been great. I’ve gotten into a rhythm of posting, and more importantly of engaging with the people that we follow. We are still small on Instagram, but it is crazy how reactive people can be when you comment on their posts!

What I’m learning from all of this is that I will never stop learning how to Instagram (yup, did it again). There will always be a thousand different tips on how to gain more “organic” followers or how to increase viewership and engagement. But the biggest lesson I’m taking away from all of this is that I just need to enjoy it.

I’ve started getting excited for every post that I create. For every design, I get excited to see it on our page. I’m beginning to stop worrying about how many likes that individual post gets because the biggest deal is how we engage with the people that are seeing us.

I still listen to all the tips and tricks and I like trying out new things. It is all part of the process to find our voice as a company. We don’t want to be getting followers through tricks, but we will use those tips to see how we can reach the audience that we want to reach, and have fun doing it along the way.