The shocking reality of Instagram...

Have you noticed a big change on Instagram of late? Are you spending time and effort creating content for Instagram only to post it and hardly anyone see it or engage with it? Is your Instagram content struggling to do what you need it to do like drive sign ups to your email list or traffic to your website?

If any of that sounds familiar, you are not alone.

I'm a strategic social media manager so I love the collection of data from social media as much as I love creativity #datanerd

The graph immediately below is a true representation of what's currently happening to business accounts on Instagram. This is from an established brand that has a beautiful premium product and a wonderful brand story but even with those fundamental foundations, growth on Instagram can be best described as erratic.:

Instagram is currently in a state of crisis.

There. I've said it.

The endless feature updates which users can't keep up with (or even understand why Instagram have launched them e.g. stickers on reels when we already have them on stories anyone?!), the chaotic immersive feed update in the quest to replicate TikTok, the heavy bias on creators leaving business users in the dark and Mosseri's recent cryptic post about going back to being a photo sharing app. It really does feel like Instagram don't even seem to know what Instagram are doing.

I'm a business owner who supports other business owners and when you combine Instagram's cataclysm, the fall out from the global pandemic crisis and the current cost of living crisis, promoting products or services is harder than ever.

This blog isn't about being defeatist. It is about being a realist. There's so much about Instagram we can't control. But the reality is, we can control how agile we are when it comes to scaling back on what's not [currently] not working and dialling up what is working and what has the potential to work harder.

Social media marketing is more than just one platform and you can promote your products and services in more places than just Instagram.

For my brand clients whose accounts I strategise and manage, Pinterest, Facebook and email marketing are easily outperforming Instagram, giving a much greater return on the time and effort that goes into creating the content shared on them.

Take this profile growth and discovery graph from Pinterest. Growth is steady. Steady is sustainable and that's bringing monthly views that are significantly higher than Instagram's reach by a long way. And it's those all important views that drive that even more important web traffic:

So my professional advise...

It isn't about not doing Instagram. It's about still going Instagram and doing it well. But think about the actions you can take to scale back on Instagram and make time and space to to allow you to focus on nurturing your other social media channels, too (the ones relevant to your business obvs).

Part of the art of good social media is to try, test and tweak. So trial this for a period of time and see what impact it has.

It's why you'll see me less on Instagram for the time being, because I'm doing more else where. And so far, it's proving much more efficient, effective and enjoyable.

And if you need help switching up your social media strategy, I'm here.


Carrie Emmerson is the Founding Director at Social Media TLC - helping eCommerce brands grow their visibility and revenue. There are two ways I can help you; on a bespoke Consultancy basis OR you're welcome to take one of me custom courses or masterclasses. Visit or drop me an email and we'll set up a call to chat through what's right for you.