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Say goodbye to Your Insta-anxiety: 9 Burning Questions Answered by an Instagram Expert
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Sailun Tires

Staying up to date with the constant change of Instagram鈥檚 algorithm is exhausting. You need to rewrite your whole content strategy every few months it seems, because those previous one-liners just don鈥檛 work anymore. Before you start your daily anxious morning routine that consists of scrolling through your feed and testing the plethora of tactics that others have suggested, stop for a moment. Forget about blaming the algorithm, your niche, or your profession, and just try the Instagram expert Alex Tooby鈥檚 advice below. Consider it medicine for your 鈥渋nsta-anxiety.鈥 I promise you; it will work better than any painkiller.

1. Everyone鈥檚 engagement is down

鈥淵ou just need to look at other people鈥檚 engagement鈥揺veryone鈥檚 engagement is down. That鈥檚 the new norm,鈥 Alex Tooby says. 鈥淚 know it sucks, but it comes down what actions people are taking: if 10 people saw your post, and 6 ended up buying your stuff, that鈥檚 worth more! But it鈥檚 all relative, for sure, it matters to influencers.鈥 Here鈥檚 a tip for something that works all the time, no matter how the algorithm is changed: it鈥檚 being relatable.

2. It鈥檚 time to learn how to engage

The secret of engagement is being relatable. It鈥檚 not enough if you just have a beautiful feed, Alex points out, 鈥淭he visual aspect is the core. After that, it鈥檚 really about providing value,鈥 Alex Tooby says. 鈥淟ot of people just post pictures about food, and they think they are bloggers. If you are a food blogger, I want to know what it is you are eating, and why you chose that. If you are a mom blogger and you are posting about the struggle that you haven鈥檛 slept in the last three nights, that鈥檚 what makes people follow you, not just the nice pictures.鈥

SSENSE GLOBAL

3. Whatever makes you uncomfortable is the thing you should be doing

鈥淪hould I really post this?鈥 Every single time this question has crossed my mind in the last 5 years, I knew I had to do it. Alex has the same experience. 鈥淪howing your flaws makes you relatable,鈥 she says. 鈥淎nytime you open up on the internet, all you get back is positive reinforcement. You have to take the risk. Whatever makes you uncomfortable–is the thing you should be doing.鈥

4. Forget IGTV

When IGTV was born, everyone kept asking: is IGTV or YouTube the future? But the truth is, there鈥檚 no way that Instagram can make it as huge as YouTube for many reasons. 聽鈥淭here鈥檚 no searchability. The only way you can search [on IGTV] is by username,鈥 Alex Tooby says. 鈥淚f you are trying to grow your audience, IGTV doesn鈥檛 help in that sense. I鈥檝e just started my YouTube channel and am already seeing an amazing return on that. I am finding it much easier to rank on YouTube than on Google by the same blog post.鈥

聽5.聽Forget expensive apps

You may be surprised that upping your Instagram game is easier than you imagine. That鈥檚 also Alex Tooby鈥檚 mindset when it comes to building a business on Instagram. It鈥檚 so easy to overthink it, and spend a ton of money buying all the popular apps. But if you are creative, you could manage all of your edits inside of Instagram, as Alex does. 鈥淚 do almost everything inside of Instagram,鈥 Alex says. 鈥淵ou can get really creative if you just use the stickers, the highlights, all of it. You can learn to figure out what your style is.鈥

6.聽#SoManyHashtags

There are many contrary beliefs when it comes to hashtags. Some say that the algorithm only wants you to use five, but others have different opinions, including Alex. 鈥淚 use all 30 of them,鈥 Alex says. 鈥淚 have few guidelines when it comes to hashtags: they should be descriptive of you and your audience. You need to get into the mindset of your target market and what they would search. I usually suggest using hashtags that have less than 500k posts associated with them. A lot of people just use the most popular hashtag but so many people use those hashtags that your post is just going get buried and that鈥檚 a waste. Try using 5 popular ones, and 15 unique ones.鈥

聽7.聽Instagram puts an algorithm in place to benefit the user

No matter how stressful the algorithms seem to be, they鈥檙e here to stay. 鈥淓ven if it doesn鈥檛 seem like it, Instagram wants you to see the content that you previously said you liked. They want you to find the accounts they think you are going to engage with. They are trying to do it for you,鈥 says Alex Tooby. 鈥淧eople have a hard time understanding that. They think, 鈥榤y post didn鈥檛 do well because of the algorithm.鈥 But there鈥檚 usually a reason why it didn鈥檛 do well, and it鈥檚 not because of the algorithm.鈥

8. Never buy followers

Buying followers is equivalent to killing your own brand. Once you do it, you can spend as much money as you want on ads, yet Instagram will never let you grow organically. 鈥淭hat鈥檚 where the algorithm comes into place,鈥 Alex says. She suggests that Instagram鈥檚 algorithms know: 鈥溾榶ou gained followers, but none of them are liking your photos, none of them are visiting your feed, and none of them are clicking your link. You must have shit content. We probably shouldn鈥檛 show your content then.鈥 If you made the mistake of buying followers, it can be difficult later on,鈥 says Alex Tooby. What can you do if you鈥檙e in this situation? Start over and forget buying fake followers. The number one rule of social media: If you don鈥檛 pay your friends to be around, don鈥檛 do the same with your followers. Create engaging content, and people will come and stay.

9. Content: How much is too much?

Since entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk rose in popularity, we see the tendency of people starting to create long format content even on Instagram. 鈥淚 am finding that longer captions work,鈥 Alex says. 鈥淚 need room to explain the tip I am trying to get across, and if you are going to tell a story, you need space to get it all out.鈥 That鈥檚 where formatting can be very important. For some weird reason, Instagram still doesn鈥檛 offer the kind of formatting that is the most important: line breaks. 鈥淵ou can use Later for that. [Before using Later,] you just had to search for an invisible character, and you can paste it in,鈥 says Alex Tooby.

Using Alex Tooby鈥檚 pointers, you may see Instagram as more simple and accessible. I鈥檓 not saying that it鈥檚 easy to come up with great content ideas several times a week, but if you really test these tips and try to follow Alex鈥檚 mindset, you will realize that there鈥檚 not much to stress about. Go and continue building your empire and release your insta-anxiety鈥 for good.

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