INSTAGRAM - FRIEND OR FOE?
Finding the Balance
I have to admit, I was a slow adopter of Social Media, I still remember being in Bali and my dear friend Pete said “oh my God girl, you need to get on Instagram”
I downloaded the App that night an obsessed for hours over what my first post should be. By this time I had only just mastered the art of Facebook then it was deemed “out of date and for your folks” But if I'm being really honest, I'm just a little old fashion in my ways and I'm ok with that.
Don't get me wrong, I love Social Media for the inspiration it provides, the images of far away places and of course, to see what friends and family are up to. I guess you could say, just like slow flowers, I like slow social.
It’s fair to say that I'm never really going to be ahead of the game when it comes to Instagram, or technology as a whole. Keeping up with all the changes to Instagram algorithms around 18 months ago have made it very hard to gain traction for many of us, and certainly growth levels have slowed down considerably as a result.
At first I thought it was just me! I was feeling embarrassment, worrying about the failures and confused with what I was doing wrong? For a while, until I opened up to my fellow floral tribe, I didn’t realise that this was an across the board scenario, and that many were feeling the struggle.
So for anyone reading this, you are not alone.
When I decided to follow my passion and work with Flowers full time I was a fresh faced 48 year old.I was coming out the other side of grief and what better than the gentle world of flowers? So I studied, threw myself whole heartedly at this venture and began to educate myself on all things tech (with the help and guidance of some great friends).
I’ve been posting photos of flower arrangements after attending classes, of my wonderings in awe of all things floral. My confidence grew little by little and then later I decided it was time to launch a website and get a little more strategic.
In doing this I've realised that I still need to stay true to my core and use Instagram at a slow speed and keep it organic no matter how much my business needs to grow because that’s who I am, that's my social game DNA.
So I decided to write a little list of what I do and don't want out of Instagram
The Bad Stuff
Taking up way too much time
Not seeing the inspiration I want to
Negative energy comments (not often)
Embarrassed when I don’t get likes or Reels watches
Obsessing over being unfollowed
Wanting to unfollow but being afraid of hurting someone
Not knowing how many times to Post and what to Post?
Comparing myself to others
What I adore about Instagram and Social media is the connector – the alchemy and alignment it offers to like minded humans. I've connected with some beautiful souls across the world all through the language of flowers and wanting to support each other. My beautiful friend @vidaenbloom in California has been a sista supporter to me since I launched my Instagram account with a whole 2 followers.
So heres the list of things that serve me in a positive way
Making new friends
Connecting with like-minded humans
The visual delight
Watching my friends and fellow small business warriors grow their dreams
Looking back at my grid shots to measure my business evolution (and am never tough on myself)
Measure my confidence
Funny conversations and clever banter
Watching the seasons evolve around the world through flower posts
In short, Social media should motivate and inspire and while my positive list is longer than the negative I'll persist!
So for me, the best move I did was write down a few reminders of what works and doesn't work for me with Social media. I now limit the time I spend on Instagram (currently its 1.5 hours a day) to free up time for creativity, dedicated practice, conversations with friends and family and my writing. I no longer feel down about the amount of follows I have (or don’t have) and I'm happy about the ones I do have and support them too by celebrating their success.!
I'll continue to focus on what inspires me and what matters, like nature, nurture, travel and sustainability. There will also be mentions of my wonderings and of course my puppy Lenny, Basically, you’ll see me for me.
I hope that if anyone else has been feeling as I have, that it helped to let you know you're not alone and that the positives should out way the negatives.
I truly believe success finds the right partner and what will be will be. If you stay true to yourself you’re already celebrating a win!
See you on the gram and please say hello xx
Ps. This is my first ever IG post and I still love it!