2 Big Marketing Lessons From Instagram’s Recent Issue
Well, they did it again. And by “they”, I mean Instagram and “did it again” I mean, had a major glitch yesterday that disrupted lots of brands & businesses marketing efforts.
Whether this affected you or not, let’s recap what happened and what you, the entrepreneur trying to build a life and business you love, can learn from this.
What Happened on Instagram Yesterday
On October 31, many people logged into the Instagram accounts, business or personal, to literally watch as their Follower counts dropped right before their very eyes. Some dropped about 10 or 20, other accounts reported nearly 1,000 being cleared out.
For anyone who’s put time, effort and resources into creating content on a regular basis, this is a BIG blow. It’s like literally watching money be washed down the drain. No one wants that.
At first, it seemed as though Instagram had been clearing out bot accounts, which would actually be a GOOD thing for all as those drag down engagement rates. The bots are literally just the vanity metric of a Follower and since you’re here, you know that we members of the DCM community care more about real metrics (like conversions) than vanity ones. Nonetheless, losing followers is an emotional hit and not knowing why makes it worse.
Here’s the kicker though:
More than just bot accounts got deleted. In fact, a lot of legitimate accounts run by real people just..poof!
Now, this is when Instagram OG Adam Mosseri stepped up and did precisely what I recommend in a crisis management situation and he got transparent(ish), see below, then four hours later addressed the issue had been resolved. That resolution included the return of nearly all the followers that many had seen deleted.
What To Learn From This Issue
Now that you know what happened, the next question to answer is: What can we learn from this?
Lesson 1: Diversify your marketing platforms.
Seriously, I cannot stress this enough. As helpful and fun as Instagram can be for brand awareness, putting all your eggs in that basket can be financially and emotionally detrimental. What if Instagram accidentally (or otherwise) deletes your account and doesn’t restore it? What then?
You would be, quite frankly, S.O.L. and that is a scary position to be in.
This is why you hear me regularly beat the drum for email marketing and I will continue to do so. Building an email list is crucial for long term business success, no matter how you define the word “success.”
Your email list is YOURS. You own it. You control it. Even though you use an email marketing software to disseminate your content to that list, you can still have a hard backup of the list exported regularly to keep on file.
Because as much as I love Instagram, and yes it is admittedly my favorite platform which is why I am testing things and sharing those insights with you regularly, a big issue like yesterday’s has happened before (just one year ago in fact!) and everyone got completely locked out of our accounts.
For those who rely on the platform as the way to communicate to their community and audience, that lock out hurt their business – BIG.
Lesson 2: Relax your approach to social media.
It is easy to get sucked into the comparison game, particularly on Instagram where pretty pictures and motivational quotes of success rule the roost. I am 100% guilty of that🙋🏻♀️ I’ll admit, I want to continue to grow my Instagram account to be larger than I have now. I get the little rush every time I see a new follower notification or a bunch of likes on the Reels I’ve created.
Yep, I’m human and those little notifications are signs that what I am doing is resonating with someone. And I LOVE IT!
However, the flip side to that high is the very real low of not seeing notifications when you create something you are SO proud to have made👎🏻 When you spend time on a piece of content you feel is right on target and don’t see the flood of notifications, oomph. That stings.
Entrepreneurship is such a rollercoaster of emotions in itself, that I did not want to let yet another rollercoaster into the theme park that is my business. Sooo, I decided to flip the script.
Instead of thinking like this:
“I have to do _________________ if I want to compete with everyone else. I have to catch up!”
“Ugh not enough engagement. Whhhyyy??? I work so hard on this content😫”
Then subsequently feeling super down on myself, which inevitably makes me less effective in ALL of my other marketing and client-related projects.
Now I approach it like this:
“Oh I like that audio! How can I use it?”
“No time for fun today, it can hold another day.”
“Lots of likes or only a few, this is 100% representative of me and DCM and that is what matters most.”
And guess what? That second approach has brought back the FUN to marketing on Instagram while still being a functional part of my business.
The key there is “part of” and not where all of my marketing efforts lie because when issues like yesterday happen, I don’t worry about the state of my business.
I don’t worry I’ll lose all my clients or my community, because I have built an email list of that community. I can reach them directly where they spend more time than anywhere else in a business day: their inbox.
As useful as Instagram, or any other social media or third party marketing platform can be, let’s remember that putting all our eggs in one basket is a very risky behavior in many ways. Particularly if that is a borrowed basket and not one you control.
That being said, I remain steadfast in my recommendations that you do not need to ALL the marketing things. You can still specialize. Just choose a couple third party channels (Instagram, Facebook, Google Ads, Advertising, etc) and use them to build your email list, the channel YOU own.
Want some help choosing the right marketing channels for YOUR business?
Book a complimentary 1:1 strategy session on my calendar and let’s get you moving in the right, less-stressed direction.