More and more I’ve come across successful Instagram accounts with large followings that aren’t bloggers but genuine, everyday influencers. For example, a lot of people use Instagram to document their fitness goals or special diet, and over time they attract followers that are interested in the same things. When a user finds themselves with a dedicated and engaged following, there’s the misconception that you don’t need a blog or your own website anymore, that Instagram can stand on its own. But this is why you are wrong.
1. You do not OWN your Instagram account
An Instagram account can be deleted in a flash. In March, both @marchbeautyworld and @erikatheicyone had their accounts removed without warning. Luckily, both ladies were able to have their accounts restored, but what if it had been irreversible? That’s thousands of posts and followers lost. Try to imagine the gut-wrenching feeling of losing all of your hard work and having to build from the ground up all over again.
I just wanted a nice bday vaca, but @Instagram wasn’t having it. My account is gone, hoping to see it restored but working on a back up plan
— Samantha March (@BySamanthaMarch) March 25, 2017
While Samantha’s @marchbeautyworld was down, she tried to create a new account, but the platform completely blocked all of her actions. Once the account was mysteriously restored, she never heard a word from Instagram explaining why the account had gone missing in the first place.
If your Instagram account is mysteriously deleted, how would you get in touch with your followers to let them know where you’ve gone?
2. Instagram is just the social media platform of the day
Every social media platform has had its ups and downs. When I was in college, it seemed critical to have a Facebook profile with all of the groups and events (party invites, let’s be serious). But now, I rarely check it. Now, millennials, the freshman class of Facebook, prefer Snapchat!
But even now, there’s a new tossup: Instagram vs. Snapchat. Last year Snapchat seemed unstoppable, from branded lenses to Spectacles by Snap. Then, Instagram starting ripping off Snapchat’s unique features. They now have more than 700 million users and 400 million daily users, according to The New York Times.
I really don’t even need to mention Vine (RIP).
3. You can’t control Instagram
By now, most bloggers and influencers have heard about Instagram shadow banning. Shadow banning is when your account is blocked from appearing under various hashtags or to other users. Instagram has more or less confirmed that this is indeed happening, according to Later. How frustrating must that be to realize you have no control over your content?
And we can’t forget about the algorithm. When Instagram updated the algorithm, for better or for worse, it just showed that they can and will make the changes – at any cost – to boost platform use. Even though countless influential Instagrammers have shouted to the rooftops about declining engagement, Instagram has not budged. Instagram, at the end of the day, will always do what is best for the platform.
…But your blog is your own
I think of my blog as my homebase. If anyone needs to find my social links or contact info, it’s all here. I have SEO on my side as well as my email newsletter. You can’t easily Google search into Instagram!
Anyone that signs up for my newsletter, similar to any follower on a social platform, communicates to me that they’re interested in my content and would like to stay updated. The difference between the two is, I have a direct means of communication with my email list, where on Instagram or Twitter or Facebook I rely on an algorithm to deliver my message.
Speaking of which, if you’d like to sign up for the Modern Martha newsletter, you can register in the sidebar or in the comments below. (Shameless).
Blogging just not your thing? Instead, you can use your website as a portfolio of sorts, displaying your work and acting as a digital business card. That’s the point of having your own website – it’s whatever YOU want it to be.
You can bet, the day headlines read “Instagram Daily Users Decline” and “Is Instagram in Trouble?” my website will still be here.
I would love to hear your thoughts on whether influencers need a website or not. Leave a comment.