Instagram: The Big Benefits Of Being Small
Chasing numbers is an urge that’s pretty much inescapable online.
Much as there’s discussion out there on what to place our value upon in the social world, it’s still difficult not to look at our follower counts and wish they were higher.
Thankfully, folks like Sara Tasker of @me_and_orla have helped to redirect the conversation. Instead of valuing solely our follower stats, it’s important that the focus shifts to the factors that actually serve the purpose of social media, and add the most value. For fellow business owners, this means sales and clients, over empty followers who don’t connect with our brand.
But, there are concrete benefits to all of us with the pint-sized followings that keep us from that Swipe Up link in our Stories… (Helpful though that Swipe Up would be!) Smaller accounts reap benefits that elude those who seem to have it all, and I’ve got my thinking cap to share the biggest advantages of being small today.
PEOPLE DON’T SIMPLY FOLLOW…
For small accounts, there’s no crowd to copy. There’s no number to entice. There’s no status to see. This means that someone is following because of you, your value, your images, your voice, and not because they can see others have done the same. Smaller accounts with beautiful posts stand out in a unique way; we’re more likely to stop and wonder how a creator so talented can possibly have a small number attached to their name. I find that it leads me to want to “champion” them; it feels almost like an injustice when a worthy account doesn’t have the recognition we know it deserves. Your content is what stands out, and not your follower count.
A smaller following is always going to be far easier to build a community around. We may be harder to find, as fewer followers automatically means less visibility… but those that do find us will always be so much more engaged. The smaller accounts I follow tend to share images that resonate with me, rather than the slick, perfectly styled, obviously posed shots that I see from many larger profiles. Accounts without a huge following can feel less accessible and less like “real” people; this means I am usually not going to comment on a big account’s posts because I feel like one of a number, rather than one of a community. Fewer followers mean that responding to comments we receive is simpler, and that we can respond more deeply when we do… I know that not hearing back from an account when I comment instantly makes me less likely to do so in the future.
INNOVATION IS EASIER
Switching things up is a whole lot more achievable when we’ve got a smaller but more dedicated following. There is no pressure to keep hold of an existing following, so we are freed up to experiment and really find our unique voices. I think we undervalue to freedom that the earlier stages of content creation can afford; we can see which styles appeal most, which captions feel right, and explore what we want to share in posts and Stories, without worrying that we’ll lose an audience we have worked hard to grow. I think that it can be motivating too, as we can feel a stronger drive to push what we are capable of sharing online.
FINALLY: LASTING FRIENDSHIPS CAN FORM
Many of the ladies I speak to most online are the ones I started talking to when I was just starting out blogging and Instagramming. I’m pretty sure that, as you’re been seen by and speaking to fewer people, there’s a chance to connect on a deeper level. There’s a certain solidarity in wanting to build people up from the beginning, especially when you are both new to the online world… I’ve been lucky enough to meet a handful of these Insta-friends in real life, and it’s amazing to see how much we have in common from the get-go… It’s a special and uniquely millenial experience!