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Have you ever found yourself obsessing over how many Instagram followers you have? Or how many social media followers or ‘likers’ or ‘connections’ do you have or want?

I think we all have!

Last week I was getting ready to celebrate a big Instagram milestone for Empty Desk Solutions – 2,000 followers!

Earlier this year, I was stuck at about 750 followers and it had been that way for a VERY LONG TIME (almost 8 years to be exact!)…

So I hired my friend Jennifer (@mountaintopconsulting on Instagram) to help me identify the proper content strategy for me, and then I also hired my other biz bestie Stephanie (@thevioletstef on Instagram) to help me dig into my colours and personal bran to see if I was truly aligning with my ideal customer…

I locked in the type of content I wanted to create, and then went on to hire a VA to help me with the ‘engagement activities’ (commenting on posts that are relevant and helping me create conversations).

Something amazing started to happen…

The followers started trickling in!

I’m not talking hundreds a week, but a few a day, and over the next 6 months we went from 750(ish) to almost 2000. In fact, on Thursday of last week, I made myself a note to get my ‘Thank you 2,000 follower’ post ready so that I could schedule it while I headed away with the family for a couple of days to enjoy the weekend and celebrate my husband’s birthday.

So there I was, all packed up with the kids, checking my phone one last time before we got in the car to head to our beautiful hotel and I thought, ‘I should just check my accounts and email one last time before I turn off of social media for a couple of days’.

I open Instagram, and I see:

I lost NINE HUNDRED (or approximately 50%) of my followers overnight.

I took to a few groups I am in to ask what might have happened.

Most answers are ‘don’t buy followers’ (which I don’t and never have), and others are saying ‘you had bots following you, Instagram probably just cleaned the accounts’.

Buy guys, there is no way in heck that half the accounts we worked HARD to get as followers were fake accounts. When I get a new follower, I check out the profile and see who they are and if they have real content etc.

It has to be a glitch of some kind on Instagram’s part.

But, I’ve been here before. My accounts were hacked and compromised last year and it was a four-month fiasco to get them back. So I at least know not to panic even though I’m incredibly frustrated.

I’m sharing this with you today for a few reasons:

  1. I have ALWAYS said ‘don’t put all of your eggs in one basket’ – in this case I mean, yes it’s ok to focus on growing one account for your business, but I would still have multiple social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn etc) that your content gets posted to, and if one channel isn’t accessible or tanks, you can move to another one to communicate with your audience.
  2. You absolutely HAVE TO grow your email list. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again… it’s the only thing (besides your website) that you truly own online. If you aren’t trying to get people on your email list, you’re in big trouble if the social media landscape changes drastically. I’m talking to you META…
  3. I want you to know that I am RIGHT THERE WITH YOU! Even someone who does social media for a living still has these challenges every single day.

So… let out that frustration, and remind yourself, it’s all part of the small business game. We just have to continue to pivot and learn new strategies.

As for me… I’ll be over here thinking of ways to keep growing my email list so I’m not hostage to the social media networks.

Oh, and PS – I will be opening the doors to the Confident with Content™ the Community riiiiiiiight before Black Friday and it will be your last chance to get in this year before the doors close again.

Confident with Content™ the Community is a membership that gives you fill in the blank content and images (5 days a week, every week!) each month, and we host a ‘zoom work with me party’ to get it all done in a fraction of the time it takes you to do your content now. Stay tuned for the enrollment period coming up!

Until next time – cheers! Have a great week (and don’t stress about the small social media challenges, you’ve got this 💪)


PS: I’m looking for guests on the Lady Biz Cafe podcast! If you want to hop on and talk #MomLife #EntrepreneurLife and #SmallBusinessMarketing with me, please let me know – I’d love to have you!