I quit Instagram for my business. With only 457 followers, I decided to throw in the towel and say goodbye to the influencer-heavy, image-rich platform.
So you may be wondering, why with only 457 followers, should I be reading an article about why you decided to quit Instagram?
After over a year on the platform, Limit Breaker amassed 457 followers (most of which didn’t see its posts) and on average 5-10 website visitors per week.
In contrast, for these 5-10 visitors per week, I was putting in about 10 hours per week on the platform. Sometimes much, much more. If we round those visitors up, I was spending about an hour per visitor – that makes absolutely no logical sense.
I know you agree.
Why I quit Instagram
This article isn’t just about me though, it’s also about you. So, I’m going to go through some of the main reasons why I decided to quit Instagram for my business and why you might want to as well.
In each section, I’ll ask a few questions which you can use to start thinking about your own activity on Instagram.
Before that though, I want to start by saying this was my own decision and is one that doesn’t at all reflect on anyone else.
Over the year that I was on Instagram for Limit Breaker, I met and developed great relationships with some wonderful people. Those connections didn’t stop just because I quit Instagram. In fact, they became deeper as we collaborated and connected in different ways.
Instagram can be a great place for expanding the reach of your audience, delivering your message and making genuine connections. It can also be a place of social media comparison, lack of transparency and distraction.
Are you on Instagram because you’ve been told you need to be?
If you’re getting online marketing advice from people on Instagram who are telling you that you have to be on Instagram. Chances are, these people are telling you this because they’ve had success on Instagram.
Oh, also, they probably has success on Instagram back when it was just starting out, or the algorithm was different. Either that or they just so happened to be in the right place at the right time.
The same can be applied to Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, blogging, content creation in general, or even print. These people may have had success, but that doesn’t mean you will. Even if you apply their special formulas and five-step processes. That simply doesn’t mean you’ll generate the same growth as they do.
Basically, even if you recreated almost every aspect of their formula to the letter, you wouldn’t be doing it in the same time or place as they did. Your business is different, you’re different.
In fact, what you’re actually doing is applying a cookie-cutter formula which worked for one person. One person with a unique business which is likely not the same as yours.
- Are you on Instagram because a guru, influencer or coach told you to be there?
- How much advice, tips and tricks or formulas have you implemented and seen results for?
- How much time and effort did the above take to implement and did you keep it up?
Is your time on Instagram worth it for your business?
Instagram is a beast, one that needs feeding, attention and a lot of your time. If it’s your platform of choice, then you need to fully immerse yourself in it.
Let’s not beat around the bush, Instagram doesn’t want users to leave its platform. That’s why it doesn’t let you add links in descriptions, makes you create videos using its in-built software and makes the desktop version of the platform impossible to use so you’re forced to scroll addictively on your phone.
With all this in mind, your use of the platform for your business has to take this into consideration. To get people to click the link in your bio, it takes some serious work on your part.
Calculate the time you spend on Instagram
One of the reasons I quit Instagram was because the time I was putting into the platform wasn’t giving me enough in return.
I mentioned earlier that for 10+ hours of work each week, I was getting 5-10 website visitors. That simply doesn’t add up. I seriously had to question whether the time I was spending creating images, doing photoshoots, writing ‘engaging’ captions, posting stories, commenting, liking, following, was honestly worth it.
You may be thinking that if I implemented the right strategy, spent more time on the ‘right’ activities, wrote more engaging descriptions, took better photos, or simply stuck with it, those followers would increase and so would my website visitors.
Of course, with this logic, you’d probably be right. But with anything that takes this amount of time, you have to ask yourself if it’s honestly truly worth it to spend a massive chunk of time on something which may, one day, just maybe start to give you something back?
My answer to that, was no.
- How many hours per week are you honestly spending on Instagram?
- How many website visitors, clients, customers, sales are you making from Instagram?
- Compare the two, now is your time on Instagram honestly worth it?
Could your time be better spent on a different platform?
When I first started thinking about quitting Instagram, I took a good look at my Google Analytics.
I’m not the most data-centred person, but as a business owner, keeping an eye on stats is important for me. Looking at my website visitors from various social media platforms, I found that Instagram came dead last.
So not only was I spending 10+ hours a week on it, but it was also proving to be the worst traffic driver. In contrast, I was spending 1-2 hours a week on Pinterest and gaining 20-30x the visitors of Instagram. Now that makes a lot more sense.
I just want to quickly address something here. The goal of Limit Breaker (at the time of writing) is to get website visitors to read our articles and then join my email list.
The goals for your business might differ, so when looking at the analytics for your site, make sure to bear in mind what pages people are visiting, how long they’re there and if they’re converting how you want them to. Then you can truly see which platform is working the best for you.
After significantly reducing my time on Instagram and increasing it on Pinterest, I saw a dramatic rise in website traffic.
- Does my personal data tell me I should still be on Instagram?
- Are my website visitors actually converting? (signups, sales, contact etc)
- Are there other platforms which should be getting more of my attention?
Could your time be better spent elsewhere?
When immersed in the online world, it’s easy to forget that we don’t have to be constantly updating our status to appear relevant. One of the most refreshing and weirdly comforting things I realised when deciding to quit Instagram, was that people don’t actually care.
People, although well-meaning, are generally selfish. We spent the majority of our time thinking about ourselves, our own wellbeing, businesses, improvement and safety. This isn’t a bad thing. It’s human nature to think about the self. So when you update your stories, post on your feed or release your latest whatever, most people don’t really care.
It’s comforting because it means that you simply don’t need to spend so much time trying to make the world like you. Think about it this way, you may follow a few big influencers with millions of followers, but do you really care when they write their latest blog post or give you a life update?
The majority of the time you don’t, unless you’re their friend, or unless you’re getting something in return.
So here’s your permission to stop updating – if you don’t want to – and start spending your time elsewhere.
The time I gained from quitting Instagram allowed me to step away from Instagram’s influence and delve deep into what I wanted for my minimalist business. It also allowed me to create meaningful posts for my readers. I spent more time on activities which gave me something in return, or that I loved and more time outside of my business, connecting and recharging.
- Could your time on Instagram be spent creating, producing or working on something else?
- Could your time on Instagram be spent outside of business, with friends, family or on your hobbies?
- Do you need to be everywhere at once?
Do you enjoy being on Instagram?
This is perhaps the most important question I had to ask myself before I made the decision to quit Instagram.
Whenever talking with business friends about the platform I’d always say ‘I have a love-hate relationship with Instagram’. Quite frankly, that was a lie. I didn’t have a love-hate relationship with Instagram, I had a hate relationship with Instagram.
Any conversation about the platform was filled with complaining. Frustrated talk about its algorithm, failed attempts at growth and even conversation comparing ourselves to other accounts.
What’s so ridiculous is that every time I’d check my feed, I’d immediately feel inadequate. My likes on X post were lower than usual, my followers keep dropping, I’m just getting bot comments, X person is doing so much better than me.
It only took a few days being away from Instagram when I removed all social media from my phone, that I truly started to realise how much I disliked it. Instagram not only took away my time, but it also took my self-esteem.
- Do you say ‘I have a love-hate relationship with Instagram’?
- Is the ‘love’ part of this statement true?
- How do you truly feel when you’re on Instagram?
- Do you compare yourself to others on Instagram?
- Do you wish you didn’t?
I quit Instagram and why you can too
This article explores some of my thoughts before I made the decision to quit Instagram, but it also offers up some questions to help you explore this idea too.
The questions in this article could work for any social media platform you’re on. It’s important to apply this critical thinking to any tool you use because after all, that’s what social media is, a tool.
Here’s the thing, if you hate being on Instagram. If it gives you anxiety, absorbs your time, isn’t giving you anything in return or you truly hate it. Then, you simply shouldn’t be on it and that’s okay.
Not every platform out there has to be used by you. You must find the ones that you enjoy, that you appreciate, get value from and that give back to your business in some way. Or, you might find that there are other activities you could be doing to benefit your business.
If you need it, here’s me saying that you don’t have to be on Instagram for your business if you secretly don’t want to.
Featured image by Laura Chouette
Have you, or are you thinking about quitting Instagram? Leave us a comment below.