So what is the “Microwave Mentality” and why should we move away from this?
We live in a society where technology has sped up our expectations of the time it takes to do things or achieve results and we are continually living in an era where we feel the need for instant gratification.
This is known as having the “Microwave mentality” where instead of a slow cooked, satisfying meal with lots of different ingredients, flavours, textures and varying cooking times, we now want the equivalent of a ready meal which we can pop in the microwave and eat after 2 minutes. Yes it saves time, but does it taste as good as a meal cooked with love and nurtured at every step?
This approach often leads to frustrations when results don’t appear at lightening speed and often the temptation to attempt to “fast-track” success occurs.
Some businesses thrive from this weak trait and have launched businesses that feed that desire for instant results to exploit this.
My example is the frustrations many feel with the slow growth of Instagram audiences and follower counts and the temptation to spend money on buying fake followers or using automated bot services to try and speed up the growth of accounts to make them look credible.
DON’T DO THIS. You are essentially buying ‘dead’ followers who won’t engage with your posts or worse if they do, will leave totally irrelevant automated comments that will look fake to those in the know and this will tarnish your reputation.
What is the point of having a big following if they don’t add any value?
Instead work on gaining REAL followers who will engage with your content on Instagram by liking, commenting, or even sharing your posts.
Tips on improving your Instagram strategy for long term BUT more effective results
Everyone starts somewhere so don’t be disheartened if you have only gained a handful of followers since you set up your Instagram account and that the numbers seem to fluctuate each day.
Instead invest some time in a strategy for longer term but more effective growth tactics and here are my top tips.
- Make sure you have a profile picture on your Instagram account.
- Optimise your Instagram Bio.
- Create a content schedule to help plan the week ahead.
- Consider a theme and stick to it. Some examples are below from my own personal account and Aldi.
- Share high quality images. Avoid the temptation to put up pictures that are blurry/poor quality for the sake of having content.
- Use videos in a creative way to show sneak peeks of your business or location or a related topic.
- Post frequently but not excessively. I would suggest minimum once a day, maximum 3 times a day, and with gaps in between.
- Use Instagram stories and Instagram live videos to show the raw behind the scenes content.
- Write an engaging caption and try and incorporate a call to action, such as asking a question.
- Share content about or from local businesses or places of interest to vary the content in your weekly schedule slightly.
- Use relevant hashtags. Read more about the Do’s and Don’ts of Hashtags here.
- Commit time each day to engaging and interacting with other users and responding to comments on your content. Even if you set aside 30 minutes a day it is time used wisely.
- Follow the right people. Not anyone and everyone. Check out who your competition is following, for example.
- If you are a business or service consider switching to the Business profile. It is free to change and offers more call to action buttons for your customers.
- Ride on trends or special holiday days for on trend content, such as National Chocolate Day or National Book Day, as examples.
- Make sure you use the geo-location tag when uploading an image. My example below highlights a checklist to consider when uploading content.
- Do measure your interactions to suss out what times are best for you.
- Do use scheduling apps such as Later or editing apps to improve your photo quality such as Insta Editor, Instagram itself, or Lightroom.
- If you use someone else’s content always credit them in the caption.
- Tag in relevant accounts/brands/locations to increase your reach.
Checklist for uploading an image
Some Don’ts are:
- Don’t set your account to private. People are less likely to attempt to follow you.
- Don’t steal other people’s images. Make sure to credit if using photographs from another source.
- Don’t use banned hashtags.
- Don’t just mass follow a load of unrelated people.
- Don’t post irrelevant images or content.
- Don’t post irregularly.
- Don’t use bots or automated services claiming to increase your followers.
- Don’t get disheartened if at first your photos don’t get much love. Things take time and you just have to persevere.
- Don’t abuse hashtags. You might end up getting shadow banned.
- Don’t desperately Direct Message people.
If you would like some help and guidance or training on using Instagram correctly, do get in touch. I offer competitive packages and would love to help you grow the right way!