There Are Goals And Then There Are Plans

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It's hard to admit but the new(ish) and much discussed Instagram algorithm really threw me.  When I started Mother Untitled as a niche lifestyle site with very limited dollars invested, every bit of growing this brand and community had to be organic.  Tools like Instagram and Facebook were so incredibly valuable in circulating what this space was about and watching the community rally around it.  In the first year, it gave me a lot of confidence to understand the reach and impact and watch numbers grow.  

This year, those platforms grew on their own end.  To better monetize and drive engagement with specific brands, the Facebook/Instagram gods optimized their feed so that only a teensy, tiny fraction of your following see your content and only if enough of those followers engage in the first hour (meaning you have to be precise about timing) will that content continue to be shown.  So engagement has dropped and I can say that openly only because it's widely felt and a generally accepted fact about the platform now.

I struggled with it.  I slowed down posting because I wasn't getting the impact, reach, exposure and conversation that each carefully selected and crafted image was designed to stir.  But Instagram isn't going anywhere and dropping out isn't an option so I have to reframe the platform and my metrics of success to keep going.  I've talked about metrics of success before (here, here and here).  

Overarching goals for me, both personally and for Mother Untitled, as described in some of those previous posts stay consistent year over year, but when it comes to the day to day, I've needed to construct a sub layer for each platform, initiative and investment of time and energy.  For Instagram, I've redefined the goals for this year to be much more subjective than numbers based.  I'm consciously focused on redirecting myself from watching my following and likes to thinking about finessing the brand story, connecting with meaningful people and partners and personally continuing to learn about content strategies.  It's arguable if this will feed this space as well as if I stayed focused on the numbers but I can tell you that the singular focus on numbers was eating away too much.

In re-evaluating Instagram, I'm constructing a more specific, evolving plan based on what's realistic and right for this year.  

Do you spend time constructing goals and metrics for success on projects you're working on?  Whether they're personal or professional?  What's your thoughts on keeping them broad or specific? I'd love to hear. xo

Featured Image via Minimalist Fashion