The Silly Season Switch Off

Are you having a break from soical media over the festive season? Why this could be good or bad for you.

Are you putting your phones down between Christmas and New Years?

Okay…. You don’t have to brace yourself this is not going to be a long drawn out post etc. Just some simple observations.

Disclaimer: I work with social media eerrry day… errry day….  so this is something I am passionate about and very curious to try and “crack the code”

Last year December I chose to go on a little vacation away from Social Media – so that meant for me no posting to my account and hardly checking up on what was going on in all the lives of my online buddies.

What I did not realise was the knock in engagement my Instagram account would go through – those in the know of how Instagram works – will be aware of the fact that insta favours the frequent. Those that post regularly and engage with other accounts. The moment you stop that for a while your posts are not seen as relevant to your followers and will feature less.

I am not sure if anyone else who monitors their engagement has noticed a huge dip in the last two weeks on posts. I think this might apply more to SA grammers, as I never see any dip with our overseas counterparts. It’s like our SA gram is set on some serious harsh restrictions, where our posts are not shown to many overseas accounts too (the whole shadow ban thing – if you know it).

Lets Test It…

Today (20.12.2017) – I ran an experiment with my Instagram account. Posting an image, with none of my normal tags, and very short comment, and no instastory pointing you to the post. It did shockingly – if your post does not gain momentum in engagement within the first 30 minutes to an hour – it is not really going to do so well after that.

I decied to add my hashtags about 30 mintues after posting – it did nothing…

So I delete the post and tried again. This time I wrote a longer comment – added in a question and – some of my usual hashtags and posted to my stories.

The first post received 27 likes in an hour, and one comment (my normal average about 50+), the new post after received 68 likes in 6 hours and 11 comments. This is still very low. A post two months ago posted around the same time of day, similar content and similar hashtags would have been over 100 likes within the same time period.

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I really think people engage less over Christmas – or you are just tired and over it? On holiday? Buying presents? Not near to wi-fi or just so bored of what we post you can’t bear to double tap that photo?

Shutting down over Christmas and New Years?

Don’t worry too much – everyone is having a bit of a break, and you deserve it too. Just be prepared to come back fighting in the New Year – with kick ass content and spirit to succeed.

The above really applies to bloggers, content creators and influencers – if you are just posting to show your family and friends your home life – chill and relax.

If you are a blogger etc… and reading this, I would love to read your comments on the subject and your opinion on the matter?

19 thoughts on “The Silly Season Switch Off

  1. I’ve also found that If I don’t hashtag the results are dismal! So I always make sure to use the allowed number of 30 hashtags per post.
    I think part of the problem is these days is number of accounts people follow. I mean if someone is following you but they’re also following hundreds if not thousands of other accounts then the chances of them actually seeing your posts is really unlikely.

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    1. When looking at my insights per post. The hashtags brought hardly any new likes. But just having them there seemed to push my post to have more engagement with my current following. That should not really need any tags?

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  2. I actually haven’t paid too much attention to the recent performance of my posts. Ow in Xmas season,mostly because with the new algorithm everything just went to crap anyway. Lots of people telling me they no longer see my posts. And funnily enough i too no longer see alot of my faves, or bloggers I know and regularly follow on IG. I have to go physically search for them.
    As for reasoning, algorithm aside, i’m hopingits cause everyone’s too busy spending QT with their loved ones. Or making and baking 😉

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  3. I notice engagements are less on weekends normally too not only just over holiday seasons. I also want to assume people are just spending time with family and friends and winding down. I just post as a personal diary and as reminders for the future so either way I am usually not as bothered. And that is exactly why I also do not take a social media break.

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    1. They are definitely lower on weekends and I find mondays and Fridays too. But these last two weeks have seen a big drop and I can expect this coming weekend and between Christmas and New Years even lower.

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  4. I’ve seen engagement shift from a specific day to another. Then, I find that when I ask for engagement from my following I get nothing, but if I am just random, I get engagement. I know there has been this follow the hashtag change recently, but I haven’t watched anything on it yet, it’s on my to do list. I firmly believe as a very small business that I can’t afford to loose traction and will therefore still post content on Instagram, my small business also doesn’t close over the festive season, because my ‘big big big competition companies’ are open. I get that we get tired as well, but growing a small business is hard work, it’s this extra time that’ll pay off in the long run. Yes I have cut off times for delivery before Christmas, but I am still open for someone to buy and I am still active and stay visible on Social Media.

    What has worked well for me this year is really planning out my SM strategy and being mindful in what I post and when I post it. I’ve really researched the hashtags and don’t just do a standard copy paste set anymore. That’s really helped with reach and not getting shadow banned. I feel my.content is seen by a wide audience which has been my aim.

    Thanks for this experiment, I was really intrigued to hear your thoughts and advise.

    Enjoy your Christmas!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so glad that you take the time to look into it and notice the patterns etc. it is soooooo important for small businesses to do so. As many it’s the only way to advertise your product and stay top of mind. Could you imagine if coke a cola decided to take a break over the festive season? The big hashtags don’t work anymore. But I have also monitored my posts. What are my followers vs new likes etc. it’s also intriguing to see accounts 3 or 4 x as big as mine – but we get the same engagement or less on posts. Which should not be the case. But I don’t see it the same for our overseas counterparts. The ones that match our following. Their engagement is still excellent. I don’t know if it has to do with our social media community being a lot smaller and less data availability- therefore less people onto engage and then time to sit on their phones because of airtime factors.

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  5. Gosh, Instagram is so interesting and yet so frustrating! I’d love to hear more of your insight. My biggest struggle with Instagram is finding the balance between putting time and effort into having good quality content and then not having content to post because I don’t have time to create something I’m gadfly enough with. I suppose I just need to get quicker!

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    1. it’s so important to create good content consistently- you are very good at that and have an excellent eye for it. It’s harder when you are a mom and business owner. I try to create content on the weekend. Then schedule them using a post planner for the week. But I give myself the flexibility to change it too. Posting once a day should be good enough. And then sometimes not posting on the days you know you won’t get good engagement so you don’t waste a good posts.

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  6. Great post. My account is still pretty new so its difficult to notice anything at this point. With that being said, I have noticed a dip on my illustration account, which I thought was strange as most of my followers are not South African. I’m totally going to play around with that account to figure out the best time of day and best day in general. But I also have not been drawing much lately because I’ve been playing the new mom game. So that is probably the biggest problem there, but I am still engaging with tons of other accounts… i’m going to run some experiments! 😊

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    1. So did not know you have another account what is it called? Trying to improve your engagement all has to be for the right reason you are doing it and wanting to grow then it will come.

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  7. I don’t do Instagram, but I do blog.
    Readers and bloggers are busy IRL but they do catch up later.

    Some are plodding thru daily posts for blogmas – been there done that, twice.
    Not worth the effort of writing all those posts, for minimal engagement.

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    1. Yes or we are all trying to get those last pieces of content done and put out before year end and it overwhelms our potential readers. Or those extra moments they would take to read our blogs is taken up by other important matters. Either way. I think it’s an opportunity for us too to relax and worry about everything again come January

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