Time well spent: Instagram (IG)
I’d like to invite you to follow my Instagram (IG) account. To persuade you, a story and some pictures.
I don’t love social media. I’ve been on LinkedIn since September 2005, I just found out. Coming up to twenty years. I’m most active there as I think it’s a professional requirement, running filtered.com. I joined Facebook around the same time but left in 2009 because I found it led to too many missing 20 minutes. In August this year, as part of the marketing and positioning of the book, I started this Substack newsletter and an Instagram account.
I’m much more at home writing the Substack. It’s mostly-words rather than mostly-images and I have much more experience of that, writing for the Filtered blog or in a publication like HBR. The newsletter is ~500 words usually which gives me enough space to articulate the point I have in mind. IG was a whole new world with Reels and Stories and face-to-camera and captions, etc. But essential, apparently, if you’re putting a book out there these days.
To help me start with IG, I’ve been working with Tamsin Isaacs, who runs Know Good Social. She’s a friend so I already knew that she’s brilliant and unusual, and I was after exactly those two qualities in my social media manager. She’s helped with this newsletter, managed Instagram and even contributed ideas for the book. She’s also educated me on the meaning of B-rolls, the importance of Reels, how to record Stories and much more. I wholeheartedly recommend her so if you’re considering a foray into IG yourself…let her know in the comments 👇.
Tamsin’s got a range of IG tactics which we have put to work to lay the foundations for my IG account (instagram.com/marczaosanders). I won’t reveal any of her trade secrets but I can say that the guiding principle that we agreed on from the outset is that the content should always be useful to some people. We won’t always hit the mark perfectly but it’s a useful guide for deciding between ideas.
To give you a flavour in case you’re interested in signing up, here are a few of my favourite posts on IG.
The B-roll in the background is a train, passing through Oakleigh Park station. A few people have told me the advice has positively improved their working relationships.
I can quote a line or two from the book with posts like this. This one is useful, I think, because it provides an insight into what procrastination is, along with a cure.
Swipe-left carousels (how these nine images appear on IG) are common on most of the platforms now. I like this one because it does a good deed, via timeboxing.
IG vs timeboxing
But isn’t IG and social media antithetical to timeboxing? No. Of course, it’s true that unbridled use of social media destroys plans, productivity and feelings of self-worth. But there’s nothing wrong with good, intentional, limited use of social media. In other words, social media, timeboxed. There are many important benefits to IG: shorter-form content is preferred by many these days, visual content is more readily shared; you can more easily discover, understand and interact with the right audience.
I also think that the occasional posts in an IG feed that shake the user out of their scrolling stupor (like the last of the posts above) are positive force.
So, if you'd like to follow me on Instagram, just click/tap this link.