If you’ve ever felt like you needed to take a break from the roller coaster of social media but you are too worried you’ll lose all your momentum, this might ease your mind.
One of the biggest fears when it comes to growing a social media account is what happens if you take a break and how will it affect your future engagement. A few weeks ago I wrote an article about what happened when I stopped posting to Instagram for three months. In the comments multiple people asked if my hiatus would cause a drop in engagement or reach which I didn’t have an answer to, until now.
For those of you who might be just getting your feet wet in growing an Instagram name or brand, there are tons of tips, tricks, do’s and don’ts. Many of them are simply best practices and guides to give you the best chance at gaining traction. Within the myriad of articles there is an idea that if you stop posting for too long, when you come back your engagement and reach will have plummeted and all that hard work you put in previously is erased. I can confidently say that was not the case for me, quite the opposite.
Here are the highest engagement rates of my posts in the last year using a sample size of roughly 76 photos. The photos highlighted in red are the three posts I’ve made since my hiatus. Not only did they get decent engagement, they are the highest engaged posts I’ve had over the entire year. My first post since coming back being the highest, I thought it was possibly a fluke or coincidence that it did so well. Thus I posted a few more times before jumping to any conclusions and it seems quite clear to me.
Taking a break did not affect my engagement, it actually increased my numbers. This obviously isn’t scientific evidence done with controls and a small amount of variables. It’s simply what happened to me personally. To be transparent, I put more effort into the captions in these three posts. Specifically trying new ideas to see if people are even reading my captions and if so, is the content worth interacting with? You could also argue that these recent photos stand out more than the rest of my photos and while I do think they are stronger photos overall, they are not far from other work on my feed.
If you think either of those things could have skewed my results, I welcome you to take a quick look at my feed and decide for yourself. Personally I think that If Instagram’s algorithm was going to hide my first post back after a hiatus, I doubt a decent photo and a long caption would magically beat the system if it existed.
It seems pretty clear that this myth is simply that, a myth. Taking a break shouldn't affect your future engagement and should definitely ease any worries you may have if you’re feeling like you need a break; I certainly did. I appreciate everyone who raised this question in my last article and I hope this gives you the answer you were looking for.
Do you have any experience taking a break and coming back to less engagement? What else would you like to know about the wild world of Instagram? I’d love to hear other perspectives and as always, thanks for reading.