A couple of weeks ago I got locked out of my Instagram account while setting up a new mobile handset. It was a disaster as a digital content creator, but here’s what I did.
Having my hands into multiple lines of work, I have four separate profiles on the platform, each for a different purpose. While I was easily able to reset the passwords of my business accounts using the ‘forgot password’ option, I got stuck when it came to recovering my content creator’s account which is in my name, locked out of my Instagram account!
Initially, I calmly tried all possible options to reset the password. I also entered various permutations and combinations of all that I thought could be the password but to no avail. It was only then that it struck me that this was something worrying.
Soon, some of my friends who are also popular Instagram influencers got into action to help me. Eventually, after a lot of exploration, research and trials and errors, we understood that this is a complex issue which only someone from the Instagram technical team can resolve. I don’t want to get into the technical details of the issue, because the intent of this post is to actually talk about the ‘what next’ of a situation like this.
Getting locked out of my Instagram account due to their technical glitches, as well as some erring from my end made me recognise that as digital content creators or entrepreneurs, it’s so important for us to keep reminding ourselves that ultimately, we are ABOVE the social media platforms we use for our content and branding.
Indubitably, it takes immense hard work, time, patience and talent to build a profile. Engagement, followers, views – a lot gets gained in the process. But this is where the qualitative aspects of the digital medium matter and come into picture.
I may have lost those followers, but have I lost the community and relationships I built on the platform? NO!
I may have lost the views and engagement statistics, but have I lost the value I created with my posts and interactions? NO!
I may have come back to zero in terms of numbers, but have I lost the credibility as a digital content creator? NO!
I would be lying if I say that I was unaffected when this happened. My instant thought was that this definitely would affect my work.
Fortunately for me, Instagram was never my primary space of work, and I know I can manage in its absence. However, it can be catastrophic for those who depend on the platform fully for their work, to lose the account in a snap.
But then we have to acknowledge and accept that this is technology. Anything can happen any time, any day.
An account can get hacked.
Key information can get inadvertently deleted.
A profile can get banned or locked.
A website can crash.
While back-ups do help sometimes when one is in a soup, not everything can always be in our control. Therefore, I come back to the point of value in this industry. If we are number / quantity focused, we have to start from zero when it’s gone. But if we are focused on quality, we never will have to start from zero.
I am still trying to work out my Instagram issue, even though I have accepted that there are slim chances that I may be able to get into my account again. However, I am sharing some pointers below on how I plan to go about building an account again from scratch, whenever I decide to do so.
7 things to know and do
Some or all of these points can be kept in mind when one loses access to any social media platform.
Do not give up
How much ever distressing it may seem to lose something you have painstakingly created, assure yourself that you have done it before and can do it again. I know it’s easier said than done, but it is crucial to have a solution-focused approach.
Do not put all your eggs in one basket
In my case, I plan to leverage on all my other profiles to spread the word about the new account when I create it. Also, by now, most of the folks know that I am facing this issue and hence, are not reaching out to me via Instagram anymore for work related communication.
Do not rely on only one platform and build a presence on 2-3 suitable ones so that things don’t come to a halt when one loses access.
Always keep your professional and personal accounts separate
If possible, also have distinct email addresses / websites for each of your business / creator accounts.
One of the reasons why I got locked out of my Instagram account is that my email address got linked to the account of my non-profit initiative instead of my creator account. The more these things are muddled, the higher the impact is in case of untoward situations.
I am able to view my profile from other accounts. Hence, it becomes easier to create those posts again, if need be. However, it is good to have back-ups of important content stored on your laptop.
Link the new account to the old one
Link the new profile to the old one, so that people know where they can see the earlier content. For example, below is what I intend to write in my new Instagram bio.
Visit @anupamadalmia82 (account now obsolete) for posts shared before 3rd Sep 2021
Back-up your database of followers, subscribers, mailing lists
Mailing lists, subscribers list and other such valuable data about people genuinely interested in your business or content will be the best resource to rebuild things in such a situation. If you don’t have these already, you must create them NOW.
Look beyond mere numbers to genuine connections
Last but definitely not the least, the relationships you have nurtured through your journey will help you sail through such a phase. Your patrons will definitely support you in every way possible, based on my experience. But for this, at the risk of sounding repetitive, you must look beyond numbers and understand what truly is everlasting in the dynamic social media landscape.
Here are some useful links which you can directly refer if you face any issue logging in or if your account gets hacked:
How to Recover Hacked Social Media Accounts.
What to Do When You Get Locked Out of Your Social Media Accounts.