In 2023, if you put an emphasis on the art of human connection and tap into your ideal clients, you have a chance to see the success you’re after using the platform.

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After a 2022 full of hurdles and challenges, it is no surprise that many of us are moving into 2023 with a desire to look at things as “It can only go up from here.”

Having a “word” for the upcoming year is an ongoing trend that creates excitement around the intentions we plan to make in the new year. But what if the word was designed to push you more than it was to excite you?

There are three things that have affected the success of those who have been using or are trying to use Instagram as a platform for their business. These three things are shedding light on why the word of the new year for Instagram is a little less “feel good” and a whole lot more “do better.”

The word, you ask? Psychology.

So, what are these things, and how can you fix them using the word “psychology”?

Stock marketing material is on the rise

There has been a whole lot of just checking off the “I posted on Instagram” box with the use of stock marketing content. There are two forms of this type of content, and both do a disservice to who you are trying to present yourself as on the platform.

The first form of it is “branded photo shoot” photos. While these serve a purpose, they create an unapproachable and unrelatable account, leaving the consumer questioning who this person on the account even is.

The second form is marketing content designed to add “value” but instead is “cartoony” or contains far too much text to be consumed properly on the platform. This one is even worse. Your ideal client may come across your page and see this and is likely thinking, “Who is running this?” and then intuitively realize that if they sent a DM message to this account, they likely would not receive a reply — leaving your ideal client looking elsewhere.

Connection lost. You remain both unapproachable and unrelatable.

(Example of “branded photoshoot.”)


(Example of stock marketing content.)

 Your DM follow-up game sucks

The Direct Message (DM) portion of the Instagram platform is a place to create connections, further the conversations and create conversions.

So why are so many people not using it?

There are some issues with how people use their DM’s, including leaving messages unread for days on end, having cheesy and flat-out annoying auto-responder messages, and reading things and allowing them to go without a reply for days.

DM’s are an act of prospecting and can allow you to create relationships and business, at scale. It should not just be another one of those “I will get to it when I get to it” parts of your business. Ask yourself, would I not return a call for days on end? Would I not return an email from a prospective client?

The solution here is to set an intention around your messages. Schedule a time block two or three times in your day (even for 5 minutes) to check and return any unread messages or conversations that need attention.

Your business will thank you for it.

Worrying about the wrong metrics

This issue has been a problem not just in 2022 but even in years prior. However, it has reared its ugly head exponentially more in the last 12 months. 

Metrics that people think matter include likes, followers, and comments. 

Metrics that matter: Engagement Rate, Saves, Reach and Impressions, and “locations,” especially for those who are hyperlocal focused.


This issue is a big reason the word of the year is psychology. The metrics that matter represent parts of the platform rooted around connection and conversation and are more reflective of whether the account will convert.

Is your content being saved? Is it reaching the right people in the areas you can serve? And is your engagement rate more than the national average for Instagram, which is a whopping 0.54 percent? (Which is down from 0.98 percent just a few months ago!) 

The word of the year is psychology. But why?

In 2023, if you put an emphasis on the art of human connection and tap into the brains of your ideal clients, you have a chance to see the success you are after using the platform.

The solution to why you have not “figured out” or been able to “convert” on Instagram is psychology. Understanding how people operate and realizing that perception is reality is the key to unlocking significant results.

Be relatable, and build a personal brand. Be approachable by creating content that encourages connection and conversation, and show up daily. Give people the confidence they need to reach out to you. 

Michelle Berman Mikel is a nationally sought-after Instagram Content Development coach, speaker, Owner of Berman Media PD and Creator of the Instagram Power Method Program. You can connect with her on Instagram and LinkedIn.

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