So, social media. Most people either love it or they hate it. You get on Facebook, and there’s your ex-boyfriend cruising around the coast of Hawaii on his new yacht and suddenly you’ve completely forgotten how miserable you were for like 3 years of your life. Like many people, I hated social media for a long time. Essentially all it was was friends and family flaunting money, their lifestyle, or whatever – and it usually left me feeling totally lame. It wasn’t until I started using it as it was originally intended (as a network) that I connected with like-minded people and really started to enjoy myself. Here’s my version of a guide to using Instagram. Who knows, if anyone’s interested, maybe I’ll do a guide to all those other networks out there too!
Follow People – This is obvious! There’s no point in using social media if you aren’t going to follow other people and see what they’re doing. Actively search out accounts that are like yours or interested in the same thing and follow along. There are so many amazingly inspirational people doing amazing things. It’s exciting to see photos of things and places that you’ve never experienced first hand. The beautiful part about Instagram is that it’s photo-based, that means you’re able to follow along and enjoy images from users who might not even speak your own language! I think that’s pretty awesome!
Interact with People – Okay, so you followed some people, now what? Interact with them, of course. Don’t be afraid to ‘like’ strangers’ photos. Did you see a picture of an amazing rose on the ‘ReallyCoolRoses4Realz’ (I made that up) account? Make a comment and ask them what variety it is! While some users will be more likely to respond than others – I mean, we all know Beyonce isn’t going to message you back after you tell her how much you like her last picture – users with similar interests are generally welcoming and enjoy sharing knowledge with each other. If you come across someone who doesn’t give you the right vibe, simply unfollow or block them.
#UseHashtags – First and foremost, the word “hashtag” has turned into some kind of cultural thing that I really don’t like. Every time that one commercial comes on with a bunch of dudes saying, “hashtag ___” “hashtag ____” It’s literally so bad and annoying that I don’t even know what product they’re selling. It’s makes me want to pick up my TV and throw it through the living room window. It’s times like these when I’m absolutely convinced that whoever pitched this marketing idea was someone’s son or related to the company president and they couldn’t say no. Or, it was a weak attempt to start a hashtag trend online. In the words of the famous Regina George, “…stop trying to make fetch happen. It’s not going to happen.” Whoa, I’m way off track, I’m so sorry. Okay, hashtags are a necessary evil. Want to see sunflowers? Just type #sunflowers into the search bar, and you’re likely to have thousands of images at your fingertips. We seriously live in an amazing time right now – not even kidding, think about it. Hashtags can help you find exactly what you want! However, I find that it’s better to stick to more specific tags – for example #dahlias instead of #flowers. Be warned – when tags are more popular, they’re more likely to be targeted with inappropriate spam that you won’t want to see – trust me. Instagram does a pretty good job at keeping the place clean, but just so you know.
Just as it was important to follow people and all that jazz, you’ve got to have a way to help people find and follow you. Posting a picture without hashtags is great if you’re just posting pictures of your new awesome micro pig for your friends and family to see. But do you want that micro pig to be famous (lol, not really), then you’re going to need some tags – I suggest: #micropig #pig #petpig #cutepig #adorablepiggies – you get the idea. And yeah, so maybe I’m exaggerating – you won’t get famous. But, you may get a few ‘likes’ and more importantly, you may connect with someone else who has a lot of valuable information to share with you about being a first time mother of a little baby mud pig.
So it’s really that simple, if you’re running a personal Instagram account, it’s totally reasonable that you won’t want thousands of followers. In fact, you may want to just keep your account private – and that’s okay, too. But, if you are actively looking to increase your following for business purposes or whatever, I think that these tips are a really good place to start. Find a theme and look that you really love and run with it. In the grand scheme of things, all that matters is that you’re happy with your representation. No matter what you do, there always will be people who don’t like it or who block you for no reason…that’s just what makes the world go ’round. And…in case you’re into that kind of thing, there are tons of apps and websites that tell you exactly who blocked you, lol. Can you tell I really spend too much time online?
Hope everyone has a great day, much love.