I don’t often talk social media, most times I don’t even like it – I just play the game and sometimes I do it well and sometimes I’m apathetic and just go through the motions and before this run on sentence scores a touchpass (SPORTS!) here are the 5 things that I’m always shocked to discover is not exactly common knowledge when I’m having a casual conversation with a friend, or someone who thinks they’re my friend, that proves me wrong with “Oh wow, I never thought of that!”
1/Dominate the Screen.
No I mean really dominate it, Go 50 Shades of Gray on that shit. Whips, flails, handcuffs, whatever.
Take up as much phone real estate as you can!
If you must, post square – if you can post portrait. Portraits take up as much of your followers phone screen as possible thus forcing them to spend more time on your content instead of others above or beneath you.
I don’t know about you, but I’m a selfish bitch and I don’t really care to share a screen with other tappable usernames when I put the effort that I do into my content.
More screen being filled tells the algorithm that they’re interested in your account because they spent more time on your photo – even if it was because it took one extra scroll to get past it.
See above, the portrait post takes up far more screen than the landscape post. Leaving less room on the top and bottom for other account’s to squeeze in.
Another reason to avoid landscape posts: they’re a pain for aggregator and curator accounts to repost! Trust me, I own about 10 other accounts that are purely repost accounts. Perhaps it’s not fair, and I know I’m missing out on some great and stunning landscape photos – but I will always pick the square or portrait photo to repost. It takes no additional cropping on my part and because of that I don’t have to worry about memorizing the username for credit – thus saving me time.
Think this advice is bullshit? Pull up your favorite repost account and see how many landscape posts they have compared to square/portrait.
I can post what I think is a great photo with some generic sounding quotable caption – and it get an average amount of engagement. However posting an average photo, but with an authentic caption like me proclaiming my disdain for donald trump, expressing my point of views on gun control, religion, or what have you and engagement shoots way up – because i’m both opening a dialogue and giving my followers a peek behind the curtain and creating a conversation regardless if it’s positive, negative, inspiring, or jaw dropping.
Your followers will always reward your authenticity over you acting too cool to be yourself and have your own opinion. Be Authentic.
This leads us into the next tip:
3/Create Engagement, Don’t fabricate it.
Connect with your audience, it’s not easy – I still struggle with it on every post. I don’t think my audience cares or I don’t think I’m hot shit or that I possess this worldly insight that others care about reading. I’m not going to be that shmohawk that asks you to comment your battery percentage on my post – but there’s a healthy medium. Asking your followers a question, getting to know them, opening up a dialogue. Yeah, it’s hard but the rare times I do it I’m always surprised as to the response I get. For whatever reason, your followers chose to follow you – get to know them.
Bonus Tip: Spotting the Bullshit
Yeah you’re gonna pick up a few fake and ghost followers along the way – and some of your comments are going to be by automated accounts due to the hashtags you’re using. Hell I even once had some wannabe agency load my account with a couple thousand fake followers without my consent in an attempt to try and sell me their services. Thankfully they finally all (hopefully) fell off after the great IG purge of 2016.
Your followers aren’t stupid, and trying to get away with fake ass engagement is basically you thinking that they are. There’s realistic engagement and unrealistic engagement. Not every photo is a “banger” with hundreds-thousands of likes and dozens of comments. Check out some of your favorite “local creator/influencer” accounts – yeah even mine. Audit my shit. Does every one of their posts have roughly the same amount of likes? I don’t mean variations of 900 and 1,200 or 300 and 600. I mean like 600 and 632, or 1,100 and 1,050 – on every post.
Take a closer look and read the comments. Do they all sound like they were written by the same person? Do they all only focus on one similar buzzword?
Cool, growth hack your account. Try out engagement groups, trade comments, follow and unfollow people to build awareness of yourself, like for likes, use all the hashtags, figure out what works and what doesn’t. Just please don’t think we don’t know, like you’re getting one over on your followers and carry yourself as some hot shit influencer. Put in the work, earn your stripes.
4/Hashtags are your frienemy.
Use hashtags, but use them the right way. Make sure they apply to your content for that post specifically. Without hashtags youre limiting your audience to only your following – and because of asshole instagram’s ever changing algorithm thats really only about 1-3% of your following. Hashtags are like SEO for your post, keywords for a search engine. On the flip slide, don’t be that girl in her Forever 21 floral romper putting #gorgeous and #model on your selfie – does your narcissism know no bounds?
Pro-tip: one of my favorite apps is Focalmark, it lets you input a keywords like streetwear, citylife, food, drone, etc and then generates you hashtags you can copy/paste.
I know right now everything is sort of up in there air as far as how Instagram is treating hashtags. People are seeing less engagement through them and there are even rumors of them becoming obsolete due to image recognition algorithms etc. However, in the meantime they still work – so use them.
5/Content is King, but quality over quantity.
If she doesn’t remember a chronological timeline she’s too young for you bro.
Above you can see my metrics before the algorithm change when I posted multiple times a day to feed the chronological timeline.
Back when your instagram feed was chronological, it made sense to post often. This was also a time when I mainly posted a mix of memes as well as personal content. On average, instagram users check their social media every hour or so – SO, I posted every hour or so. Because of this my engagement was always high (like 4,000 likes and 200 comments high) and my follower count grew daily. Now, life as we know it has changed.. a Racist is president, People literally deny scientific fact and instagram is no longer chronological… it’s a bleak and discouraging world we live in in 2018. Now, quality of posts is significantly more important than frequency. I went from posting multiple times a day, to about once a day and sometimes every few days.
No content is better than shit content – seriously. The internet is an amazing place to find 7,894 people that are better than you. Get inspired, do market research, justify it however you want but look at other people’s feed. I applied this same rule when I did graphic design, find an example of work that you are impressed by, that you love.. and if your work doesn’t compare.. DO BETTER.
Since a proper write up has a beginning, middle and end and I’ve already tackled the first two – I suppose this would constitute the ending. That’s it. Seriously, go about your bidness.