|The background image is the first Instagram I ever took #sappy|
Being a blogger means you should keep jumping along to the next social networking tool. Well, you don't have to, but if your ultimate goal is for people to read your content then YOU HAVE TO. The interwebs are a big place and people aren't going to just find you. You have to shoot off a flare. Or hold a sparkler. Something.
Don't just jump on everything out there, though! Stay genuine to what your interests are otherwise it's forced and will just become static. My favorites are Instagram and Pinterest with a little Twitter on the side.
How can you use Instagram to help your blog and meet really super neat fun people at the same time? Simple: be yourself! in hashtags. Then make sure your account is linked up to your Facebook fan page and Twitter. There are other options as well. Change your name to your brand name (for example people know me as Urban Flowerpot more than by Stephanie). Make sure your account isn't set to private! Otherwise it's pointless for networking. I won't always share every photo with my FB and Twitter accounts, because then why would someone want to follow me? You want to try to keep each of your social media outlets somewhat unique.
Make sure you have a link to your site on your profile page. That is key, people.
What is a hashtag? You hear the word a lot these days but you still might not know: it's that pound sign with a word behind it. #
First, find your friends and follow them. Do they use a hash that interests you? Click on it. Keep clicking and you'll find yourself down a rabbit hole. It's so much fun! It's basically Twitter in pictures - a quick feed that you won't really look far back on. It's all about what is happening in the moment.
Sure, you can #latergram if you don't have time right that minute. You can post old shots of yourself on a tricycle on #throwbackthursday or #flashbackfriday or anytime! If your goal is to network, though, you'll want to stick with the popular days. Visit photos and give them love, a comment, cute emoji, whatever. Don't force it.
There are monthly challenges (which I post about on the last day of each month). These are great fun because you can see so many interpretations of the same prompt. Like today my prompt is grey and I've been pondering what I want to snap a photo of but haven't just yet. I still have a couple hours. #fmsphotoaday is the biggest that I've found and lately I've been doing one for kid pictures - two daily challenges is tough! But don't worry if you can't keep up, just play when you can.
I've met people by re-posting preemie pictures of Tristan, of me hula hooping, vintage toys, pretty flowers, graffiti, etc. I'm very eclectic with my interests. I like meeting other moms, but I also enjoy other crafters and pixel artists, street art and let's not forget my love of indie polish elves!
Here's what NOT to do. Don't beg. Don't hash for followers, cry like for like!!!!, weep for a shoutout. Don't buy followers (you can). You want your relationships to be genuine and it's better to enjoy and engage with a smaller number than just having a number for a number. That should go without saying but sadly..................you'll see what I mean.
Following back is nice. I always lift an eye at the people who like my photos the second they go up (repeat offenders I know your names and I know you don't really care) and they have 34572874 followers but follow 20 in return. It can be a bit of a playground. I shy away from drama. There are some really fun celebrities to follow, though! and artists and stores and even airports. Instagram is only getting bigger so hop on and I'll see you there!
I'm still learning myself but if you have any questions please feel free to ask and I'll do my best to help!