I look back at my Instagram account this time last year and I have a quiet little snigger to myself. What an amateur with so much to learn, bless.
My photos were grainy, my flat lays were lol-worthy and I was still using Instagram filters like my life depended on it (jus not that sickly one with the orange middle because I’ve not got something wrong with me).
Soz if you DO use that one, but you’re wrong. So dang wrong.
I’ve learnt a fair few bits during my stint as a blogger (and digital writer across the lifestyle content seas), so thought I’d do the only polite thing and share it all with you because I know there’s a few fellow bloggers and budding journalists and what not in the HG readership circle. And if there’s one thing it never hurts to be good at career-wise in the year 2015 and beyond, it’s bloody social media.
Who knew Myspace would basically turn out to be a job, eh?
So err yeah, without further ado, here’s the Hannah Gale tips…
1. Attaching a photo to a tweet will boost its visibility in your feed and thus boost engagement levels – click-throughs, favourites, retweets, that sorta malarkey.
However, attaching the same photo every time you tweet out a link to a post will do the opposite. It’ll make people want to ignore you on purpose because STOP SPAMMING ME WITH YOUR NEW YOUTUBE VIDEO, I GET IT.
2. If you want people to follow and interact with you on Twitter then you need to be relatable and normal. And you need to be tweeting out a mixture of things – links to your work, links to other people’s work and just fun, going-about-your-day tweets. If you’re only ever using it as a platform to promote your work then people will hide you or unfollow you and that’s the bare-faced truth, gal. It’s boring.
3. Don’t Twitter search yourself. People are mean. It’s like reading the comments section on the DM in an article about you ‘flaunting your curves’ in a new bikini.
4. Facebook is still the leader when it comes to shares. No single blasted idea why, but people share a lot more on FB than Twitter and lists and viral content is more likely to generate traffic from the site you spent most of your uni years untagging photos on rather than the place you’re witty, grown-up and cool. And THAT is why you should have a FB page for your blog, uh huh.
5. When uploading to Facey Bee it’s the same as Twitter – it’s all about having an image. Upload a separate one to the one that your link automatically generates so that FB judges it as a photo and caption rather than status. It makes it more eye-catching for your followers/friends/people who spend all day stalking you.
6. Google+ is about as important as that faint stretch mark on your boob. And that’s coming from every social media editor I’ve ever spoken to. It generates no traffic, so for the time being, it’s more than OK if you CBA.
7. Growing Twitter followers is harder than it was in the ‘good old days’ or so I’ve been told by numerous people. A couple of years ago we were all pretty generous with following people and then we wisened up to how annoying people/brands/scheduled tweets every 15 minutes were and now we’re much more cautious about giving follows away. So if you’re seeing slow growth it’s not because people would rather put slug killer in their eyes than read your tweets.
8. The perfect link tweet (or so I recently read) is TWEET COPY – SHORTENED LINK – HASHTAG, in that order.
9. VSCO Cam is a God-send for making Instagram photos look as profesh as one of those people with over 100k followers. It’s a free app that basically has all the same settings as Instagram – saturation, brightness, sharpen etc – plus some more filters, but it just works better than ol’ Insta. Plus you can edit pics and save them to your grid so you can have an idea of what your Instagram grid will look like before you upload. Genius.
10. A lot of the big bloggers have giant pieces of white paper and card at home. And floor samples. And wallpaper samples. And buy flowers and props especially for Instagram. Their lives look like Pinterest for a reason – a fuck load of hard work goes into making those pictures look as dreamboatin’ as they are.
11. People (women in their twenties) bloody love a good quote. A funny quote, a mean girls quote, a make-you-think quote. You legit cannot go wrong.
12. Youtube always bangs on about collaborations being the best way to grow an audience, but it’s the same for other social sites. Being tagged or featured in someone’s Instagram or Twitter is mega for growth and new followers who might not know about you yet. So err yeah, share the love, get to events and people will return the favour.
13. There’s no rules about doing Instagram right. Some people swear by themes but I find some of my most ‘blogger’ photos do the worst in terms of likes, whereas family and friends shots have done quite well despite them being a traditional no-go in Instagram for business. Find out what works for you – what your followers like you for – for me it’s relatability rather than glossiness. Some of my most liked photos involve ice cream and Primark. Says it all.
14. DO mix up the style of your Instagram pics to keep your grid looking fresh and fun – flat lays, selfies, ootd, food, you holding something – it’s all about the different angles, colours and things in pictures for me.
15. Don’t take your photos in the dark. It’s hard to resurrect them. Unless like, you meet Taylor Swift in a bar and then go the eff ahead and UPLOAD UPLOAD UPLOAD.
16. Just do you. I mean sure, it’s great to take inspiration from other people, but just be you. The best piece of advice is to treat everything you upload across any social media site as if you’re talking to your friend. Don’t bombard with links and promo to new posts and video (although obviously do utilise your following for these things to some degree), don’t copy others and don’t make it feel forced. Make it about you – because in the blogging world it is about what makes you different to anyone else.