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I have to start with this statement – I really do love Instagram. This platform has all the potential I can think of to help people grow creatively, to help them come together in their communities, to gain inspiring friends and prospective clients. But – having said that – it also manifests virtually everything that’s wrong with our society. No surprise there. We all create this place. Whether personally – posting and engaging with others or through fake presence – bots, purchased followers/likes/comments – it will leave a mark on the whole platform. So, in the end, it must be like all of us – good and bad, adult and kids, honest and cheating open and xenophobic – there’s no other way – we’re all there.

 

Without further ado – here’s what I learned – all the good and the bad sides of IG.

 

  • It is all about people. Ok, it’s all about PICTURES and people. And by that I mean – of course, it is a visual platform – no doubt about it. But after you’ve curated this beautiful feed, after you’ve carefully placed the next pic – you want someone there with you, right? But not just for the likes – but for the real conversation. It’s exactly like in the so called Real Life. If someone is a kind of person who speaks a lot, and only about themselves – they’ll end up sad and lonely 😉 or more like – comentless in IG case. Unless they’re an unbelievably popular celebrity, but let’s be honest here, shall we?  So if you want your IG to be a place full of life – you need to invite people in with your shining personality. And it shouldn’t be difficult – you just do you. I really believe since IG is nothing else but a digital replica (of sorts) of the Real World – everyone will eventually find their crowd. Just start being interested in others – talk to people, comment on their pictures, like their stuff – just like you would on the first day of school or in your new job. It’s really the same. “Engage” means exactly that. “Social media” are called “social” for a reason;) 
  • It’s really not about the numbers. No matter if you want to just be there and use it as your creative platform or you’re in it for the money – you can get both and you don’t need 100k to do that. I started getting offers from companies when I had around 1300 followers – and I’ve refused all of them for certain reasons. But if someone is willing – there are ways. I remember reading this awesome article about how 1000 True Fans is all you need. It might be about the numbers in some cases. But it will also be about the quality of those numbers. 
  • it is about presence: It’s true what they say – in face of the new algorithm – if you want to grow on IG or if you need some of the people to come join your tribe you simply need to hang out there for some time. Post with a certain regularity (some say once a day, some at least every other day). All depends on what your goal is. If you have real connection with people – they will be there for you.
  • but it is also about hashtags 😉 There’s a lot of hype about them on IG because it turns out they can work wonders regarding the reach your picture will get. The reach meaning – the number of people your picture will be shown to. If you think carefully and do your thorough research – you can influence what people’s feeds your picture will pop up in. Like in school – to use this metaphor again. If you are one of those ‘cool kids’ – and you are 14 – you probably automatically join the crowd wearing the same snickers as you, listening to the same music, wearing black or whatever else that is ‘you’. If – going back to IG – you look for the photography crowd for example – it might be risky to just use the hashtag #photography. ‘Cause you know – 353 million of photos with this hashtag;) But you can start with it and use the top and recent photos to see where your people are. Look at the photos you like, see what ### they have, visit a profile of the people who took them – if you feel the vibe – you may engage with them, you may then check out the hashtags they use and find more ‘cool kids’ like you – ones you want to hang out with. I really like the ### topic – it gives you countless possibilities to use the platform as you see fit.
  • blocking and reporting. There will be times you will have to block or report some IG users – it’s absolutely ok to do that too. “For the greater good”. If you’re a woman you can take it for granted you will be approached a lot. I’m not sure if that’s the case with men though:/ I will assume – for the purpose of this article – you’re not there for meeting men. If you are – good -for you-you’ll have a ball. Otherwise – feel free to just ignore them, and unfortunately, in some cases, you might want to go ahead and report those dm-ing you senselessly and not getting a hint. 
  • you will witness miraculous multiplication of likes and follows.  It is about hustle – for some. You will see people gaining thousands of followers overnight – not because they’ve been shared by some huge and trendy account but …. well – you know why. You will see accounts with copied captions, somebody else’s pictures and fake everything else. That’s just the way it is. Plus – when you start to have more than a couple of followers you will get offers from companies wanting to sell you ❤️s, followers, comments. You might even discover one day (I really hope you don’t though – it’s a lot of work afterwards – with removing it all) you’ve been GIFTED some. As a sample of what’s to come if you pay, or as a token of appreciation from somebody who wants ‘what’s best for you’. See – IG is like real life. IT IS real life, and you meet all kinds of people here.
  • don’t get too attached. There will be days you will have 50 new followers, 40 of whom will unfollow you the next day, or next week at the latest. Those are the follow-unfollowers. Interested in you being their +one:) As long as you don’t take it personally, don’t focus on numbers and instead create those relations with others – you’re fine. This is just one of the tactics that’s out there.
  • It’s about learning. No surprise here. IG is a platform that keeps changing. There’s new features, new rules, THE ALGORITHM 🙂 There are people who are masters in what they do – like Me and Orla or Not About the Kids or Alabaster Fox. If you check out their sites – you’ll find virtually everything about IG there is to know plus as a bonus – amazing communities of like-minded people.  One simple truth my dad toucht me is – you just can’t do it alone. And in a group – like a class of a course or a FB group – you get the chance to chat and work with people that what pretty much what you want. And this alone is priceless!
To wrap it up I’ll finish with the same statement I started. I really do like and appreciate this platform. You can meet amazing people from different walks of life – passionate, creative, funny. Some of them I met in person, and they turned to be the best people:) Even if you’re not spending hours and hours here – you’re able to connect with people and grow creatively (and of course in some cases – business wise). You can read some more about Instagram and the best app to use in your stories HERE.
You can obviously also find me also on Instagram – I’m here: But First, Tea!  – let’s connect!

 

Is there something you like about Instagram that makes you want to stay on this platform or on the contrary – leave it? Do share in comments:)
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