The magical phenomenon of Instagram has taken the world by storm.? Are we truly surprised at its overnight success?? As humans, our response to visual stimuli is much higher than audio, verbal or context.? It is under the umbrella of one of the largest digital firms in the world.? It lets us become magicians without needing the expertise of Photoshop.
I think we have explained that spike in popularity.
But what makes one Instagram grow faster than another?
What makes one have a higher engagement level?
Disclaimer:? Now, before I go on, let’s throw out the established brands, the celebrities, athletes and “what do we call reality stars these days”?? This is normal folks that live normal lives every day.
Next, let’s eliminate those that “buy” followers.? How can you tell someone that “buys” followers?? Very simple.? If they go from 150 to 1500 in a matter of two minutes, purchased!!!? If they show that instant growth, but total engagement does not increase at the same rate, purchased!!!!
For those that do not understand engagement, let us explain.? Engagement is when you take the total number of engagements (likes and comments) and divided by the total number of followers.
Example: You have 1000 followers.? You post a picture that gets 100 likes and 10 comments.? Your total engagement is 110/1000 or 11%.? So 11% of your followers are interested in your post.? In social, we often mistake raw numbers for success.? Engagement is the critical element you want to pay attention to.
If I have 50,000 followers and 500 likes, that is only 1% engagement.? If I have 5000 followers and 500 likes, that is 10%.? I’ll take the second option anytime.? That just means higher conversion to whatever message, idea, product or service I am selling.
Now the reason you are all here:? How do I maximize my engagement and continue strong organic growth?
Quality.? Whether it is 1900 AD or 3000 AD, quality will always be critical to success.? I don’t care if you are sharing a picture of the cutest dog in the world.? If it is blurry, you won’t get the interest.
Respect your community.? Community is everything.? Every follower is choosing you because you have something they can relate too and thus want to be part of your “community”.? Don’t post and ignore.? Respond to comments, engage with your followers.? Show them it is a two-way street.
Variety and diversification.? If you are selling tires that is great.? If you put a picture of a tire up every day for 100 days, you will lose more than you will gain.? People want variety.? They want change.? Put the tire in a hat.? Dress one up as Santa.? Get creative.
Don’t post more than twice a day.? Over-saturation of anything is bad.? Think about those spam emails.? I think you understand.
Timing.? If nothing else, pay very close attention to this bullet point.? Timing is so important in your strategy for success.? So when is the best time to post?? Glad you asked.
Weekend and mid-day week day are bad.? If you are in a holiday or vacation spot, even worse for weekends.? People are out on weekends and working during the week days.? Yes, they have their smartphones that never leave their side, understood.? Honestly, with staff meetings, desk audits and Pokemon searches, it is hard to keep up with Instagram during those times.
Mornings and evenings between 8 PM and 11 PM are big success times.? When we wake up, Instagram.? When we are home eating or watching commercials, we Instagram.? Between innings of the game, we Instagram.? Having that special alone time on the toilet, Instagram.
Bonus:? If you post between 9:30 PM and 11:00 PM, you have the carry over effect.? That means you will get a push in the evening and then a follow up in the morning for those that missed it due to the late posting time.
One thing to keep in mind is that most brands are regional (local).? If you are focused on an international audience, these rules do not apply due to time zone differences.
Keep it clean – We clean our rooms, our kitchen, bathroom, cubicle, office and car.? Why not keep your digital environment clean?? Hmmm, valid thought.? Every now and again, go through your posts and delete those that have lost relevance and treat your account as a re-birth every few weeks or months.
There we have it, your simple tips to a successful Instagram account.? Be creative, diversify, respect your community and most of all, have fun.
October is traditionally National Bullying Prevention Month.? During this month, students are urged to stand up, make friends outside their circles, become more aware of others differences and create a surrounding culture that stamps out bullying and promotes unification.
Bullying takes on many faces and attacks many populations.? Unfortunately, one month of awareness is not enough to mend the hole that has been created by the global epidemic of social media interaction.? It is a black hole that increases in size and scope daily and sucks the souls out of people around the world.
Bullying can be seen in:
Athletes against nerds
Cheerleaders against Emo
Strong against weak
Straight against gay
Whites against black
And the list goes on.? Kids Against Bullying is an organization that was created by PACER Center to bring information and awareness to this issue.? Their mission to bring togetherness, acceptance and kindness is one with an important message we should all follow.
At the grade school level, students fight to find identity.? This struggle leads to difficult life choices and paths.? It is in this pressure driven culture that schools have created where bullying has become one of many pronounced effects.
As we grow, mature and evaluate our lives, the natural progression is toward awareness, acceptance and a new level of compassion.? Unfortunately, as adults, the bullying issue is as impacting as it is with the younger generation.? We just don’t seem to be acknowledging it.
During the recent Miss Universe pageant, Steve Harvey made a mistake crowning the wrong Miss Universe contestant.? I did not see the event, but the pulsating social media buzz came to my attention early this morning.? Like so many of us, Steve Harvey made a mistake.
A grammatical or erroneous message on the internet
In the heat of passion, calling your lover the wrong name
Releasing a product with a defect
Playing the wrong first song at a wedding
Sending a package to the wrong person
In Mr. Harvey’s case, it was witnessed by millions around the world.? He was ridiculed and defended over the course of the next few hours.? Was there harm?? Yes, emotional, but one he apologized for over and over.
If you look closely at the wave of comments made on social media, not just last evening but everyday, you will see something very eye-opening:? Bullying is all around, even in adults.
Donald Trump supporters and Trump himself are some of the most visible supporters of bullying with bumper stickers that say “Hillary Clinton for Prison” and comments demeaning other candidates and former political figures.
Anti-Obama supporters make blanket accusations and insults on a daily basis.? Many are based on personal frustration; not fact.? Ask Rush Limbaugh, he leads the brigade.
In a recent posting on the I Love Folly Community Site on Facebook, this image of colored hammocks under the pier stirred up over 100 comments, many were negative attacks at one another about entitlement and safety.? This was only a symbolic look at the many colors of Folly Beach, the coastal lifestyle and the feeling of taking a step back from life and relaxing to watch a magical sunset.? This image turned a quiet coast city into a verbal battlefield.
Are most of these comments made at public figures, yes, because that is the life path they chose, but once you peel the layers, you will see it is going on at all levels.
There are many factors contributing to the hatred and suffering leading to these cowardly attacks.? The economy, limited career opportunities, cost of living issues, over-population and cultural differences all play a role in the anguish that leads to these actions.
Awareness is nice and necessary, but it isn’t changing human behavior.? We still have a tremendous amount of work and it will take many more generations to get it right.? Through generations of neglect, limited family nurturing and lower standards of accepted behavior, we have dug a deep hole.? Now we must look to ourselves, family and friends to find the answers to correct our wayward direction and more us toward a better place.
On January 5, President Obama discussed executive actions on gun control.? It was a noble act and in light of one of the most violent and deadliest years the United States has seen (outside of Civil War), it makes sense from the framework of a political mind.? In fact, on December 25 (Christmas), there were 27 gun related homicides (not including suicide) which was more than eight combined countries around the world for all of 2015.? In Charleston, it will be a long time before we every forget the Walter Scott incident and the devastating Emanuel AME shootings.
The issue is simple:? These are just words on a piece of paper hidden behind the walls of a historic building with very little chance of leading to positive change.? I know that is a rather negative statement, but what we are witnessing is a political response.? When we have a tragic event, someone or something must answer and take responsibility and that is guns.
We are just brushing one thing under the rug but ignoring so many other key elements of the problem.
Let us take a look at other factors that need critical attention:
With population increase, there are volume increases in sub-groups within a population.? As federal and state funding decreases, some groups do not have the resources, shelters and often go undiagnosed.? That is the population of mentally ill.? As there are struggles to have institutions to house these individuals and health care cost concerns that result in so many going undiagnosed, we have a national issue of mental illness that needs immediate attention and resolution.
Social media has created a culture of immediacy, laziness, emotional disconnect, public forum without thought, process and due diligence and accessibility.? With the lines of global communication open, digital addictions, forced agendas and opinions and a general human disconnect, we are shut down from emotional connection and fragile to brain washing.
The millennials are the “second” generation to fall pray to the social kidnapping that is creating a society of followers that are weakened by economic turmoil, lack of jobs, violence, overcrowding and hatred.? The parents were the first to begin with Farmville and end with the celebration of the Ku Klux Klan and Donald Trump.? Without strong parenting role models, our children have little hope.
Wage disparity.? The gap between the extreme rich and much higher majority in the poverty category has always been a part of the US infrastructure.? Now we are at the worst levels in over half a century and the gap is getting larger.? Money is the root of evil for many.? When 1% can buy 50% of the people, you will get backlash.
Education issues.? Ignorance is bliss.? Are there still schools and parents that believe blacks should still be slaves, rednecks shouldn’t date their family and financial institutions and politicians? are greedy agenda driven thieves.? Yes.? They are still pushing these narrow minded appeals on today’s youth.? Also, the quality of education is driving the US down in science and mathematics and make it difficult to compete for some of the most competitive careers as well.
Finally, apathy.? We are walking around like zombies (thus the popularity of the shows) without feeling, without emotion and most importantly without the need to feel responsibility for our own actions.
Maybe we need to look at all the factors and develop, not just legislation but examples of positive change not just for the good of our home, but the future of our planet.