After tons of DM’s and emails about numerous questions related to Instagram, blogging, and business, I decided to start doing little QA’s on my Instagram stories @kahleanicolee.
Even though we now have the highlight feature (which I love), I wanted to still add them here on my site for you to refer back to forever!
Here were this week’s three questions:
“How can I tell if someone is buying followers/engagement, or using bots to grow on social media?”
1. Their followers are skyrocketing, but their engagement isn’t: This is common of those who buy followers. You’ll see dramatic increases in their follower count over a short term basis, but their likes and comments are still low numbers.
2. Who they’re following is a constantly fluctuating number: This is common with people who are using bots. Bots can be programmed to follow/unfollow accounts based on hashtags you arrange them to keep an eye on. Bots can also be programmed to like/comment other people’s profiles, but the follow/unfollow tactic is easier to spot.
3. The accounts they’re following AND being followed by are sketchy: These accounts could be anything from fake accounts to accounts with really low follower amounts that they are following. For example, they have 10k and are following people in their niche with only 200 followers (refer back to #2). You can easily spot these things by clicking on their “followers” number on their profile.
Remain genuinely engaged with your followers and accounts that are similar to yours. Buying followers/using bots will only hurt you later and result in the loss of respect from fellow creatives who are actively working towards building an authentic brand.
“How do you come up with authentic content when you feel like you don’t have anything? I’m sometimes in a rut and I don’t know what to post!” –@coralys.nichole
1. Monitor who you follow on social media, especially Instagram: Over 4 months ago I unfollowed over 500 people. Not to be catty, not to start drama, not because I didn’t like them, but because I didn’t feel creatively challenged.
Instead, I compared myself to them. I found myself scrolling and being uninspired by my feed. I decided that I wanted to follow people who when I saw them in my feed I was encouraged by their posts and challenged to create better content.
I’m not saying to go on an unfollow spree, haha. I am saying, however, to be careful who you allow on your feed. Decide whether their work will push you to create more or pull you away from that desire.
2. Utilize the Instagram “bookmark” feature: This is one of my favorite tools because it’s essentially Pinterest for Instagram. I save different categories/collections of pictures with this feature so whenever I want to shoot a certain style or subject I can refer back to them for inspiration. Here are a few examples:
3. Jot down your vision: There are so many times that I drive past a place, see a picture in a magazine, find a post on my feed, etc where I’m like, “Oh! I love that! That would fit perfect with “x” thing I want to shoot!” So I started jotting those ideas down and then later when I’m planning content I’ll pull those ideas out and organize the shoot on paper. I’ll write out my whole vision before I ever execute. This has helped take the pressure out of creating content constantly and added the fun back in!
“Do you get more engagement (in the form of quality conversation starters) through stories or posts? I seem to get more through stories because I’m being so real, but I use stories and posts so differently. Should I be doing that?” –@priskajordan
To answer the first question, I get more quality engagement through stories. However, my definition of quality engagement is based upon the heart of my brand. So your definition may not be the same as mine depending on why you’re doing what you’re doing. Here are some examples of what I mean:
– The heart of my brand is to connect with and encourage others during the varying seasons of life through the platform of my business. With this in mind, I want to make sure my audience knows that they can reach out to me at anytime about anything. I want them to know that I will do my best to help them in anyway that I can.
This is because for me, I place more value on the conversations I have with someone one-on-one over “x” amount of likes or comments I may receive on a post.
– However, if you’re wanting more likes and comments (which is totally okay too!), you will get more quality engagement when you create a story with a call to action.
A story as in how does the picture or subject of the picture relate to you personally. Was it hard getting the shot? Have you used that product your whole life? Are you wearing that look for a special occasion?
A call to action gives your audience a chance (and encouragement) to respond to the story you wrote and the picture you created. Therefore, resulting in higher engagement. Call to actions can be anything like, “double tap if you love trying out new products, tell me about your favorite places to shop for the holidays, comment below what your favorite Christmas tradition is, etc.”
Overall, and to answer the second part of the question, facilitate the conversations in both stories and posts by using the two to complement each other, not contradict.
A good way to use them to complement each other is to start the story in one place and then continue it in another place. So, if my call to action in the caption of my newest Instagram post is, “what is your favorite holiday tradition?” then I’ll going into my stories and say, “one of my holiday traditions is “xyz,” I would love to hear about your holiday tradition in my newest post!”
That way you’re not missing out on an opportunity to facilitate a conversation with your audience.
If you notice that your audience isn’t responding well to your call to action, don’t panic! Let the photo sit there for a little while and watch the comments. Sometimes what you think is a good focus of the photo is not what others see as the focus. So, a little hack is to change your call to action based on the focus of your comments!
You want to train your audience to expect a call to action where they can get involved in with the convo. So regardless of whether or not changing the call to action based on the comments helps, continue to do your call to action and eventually it will begin to stick!
I hope that this QA was helpful! If you have any other questions related to blogging, business, or social media, feel free to drop a comment down below and I’d be happy to add them to my list!