Insta-Famous! Social Media Tips for New Bloggers

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So let me preface this post by acknowledging that I am FAR from Instagram famous! In the grand scheme of things my following is tiny, but I am so proud to have grown it to what it is and am celebrating crossing the coveted 10k threshold on Instagram!

I've put a lot of effort in and learned a lot along the way and I wanted to share it with my blog family. Hopefully it helps you on your road to social media stardom, or something like that. 

Be a storyteller

I found that engagement on my posts increased significantly when my captions got longer- giving insight, inspiration, background to the photo or my mood that day. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but a beautiful caption can only enrich the story. Give people a reason to be interested, and they will be. 

Be authentic

My most watched Instastory of all time was one of my showing my aloe vera and coconut oil pre-shampoo treatment. Most of the pics on my feed are of my hair styled super polished, and I had been long-term protective styling so that was the first time many people had even seen my natural hair. I think that viewers appreciated little sneak peek into my all natural, undone self. And while that will probably not become a regular trend, being more open only make you more human. I know there is so much pressure to curate the perfect feed, but nothing beats showing off who you are and what you stand for. 

 

Diversify Your Platforms

Instagram may be a big, wildly popular social network, but it's not the only one! As much as I love the gram, I split my time between Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat, and my blog, the only platform that is truly mine. Remember, a platform as popular as Vine can disappear overnight, crushing the careers of tens of thousands of influencers. No matter how big your Instagram following is, you don't own that audience. Think about your website, your email list, and other ways to build your brand, outside of one social network. 

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Don't Sweat the Algorithm

Yes there is an algorithm. Yes it changes whenever Facebook or Instagram feel like it, often dealing a crippling blow to engagement. It's a widespread problem that everyone in the industry is aware of. Instead of going crazy over the thing you can't beat, focus on the things that you can. You can always create high quality original content. You can always find a way to engage with your audience and potential new followers. And you can find brand partners that will evaluate you as an overall package, not just how many likes you average on each post.

Know the Rules (and follow them)

Shortcuts may be tempting, but taking them will only hurt you in the long run! Every aspiring influencer can get frustrated with growing at what seems like a snail's pace, while you see and hear stories of other people skyrocketing overnight. And you never know what tricks someone may have up their sleeve, so you really can't compare. But stuff like buying likes and followers is never kosher, and will come back to haunt you the second you start trying to pitch brands for sponsored work. Most companies use analytic tools like Hypr, or Fohr Card to get the scoop on an influencer's following and how authentic it is, so if you cheat you will get caught at some point. Your reputation is all you have and it can be destroyed in seconds if you are caught buying likes or followers, so just don't do it!

Keep it Up!

When I did my first shoot with a pro for my blog he asked me my goals and what I planned to do. I just said I was going to give it a try for a year and see what happened. His response was, "why only a year"? And if I would have stopped after a year I would have just given up thinking it was impossible to get past 500 followers! Yes it's a different ball game than it was a few years ago before all the platform changes, but that doesn't mean you can't do well with hard work, patience, and the right strategy! 

Pin this for reference later! 

Pin this for reference later! 

The 1 Instagram Ready Knit You Need!

Images by   AV Photography

Images by AV Photography

Baby it's cold outside! 

It's suddenly gone from light winter temps to arctic cold here in NYC, so the struggle to look cute and stylish without completely freezing is so real! I usually hate winter shopping just because all I want to do is throw on layers of cashmere and stay indoors as much as possible. However since work and social responsibilities keep me from turning into a complete hermit, I try to find the most stylish warm weather gear possible. 

Handmade Pom Pom Knit Cardigan Sweater

I'd been stalking Mum's Handmade since I saw their beautiful knit sweaters on Instagram of course. These sweaters were made for the gram! In photos they are oversized, cozy, endlessly chic, and luxurious. In person they do not disappoint! 

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I mean look at these details! The pom pom sleeves are so cute you can't take your eyes off them. People literally stopped me several times in the street to ask about this sweater and if me or a family member had knit it. I know nothing about knitting, but a lot of people could easily tell it was handmade. It took a few weeks to get mine because they are all made to order then shipped internationally, but the wait was more than worth it!

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The hardest part was choosing between the warm-up cardigan and the new cuddle-up sweater, then of course the color. I went with the pink because I've been living for this color. But I'm also eyeing the black, white and red. Ugh tough decisions! If you are as obsessed with this sweater as I am, and are ready to treat yourself, go ahead and make the splurge. It's pricey but def worth it! 

Insta-Obsessed: My Fave Accessories Brands Found on the Gram

It's no secret I spend  A LOT  of time on social media. In addition to the friends, fashionistas, and foodies I follow, I tend to go off the deep end whenever I hit the explore page. A few of my binge browsing sessions have helped me find amazing brands, with gorgeous products and inspiring, witty content. Check them out below!

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Love Cortnie's oversized clutches are unique enough to start a conversation and big enough to hold more of your essentials than the average clutch. Keep your eyes on the One & Done page for items that are truly one of a kind! 

This brand's assortment of sexy chokers (on sale now) and bad ass bandanas is killer! And since they were just started a few months ago, dropping their name will give you instant it girl cred. 

Head wraps are one of my summer staples and The Wrap Life is the go-to place for bold colors and fresh prints! If you have no idea where to begin tying one of these, check out their fun tutorial videos. 

If custom name chains and rose gold grills are your thing, Melanie Marie is your go-to shop. Their designs are edgy and bold perfect for anyone who likes rock-star ready jewelry.