We are exposed to hundreds of advertisements per day as we sift through endless digital information to find what we actually want to see. You can tell this by the way social media has evolved during its relatively short lifespan. In the early days of Facebook, text-based posts dominated our news feeds. Now, having only text means you’re often overlooked as we search for eye-catching imagery that draws us in. Viewers want information as quickly as possible, hence why entities like Twitter have flourished. Now, Instagram is taking the reigns as the preferred social media for younger generations. Today’s social consumers want beautiful visuals from friends, family, and strangers alike. Companies are tapping into this trend and using these mediums to connect with possible consumers. This only adds to the media bombardment we experience daily. So what does this mean for those of us who want to connect with viewers and like-minded people? We’ve got our work cut out for us.
As a newer travel blogger myself, I find I often struggle with connecting to users, even other bloggers, due to the mass influx of media. I’m trying to enter into a realm that is already dominated by well-established veterans. What’s a girl to do who mainly enjoys sharing stories and photos from her travels that she finds interesting? Especially one that hasn’t been to that many exotic places with photos that are taken from her iPhone and low-end DSLR? Here’s what I do to keep myself sane in the crazy realm that is social media.
Don’t Succumb to Those Who Play Games
If you immediately thought of the accounts that unfollow you if you don’t follow them after 24-48 hours, then you know the feeling. Unfortunately, some people only want to increase their numbers, and will try to do so by going on a mass following spree, and then unfollowing you later on thinking you won’t notice. If you don’t want to indulge in this strategy, then don’t. If people follow me that I find I would enjoy seeing their tweets appear on my feed, I follow them. Same goes for Facebook. Don’t feel obliged though, because then you’ll feed into that vicious cycle of sifting through information you don’t want in order to find what you do. Tailor your feeds to you and what you find important.
Do What You Can to Help Yourself
There are plenty of articles from established bloggers and social media experts that give great advice. Chances are they’ve been around a while and they’ve got the following to prove that what they do works. However, if it doesn’t work for you – that’s okay! Adopt whatever guidelines you find useful and implement them because following their advice to the letter doesn’t mean you’ll get the same results. For example, using underused, more specific Instagram hashtags instead of the general ones like #travel or #instagram can help increase your exposure. By using more specific hashtags, you’re targeting a more direct group of potential users that you have a better chance of connecting with. Also, your photos have a higher chance at becoming a top photo because you have less competition to go against.
Connect With Like-Minded People
Connect with like-minded people and create a general understanding of sharing. A “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” sort of deal. Not only are you fostering friendship, but you’re also sharing articles that mean that much more to you because it’s someone you have an investment in. Chances are that they also are somewhat like-minded and so your content will relate to many of their follows, hence increasing your social media reach. Another good opportunity is to work with people: collaborate on posts, run a giveaway together, contribute to another site, anything! Creating content for others will increase your exposure as well as help other bloggers out, and if they like your stuff, chances are they’ll want to work with you again! Even better? You might end up with new friends around the world!
Don’t Be a Jerk
The saying all publicity is good publicity may be true for some, but personally, I’d rather avoid bad publicity. It might sound like common sense, but treat others as you wish to be treated… even if that person is on your ‘I Really Don’t Like You’ list. Text can often be misconstrued, so ensure your good intentions are communicated through emails and other text-based media. I get it, there are days when things go extremely wrong, and people make mistakes. It’s okay to get frustrated with the games or that you’ve pitched an idea to 98124 companies with no bites. When this happens though, always try to put a positive spin on it. Use these setbacks to strengthen yourself and move forward. Ask yourself why is my pitch not working? Go back to the drawing board, analyze, learn, and grow. And when people ask for your help but you’re not interested or don’t have the time – be honest but respectful. You never know when you may need their help (or have to work with them) in the future.