Instagram Superstar

Social media work for me because I am lazy as hell. There are people I know in real life that I have not seen in years and I like to keep it that way. Not a reflection on them; I am just lazy to put on going-out clothes. When we go out we also have to talk, which I sometimes don’t want to do. Used to love going out but these days I like quiet. Everything I do is quiet. Not sex. And, not eating. 🌝 But I’m not the slurping kind. I go chew-chew like a train. There’s this guy at my workplace who once ate noodles for breakfast and I could hear him slurping away enthusiastically and loudly and he is seated about 2 meters away. It was quite gross. Bleargh~ He also has that breathe-through-mouth face.

Anyway. I digress.

My best friend wants to be an Instagram superstar. I am usually supportive of her endeavours (except, if it involved drugs. I’d drop her faster than Taylor Swift dropped Selena Gomez from her ‘squad’) but I don’t really like Instagram. I’m old. I’m a Facebook-but-not-fake-news kind of person. Not everything is Instagram-worthy.

At this point, we are trying to learn everything we can about Instagram. I know some things, of course. In fact, I switched to an android device from a Blackberry 5 years ago because I wanted to be on Instagram and look at photos. Then I realised I didn’t really like having strangers randomly liking my posts so I made the account private. Then I also realised when I privatised the account with only 100+ followers there wasn’t much engagement.

So these are some things I’ve learnt about Instagram. They probably might not help you become an overnight superstar (I almost wrote supervisor), but maybe you can bear all these in mind.

Banned Hashtags on Instagram

Okay I don’t have the link to this but you can check out a couple of websites (don’t be lazy, just Google!!) that list down the banned hashtags. Banned meaning if you use these hashtags your posts might not appear on people’s feeds, subsequently decreasing your reach, and if anyone searched for that particular hashtag nothing will show up. Some banned hashtags I can remember include : #newyears #girl #woman (mostly anything to do with women or body image) #teens #girlsonly #lingerie #tgif (what the!) #snapchat (this makes sense, come on people!) anything porno or unsavoury. #eggplant #curvy (does this mean I can’t sell plus sized clothes?) So don’t use these hashtags. You also can’t use tags that aren’t related to the post, or tags for a prolonged period. It would just come across as spammy.

Using Bots would get you into Trouble

One of the things my best friend and I are working on is to increase followers and likes organically. There’s actually no reason to want to buy followers and likes. 1) We don’t have extra money lying around to justify doing this, so we are happy Instagram doesn’t allow it. 2) We really want genuine engagement. We want to know posts to which people positively respond. Don’t use bots. You might risk getting banned.

Timing is Everything

I don’t like posting anything on Saturdays. I am sure there are marketing people seated in a cubicle farm in the US that study all these things, and the insights might apply to only people in that region but Singapore Instagrammers can also follow certain guidelines. Some days are really more popular than others. Saturdays are out especially when you have a small number of followers. Wednesdays on Facebook work for me, never tried it on Instagram. So once I come up with a cough chart with details I will share the insights. Free.

Photos People Like

This is just my observation. It might not be true. I am open to debate. It might not even apply to you if you resided outside of Singapore. Mostly Singaporeans like photos of/such as:

– Food (especially nice photos of food)

– Babies or kids

– Luxury items/Socialites flaunting luxury items

– Local or regional celebrities

– Activities and events (art, sports, exercise/fitness)

– Colour (we are not Kanye West, so go easy on black/grey and start experimenting with every colour on kuler)

– Travel (doesn’t really matter where; cheap and good is fine, expensive and lux is fine too)

They mostly don’t like sales-sy photos, (true for all platforms) so if you use Instagram for business you might want to be less sales-ly. At this point I don’t know how to be less sales-sy so watch this space.

Looks can be important, but they are not everything

I say this because I had a colleague who posts really high quality photos. Everything is on fleek. She also can be categorised as beautiful. But people don’t really care enough to double tap her posts. For someone who has at least 300 followers, her likes are in the range of 1 – 10, especially with no hashtags, which is not even 10%. Likability is definitely a factor, plus she hardly likes anyone else’s posts, which is weird because this is social media. You have to be.. social.. There’s also this guy I swiped right on Tinder once and for someone who is actively involved in media he gets really lousy engagement. And I realised it’s cause he comes off as pompous. People don’t like that, you can be inspiring, yes, but you must appear to be just like us. Not too fake.

When I discover more insights I will share. Now I have to take a shower to go to my day job. 🌝