Friday, January 19, 2018

LET'S TALK INSTAGRAM NUMBERS




Today I want to address something that I don't publicly talk about because it just doesn't seem necessary or relevant to all of you.

But I can't keep my mouth shut any longer.

I want to talk numbers... particularly Instagram numbers. Over the years that I've been sharing on these platforms of mine, I haven't really been that obsessed with my numbers until about a year ago. I woke the freak up and realized that my content IS NOT the most important thing here. As sad as that statement is, brands care about my value and my value is my reach/impressions (aka the people who view my content). The higher my reach, the more eyes I'll have on my content which can potentially lead to sales for the brand I am being sponsored by. 

It's all pretty basic stuff if you're familiar with running a business via social media or advertising/digital marketing. 

But I just have to be real here. I've tried tons of different social media tactics in the past year to reach a slightly anticlimactic milestone of finally getting to 10K followers on Instagram. Yes, it was exciting to see that sought after "K" show up a few days ago, but my happy bubble was quickly popped when I posted a photo... one from this post to be exact. I woke up this morning, checked my emails and social media, and realized that the photo I posted last night had received less than 40% of my usual engagement rates (aka likes and comments). I didn't understand. It had all the components of a photo that would typically get high engagement.

Some of you may be rolling your eyes at this point. Woe is me. Cry me a freaking river and get over yourself. I get that mindset. I used to be you before I started caring about growing my business too. But at the end of the day, higher numbers = brand partnerships = money. And a girl's gotta eat people. 

As you may know, Instagram's ever-changing algorithm has really shaken the game for businesses on their platform. It is incredibly discouraging to work so hard day and night to just get stifled by something that is out of my control. So many rumors have been floating around about how to beat IG's algorithm, but it's impossible to know what actually true. The low engagement on content and stunted growth rates push people to use inorganic methods to boost their business. I'm not lumping everyone into this category, but a decent percentage of IG businesses have used at least one of these methods at one point or another. I'm referring to buying likes/followers, using bots to like/follow other accounts, joining engagement pods, doing the follow/unfollow tactic, spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars to participate in IG giveaways, etc. (*Sidenote: Did you know secret giveaways are a thing? I just found out about them today.)

Contrary to what a lot of experts preach about organic growth, playing by the rules isn't going to make you stand out in the sea of millions (literally) of bloggers and "influencers" floating around out there. Organic growth is extremely hard to come by these days, and in my opinion, virtually non-existent. If you're not the 1% of users who hits the jackpot or has "IG famous" friends who give you shout outs on the regular, chances are you know the struggle. Don't get me wrong, there are people who see success organically these days, but that is not the norm. In fact, it's a far cry from it. 

Earlier this week, I was watching Amiee Song of Song of Style's IG stories. I saw that she was telling her followers to follow a few inspiring accounts that she discovered from comments on her own IG posts. One of them happened to be an absolutely beautiful, creative account that I already followed and was well deserving of the shoutout. I followed the account's stats to see what this one IG story shoutout would do for the account. People. ONE single screenshot of the account's feed with a tag on Amiee's IG story that lasts only 24 hours, got this account roughly 3,000 new followers. I bow down. It is amazing to see how truly influential people can be on social media. So many of us aspire to be that. I know I do. But the only way we can grow to that level or even in that realm is if people are seeing our content and engaging with it. 

I wish I had the answers to guarantee success, but I don't. If you have a blog or run a business that relies heavily on Instagram, you know what I'm talking about in this post. If you don't have a blog or run a business that relies heavily on Instagram, this may be new information to you. All I can advise at this point is if you follow accounts and see their posts, but aren't engaging with them please start doing so. 

We're just little guys in a big ocean hoping to swim to the top one day. 





Tuesday, January 9, 2018

ELEVATED VELVET


 c/o dress || turtleneck || clutch || earrings || shoes

How to style a short-sleeve wrap dress in the winter:

Layer a long-sleeve turtleneck underneath it!

It has been raining like crazy since yesterday here in Santa Barbara, so I wanted to style this dress to accommodate chilly weather.

You can see the evidence of the rain on the floor in these photos. Oh the rain. What a blessing and a curse. I feel like our world is falling apart in front of my eyes. I've been up since 7 a.m. this morning and have heard rescue helicopters flying by since I woke up. I've probably heard them go by about 30-40 times now. There have been nasty mudslides, flooding, and debris flow in Montecito area. People were told to evacuate, but sadly, many underestimated the severity of the situation and didn't listen. So far, five people have been reported dead and who knows how many are injured or in critical condition.

My heart is so heavy. I wish I could feel less. Is that bad? Is that crazy selfish? Probably.



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