Well, I was able to wake up at 6:00 AM, if you read yesterday’s blog, Daily Blog #34, you know that is actually how I was able to finish the blog, getting up on time, and meeting one of this weeks goals. Now, riding those productive fumes of getting up early and being semi on time for work, I want to discuss a topic that keeps coming up online.
Yup, believe it or not, sometimes, I blog about something topical.
So, if you spend any of your online time on social media, you may or may not be aware that Instagram is testing some new styles of operation that some say will “destroy” influencer culture and “ruin” Instagram. Some people, however, think this may be what saves the app.
I, however, fall into a third group.
The “The number of likes really doesn’t matter, that isn’t the validation I am looking for” group.
“This is not the validation we’re looking for”
Instagram, to me, isn’t a mere social app for keeping in touch with people. Sure, you can also do that, but Instagram, while owned by the same company as Facebook, is not Facebook. The style, content, and even audience, are different.
I personally don’t like Facebook, but I like Instagram just fine, more so since they added stories.
The changes include the visibility of likes. Now, from what I understand, “likes” will not be counted. Basically, if some major celebrity posts a selfie, and I post another Etsy purchase picture, or pin of the day, neither the celebtrity nor myself will see our likes, and, moreover, the people clicking “like” won’t. This is intended to stop people from leveraging the number of likes they have for marketing.
I really don’t care.
Like I really don’t. I am sure having tons and tons of likes makes you feel great, I enjoy it on Twitter often enough to understand how the chemicals in our brain make us feel happy when the notifications go off, and I don’t even have tons and tons of them, however:
That is not why I post every day.
That is not why I am always growing my social media presence.
I am trying to find my audience.
No, not grow my audience. Not convince strangers to buy my stuff and adore my every action.
FIND my audience.
You see, I know much of my writing may not be well received or even liked.
But the people who do like it, those are the ones i want. I want the people who find my narrator, Roxy, completely endearing. I want to find the readers who love strong women and complex worlds.
I don’t want a million people following my Instagram page and liking my #pinoftheday posts blindly. I want fans, however many I end up having, to actually enjoy my posts, to read the captions, to like the reason I picked that pin.
I really don’t want people not reading my words. My words are important. That’s why I am a writer.
So, I am not trying to build a fan base. I am trying to find the people who will like what I am doing. I don’t want to trick people into following me, liking me, or in some way supporting me.
I want it to be genuine.
So, if no one can see how many likes I have, it really doesn’t matter. If other people can’t see my likes, it matters even less. They don’t need to know if other people like it, they need to know if they do.
I don’t need to build the audience, I need to find it. So, I try to post every day, I try to put out content that shows who i am, in fullness. I love pins, I never go anywhere without my black eyeliner, I love cold brew, I write, ALL the time, I love cannabis, I am a giant nerd, I have an amazingly weird family, and I have weirdly amazing friends. I shop a ton, but mostly on Poshmark and Etsy because small business matters….and I also write some pretty cool stuff.
Yeah, I said it. I like what I write. it has taken me about a decade to be able to say this, but I actually really like my writing, it is exactly what I would want to read. I like my blog, my micro blog captions on Instagram, my tweets on twitter, my books, my short stories, my scripts, I actually like it all.
I LOVE that I like my stuff, and I am searching for people who would also like it.
Likes, shares, following counts have never mattered, nor will they, when you are honestly not looking for the large numbers. When you are merely trying to find the people who like what you have, you are overjoyed with any likes, any follows. Any views. Any comments.
23 people who all really like your content, is much better than 2,300, who really don’t care about it at all.
So, bring on the Instagram changes. If that means that the people that are only on Instagram for “fans” get strummed off Instagram because suddenly it is “too hard” and “too much work” to get a few hundred likes, so be it. If that means people who are trying to trick others, are all discouraged, then awesome!
I don’t care for the mentality of “just spam and scam your way to money” to buy likes, to buy “acclaim”. Why would you want to “monetize” an account with fans that aren’t actually there for you? Do you really think you will sell a bunch of “merch” if you don’t have real fans of real actual work. “Buy my merch” with no content, no substance…Why would anyone do that? Why would you want that?
Worse yet, why would you do that to yourself? Devalue yourself, your creativity, your own little brand. Just for some money, or imaginary clout that can ALL go away if the app closes, or…*gasp* adjusts their algorithm.
If you are just being yourself, doing you, then none of the changes matter. People will still be social, and want to connect with others.
Genuine engagement, real, true connections with real, genuine people.
My other purpose for being on social media, is to, well, be social. I am not an overly social person, I really do not care for crowds of people, not to mention sometimes people are assholes. I like to be in a group of awesome people, people who respect and appreciate each other…and sometimes that “tribe” is easier to cultivate online.
Let’s be real, how many child free by choice, creative writer, blogger, stoner’s, are there in my area alone?
Not many, and if they are anything like me, they also don’t go out much.
I like to build my tribe and connect with like minded people, even if we don’t agree on everything, I like to support and lift up other people, other good humans.
Being social means I tend to comment on people’s stuff, and if I know they may not see my likes, (I don’t know if they will or not, if we are being SUPER honest, I didn’t do much research on the details because I am not upset by the changes and they are still being tested), but if I think they may not see my likes, I will likely end up commenting something positive, to make sure they feel supported. Even if I don’t comment every time, every post, it is likely I comment every couple of posts or so, or at least DM you, because I treat the app as a social connection site, which means I want to connect with you, in a social way.
So, all in all? I am pretty pumped for Instagram changing. I think it means people who are putting time and energy into original content with unique captions a chance to be seen, but also allow people who are truly trying to just find people, to do so.
We don’t need to use social media to be “famous” or to be influencers. We need to use it to connect with the people that we wouldn’t otherwise connect with. For me, this means cool people, and better yet, super awesome people who (sometimes) think my writing is as cool as I do.
So I don’t mind the changes. I think everyone should stop worrying and think about why they are here. Why they want that validation.
Anyways- that is my take/rant about social media and the changes to Instagram.
My main goal was to talk about this, and now I have! Bret and I had dinner, now I’m winding down for the evening, need to edit this blog and get to bed.
I hope you have a wonderful Wednesday, please don’t worry about how many likes you get- you rock, because you are you.