Day One of posting was a challenging day. I had some choices to make. Do I start uploading photos of my most recent vacation or do I start at the very beginning of the photos from my phone all the way back in 2016?
Those first photos happened to be taken on a trip to Egypt and there were trips to Australia, Jordan, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Romania that I could add as well ( Oh Yagi! You place dropping hussy!). I like the idea of starting from the beginning for two reasons:
- I wouldn’t have to scramble for pictures now. Instead I could pick the best from what I had and slowly release them 1 to 3 a day.
- When else am I going to look at these photos? I reckon I am like almost everyone else and take photos for the sake of taking photos and never really go back on a trip down memory lane.
First Pic Away
Awh yeah! Cool! I remember that little guesthouse with perfect views of the Pyramids, I thought.
Editing Your Pic
I went ahead and clicked that little “+” in the bottom center of my Instagram page to add my photo. Now there were a few thing I knew the gurus recommended before posting the photo:
- Try an keep your shot in the square frame. You have the option of zooming in and out to get that landscape or portrait shot in, but it apparently does not seem favoured. And sometimes cuts out the images in certain versions of their thumbnails.
- Have a consistent theme. No worries. I was really digging that Mayfair filter. Maybe if I just applied that to every shot it would do. Maybe.
So I managed to find my photo of the pyramids at dusk and set it in a square frame and then applied the Mayfair filter to it. The next step was to…
Add Comments and Location
In the comments section you should make a genuine remark about your photo.
The guru’s also say to use a call to action. This is just a question or something that would get people interested in replying to your remarks on the photo. This user engagement thing is supposed to keep people coming back and following you. I didn’t really do this here. Instead made a good comment about budget travel and the opportunities to get better views by staying in a cheaper cozier digs than some of the swankier places.
####### Hashtags ########
So #hashtags seem to be what get you noticed in Instagram. As a user, you can follow hashtags. This means that being on the right ones seems to be what draws people to your image for likes and possibly become a follower.
From what I could gather, the max number of hashtags I could use was 30. Whoah!!! 30?! That’s a lot. There is no way I could think of 30 relevant hashtags for this photo!
Here’s what I’ll do. I’ll create some hashtags for my first pic and if I like them, I will use them again and add a few more when I think of them. Good thinking Yagi, you lazy slob.
My first hashtag list looked like this:
#aussieexpat #expatlife #expatinegypt #expattravel #egypttravel #expat #thepyramids
A measly 7 hashtags, I know, but it targets the audience I was hoping to engage – expats, cause I’m one and then Egypt and Travel because that’s what I am doing.
Finally, I added a location. I wasn’t quite sure how general I should be about adding a location. In my case should I just add Giza, or the location of the place I was staying? I chose the latter.
The whole posts looked like this:
The Second Pic
The second photo I chose for my Instagram account was, to me, pretty bloody amusing. It was this reclining camel that looked to be posing all sexy for the other camels.
No, I don’t have a thing for camels, damn it!
The problem was that I could not get the photo of the camel in a square fit to appease the Instagram gods, so I just left it as a landscape image.
Again I used the Mayfair filter to add a bit of colour to the image and then then commented:
I don’t know. Do people have a sense of humour on Instagram?
For hashtags this time around I went a little crazy and added a few extra tags to my original set:
#livingabroad #travelcouple #camel
For the last one, I really hoped someone is subscribed to the camel hashtag. After checking, there were 2 million posts with the camel hashtag. Hilarious.
So what did I mess up on day one?
- No “Call to Action” on my comments on the pictures.
- Small hashtag list.
- One of the pics was in landscape and not a square.
Nevertheless, after 24 hours I did manage to generate some likes for both of the posts.
The pyramid post managed to get 7 likes, while the camel pic got 13. I also managed to get 7 followers somehow along the way.
Okay well that’s a solid start to things, I guess.
Engaging the Community
Things didn’t stop with posting my photos though. What I needed to do next was to get involved in the Instagram community and engage with those Instagrammers who shared similar interests as my own. To do this I:
- Liked peoples photos. A heap of them. This was kind of fun. I enjoyed some of the photos that they were coming up with.
- Commented on a Few Photos. This was a guru recommendation. I didn’t want to just make insincere general comments and wanted to make a thoughtful comment on someones posts. This made things harder because there were only a few pictures that I really wanted to comment on.
- Follow people. I started following 16 people on my first day. I knew that I needed to follow people who shared the same themes as me which was easy because there were lots of them. Apparently if you follow people that are off topic then Instagram thinks you’re a shlub and won’t rank you as highly in the categories you are focusing on.
All in all the whole first day worth of posting photos and engaging in the community was done over the course of re-watching a Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode. So not much work overall.
So how do you think I should have done my first two Instagram posts better?
What do you think the next step should be?
Want me to get back to Google Sheets and Google Apps Script? Don’t worry. It’s coming. 😀
Next on Instagram Diaries
Part 4: T