I Learned 3 Tips about Using Instagram

10:54 PM


A Disclaimer: I wrote the majority of this post well before the election, which has changed my opinion of Instagram. I won't be discussing the controversies about the recent censorship and data collection in this post. But I encourage you all to use your best judgment about using this platform, especially when agreeing to the Terms and Conditions. As for me, I have prayed about leaving Insta and I feel that God is calling me to continue using it for now until something better comes. I'm not sure why, but it must have to do with His plan. 

I have never been a social media person. I viewed it as a bit of a time-waster, among other things. 

But a book makes you do crazy things. And in my case, it was one of my own little literary children that opened up the need for some sort of platform. 

I chose Instagram because I tend to be a more visual person and, more importantly, the politics stayed out of it for the most part unlike other popular social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter. And over the past six months, I have learned many things about it. And today, I'd like to share three of the most important. 

So let's begin! 

1. Don't do it for the follower count. 

This is one thing that kinda drove me a little crazy about other bloggers - they were always looking to increase their follower count on social media and kept stats up on their pages. I mean, I understand why....the more followers, the more your content gets exposed. 

In theory. 

Here's the thing - I now follow nearly 1000 accounts on Instagram. Out of those, only 30% of those follow me back (I have now 354 followers). And only 30% of those (about 100) view my stories. And on average, about 40% of those (around 40 people) actually like my feed posts, and only 10% of those (around 4 people on average) comment! 

(wow. I actually did math. Hell must be turning down the thermostat, look out). 

My point is, only a percentage of people actually pay attention to your stuff regularly. It really is a case of quality over quantity. 

And speaking of quality...

2. Curate your follower list. 

What do I mean by this? 

I mean, control it. Don't let every Tom, Dick, and Harry follow you. 

Instagram gives you a notification every time someone follows you. Take advantage of that and check out the follower's profile. And then ask yourself, am I okay with this person viewing my stuff? 

Because let's face it, it is a "public" network, no matter what political spin is put on it. Your content is out on display (which is also a good thing to keep in mind when curating your content too). 

As a woman, this is especially important. There are stalkers, sugar daddies, witches (legit had one follow me, it was not cool), and other perverse characters out there. My follower count would probably be close to 500 right now if I let all of those characters stay on my follower list. 

You may think that they could get benefit from your content (especially in light of point one) but never assume that. Following you opens up a door for weird messages and collecting information and photos of you. They have no business doing that, and you do not need to be an occasion of sin to our brothers. It's just better to block them from the get-go. 

Especially block the following: 

- Males over 40. 

- Content is minimal and usually only features selfies

- Bio is set to private with little to no profile information

- Men from other countries

Actually, to be honest, I'm taking it one step further. I'm actually blocking most of the men that follow me on Insta. I make exceptions for upstanding men who share my interests such as @catholicgabe, but that's it. If they're married or they are above 35, I nearly always block them. The former because that's just sus (again, removing the stumbling block), and the latter for safety. 

3. Post with Intent

Now, I'm sure that there are better people than me to speak about what content to put on your page. Certainly, as a novice, I don't have that many good tips about content. 

However, one big thing about social media is that it can contribute to pride, vanity, and anger. I see influencers who have such big platforms and they know it. Their content gets more and more opinionated as time goes on. Not that I necessarily think that opinions and personal examples are necessarily bad things, but they each have their time and place. 

Another mistake I see often is the saturation of advertising content for books and other things. Granted, that's half the reason why these Instagram pages exist, but that gets really annoying (and why people advise about having content ratios and that sort of thing).  

So my tip for this is to post with intent. What purpose does this post serve? Is it informative? Is it uplifting? Is it hilarious? Is it fun? Is it charitable? 

Also, as an extra humility boost, try to use your social media to highlight others! Showcase your author friend's achievements. Gush about how your best friend is the most awesome friend in the world. And even better - highlight God and your faith! 

And that's a wrap! 

Do you have an Instagram account? What has been your experience with it? Do you use any alternative social media and what is your experience with them? Tell me in the comments below! 

Scribbingly yours, 


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  1. Amen for throwing out the sus men! Ew

  2. This is all great advice whether for an author profile or just a personal account. Thanks, Catherine!


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