This'll be short and sweet. I spent 2017 trying to grow my Instagram account (@subtlefoodie) and in the process, learned a ton about Social Media in general, and boy was it enlightening.
Did you know there's a algorithm running behind Instagram that makes a determination of what posts get shown more frequently? I didn't.
Did you know that you can be shadowbanned for using automation tools or unauthorized bots? I didn't.
Did you know what engagement on posts is heavily determined by the first two hours of a post being live? I didn't.
Did you know there are something called Engagement Pods? I didn't.
Thankfully, in 2017, I managed to do my favorite thing: Learn. Learn about the algorithm. Learn about what makes a post highly engaging. Learn about what makes my community of followers tick. Learn about what they want to see. Learn how to engage with others. Learn how to deliver engaging and enjoyable content that help support locally owned and small businesses .
There's up's and down's in that world. Engagement Pods are super interesting. The key concept is a group of like-minded people who help drive engagement to your posts. It works because you get REAL people engaging with REAL posts. It works because everyone is committed. It fails because you get some that only want to drive engagement to their own posts. This has happened a number of times to me, and unfortunately, there's no way around it. You learn to live with it (and not engage with those accounts), and you move on to what is important: DELIVERING CONTENT TO YOUR COMMUNITY THAT SUPPORTS YOUR VISION.
As someone once told me that people "..forget to think of their CONTENT first..." I credit much of what I've learned about IG, and how to do it RIGHT, to a one dedicated foodie. Please support her account too: @happytummy_702. She's also one of Zagat's 2017 Foodie Award Recipients and an amazing supporter.
Content is key, and I will continue to use my account to support those locally owned restaurants, family owned joints, and enthusiastic creators of food. That's what I love. I love the passion. I love that it's something I strive to do on my own, but don't have the creative skills, so I live vicariously through them, and get to enjoy the fruits of their passion.
I feel like I've become a bigger part of the Food Community over the last year, and I couldn't be happier. If you meet me, you'll see I love to talk about tech and food, that's about it. I hope my passion comes through in my CONTENT. I hope you will check it out. I hope you will find something of the passion of the creators of food in my posts. I hope you will support them.
I believe in positive engagement for these creators. I do not review restaurants. I do not post on Yelp. I vehemently refuse free food (i.e. compensation for posting). If I don't like something, I don't post it. If something is wrong, I'll bring it up privately with the restaurant/business. There is nothing to be gained from publicly shaming a business. There's too much negativity in the world, and I'd rather be a positive force for good.
That is all. Here's hoping for a wonderful and food filled 2018. I wish the same for you and everyone.
Anthony aka SubtleFoodie
2017 By The Numbers:
Gained Followers: 9, 903
Media Posted: 648
Likes Received: 128,126
Average Engagement: 2.31%