The One Instagram Trick That Works! (and other things I learned)

Three weeks ago, I wrote about how I got an Instagram account that had existing followers and what I learned in that process. Sad to report it’s now down even more followers, but hey, I love learning stuff.

Today I want to talk about an Instagram trick that works! Forming a pod! No, not like dolphins. Well, maybe actually. An Instagram pod is a group of people who are in an chat together and you send a message to the group when you post something new and they like and comment on the post.

Not only do I actually like being friendly with strangers. It feels like what social media is should to be. Social. Artists supporting artists is among my favorite internet related feelings. But I have noticed an metric uptick in likes and otherwise engagement since joining one.

Each group normally has a niche. Fitness people hang with fitness people. Artists with artists. I’m sure there’s an analytical rational there too, but honestly, you just want to join a pod where people post things you wantta see.

I found my pod via reddit, but if you want to skip the looking and just join mine DM me @fyeahasexual.

Everything else I tried to boost your posts seems to reference old versions, or very very inconsistent. The idea to stick with tags that have a Goldilocks effect of not ‘too big not to small’, and tagging related businesses seems like a winner, but Instagram in 2020 favors likes and comments. Making pods, not only useful, but in my opinion just the best way to use Instagram. It helps me casually compliment the art of strangers as well which seems like a net good in the world.

Here’s some other things I learned about Instagram and it’s algorithm. Checking the tags of stuff you like, or the tagged photos from a company (copic, for example) is a great way to find people who post similar things as you. Follow them, instead of the tag.

By having a second account I am now able to follow strangers far more easily because I don’t have to worry about not seeing my personal friends. This is absolutely the problem I had with twitter. No matter how I tried to combat that with lists, no matter how many accounts I had, my “friends” would get lost and random “industry” or “community” tweets would get doubled. Instagram, for the most part, manages this juggle slightly better.

Also my ads tend to be slightly higher quality but I’m not sure why since I don’t see an option to target an account based on followers.

At the time of this posting, I’m close to losing the magical 10k number. But I’ve found a new way to use Instagram that I really challenges me to do things I love. Look at my drafts, I’m so excited to post them because it’s something I’m really proud of.

Whatever lessons you find in my recently Instagram blog posts, I hope you also find the new joy I have. (But so it would be pretty cool if you could help me keep swipe up by following lmao)

The blue canary in the coal mine

I’ve been thinking a lot about social media and the activism that takes place on it. Largely on twitter, but similar could be said about Facebook and Instagram, and the general “Headlines Only” absorption of news and the increasing polarity of people.

But let’s focus on twitter. In college, I gave a speech about how activists during the Arab Spring used twitter to effectively organize and fight back. And as a disabled person, digital activism allows me to participate in ways inaccessible before. Since there’s so much advertising on Twitter it’s also useful when trying to reach a company to ask for change. Which makes it’s impossible for me to just shrug and say “twitter is pure evil what can I say.”

As I was discussing this with the ace community, someone anonymous messaged me to say, ‘twitter is also more full of minors than tumblr. And minors are more prone to spreading misinformation about events because they weren’t there for it.

And I thought on that for a second. It absolutely is common issue that queer history not being taught. And I don’t think this behavior is for a lack of critical thinking either on “the youths” part, or compete lack of care for it. I think it’s an issue of speed.

Twitter moves at such a fast pace, and with so many people trying to get attention on so many valid concerns that in order to even attempt to address all the ills in the world you have to juggle it all. Sometimes literally only taking a second to decide on an issue. “Does that sound like some other thing? Close enough, toss in the same pile. Whatever, we got 12 other things to focus on.”

Since twitter comes at you so fast, and often in an such unfiltered way, it’s overwhelming. So instead of technology adding in productivity that leads to a next level of consciousness type of singularity, it creates more of a mental DDOS attack.

And it’s not all that different from capitalism demanding you be productive at all costs, and that by the end of the day you are so tired you can’t sort out things. That’s a feature of it, not a bug. You want to strike for better working conditions? Have fun risking starvation during the process.

And I think the “turn yourself into a commodity via your tweets” is most evident by the fact that any popular tweet’s second reply is often “I don’t have a sound cloud to promote but here’s my—“

It’s actually kind of funny because a big sticking point of people leaving tumblr a few years ago was that it was too slow. Without realizing that twitter is a multi-lane highway that every user often has to cross on foot. And that result ends up with a bunch of banged up people who feel so beaten down that any criticism is meet with “please don’t cancel me!!” Which is not anyone’s goal when correcting false information or asking for accountability.

I’ve gone on multiple twitter hiatuses after abuse I’ve faced on the platform and each time to do I’m struck with this sense of how quiet it is despite twitter’s feed making no noise. It feels like you just left a room full of people screaming, that to some level had been such a constant you didn’t realize just how loud it was until it wasn’t there anymore.

Maybe you hear it too.