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How to get more Instagram likes and comments: new study

(Social Media) We all know how big brands get likes and comments, but how does the average user garner more visibility on Instagram?

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Long live Instagram!

In the world of social media, the status of our popularity lives and dies by likes and comments. Such is the case for the photo-sharing app, Instagram. For those unfamiliar with the app, it is a basic concept of uploading a square photo to your account and adding a filter to make the image, sometimes, more appealing. While it may sound simplistic and self-serving, the app has taken the social media world by storm and is especially popular with young generations.

The app, created in 2010 by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, took a note from Twitter in the sense that it allows users to connect with the more “elite”; i.e. actors, musicians, athletes, etc. These individuals have an automatic in to likes and comments on their photos due to the fact that they are well-known personalities who, as we all know, have fan bases.

So how do Average Joe Instagram users gain likes and comments?

Dan Zarrella investigated this question in his infographic below, titled “The Science of Instagram,” and what he found on the subject may be bits of gold knowledge for avid Instagram users who are looking to heighten their popularity status.

Zarrella’s study tracked more than a million photos to learn about the rise and fall of likes and comments. His first find was that the more tags you include in a photo, the more likes and comments you are likely to get. Say for example you have a photo with a group of friends. When uploading the photo, you are able to attach their user names to said photo. This allows them to be notified and also increases the likelihood that they will like or comment on the photo. Not only that, when other users are viewing your friend’s page, they can see their tagged photos and are then able to like as well. You can include up to 30 tags in one photo, and you are not limited to tagging only those present in the photo. You can also tag your location (for example the Art Institute of Chicago) and your photo will be available to anyone who searches that location.

Trick: Use the word “like” or “comment” in your caption

When uploading a photo you are also able to include a caption. The study has found that if you write the words “like” or “comment” in your caption, you are more likely to receive a like or comment. Whether it is explicitly stated (“Comment on this photo and I will follow you back”) or is stated indirectly (“I really like this time of year), other users will be inclined to like or comment on the photo because their brains have been exposed to the Instagram terminology. The study found that with the inclusion of these words, there was an 89% increase in the like-like category, and a 2,194% increase in the comment-comment category.

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The quality of the photo is something that plays a role in receiving likes and comments. The study found that desaturated photos tend to receive more attention than photos that are saturated. There was a 598% difference in likes in desatured versus saturated. This may be due to the fact that, while saturated photos grab your attention, they are not always easy on the eyes unlike desatured photos, which are more calming to look at. While on the subject of pleasing the eye, it was also found that cool colors tend to get more likes and comments as opposed to warm colors. And while saturation may not be your best friend, brightness certainly is. It was found that brighter photos attract more likes and comments versus photos that are darker.

A big part of Instagram is the use of filters

Filters are something you can add to your photo in order to change the look of the photo. There are filters to add brightness, saturation, desaturation or even the classic black and white filter. It may be surprising to learn that, while filters are a popular part of Instagram, they may not necessarily be doing you any favors. The study reported that the best filter you can have is the “Normal” filter, which is just posting what the photo looks like without a touch-up. The “Normal” filter came in first in terms of photos receiving the most likes and comments. The three filters that followed in popularity were “Willow”, “Valencia”, and “Sierra”, respectively. The rest of the filters were ranked under a category marked “average” as far as the numbers of likes and comments.

Lastly, as you may imagine, the content of the photo is a determinant of likes and comments. Photos that include faces are more popular than photos containing just scenery or objects. Whether it is a selfie or a group photo, it appears that faces attract more attention as there is a 35% increase in likes for photos with faces as opposed to photos with no faces. In addition, photos that tend to be busier are also more likely to grab a users’ attention. In an effort to analyze “busyness” Zarrella measured the edges within a photo and found that more edges equals more likes and comments.

Instagram is a social media freight train that shows no signs of slowing down. With its popularity being linked to the likes of Facebook and Twitter, it seems as though this photo-sharing app is something that will be apart of the Internet for quite some time. In order to achieve the best results while using Instagram, post photos that are tagged, properly colored and filtered, and filled with faces and edges. When following these steps, you will be up to your knees in likes and comments.

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Staff Writer, Taylor Leddin is a publicist and freelance writer for a number of national outlets. She was featured on Thrive Global as a successful woman in journalism, and is the editor-in-chief of The Tidbit. Taylor resides in Chicago and has a Bachelor in Communication Studies from Illinois State University.

Social Media

How this influencer gained 26k followers during the pandemic

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Becoming an influencer on social media can seem appealing, but it’s not easy. Check out this influencer’s journey and her rise during the pandemic.

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Influencer planning her social media posts.

Meet Carey McDermott – a 28-year-old Boston native – more widely known by her Instagram handle @subjectively_hot. Within a few months, since March, McDermott has accrued a whopping 26k following, and has successfully built her brand around activism, cheeky observations of day-to-day bullshit, and her evident hotness.

“It mostly started as a quarantine project.” Said McDermott, who was furloughed from her job at the start of shelter-in-place. “I had a lot of free time and I wanted to do an Instagram for a while so I thought, ‘I might as well take some pictures of myself.’”

To get started McDermott, used a lot of hashtags relevant to her particular niche to get noticed, and would follow other influencers that used similar hashtags.

“I definitely built a little online community of women, and we all still talk to each other a lot.”

Like many popular influencers, McDermott engages with her audience as much as possible. She is sure to like or reply to positive comments on her pictures, which makes followers feel special and seen, and subsequently more likely to follow and continue following her account. She also relies heavily on some of Instagram’s more interactive features.

When asked why she thinks she has been able to build and retain such a large base in just a few months, McDermott explained: “I think people like my [Instagram] Stories because I do a lot of polls and ask fun questions for people to answer, and then I repost them”.

But it’s not just fun and games for @subjectively_hot – Carey wants to use her account to make some substantial bread.

“I’ve gotten a bunch of products gifted to me in exchange for unpaid ads and I’m hoping to expand that so I can get paid ads and sponsorships. But free products are nice!”

Additionally, McDermott was recently signed with the talent agency the btwn – a monumental achievement which she attributes to her influencer status.

“Having a large Instagram following gave me the confidence to reach out to a modeling brand. After they looked at my Instagram, they signed me without asking for any other pictures.”

To aspiring influencers, McDermott offers this advice:

“Find your niche. Find your brand. Find what makes you unique and be yourself – don’t act like what you think an influencer should act like. People respond to you being authentic and sharing your real life. And definitely find other people in similar niches as you and build connections with them.”

But McDermott also warns against diving too unilaterally into your niche, and stresses the importance of a unique, multi-dimensional online persona.

“[@subjectively_hot] is inherently a plus size account. But a lot of plus size Instagrams are just about being plus size, and are only like, “I’m confident and here’s my body”. I don’t want to post only about body positively all day, I want it to be about me and being hot.”

And you definitely can’t paint this girl in broad strokes. I personally find her online personality hilarious, self-aware, and brutally anti-patriarchal (she explicitly caters to all walks of life minus the straight cis men who, to her dismay, frequent her DMs with unsolicited advice, comments, and pictures). Her meme and TikTok curations are typically some of the silliest, most honest content I see that day and, as her handle suggests, her pictures never fail in their hotness value.

For McDermott, right now is about enjoying her newfound COVID-era celebrityhood. Her next steps for @subjectively_hot include getting paid ads and sponsorships, and figuring out the most effective way to monetize her brand. The recent spike in COVID-19 cases threaten her chances of returning to the place of her former employment in the hospitality industry.

With so many influencers on Instagram and other platforms, some might find it hard to cash in on their internet fame. But with a loyal fanbase addicted to her golden, inspiring personality, I think Carey will do just fine.

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Social Media

This LinkedIn graphic shows you where your profile is lacking

(SOCIAL MEDIA) LinkedIn has the ability to insure your visibility, and this new infographic breaks down where you should put the most effort.

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LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a must-have in the professional world. However, this social media platform can be incredibly overwhelming as there are a lot of moving pieces.

Luckily, there is a fancy graphic that details everything you need to know to create the perfect LinkedIn profile. Let’s dive in!

As we know, it is important to use your real name and an appropriate headshot. A banner photo that fits your personal brand (e.g. fits the theme of your profession/industry) is a good idea to add.

Adding your location and a detailed list of work-related projects are both underutilized, yet key pieces of information that people will look for. Other key pieces come in the form of recommendations; connections aren’t just about numbers, endorse them and hopefully they will return the favor!

Fill in every and all sections that you can, and re-read for any errors (get a second set of eyes if there’s one available). Use the profile strength meter to get a second option on your profile and find out what sections could use a little more help.

There are some settings you can enable to get the most out of LinkedIn. Turn on “career interests” to let recruiters know that you are open to job offers, turn on “career advice” to participate in an advice platform that helps you connect with other leaders in your field, turn your profile privacy off from private in order to see who is viewing your profile.

The infographic also offers some stats and words to avoid. Let’s start with stats: 65% of employers want to see relevant work experience, 91 percent of employers prefer that candidates have work experience, and 68% of LinkedIn members use the site to reconnect with past colleagues.

Now, let’s talk vocab. The infographic urges users to avoid the following words: specialized, experienced, skilled, leadership, passionate, expert, motivated, creative, strategic, focused.

That was educational, huh? Speaking of education – be sure to list your highest level of academia. People who list their education appear in searches up to 17 times more often than those who do not. And, much like when you applied to college, your past education wasn’t all that you should have included – certificates (and licenses) and volunteer work help set you apart from the rest.

Don’t be afraid to ask your connections, colleagues, etc. for recommendations. And, don’t be afraid to list your accomplishments.

Finally, users with complete profiles are 40 times more likely to receive opportunities through LinkedIn. You’re already using the site, right? Use it to your advantage! Finish your profile by completing the all-star rating checklist: industry and location, skills (minimum of three), profile photo, at least 50 connections, current position (with description), two past positions, and education.

When all of this is complete, continue using LinkedIn on a daily basis. Update your profile when necessary, share content, and keep your name popping up on peoples’ timelines. (And, be sure to check out the rest of Leisure Jobs’ super helpful infographic that details other bits, like how to properly size photos!)

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Social Media

This Twitter tool hopes to fight misinformation, but how effective is it?

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Birdwatch is a new tool from Twitter in the fight against misinformation… in theory. But it could be overkill.

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Twitter welcome screen open on large phone with stylus.

Social media has proven to be a blanket breeding ground for misinformation, and Twitter is most certainly not exempt from this rule. While we’ve seen hit-or-miss attempts from the notorious bird app to quell the spread of misinformation, their latest effort seems more streamlined—albeit a little overboard.

Birdwatch is a forthcoming feature from Twitter that will allegedly help users report misleading content. According to The Verge, Twitter has yet to release definitive details about the service. However, from leaked information, Birdwatch will serve the purpose of reporting misinformation, voting on whether or not it is truly misleading, and attaching notes to pertinent tweets.

Such a feature is still months away, so it appears that the upcoming election will take place before Birdwatch is officially rolled out.

There are a lot of positive sides to welcoming community feedback in a retaliation against false information, be it political in nature or otherwise. Fostering a sense of community responsibility, giving community members the option to report at their discretion, and including an option for a detailed response rather than a preset list of problems are all proactive ideas to implement, in theory.

Of course, that theory goes out the window the second you mention Twitter’s name.

The glaring issue with applying a community feedback patch to the rampant issue of misinformation on social media is simple: The misinformation comes from the community. A far cry from Twitter’s fact-checking warnings that appeared on relevant tweets earlier this year, Birdwatch—given what we know now—has every excuse to be more biased than any prior efforts.

Furthermore, the pure existence of misinformation on Twitter often results from the knee-jerk, short response format that tweets take. As such, expecting a lengthy form and vote application to fix the problem seems misguided. Simply reporting a tweet for being inaccurate or fostering harassment is already more of an involved process than most people are likely to partake in, so Birdwatch might be overdoing it.

As always, any effort from Twitter—or any social media company, for that matter—to crack down on the spread of misinformation is largely appreciated. Birdwatch, for all of its potential issues, is certainly a step in the right direction. Let’s just hope it’s an accessible step.

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