About a year and a half ago I started an experiment on Twitter. I was reading about some stuff for work and decided to try out different strategies for gaining followers. They worked really well and I eventually had about three thousand. The downside was that they mostly involved followbacks. For a while I was fine with it and liked having followers. Then I decided that I was sick of having a bunch of trashy accounts following me and showing up in my feed. I wanted real followers who liked what I do and what I post.

I purged my entire following list. The first few days I lost a couple hundred followers at a time. Then it trickled down to smaller and smaller numbers before levelling out. I’m pretty stable at 1,200 these days.

On Instagram I have a tiny number of followers. I secretly wish I had several thousand and could get paid to post branded stuff. Alas, that is not my life. I read an article telling me a few easy steps to become one of those people recently and decided to try an experiment. I downloaded a couple of Instagram schedulers and a tag suggester. I also decided to start putting my DSLR picks on there. For a long time I resisted it partially because of the effort and partially because I liked that Instagram was just something chill where my friends and whatever loyal followers I interact with that I’ve gained over the years see me.

The tagging apps are really helpful. I was pretty lame about tagging before and knew it was time to step it up. I’ve also learned that apparently you only get thirty of them. You can’t just go full out and have as many as you want. You have to pick.

In part it’s worked. I have been getting considerably more likes and I think all the DSLR photos look good on it. At the end of the day it’s another way to get my work out there to try and have it be seen by people. On the other hand I’ve had about fifteen people follow and unfollow me since starting. It’s easy to get likes but harder to get people to follow you. And I want real followers. People who like my photos and want to see them on a regular basis. That’s the whole point.

I’ve also been reading The Art of Asking and think that one day if I ever want to do crowdfunding it would be useful to have as many committed followers as possible. Despite what some people say about social media my Twitter followers are useful contacts with stuff to share. They are a part of a broader network of writers, photographers, friends and urban affairs people. They keep me in their feed because they think I have something worthwhile to contribute to the conversation. For that I am grateful.

If you feel so inclined as to follow me I am rhiannok on Instagram.


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