Instagram hashtag strategy: how to boost your engagement

Instagram hashtag strategy: how to boost your engagement

Over the past few years there’s been a lot of debate about how effective hashtags are for increasing the visibility of your account. Before the algorithm kicked in, using popular hashtags was a great way to get your content seen by a much wider audience. Then, it was thought that using lots of hashtags was seen as ‘spammy’ by Instagram and it was best to just use 3-5 (or avoid using them at all). Now, a well thought out Instagram hashtag strategy is recommended.

The advice from successful Instagrammers is to use the maximum amount of hashtags (that’s 30 on Instagram), but opt for more niche ones to expose your account to the right people. Here’s our advice for building a successful Instagram hashtag strategy to boost your engagement and grow your account.

How many hashtags should I use?

This has been hotly contested over the years. There’s research that suggests posts that use 9-11 hashtags perform the best. However, what these studies don’t take into account is the quality of the posts or the relevancy of the hashtags that are used.

Instagram have a set limit of 30 hashtags that can be used per post. So, if you can find 30 relevant hashtags to use per post, then go for it! By using the maximum amount of 30 you’re giving your posts more chance of being discovered by people who are not already following you.

If you’re really struggling to find relevant hashtags for your posts, then go for the maximum amount you feel you can use without losing relevancy.

Which hashtags should I use?

This is the question everyone wants the answer to! Of course, Instagram hashtag strategy is not a ‘one size fits all’ way of growing your account. When it comes to choosing your hashtags, take a look at the image you are posting and try to come up with 3-5 keywords that relate to it.

For example, if you’re posting a flatlay image of a pasta dish you recently cooked your keywords may be: flatlay, seasonal food, home cooking, uk food, pasta.

As well as using hashtags that relate to the content you’re posting, make sure you also use local and community hashtags to connect with people who share similar content to yours.

If you don’t have the time to find specific hashtags for each new post, why not create lists of relevant ones for the niches your content fits in? For example, you could create ‘travel’ ‘home cooking’ ‘street style’ or ‘book review’ lists with 100+ hashtags in each that you can dive into when you’re not sure which ones to use.

Why should popular hashtags be avoided?

Popular hashtags are those that have 1 million + posts to them. As these hashtags are so popular, it really is best to avoid using them as it’s likely your posts won’t make the ‘top’ page.

They also tend to be flooded with spam, which can lead to them being banned by Instagram. If you use a banned hashtag on your post, this can restrict the reach of it on other hashtags which can have a huge impact on your engagement.

Opting for hashtags that are less popular can mean your content is more likely to hit their ‘top’ pages and be discovered by people who may go on to follow your account. Hashtags that have 10,000-100,000 are great to use as they are popular enough to give you visibility, but with the opportunity for your content to be discovered.

How do I find the best hashtags to use?

The best way to find Instagram hashtags is to decide on 3-5 keywords for your post and get searching! When your post is ready to go, type a ‘#’ followed by one of your keywords and take a look at what comes up. As you scroll down, you’ll see variations of phrases based on your keyword, as well as how many posts have been shared using it. Try to find 5 hashtags with 100,000 posts, or less, based on each keyword that you can use.

If you’re making a master list of hashtags that are relevant to your niche, you can also find relevant hashtags by searching a hashtag you plan to include in the list. On the hashtag’s page Instagram will recommend other similar hashtags that are typically used alongside the original one. This can be a great way to find relevant hashtags that aren’t necessarily based on your keywords.

You could also take a look at accounts that post similar content to your own. Take note of any hashtags they’re using that are relevant to your own content and add them to your master lists so you don’t forget them.

How can I test the performance of the hashtags I’m using?

If you have a business account, the best way to check how your hashtags are performing is by taking a look at your insights.  In the post insights you will be able to see what impressions your post has gained specifically from the hashtags you’ve used.

You could also post very similar content using the same set of hashtags to see which post performs better. For example, if you’re a home interiors Instagrammer a photo of the same room from different angles would give you a good idea of what people browsing those hashtags like the most.

This A/B testing will give you a good insight into what performs well on the hashtags you’re using, and you can then plan your future content around what you know the audience you’re trying to reach likes.

When it comes to Instagram hashtag strategy, the most important things to remember are: post high quality content, only use relevant, niche hashtags and use A/B testing to find out what the audience enjoys most.

Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash

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Influencer Weekly Update – #24

Influencer Weekly Update – #24

Welcome to our weekly update on all things influencer marketing, social media and content creation. We like to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to influencer-related things, and instead of keeping all of our findings to ourselves we thought we would share the stories, reports and announcements that we find most fascinating each week. This week Mariam Musa launches a collection with ISAWITFIRST, Instagram launches Reels and Caroline Hirons launches Beauty Backed to aid the struggling beauty industry.

Carry on reading to find out more…

Mariam Musa is the first British black female influencer to launch a solo collection with a fast fashion brand

Influencer collaborations aren’t a new thing when it comes to fast fashion marketing. Mariam Musa’s ISAWITFIRST collection is the first time a British black female influencer has launched a solo collection with a fast fashion brand. Mariam has worked with the brand on styling videos since 2018 and was an ambassador for their Love Island 2019 sponsorship, featuring in the TV and billboard adverts. The collection includes 52 pieces, ranging in price from £8-50.

Instagram launches Reels

Instagram launched Reels to the UK, and countries across the globe, on Thursday this week. The new feature has similarities to TikTok. It allows users to film short video clips within the app, or upload their own clips, and add music before posting it to Reels. Users can also share their Reels on their main feed, increasing the visibility of the clips. It will be interesting to see how popular this new feature is and whether it will offer users a new way to grow their platforms.

Caroline Hirons launches Beauty Backed to aid the struggling beauty industry

Since lockdown the beauty industry has struggled to get back on its feet. Caroline Hirons has launched Beauty Backed, a fundraising campaign, to provide financial aid and support to beauty businesses during the pandemic. The campaign is supported by The British Beauty Council, BABTAC, industry experts and influencers.

Addison Rae unveils clean beauty brand

The 19 year-old has launched her own clean beauty brand this week. Addison Rae has an audience of 53.8 million on TikTok, and her brand will be named ITEM Beauty. It will launch on August 11 with six products including a lengthening mascara, lip oil and brow definer.

Wizards to deploy virtual social media influencer as reporter

With lockdown restricting the amount of people who can be on site for the NBA’s restart, the Wizards are taking a unique approach with a virtual correspondent to produce content and report on games. Liam Nikuro is a computer generate person, and has already amassed an impressive Instagram following.

100 travel hashtags for Instagram

100 travel hashtags for Instagram

When it comes to discoverability on Instagram, hashtags can be the best way to get your posts seen by more people. But it’s not as simple as cramming your captions full of the most popular ones! In order to be seen, it’s important to use a combination of popular and new hashtags. In fact, depending on how big your account is, the number of posts per hashtag can have a huge impact on how many impressions your post will get.

Below we have shared 100 travel hashtags for Instagram. Feel free to use as many of them as you like to increase the visibility of your posts and help your account to grow.

What if I want destination specific hashtags?

If you’re looking for hashtags that are specific to the destination or location you are visiting, why not search for them and save a list to your notes app? You can find relevant hashtags by searching the destination or location name in Instagram and seeing what hashtag options come up. For each one it will tell you how many posts have used this hashtag previously. This will give you a good idea of how popular it is and how likely your content will be to appear within the top results.

Save as many of these as you can find in your notes so you can pick and choose which ones to use during your trip. Mix in some more general travel hashtags to increase the exposure of your posts and reach a wider audience.

<1,000 posts

#sustainabletravelblog #sustainabletraveltips #traveltipswithkids #exoticadventurestravel #maletravelbloggers #maletravelblogger #futuretravelplans #ecoescapes #thesustainabletraveller

1,000-10,000 posts

#plussizetraveltoo #travelinclusivity #sustainabletravelling #sustainabletraveling #traveltips101 #traveltipstuesday #travelbloggeruk  #travelbloggersuk #femaletravelcommunity #femaletravelblog #adventuretravelcouples #adventuretravelling #futuretravelguide #futuretravels #dreamtodaytraveltomorrow #staycationuk

10,000-100,0000 posts

#travelforthesoul #wanderlusttravel #wanderlustvibes #plussizetravel #adventuretravels #travelpicoftheday #exploremoretoday #traveltipsandtricks #travelbloggerslife #travelbloggerlifestyle #femaletraveller #femaletravelblogger #femaltravelinspo #adventuretraveller #traveltomorrow #hotelsofinstagram #hotelsoftheworld #travelandbeyond #travelfever #travelforgood #naturetourism #ecotourist

100,000-1,000,000 posts

#travelvibes #traveljournal #travelobsessed #wanderlustwednesday #wanderlusters #wanderlusttribe #travelinbetween #traveltagged #travellinggram #nomadlifestyle #wandertheworld #travelbloggerlife #travelbloggervibes #travelmoments #travelbucketlist #traveltheworldwithme #travelgirlshub #getlostnow #travelstribe #iamatraveller #nextdestination #seeingtheworld #lifeofexploring #happyadventuring #travelbugs #wanderlust_tribe #mydestinationguide #travelingpost #vacayvibes #sustainabletravel #travelblogs #femaletravel #traveladventure #hotelstyle #besthotels #staycation2020 #travelhappy #letstravel

1,000,000> posts

#travelgram #traveltheworld #travelblogger #travelguide #traveller #travelnow #travelbloggers #wheretonext #travelgoals #luxuryhotels #staycation #femmetravel #hello_worldpics #voyaged #letsgoeverywhere

How to choose the best blogging platform for you

How to choose the best blogging platform for you

Choosing your blogging platform is an important step when starting your own blog. Whether you’re after something quick and affordable to use, or want something with lots of customisation options – there’s a platform for everyone. Here’s an introduction to some of the most popular blogging platforms currently available (and the pros and cons of each).

What is a blogging platform and why is it important?

A blogging platform is a service or application that allows the creation of web pages for your content. There’s many applications available for you to choose from, and each of them offer different levels of control over the design and functionality.

As the blogging platform is where your content is hosted, it’s important to consider what is important to you and how much control you want to have over your website. We’re going to share some of the most popular platforms below and what you can expect to get from each of them.

Blogger

Probably the most popular platform for new bloggers. Blogger makes it quick and easy to set up your own blog. When it comes to publishing blog posts, Blogger makes it really straight forward and you’ll have no problem uploading your content.

That said, Blogger is very limited when it comes to design and layout options. You will be given a free domain (.blogspot.com) when you start, but can set up your own custom domain if you wish. Blogger is a good option if you just want somewhere to share your thoughts easily, but if you want your blog to have a more professional look and feel it might not be the best for you.

WordPress

Probably the most popular platform for bloggers. Not only is the back end of WordPress easy to get the hang of, but it also offers a lot of customisation and creativity with the design and layout. There is also the option to self-host your WordPress blog. Self-hosting means you, rather than the blogging platform, own your blog and you can monetise your blog using affiliate links or working with brands.

Being able to customise your blog, and having your own domain, will make your blog look far more professional than using a free platform. If you’re looking to build up your reputation as an expert or turn your blog into a full-time career, then a self-hosted WordPress blog really is the best way to go.

Squarespace

Squarespace is a popular website building and hosting platform. It can be a great platform to start out with, and unlike Blogger it offers lots of professional looking templates that you can easily install. Not only are the templates great, but you can drag and drop elements to create your perfect webpages.

This customisability means you can easily make your blog stand out from the crowd and add some personality to the layout. Custom domains on Squarespace do come at an annual fee, but you can get your first custom domain free for the first year.

Wix

Wix has a lot of similar options to Squarespace. You can build your website for free on the platform, with options to pay a monthly fee for increased Bandwidth and storage. Much like Squarespace, Wix also allows you to choose from hundreds of beautiful templates and drag and drop elements to create your perfect pages.

Medium

Not sure that you need an entirely self-hosted website or even your own URL? Why not share your blog posts to Medium instead? Medium allows you to publish your content to their platform, and this can be a great way to gain increased exposure as so many people browse the platform for content.

Medium can be a great place to build your reputation and get your thoughts out to a wider audience. The main con is that you do not own the platform, and have no control over the design or layout of the page your posts are published to. This gives you less creative control over how your content is displayed, but if you’re just looking to get your content read by more people this may not be a problem for you.

In conclusion

When it comes to choosing your blogging platform, think about what your end goal is. Do you want to establish yourself as an expert in your field? Or earn income from your written content? Depending on what your goals are, different platforms will be more appropriate for you.

Before spending money on your hosting and domain, make sure you have a clear idea of what the monthly or annual costs will be to maintain it. You don’t want to end up with a blog that you can’t afford to maintain!

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Influencer Weekly Update – #23

Influencer Weekly Update – #23

Welcome to our weekly update on all things influencer marketing, social media and content creation. We like to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to influencer-related things, and instead of keeping all of our findings to ourselves we thought we would share the stories, reports and announcements that we find most fascinating each week. This week Google launches Shoploop, the world’s most adorable social media influencer and why COVID-19 has elevated influencer marketing.

Carry on reading to find out more…

Google launches Shoploop

Google’s latest e-commerce initiative is set to shake up the online shopping experience. Shoploop is described as an ‘entertaining new way to shop online’ and will allow consumers to discover (and buy) new products via 90 second videos uploaded by content creators.

The world’s most adorable social media influencer?

Chef Kobe has 2.5 million followers on Instagram, and it’s not hard to see why! The toddler loves to cook (with the help of his parents) and has partnered with Hello Fresh recently. His videos are highly entertaining and will put you in a great mood.

Why COVID-19 has elevated influencer marketing

As lockdowns forced the majority of the world indoors, influencer marketing has become a crucial way for brands to stay relevant and connect in an authentic way. Improved metrics and codes of practice have made measuring the impact of influencer campaigns a lot easier, and Coronavirus has allowed some brands to experiment with more authentic ‘at home’ content.

Singaporean startup Partipost gets $3.5 million

Partipost, a Singaporean-based marketing startup, is aiming to let anyone with a social media profile sign up for influencer campaigns. The $3.5 million investment will allow Partipost to grow their operations within Singapore and expand into Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia. Partipost have helped to run 2,500 social media marketing campaigns since launching in 2018.

Practical considerations for working with influencers

Some influencers seem to promote anything, and if you don’t have a strategic approach to how you work with them you could face some backlash. The important thing is to identify if you share the same target audience and ethics.

How to turn your blogging hobby into a career

How to turn your blogging hobby into a career

Blogging is a popular hobby for many creatives, but turning your high quality content into a career can be tricky. From collaborating with brands to using affiliate links, here’s our guide to earning steady income from your blogging hobby.

So, you want to start making money from your blog

Whether you’ve been blogging for a few months or many years, turning your blogging hobby into a career is an achievable goal.  On the surface paid collaborations with brands might seem like the only way to make money, but there are multiple options available to you. Here’s five ways you can start to earn an income from your blog (without selling out)!

Collaborate with brands

Probably the most obvious option to a lot of bloggers. Once you’ve built an engaged audience that buy into your recommendations, being paid to share products and services from brands is a feasible way to earn some income. Whether they reach out to you, or you pitch your influence to them, it’s important that you only accept collaborations with brands you are truly a fan of.

When negotiating fees with brands, think about the value of what you are providing to them (in terms of content they can use in marketing campaigns, predicted sales etc.) when deciding on a fee. If you’re worried you are undercharging, then up your rates a bit and see if brands are still willing to work with you. When you start to see a drop off in confirmed projects, you’ll know you’ve reached the limit of what you can charge per post.

Want to keep the brands you’re working with booking in for long-term partnerships? Make sure you provide an in-depth report after each collaboration, sharing all of the stats you have access to. You could even share DMs and comments from your audience that show their positive reaction to the brand or evidence of them buying from them off of your recommendation.

The more you can prove your ROI (return on Investment) to brands, the more likely they will be to work with you again. Creating reports for each collaboration will also provide you with a portfolio of work that you can use to prove your worth when pitching to other brands.

Use affiliate links

If you’re pitching to brands, and struggling to confirm collaborations for the fee you think you’re worth why not bypass the negotiations and use affiliate links to earn commission on the sales you influence? There’s a variety of affiliate programmes out there – RewardStyle, Skimlinks, 21 Buttons to name a few – so sign up to the most relevant ones for you.

Using affiliate links across your blog and social media is really simple. For your blog all you will need to do is use the affiliate link, instead of a regular one, where you reference the product or service. Just make sure you declare each link to your audience, or include a declaration at the top of the post so they know you use affiliate links and earn money from any purchases they make via the links.

For social media, some platforms allow you to make your images ‘shoppable’. This just means that when people screenshot the image (or click it on the affiliate platform) they can shop the items you’ve included directly. You could also include links in your Instagram captions, Pinterest descriptions, YouTube descriptions and Tweets. Again, just make sure you’re being transparent with your audience about earning money from these links.

Promote your own products or services

Do you have a product or service your audience might be interested in buying? Creating an audience around something you’re passionate about, and then selling them something that perfectly fits that niche can be a great way to start earning money from your blogging hobby.

Your audience will know you’re already passionate about whatever it is you create content around, so when you’re ready to launch a product or service (or if you already have one available) they will be far more likely to buy into it.

If you’re at the start of your blogging journey, keeping in mind the product or service you want to create can also be a great way to shape your content around your ideal customer. That way you’re more likely to draw them in with your high quality content, and when you’re ready to sell to them they will be far more receptive to the message.

If you’re in the process of creating a product or service you can also use your audience as a sounding board to make sure it’s perfect before launch. They can help you decide on a price point, colour schemes etc. and they will then feel more invested in your business when you do launch.

The important thing is to keep delivering high quality content for your audience. This will maintain your trust with them, and if they are your perfect customer it’s likely they will buy if they want to.

Start a membership

If you’re an expert within your field, or have skills you could share with your audience, why not set up a membership club? As well as your usual content, you could give your members access to more in-depth tutorials or 1-to-1 sessions.

Your blog can be a great way to market your membership options as your content can give people a taste of what they would be getting as a member. It can also be a great way for you to earn some income by providing your audience with more of what they love from you, and the opportunity to speak to you directly.

Once you’ve gained a few members, ask them for some testimonials and use these to also market your membership club via your blog and social media. Word-of-mouth is a powerful tool, and once your audience starts raving about what you offer within your membership club you’ll see an increase in signups.

5 key takeaways for turning your blog into a career

If you remember anything from this blog post, make it these five key points:

Diversify your income

Don’t rely on just one of these methods to start earning income from your blog. When the brand collaborations are flooding in, or you’re making a good income from affiliate links, it can be tempting to out your feet up. But then what do you do if the income dries up? Working on a few of these strategies, and nurturing them, will help you to avoid a vulnerable situation.

Focus on your relationship with your audience

You audience is the most valuable thing. They are who will help you to earn an income, but they’ll only spend money if they trust you and your recommendations. Focus on nurturing them and giving them the content they expect from you. Reply to your comments and messages to let them know they’re valuable to you. And if they do buy through your affiliate links or pay you a membership fee, thank them for this!

Get familiar with your stats

Knowing your stats is key when it comes to making money from your blog. Whether it’s the amount of engaged followers you have, how many items you sell per affiliate link or the amount of saves your Instagram posts get – these stats are what will help you to earn money. They demonstrate your worth to any brands you want to work with and will help you to predict how much income you could make from membership fees or affiliate links.

Be selective with your brand collaborations

The right brand collaboration can be a game changer for your account. The wrong one can do some extensive damage. As tempting as it can be to say yes when people offer to pay you to post, it’s important you take time to consider each partnership. Working with the wrong brands can undermine the trust your audience has in you, and when you actually have something worthwhile to promote they may be less likely to listen to you.

Lean into your natural skills

Do you love teaching? Are you a photoshop wizard? Do people frequently buy what you wear? The key to earning a good income from your blog is identifying where your skills are. There’s no point pushing affiliate links on an audience that will never buy, or promoting a photo editing course when people just follow you for easy meal recipes. Figure out what you’re good at (and what you audience need most from you) and build your income streams into this. It’s the best way to ensure you enjoy what you do, and your audience gets what they want.

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Influencer Weekly Update – #22

Influencer Weekly Update – #22

Welcome to our weekly update on all things influencer marketing, social media and content creation. We like to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to influencer-related things, and instead of keeping all of our findings to ourselves we thought we would share the stories, reports and announcements that we find most fascinating each week. This week The Connect Agency launch a Micro Influencer booking agency, Amazon adds live streaming to their Influencer Program and fans pay tribute to Nicole Thea.

Carry on reading to find out more…

Micro Influencer booking agency launched by The Connect Agency

The Connect Agency has built an impressive database of influencers over the past few years, and now they will be helping Micro Influencers to partner with brands on campaigns. Connect Engage will represent digital influencers within the family, health, wellness and interiors spaces. Megan Rose, Managing Director at The Connect Agency, said: “Adding digital influencers to a campaign checklist brings campaigns to life, provides additional content for brand social channels, and drives messages further to a highly engaged audience.”

Amazon adds live streaming to their Influencer Program

Live streamers will soon be able to earn commission on the Amazon products they showcase in their videos. Amazon is adding live streaming to their already successful Influencer Program and will focus on their own Amazon Live service. The service works in a similar way to QVC, where hosts can talk about and demo products.

Fans pay tribute to Nicole Thea

Hundreds of thousands of people watched Nicole Thea’s pregnancy journey. Since her, and her baby Reign’s, sudden death last week the tributes have been flooding in. The 24 year-old had 160,000+ fans on Instagram and regularly shared updates on her pregnancy with her followers.

How can small businesses benefit from influencer marketing?

Influencer marketing is a popular strategy for many businesses, but for those that don’t have a huge budget it can be seen as a risk. If you do your research properly, working with the right influencers can be a cost-effective and impactful way for brands to build a loyal audience of their own and attract customers.

Master carpenter turned YouTube influencer

A 63 year-old Chinese grandpa has become a YouTube sensation after sharing his traditional carpentry skills on the platform. Wang Dewen went viral on YouTube after sharing a video of him making a wooden arch bridge that has now been viewed more than 42 million times.

Tiktok vs Instagram: which platform is better for creators?

Tiktok vs Instagram: which platform is better for creators?

TikTok has quickly made its mark on the social media landscape, hitting 2 billion downloads in April this year. But will it overtake Instagram in terms of popularity? Here’s everything you need to know about the similarities, and differences, between each app.

What is TikTok?

TikTok is a short-form video platform that dramatically increased in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic. The platform allows users to upload, or film, 15-60 second clips and overlay their videos with filters, special effects and audio clips available on the platform.

The app has been credited with influencing the music charts, with popular artists who allow their music to be sampled on TikTok finding themselves in the Top 10 for weeks on end.

The app hasn’t been without its controversy. Most recently it was banned in India, along with 59 other Chinese phone apps. This ban follows claims from the Indian government that the apps are being used to collect information from people’s phones illegally.

TikTok has also been criticised for suppressing the content of fat, disabled and queer creators. It is thought they are prioritising ‘beautiful’ content, and favour it when deciding what to show to users on their ‘for you’ page.

That said, it is unlikely the app will lose momentum soon and there are even predictions that it will overtake Instagram in terms of popularity.

TikTok vs Instagram stats

How does TikTok differ from Instagram?

The main differences between TikTok and Instagram are the styles of content. TikTok is all about video, and only allows users to upload or film 15-60 second clips. The videos also take up the full mobile screen, unlike Instagram posts which can be square, portrait or landscape.

Instagram offers a much wider variety of content options to their users. You can use Stories to share videos, photos and a load of interactive features (polls, questions and donation boxes). You can share up to a minute of video and photos on your main feed. If you want to upload long-form content, you can do so on IGTV and share a preview to your main feed to boost their viewership.

Instagram also offers far more to users in terms of analytics. Those with Creator and Business accounts can see the impressions and engagements for each of their posts. TikTok have yet to introduce these types of insights directly on their app, but there are external options you can use to measure the performance of each post.

While Instagram don’t allow users to download their content, TikTok does which allows their content to go viral on the other social media apps. This could explain TikTok’s rapid surge in popularity as their users regularly share content they find amusing on Twitter and Instagram.

Is TikTok more popular than Instagram?

When it comes to popularity, there’s no denying that TikTok has quickly become a favourite app of many people. In fact, TikTok has now taken over Instagram in terms of download numbers.

That said, its recent ban in India may have had a huge impact on these figures. And, if other countries follow India’s example it could see its monthly active user number plummet.

When it comes to user experience, it is likely that TikTok is more popular with creators. Many may have already established, large followings on Instagram but TikTok offers the opportunity to rapidly build an engaged audience that could surpass their Instagram followers. If creators have been on Instagram for years, they may also find a significant chunk of their following is inactive, which will impact their impressions and engagements.

Some creators will move over to TikTok, and at some point we may see a shift from Instagram to TikTok in terms of where most content is shared and brand budgets are spent on influencer collaborations. However, it is unlikely this will happen soon.

TikTok will need to smooth out concerns about misuse of data and the censorship of ‘ugly’ content from fat, black, disabled and queer creators. If they can do this then they stand a chance at stealing Instagram’s popularity crown.

Is TikTok safer than Instagram?

As mentioned above, TikTok has now been banned in India and there are questions about whether the app collects data from users. The main concern is that the Chinese government may be using this data to collect information illegally. It’s worth remembering that although these are legitimate concerns, there is as of yet no evidence of this happening to users.

While Instagram may seem like a safer option right now, no app is 100% risk-free to use. Instagram users have had their accounts hacked and it was proven that Facebook (who own Instagram) data was harvested by Cambridge Analytica to influence the 2016 US election.

If you’re concerned about your privacy when using social media apps, the best thing you can do is restrict their access to your data. You can do this in the settings of each app. You could also use minimal personal data when signing up to the app, and even set your account to private if you want to have more control over who can see your content.

Can you make money on TikTok?

Making money via social media isn’t a new concept, but as TikTok is such a new platform it’s not surprising that there’s less money making opportunities. That said, the biggest stars on the platform are making a considerable amount from brand partnerships, membership subscriptions and donations from their fans.

There’s a few ways you can make money from TikTok:

  • Build an engaged audience and advertise brands to them – if you have a big enough audience, why not pitch to brands and ask for a fee to mention their products or services to your audience?
  • Go Live and collect tips during your session – Viewers can purchase ‘coins’ and tip their favourite influencers while they’re live. This could be a great way to make money if you’ve got an engaging idea for a session
  • Promote your own business via the app – You have the option to add your website to your TikTok bio, and if your videos showcase what you make or do this could be a great way to boost your income

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Influencer Weekly Update – #21

Influencer Weekly Update – #21

Welcome to our weekly update on all things influencer marketing, social media and content creation. We like to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to influencer-related things, and instead of keeping all of our findings to ourselves we thought we would share the stories, reports and announcements that we find most fascinating each week. This week Boohoo faces influencer exodus, Influencers have their first trade organisation and why creators need to be able to create for impactful campaigns.

Carry on reading to find out more…

Boohoo faces influencer exodus

After recent revelations about the conditions of their Leicester factories, influencers have begun to turn their backs on Boohoo. £1 billion has been wiped off the firm’s value after it was alleged that workers in their factory are paid as little as £3.50 per hour. Many influencers, including Jayde Pierce, have spoken out to say they will no longer support Boohoo brands.

Influencer has their first trade organisation

The American Influencer Council is a non-profit membership trade association that will fill education gaps and advocate on behalf of Influencers for industry reform. Its first order of business is lobbying the FTC for clear guidelines on how sponsored content should be declared across multiple platforms.

Why creators need to create for impactful campaigns

EOS are handing the wheel to influencers to increase the effectiveness of their TikTok campaigns. They will be ensuring that the creators they work with are able to be as creative as they like when participating in their campaigns. They hope that this will increase engagement with the sponsored content.

UAE social media stars share the reality of their jobs

It’s often thought that an influencer career is easy to come by, and manage. Five UAE influencers have shared the reality of their jobs, and the impact COVID-19 has had on their income. From drops in engagement to marketing budgets being slashed, they’ve shared how the pandemic has impacted their careers.

Travel bloggers warn others to not ask for free holidays

The travel industry has been hugely impacted by COVID-19. It’s likely that the recovery will take a while, and travel bloggers have warned their fellow creators and influencers not to ask for free trips. It’s hoped that by refusing free trips, bloggers can help the travel industry to get back on its feet quicker.

How to create your own Lightroom presets

How to create your own Lightroom presets

Creating Lightroom presets can be a great way to make your blog and social content stand out from the crowd. Not sure where to start? Here’s our advice for creating something unique…

When it comes to editing photos, Lightroom is a popular platform for creators. Not only does it allow you to adjust the light and colours in your images, but you can also save your custom set of edits as a ‘preset’ that you can apply to your images with just one click. There’s a variety of Lightroom presets available via Etsy and blogger shops, but if you want to create something unique for yourself here’s our tips for doing it.

Decide on your vibe

The most important thing to do before you start fiddling around with settings is to decide your vibe. Do you like your images to have a warmer tone? Are your images colourful or more neutral? Jot down some words to describe your vibe. This will help you to develop your aesthetic, which will make creating a preset a lot easier.

If you’re more of a visual person, why not create a Pinterest mood board of images you love? By curating a board you will start to see a pattern in the style and edit of images you enjoy. Pay attention to colour themes and how soft the edit is.

Once you have a strong idea of what you want your images to look like post-edit, you’ll be able to work towards the end result by making subtle changes to your images.

Adjust your settings

Once you’ve settled on a vibe for your photos, it’s time to adjust your image settings to build a preset.  Have a play with each setting, increasing and decreasing it until you reach a point where you’re happy with it.

We would suggest beginning with the most basic settings – exposure, contrast, white balance, highlights and shadows. Once you’re happy with these you can begin to play around with the more complex settings like colour mix and texture.

Once you’re happy with the settings, click the three dots at the top right of your screen to copy the settings. Apply them to a few other photos and keep adjusting the settings slightly until you are happy with the way the preset applies to all of your images.

Once you are happy with it, click the three dots again and select ‘create preset’ to save it as a new preset.

Adapt a preset you already love

If you’re really struggling to create Lightroom presets from scratch, why not adapt one that you’ve previously bought? If there’s a preset that already suits you vibe, you could give it some tweaks to tailor it to exactly what you want.

In this case, all you will need to do is apply the preset to your image and then adjust the settings until you are 100% happy with them. Once you are, you can save the preset under whichever name you wish.

One word of warning, we would advise against selling your presets unless you have built them yourself from scratch. Otherwise, you could be seen to be profiting off of someone else’s hard work!

As long as it is just for personal use, edit away and save the custom preset to use on all of your future image. If people ask how you edit you photos you can mention that you adapted a preset you bought, and share the link to the original seller so they can have a play around with it themselves.

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