If you follow me on Snapchat, you probably saw my virtual happy dance that I hit 1000 followers.
I was over at Cameron's house (a.k.a 25 steps from my house) and he had fallen asleep to some Sunday football, leaving me to scroll aimlessly on my phone till he would wake up and agree to go get Sonic with me. (Not needy, just a fan of happy hour.)
I got a notification that someone followed me (and now I'm sad I don't remember who it was) and saw the number "1000" appear on my followers count.
Oh wait, shhh...Cam's asleep.
Ok, cool, Cristina? Want a cookie? Loads of people have 1000 followers. Heck, Taylor Swift has like 47 million. Why are you happy dancing? Do you really care that much about Instagram followers?
Here's the thing - when you have a blog (and you promote it on your social media) followers are not followers. Followers are connections, friends, people that affirm the fact that you are not talking to a brick wall. So 1000 gal (and some guy) pals to chat with? Heck yes, I am pumped.
When I first started blogging, I didn't think twice about linking my social media to my blog. I was excited to have something unique about me, in addition to being proud of my work, so I put my blog link in my bio on Twitter and Instagram. I had about 300 followers made up of high school friends, church friends, and family members that were savvy enough to know how to make an account.
That number grew slowly and each person that followed me after my blog launch was different from my previous followers. They were fellow bloggers, YouTubers, online boutiques, and even companies that wanted me to blog about their stuff. I also joined Bloglovin and got to connect with bloggers and companies over there.
Honestly, I think the whole Instagram fuss is so fun. I hear a lot of bloggers rag on how much "work" Instagram is because it really is a job for us. It's best to post consistently (once a day at least), take high quality photos that will draw attention, and though an Instagram theme isn't necessary, it does help your feed to look organized and aesthetically pleasing and that may catch people's attention.
I think it's fun, but I love social media. I love utilizing it and I hope my knowledge of it will help me in a future career.
I think the hard part is realizing that what you post isn't going to be well liked. And I don't mean "liked" as in "Oh, that's cool", but "liked" as in those double taps. This doesn't just go for bloggers. Though, if you are a blogger and some or most of your followers are non-bloggers, a photo of your new lipstick might not be as well liked as Susey-Q's prom picture. It just won't. I had to get over this quickly.
At first, I really hated posting on my socials about my blog. I pictured people rolling their eyes at me behind their phone screens. But I couldn't deny that posting "hey read my blog" on Instagram actually helped for me to get more traffic on my site. More readers. More connections. More people I could potentially help or inspire.
Like I said, this doesn't just apply to bloggers. Let's say you're hesitant to post a selfie. You don't usually post them, but your messy bun is on fleek and you're pretty proud of it. Hit that post button, girl. Let's say you get 8 likes. What if 8 people came up to you during the day and said "Wow, your hair looks amazing!" How good would that make you feel? I know not everyone thinks this way, but you should.
Don't stress over an app, you're way too pretty for that.
I've also met people this way and that is the best thing ever. Having girlfriends you can vent to, ask for help, or just send a million "which outfit should I wear" photos to is crucial. I'm really thankful for my gal pal Rachel. Her blog is literally goals. She's also one of the most genuine people I've ever met and even though she's several miles away, she always snaps me back (and has my back).
And thanks to people like A Seersucker State of Mind, The Classic Brunette, Classy Cathleen, Amanda at Charleston Chic for always leaving uplifting comments.
So here's my 1000 followers acceptance speech:
Thank you to my blogging friends for being the best supporters and always inspiring me. Thank you to my Dad for helping me grow my blog as a business and always retweeting tweets to his 25 loyal followers. Thank you to Cameron for being the brains and creativity behind the design and technological aspect of self hosting (and for being crazy supportive). Thanks to coffee. Thanks to my reps for being the best voices to feature. And last, but not least...Thank YOU!