Why I'm over the blogger follow/unfollow game | The LDN Gal

The follow to unfollow saga: the ugly side of blogging

If you blog often, you will know exactly what I am talking about here. The follow to unfollow game is a tedious affair to say the least. So, here is why I’m over the blogger follow to unfollow game.

So many bloggers work so hard to organically increase their following and engagement, interacting with others in their niche and producing killer content time and time again.

The follow to unfollow saga is simple. Select bloggers will follow on mass, await for you to follow them back and then remove you by unfollowing within 24 hours. Most go unnoticed and almost cheat others out of a follow.

Follow to unfollow on social media? You are part of the problem…

If you have experienced this, it leaves you feeling a bit rubbish. Blogging is as much about content as it is community. If you love someone’s content, you follow them to read, embrace and even share it from time to time. However, the follow to unfollow saga diminishes the blogging community and this mutual respect, tarnishing organic growth.

Of course, you don’t have to follow others back that don’t speak or relate to your interests, that is absolutely fine. But for those who follow just to unfollow again – it’s really not cool.

Instagram tends to be the social media platform that falls victim to the follow to unfollow game the most. Leaving many a blogger keeping an eye on their social following each week through third party tools that track unfollowers. It isn’t a numbers game but it’s never nice to see your counts dip up and down relentlessly.

If you love your community and fellow bloggers, share your fabulous content, engage with others and follow with intention. It’s really not all about the numbers and quality should always trump quantity.

#rantover

What do you think of the follow to unfollow saga? Have you fallen victim to it?

Stephanie xox

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Instagram Algorithm

In this digital age, it has become apparent that using social media is a societal norm nowadays, with people in the UK spending around 1 hour and 40 minutes online daily.

Saying this, when it comes to a select few social media platforms some users find themselves rather perplexed by the use of hashtags (#) and their ultimate purpose.

Hashtags are extremely important to attract engagement to your posts, building both your traffic and audience. It is imperative to utilise hashtags in your posts as part of your social media strategy.

Instagram are about to make some serious changes to their algorithm so the need for engagement on your posts is now more important than ever. With over 400 million users and a massive looming change due to occur, what tactical changes do you need to make to the way you post to Instagram?

The algorithm change will place precedence on posts that Instagram deem you to be most interested in, bumping them up your news feed. It is all centered around engagement and is causing many to worry.

This is similar to that of its parent-company Facebook, which cleverly analyses its users behavior and presents its users with a curated and specifically targeted experience, providing tailored content in which they are most interested in.

This targeted and tailored content has been proven to enhance user experience by driving further engagement. Hence, subsidiary Instagram will face the same looming changes to their current operation, wave goodbye to the traditional chronological ordering.

In simple terms, continue to engage and then engage some more, with other users. This way, you are far more likely to appear at the top of the non-linear feed when the algorithm updates come to surface. The order of content will inevitably be affected, but the relevance will be drastically improved.  Be savvy and remain relevant, and your blog, brand and marketing should not be affected.

Engagement on social media comes in many forms, be it liking other users posts, commenting on pictures you adore, mentioning your friends via tags or following other quirky and fun users. It is determined by how you interact with your followers and the audience you draw to your posts via carefully crafted use of hashtags (among other things).

In using hashtags, you will always encourage further engagement by directing potential users to your profile. Therefore, it is imperative that you utilise them, in order to expand and grow your audience, otherwise your followers will remain pretty stagnant when the change does occur.

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So, what hashtags do you use? What are the most popular? It is pretty easy to check this on social media platforms, just a quick type in the Instagram search box will reveal the numbers.

However, going for the obvious ones may actually hinder you, there is far too much competition and your posts may in fact be overlooked. Do note that on Instagram particularly, you are limited to a maximum of thirty hashtags per post.

You have to find the hashtags that work with your content and note them down as you go along. For example, if you are a blogger in the UK, #ukbloggers (around 60,000 hits) may be of great use to you. It is a little more niche than the generic and heavily-used #fblogger, #bbloggers and #lblogger tags (although I am guilty of using those myself, oops).

If you are really dedicated to your research, then take a look at followers of your own with similar interests and posts, and replicate their hashtags. Utilise the correct hashtags and you will soon see your following across a variety of social media platforms grow. By categorising your posts, you make them far easier to find and people will soon recognise you for those types of posts.

Take a peek at the AdNews guide by James Towers to surviving ‘Instageddon’. He states that quality and not quantity should take preference. In reducing the frequency and being vigilant of your posts when necessary (predicted to be particularly important to brands with the upcoming change) you will learn to quickly adapt, focusing on fantastic and relevant posts, remember some consistency will be key.

To sum things up, use hashtags cleverly, understand those most relevant to your niche, present them with content they will inevitable engage with, and you should remain successful and on top with the new ranking-based Instagram algorithm change, deserving to rank higher in Instagram feeds. It works for Facebook, let’s hope it does for Instagram also.

What do you think of the Instagram algorithm change? What is your favoured social media platform?

Stephanie xox

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Catwalk-vert

Over the last few weeks, people have been flocking to their social media accounts in masses in outrage over the labeling of healthy women as ‘plus sized’ models.

In Britain, any woman above a size 8 is deemed ‘plus size’, yet the average size of British women is a size 14 and often well within their BMI spectrum (not the greatest measurement of health but the standard).

In my opinion, use of the word ‘plus’ connotes and infers that these women are of an additional weight and thus are overweight, which they are certainly not.

Australian and Italian model Stefania Ferrario  is a healthy British size ten, yet is still considered ‘plus sized’ in the fashion industry.

I am sorry, but how is Stefania Ferrario in any way ‘plus sized’? She is so beautifully figured it makes me (and probably many more women) weep, perfectly toned curves with the grace and morals to match.

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Many of these models are actively uniting to challenge the fashion industry and their crass beauty standards and ideals. They hope to revolutionise them and drop the term ‘plus size’ entirely, consistently proving themselves to be acting as positive role models for young girls and women globally, and this needs to happen.

Personally, I believe only ‘healthy’ (by medical standards) models should be presented, the promotion of anything else is never good for the impressionable who often aspire to meet these skewed beauty standards.

Saying this, I do understand that women can be naturally smaller or larger, but those who go to extremes to maintain their weight should not be the visual representation presented by the world of fashion.

Traditionally, the reason slender women are often used to represent fashion designer clothes on the runway is because their slim frame proves similar to the designers initial 2d sketches. Which enabled designers to envision the finished visual result.

However, these models are  not reflective of the women across society who are the consumers of the fashion industries products.

Fronted by Australian actress and TV personality, Ajay Rochester, these modelling activists have inspired the viral Twitter campaign #droptheplus, in a bid to gain worldwide attention, recognition and action from the fashion industry.

Stafania Love Your Curves

French MPs have now legally banned the use of ‘ultra-thin‘ models on catwalks in France.

Those who hire models who do not meet the legislated standards face fines of nearly €75,000 (around £55,000) and possible imprisonment of up to 6 months.

All models will have to have a BMI of at least 18 (as anything under is considered underweight) and a minimum weight of 8 stone, 9 pounds at a height of 5 foot, 7 inches.

At the end of the day, many models continue to not be representative of the spectrum of sizes of women in society.

Ideally, I’d like to see ‘plus size’ diminished entirely and ‘healthy’ sizing to be promoted everywhere.

What is your opinion on the matter? Are the French correct in banning underweight models?

Stephanie xox