Five Instagram Tips

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photos: Enocha

Social media has really changed the way we communicate with one another, and pretty much life altogether. Am I right or am I right?

One of the most rewarding things about being an influencer is the connection with you all. It’s truly one of the greatest pleasures of Instagram… for me at least.

What have I learned about Instagram? Staying true to myself. Don’t be afraid to not like the same things as the next influencer. I can go on and on and on, but you get the point.

I wanted to share a few things I’ve learned/tips on Instagram from my perspective. As always, I speak for myself and all opinions are mine based off of what I’ve learned and/or experienced.

Five Instagram Tips:

  1. Post what YOU want vs. what EVERYONE else is posting. I use to create content based off of what was trending versus what I actually love. My content is always changing because as I get older, I discover new things I enjoy/love – but I’ve learned that posting more relevant content to my life is important and makes more sense, because who am I really if I’m not sharing things I actually fancy… right?
  2. Post IRL (In Real Life). This is obviously a tough one as you can’t ALWAYS post in real life. Things always come up or life just happens, therefore; sometimes you are unable to post right away. I totally get it, but I do prefer to try to post IRL as often as possible, because I find myself being more excited to post the content at the moment than saving it for a raining day (if that makes sense). I tend to get tired of seeing the “saved images” under my camera roll so much that I often end up never posting because I’ve seen them a million times already, which I end up forgetting that you (my followers) haven’t seen these images. The struggle.
  3. Be Authentic. This ties back to tip #1. For those who know me know I’m a very laid back person and don’t take things so seriously. I think being yourself is what will make you stand out. I love creating action shots. The accidental images are what end up doing well for me. Meaning less posey and more in-the-moment shots. The social media world we live in is saturated with so many influencers so getting creative can often be overwhelming, and often feel discouraged – but I think that’s the beauty of it. You must always stay creative, and constantly find ways to differentiate yourself from the rest. I love a good challenge.
  4. Stop stressing. It’s not that serious people. Maybe because I’m not that picky when it comes to taking photos. I found myself taking less photos and getting a good 2-3 photos I LOVE. That’s really all I Need. It becomes overwhelming for me when I have to weed out all 500 photos I just took for that one good photo to post. It’s a waste of my time and the person taking the photos. Sure we need options, especially when you’re asking a stranger, however; try to learn what angles/poses work best for you and direct the person on how to take the photos. It’ll save you some time. It becomes less stressful for me, too – honestly.
  5. Engage with your followers. How do I say this without sounding… um, bitchy… You’re not a celebrity therefore don’t act like one. Respond to your followers. If they’re asking where your shoes are from even though you stated in your caption that details are listed on your latest blogpost, just tell them. If people are DM’ing you about something relevant (obviously not the creepers asking if you’re single or whatnot), then you should respond even if it’s an emoji. Acknowledge your followers – it’s so important because to be honest, without them, your blogging business would be non existence. Again, speaking from my perspective/experience, so please don’t get offended.

I hope you find this post helpful. Obviously most of these tips apply to influencers or anyone trying to grow their Instagram.

xo

SHOP THE LOOK:

Five Tips to Increase Your Instagram Engagement

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photos: Enocha

It’s obvious that our engagement has dropped drastically with the new Instagram algorithm. I say drastically because I’ve noticed it on my own account.

Because it is so difficult to keep people engaged, one must find ways to maintain the interaction between one another. Here are five tips on how to increase your Instagram engagement… I hope this is helpful for some of you.

  1. Figure out the best times/dates to post. Use icono square to get your analytics.
  2. Interact with your followers as well as accounts you follow. It’s important to respond to any comments or questions left on your photos.
  3. Figure out how many times a day to post, whether that’s more frequently or less.
  4. Observe what content gets the most engagement that way you know what type of content you need to continue creating going forward.
  5. Captions are key. I personally think it’s a waste when you skip captions. Take advantage of creating creative captions, like asking questions or telling your followers to list their favorite ___. Start a conversation. Whether it’s through your captions or insta stories. Ask your followers what type of content/posts they want to see more of. Or maybe ask your followers where they are from.

xo

SHOP THE LOOK:

Little Mistress UK Jumpsuit | Boots | Hat | Bag

Instagram Stories vs Snapchat Stories

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Instagram stories or Snapchat stories? Which platform do you prefer?

As a blogger, it is really difficult to be on both and try to create different content as oppose to sharing every snapchat story onto Insta stories, which I’m guilty of. It honestly makes no sense. What’s the point of following you on both platforms if you’re going to be sharing the exact same content, right?

Here are my thoughts on Instagram stories vs Snapchat stories…

Instagram Stories:

Pros:

  • You can see and click on users who view your stories (I see you boo boo).
  • Hands-free video is awesome.
  • You can tag a brand/person, which will lead you to their Instagram profile with just a click of a button. Very convenient when working with a brand.
  • Video seems longer but not really sure if they are.
  • The Boomerang feature is my favorite.
  • You can go live.
  • You can be more creative with the drawing and text tools, especially since you can create multiple text lines.
  • You get more views.
  • You can view a photo longer by pressing down on your screen. Love this feature because I am able to read a longer caption if needed.

Cons:

  • You can’t see who screen shots your stories, which is annoying.
  • There are no fun filters.
  • You cannot control the length of each photo or video.
  • Once the stories are done, it automatically takes you to the next person, which I can definitely do without.
  • You don’t have the fast-forward, rewind or slow-motion tool.
  • You can only upload photos from your camera phone that were taken within 24 hours, otherwise you’ll have to screen shot & crop your photos to appear within the 24hr time frame.
  • If you save your stories, they automatically appear in your camera roll versus within the app itself.

 

Snapchat Stories:

Pros:

  • Geo tags and filters are the best.
  • You can control the length of each photo and video.
  • All stories saved are saved within the app and not necessarily in your camera roll, however you do have the option of doing both.
  • You can upload from your camera roll without any restrictions.
  • You can see who screen shots and re-plays your stories.
  • You can create your own geo tag for special events.

Cons:

  • Although Snapchat let’s you see who views your stories, you’re limited because you cannot click through their profile to see exactly who they are unless you know them by their screen name.
  • You can mention a brand, however they will not be notified that they have been tagged or mentioned.
  • The drawing tools can be better.
  • Views aren’t nearly as great.
  • No Boomerang or Live feature.

 So, which platform do you prefer?

In my opinion, if Instagram stories had better filters, be able to control the length of each story, and be able to see who screen shots your stories, then I would probably stop using snapchat altogether. Although I find myself more active on Insta stories, I am having a bit of separation anxiety and completely letting go of Snapchat. I do believe that Instagram will be coming out with new tools and features that will convince me to officially cut the Snapchat umbilical cord. Until then, you can still find me on both, but most likely more Insta stories.

xo

How I Edit My Instagram Photos

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“How do you edit your Instagram photos?” “Love your photos?” “What filters do you use?” The most popular questions I’ve gotten. Well, you asked, I answered.

If you scroll a few months down my feed, you’ll notice that my photos use to be very blown out, I would whiten every single background, even moody (love a good moody shot). I used to be very particular with my feed and how every single photo looked. I was OCD with the editing and filter usage. I kept my filters to a minimum (two I think), and it HAD to look perfect. “Now wait a minute… but my life isn’t perfect so why am I trying so hard?!”  Yeah, I know. Pretty silly right?… LAUGHING OUT LOUD.

My feed has changed since. Now, I just look at what looks best, which has lead me to use multiple filters. I love more natural backgrounds, still with moody/contrast tones as before. I just love that feel, ya know? I just post whatever looks and feels right to my liking… does that make sense? It’s not that I don’t care about what my feed looks like anymore, it’s more about liking how each individual photo looks rather than stressing if my feed looks consistent or if this photo looks ok next to the previous edited photo. I still think that my feed is cohesive and still remains somewhat of a consistency, however; in a more “go-with-the-flow” kind of way. I guess you can say that. I don’t know, it’s really difficult to explain it but you get the gist of it, right?!..

Anyways, moving on. I listed the apps and a quick rundown of the filters I use.

VSCO:

Want to know my secret? Ok, are you ready? I use EVERYTHING! Lol, just kidding – but I kinda do.

A6: Aaahhh good ol’ A6 – probably the most famous & most used filter bloggers have used or still do. I’ve notice I use this every once in awhile. Not as often as I use to but still great, especially for photos you absolutely think are trash. This filter has saved a lot of my photos that almost never made it to the gram.

C1-C3 & E1-E4: I always play around with these to get the right tones. I can’t really narrow it down because while one will work for one photo, it may not necessarily work for another… Does that make sense?! I hope so… moving on.

J1, J2, J5 & J6: These have been some of my favorites for sure. If you’re like me, and like moody, these are great.

SNAPSEED:

I use this app to control the brightness and exposure of my photos. You can also tap a specific area of the photo to change the tone, which is ah-mazing!

FACETUNE:

This is what I use to use to whiten out the backgrounds of my photos. I still use it from time to time when necessary. It’s great to smooth out any blemishes. I also use it to remove certain things, people, stains, etc. that are photo bombing my photo… yeah, this app can do that.

LIGHTROOM:

I just recently started using this app even though I’ve (for some odd reason) have had this app on my phone for years. It’s great for selfies. 😉

So there you have it ladies & gents. I hope this helped you out, and as always if you have any questions, just leave me a comment below or feel free to email or DM me on Instagram. 🙂

xo

Living Room Makeover

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I’ve discovered a new love for interior decorating. It’s funny, really because my entire “career” life, I’ve done nothing but work in the fashion industry.  I realized how much I enjoyed shopping, and finding amazing items at flea markets just recently. It’s very therapeutic to me, honestly. I think enjoy it much more than clothing shopping that’s for sure.

If you follow me on Instagram (@melrodstyle), you know that I have been slowly but surely re-decorating my living room space.

I’m not quite done yet but wanted to share what I have done so far with my living room area. I decided to begin with that room first, since it’s where I spend most of my time with Boo Boo Kitty. 😉

I plan to share more on Instagram and Snapchat.

Pillows: Loloi Rugs

Rug: Rugs USA

Framed Wall Art: Minted

Macrame Wall Hanging Decor: Niroma Studio

Macrame Hanging Nest: Madime Macrame

xo

Recently on Instagram

Just a quick recap of what is happening on Instagram:

1. Got to meet the lovely Drew Barrymore at #luckyfabb.

2 and 4. Vegas was so much fun!

3. Shoe game with my blogger ladies at Luck Fabb.

Follow me @mel_twtgg!

 xo