Social media can be a crazy feat to keep up with or frankly to know what to take pictures of. We’ve paired with Amanda from As Told By Amanda so she can tell you some of her best kept social media secrets!
Tell our readers about yourself and your blog
I own and create weekly content for As Told By Amanda, a Lifestyle & Fashion blog. I not only share how I score the best fashion finds to create my edgy, street style look, but I also post travel diaries, my favorite Orlando Coffee Shops, thought-provoking essays, and poetry. I like to think my blog is a little bit of everything for the creative millennial.
Tell us how you first got into blogging.
I first started getting into blogging when I was in a creative rut on my Youtube Channel. I felt I wasn’t happy with the content I was making and it was no longer true to who I was. Personally, my life was changing a lot and what I was going through really helped me learn more about myself and what type of content I wanted to create. My blog was an ‘easier’ (or what I thought was easier at the time) way to creatively express anything and everything I wanted to. That’s why I have readers who love fashion, art, poetry, faith, social matters, travel, food and coffee because my blog has a little bit of all of that intertwined.
How did you establish your “theme” or brand?
Well, this was pretty easy being that it’s just based on the things I love and have a passion for. I find in life, especially social media, everyone gets so caught up in themes when at the end of the day, you stay true to who you are and only put content out there that accurately expresses that, then it will come easily to you. You won’t even have to think about it. So for example, I love edgy street style fashion, I am a city girl to the core, but I also have a thing for dramatics (my acting background) so my ‘theme’ will always embody more industrial backgrounds, moodier tones, and detailed shots of my outfits.
For your theme or brand, do you have things that you do consistently?
I consistently write and shoot. Even if I don’t plan on putting it live on my blog or social media platforms. For me, I am a creative person so I need to always ‘create’ something. It keeps me going. So if I consistently write and shoot whether or not I even had an idea planted in my head before my fingers touched my keyboard, I will see new ideas emerge and have fresh content to choose from all the time.
Where do you find the inspiration for your blog posts?
Everywhere. Because I have a fashion and lifestyle blog my inspiration could come from traveling, Pinterest, personal experiences, music, or my favorite cafe.
What do you think is the best strategy to get more traffic to your blog?
CONSISTENCY AND INTERACTION. I can not stress enough how those two things have really helped me grow on my blog and social media platforms. Say you post once a week, you are giving your viewers 6 days to forget about you. That’s too much time. Or let’s say you post on your blog maybe 2 times a week, which is pretty standard for part-time bloggers, but you never respond to comments, like other peoples post or make new friends, no one will do that for you. Post QUALITY content CONSISTENTLY and INTERACT with followers or other blogs as much as possible.
What’s your favorite social media platform?
Instagram for sure, c’mon. One because it’s easy and fast (we do live in an instant gratification world) and two because of the community. Two of my best friends I met through Instagram over a year ago and we talk every day, I wouldn’t be able to go to events, network and try new things if it wasn’t for the support from the people I have met on IG.
How do you gain followers?
Eh, I love and hate this question because don’t we all want this answer? I mean if you have the secret to gaining a lot of followers, please tell me. No, but seriously, I have no idea. All I know that has worked for me is following people like me, posting consistently, and interacting with your followers best you can. You will see organic results that way. I mean, I guess people could buy followers, but if you do, man I really question your motive behind what you do and why you do what you do. For me, authenticity is the best and I gain so much respect for people who work hard and are confident enough that their work is good enough to bring in the results they want.
Once you have the followers, how do you keep them?
So I’m gonna sound like a broken record over here but interaction. This is key. I mean this is vague so in a more practical manner interaction could look like a lot of different things. One you could, and should try to have a call to action in every post. This simple is you are calling you readers to an action. For me, I always ask a question in my caption for my readers to answer in the comments. Two, you could do contest or giveaways or shoutouts; it gives your readers a new thing to look forward to. And lastly, which will be the simplest things but just be there. That sounds deeper than it really is but be there, be active on their page, respond to their stuff, interact like you would face to face. Treat your followers like friends and I promise they will feel like they are and stick around. People crave that human connection even on the internet, so why not give it to them?
How many times a week do you post?
On my blog, I post 2-3 times a week. On my Instagram, I post around 2-3 photos a day (dear God, I know). But that’s what works for me and I’m usually very consistent in that.
Is this a part of your strategy to keep gaining followers or do you post at random?
It’s always in my strategy to grow in numbers and also engagement but I don’t allow myself to get in the number trap. I don’t check my follower count daily or weekly, I really focus on my analytics and insights. Basically looking backward and saying, “Am I doing better than last week?” If it’s a yes, then great, if it’s a no, then I look at what didn’t do well and I do better and move on. I see growth as an opportunity to inspire more people so of course, I want to grow because I want to reach more and more people, but I don’t get depressed or compare myself to others if it’s not always what I want.
What are some misconceptions about social media?
Oh Lord, where do I start? Okay the biggest misconception is that blogging is easy and it’s just standing in front of a camera. I can’t tell you how many brands, companies, and people (without knowing) belittle you because they think that your job is so glamours, when in fact it’s not. I stay up till 4am writing blogs, having people proof read my work. I spend hours editing videos and learning about different Adobe programs to better the quality of my content. I work hard at my job (which I also work professionally for a social media marketing company) and save money to pay a photographer to take pictures of me. I build relationships with brands and more, so this is a full time job that maybe 10% of it is in front of a camera. Another misconception is that what you see is what you get. Maybe some people it is, but we have to remember as viewers and readers that people aren’t posting a blog or photo of them having a bad day, no make up, driving through the taco bell line at 3am getting a loaded potato griller (I actually have on my IG Stories – embarrassing to say the least). So all in all, social media/blogging, it’s a lot of hard work that no one see’s and the parts people do see (not that you’re lying) there’s always more to the person and photo than you see.
Do you have photos taken professionally or do you take them yourself?
Both. Usually, for collaborations, I do have them professionally done so that the brand gets HQ photos that they can use. If it’s just a simple OOTD or I’m on vacation, my phone is the quickest way to capture a moment and there are tons of great apps you can use to edit the photo. I use Snapseed and Vsco Cam. I also have my own DSLR so I can always set it up and hand it to a friend to quickly take some high-quality photos.
What are some tips you can give in order to take a good photo?
It depends on what you want to capture. If it’s an outfit photo, then you are modeling the clothes so pose in a way that shows the clothes off the best. If it’s food, maybe looking up some really cool flat lays and trying to recreate or use them to inspire you. Also if you’re using a camera, I mean it’s pretty simple but really understanding Manual mode so you can get the best looking photo possible before any editing has happened. Same with your phone, figure out how to use it in live mode before you edit it.
What’s your favorite location to take photos?
I love city backgrounds, that will always be my favorite. Or a coffee shop window, I love those.
How do you find relevant hashtags for your photos?
Okay, this is a great question. I googled what hashtags to use when I first started using hashtags more and more. There are several articles on which ones are the most popular and fit your photos. I also change up my hashtags according to the photo. If I want to possibly have teen vogue repost my photos or even my local coffee shop, I look up hashtags that are relevant to teen vogue or coffee and use those.
What are your top 3 favorite emojis?
The Unicorn because, Magic. The Taco, because I mean cmon who doesn’t dream about tacos? Lastly the Lighting Bolt, I honestly can’t explain this one.
How do you keep your website updated & relevant?
I try to update any information or photos on my blog every 2 months so that it’s up to date with how to reach me, what’s going on in my life and what I currently look like. I also just look at blogs that are doing really well and see what new things they do that work for them and try it out. It could be anything from adding a video, to how they display their social media handles.
What apps would you recommend to our followers?
For photo editing definitely Snapseed and VSCO. For Social Media planning, Planoly. For inspiration, Pinterest. If you’re a blogger on Square Space, download the app. It’s not as amazing as desktop obviously, but if you’re traveling, it’s amazing.
What else do you want to add to help small business owners?
Be true to your brand. Collaborate as much as you can. Interact will all your customers/followers, and lastly be consistent in everything you do and say.