HELLO, friends! Just hopping on here real quick to let y’all know a big personal update: I GRADUATED. AGAIN. This time with my Master’s in Mass Communication! I feel like it was forever and a day ago that I left home at 17 and was dropped off, ALONE, in Phoenix, Arizona all the way from lil’ old Suwanee, Georgia. I can’t believe my time here is almost up!
During these five years, I have LOVED living here in Phoenix. It’s so different than where I grew up, but it was a fantastic change. I truly felt like I was raised in Georgia but grew up in Arizona! At 17, graduating at 22 seemed so far away. Even when I declared my 4+1 degree, I thought the day would NEVER come. And now, here I am; I walk across the stage tonight with that degree, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.
I just wanted to take the time to thank my family and friends for their endless, unconditional support. Without you all, I would’ve never been able to get to where I am now. I love you guys! Thank you for always standing behind me and supporting my wildest, craziest dreams.
Now… off to law school!
Hello, hello friends! I know that it has been insanely chaotic lately and my heart is with all of you, wherever in the world you are. Please stay healthy and practice responsible measures to prevent spreading or contracting illnesses during this time! I encourage you all to stay informed and, again, be responsible not only to keep yourself safe but to keep others safe and healthy as well. For more information, please read more here: Coronavirus Disease 2019 by the CDC. Alright. Now that we’ve got all of that out of the way, let’s talk about why you need a media kit (lol).
Hello, hello, friends! This week has been… something else. Today will actually be my very last day of in-person classes for law school; we’ll be switching to online, distance learning then-after. So weird! Earlier this week, I was supposed to be in Arizona this weekend for my step-brother’s graduation, but here I am, flights canceled and out of school for the rest of the semester. Well. On-campus, anyway. But, I just want to remind you guys that it will not be like this forever. Even amidst all of these changes, I want to encourage you guys to stay optimistic during this time. Perhaps, maybe, maintaining parts of our routines that we can is a good idea. So… here’s a blog post on Insights and Analytics, which I wrote two weeks ago when all of this wasn’t happening. Let me know what you guys think! I’d love to continue discussions about things we love during this weird time.
Hello, hello, friends! I am so excited about discussing this week’s topic with you all… not just because I love Instagram Stories, but because this is the first week where a blog will be supplemented with a PODCAST. That’s right — a podcast. I know you’re screaming right now in excitement [right?] and you’re oh-so-excited to listen; the link is at veeeerry end of this blog post, so if you want it, you’re going to have to read this! Or… scroll to the bottom of the page without reading a single thing at all. Just don’t tell me if you do that, okay? Today, we’re talking all about Instagram Stories, friends. Not just what they are [c’mon, we all know what they are], but how they’ve quickly evolved to be one of the very most important social media tools we can implement into our routines. In some ways, social media marketers are regarding Stories as its own social media platform because of the vast opportunity they afford us to engage uniquely with our audiences. In this blog post, we’re going to be covering why. But First… Before we get into the good stuff, I just wanted to reiterate to you guys this is my very first week with a theme or main topic/subject across all of my different content that’s going up. This week’s theme, for example, is Instagram Stories! I would love to know which type of content you’d like to see next from me; it could be anything from “Freelance Social Media Management” to “Graphic Design” to “Forming an Effective Pitch to Brands.” [Hint hint: those are all topics I have scheduled] If there are any other topics you’d love for me to talk about, comment on this post and let me know or message me on any of my social media platforms. I’d love to hear from you! Okay. Let’s get into it! Engagement, Engagement, Engagement Perhaps most importantly, Stories allow for amazing direct engagement with your audience that is truly unparalleled to any other social media networking site out there. The platform smartly utilizes integrated engagement tools, such as Poll Stickers, Quizzes, Question Stickers, and Swipe-up links to allow users to directly connect with their favorite creators. [Not familiar with Engagement Stickers? I’ve got you covered! Read this article about them.] Instagram actually rewards those who regularly and strategically engage with their audiences by algorithmically favoring those accounts. It’s truly a win-win-win; if you’re not using Instagram Stories to engage with your audience, you’re missing out on an amazing opportunity to build a genuine community, foster close relationships, and engage in thoughtful conversations with your audience. I’ll talk all about how to garner more genuine engagement with your viewers over on my podcast, so be sure to check that out. Challenge: I challenge you all to ask a question on Stories using the “Question Sticker” this week — your goal is to get at least ten responses, no matter how “big” your audience is [I use this arbitrarily; a “sizable” audience is subjective]. This challenge will require you to ask a question that really invites, or even demands, a response from your viewers. Maintaining Visibility Instagram Stories are incredible ways to maintain visibility throughout the day; they are, after all, designed to show viewers what your “day to day” experiences look like. Stories are an amazing way to provide content [even if it’s just surface-level; i.e. showing people what you ate for breakfast, where you’re at this evening, or maybe even just a quick selfie] to your audience throughout the day that doesn’t have to be so thought-out, organized, or structured. It can be quick and with little to no effort or thought, if you so choose. This is a great way to remain at the top of your followers’ Stories throughout the day. Parasocial Interaction In a way, Stories are a way to truly showcase who you are rather than how you present yourself on social media, if that makes sense. On my Stories, I find that it’s a lot easier for me to be candid, and showcase a goofy side of me that doesn’t often come through on edited copy and structured posts. Have you ever heard of “parasocial interaction?” We actually talked about this phenomenon occasionally in j-school, but mostly in the context of news anchor/audience viewer interaction. Parasocial interaction, or PSI, is defined as “an imaginary relationship, an imaginary friendship, an illusion of face-to-face relationship and an interpersonal interaction between media user and the consumed media.” [Inquiries Journal] Parasocial interaction is, essentially, the feeling an audience member has for someone like a news anchor, or a YouTube vlogger, or a content creator; this is the feeling that they actually are “friends,” with this person, or that they truly know the person. Talking on video during a Story or even just simply contributing frequently and genuinely with Stories is a great way to establish a strong parasocial interaction with your audience. Stories are, arguably, one of the best ways to do just that. Because the platform allows such candid material, viewers often get the sense that they truly are “in the know” about their favorite creators’ lives. [Continue reading about parasocial interaction by viewing this study or by reading this article by Stephen Elliott] How Should I Design My Instagram Stories? Funny you asked that, my friend. This week, I released an IGTV that goes into detail about creating beautiful stories using apps like Canva. You can watch that here. How Should I Strategically Use Instagram Stories? Ah, another amazing question that I am so glad you asked! I’ve released a podcast this week all about How to Strategically Use IG Stories to Leverage Engagement. You can listen to that here. Don’t forget to leave me suggestions for future topics to cover. I’d love to hear what y’all have to say! And let me know if you implement any of these tactics into your social strategy, too. Survey Questions Okay, okay, don’t […]