Fact: it wasn't until recently that I figured out how people got really high quality images from their blog to their Instagram. I kept trying to take photos of my computer screen, and the results were really pixelated. I kept going, “How do they do it?! Why aren't THEIR photos all pixely?”
Fact: it wasn't until recently that I figured out how people got really high quality images from their blog to their Instagram.
I consider myself pretty tech savvy (with a good dose of McGuyver), but this one was STUMPING me. And I know I'm not alone. There is always something small and silly that we feel like we should know the answer to, but don't. And we get too embarrassed to ask anyone. First, you're not alone. Second, don't ever feel embarrassed to ask– we all have to learn somehow.
Here you go. Your embarrassing, silly, and stupid social media questions, answered.
So…how DO you get high quality pictures from your computer to Instagram?
Email them to yourself. This may not be how others do it, and maybe this isn't the easiest way, but a friend recommended it to me and it's been working. Email the high resolution .jpg to yourself, save it to your phone, and Instagram to your heart's delight. I felt kind of like a social media dunce when I heard it, but hey, it works! And now my images aren't blurry or pixelated, but are crisp, clear, and bright.
What are those little emoticon images on the phone and how do I get them?
Emoji! I had to ask a blogger friend what they were. In short, you download an app that adds a special keyboard to your smartphone (on the iPhone, I use one called EMOJI). In texts, comments, and on websites, you can switch from the text keyboard to the emoji keyboard. You just use the emoji icons in place of characters. There are TONS of emoji apps out there, so you can find all sorts of images! Some are free, some cost money, but there you go.
How long do you have to replies to comments?
I hate to answer this question with a question, but: how often are you posting? What is your schedule like? In an ideal world, I'd recommend within 24 hours (and really do if you're posting daily). But I know that isn't always realistic or reasonable for people (especially if you post once a week). 24-48 would be reasonable, but again, it depends on your life. Sometimes it takes me a week or longer to get around to replying to comments.
I use the ReplyMe plugin on WordPress so my readers receive a short email response when I reply. This way they don't have to wait, but get a response directly to them.
How do you shorten URL links?
This answer will really depend on why you're trying to or want to shorten it. You can sign up for bit.ly, which is free and will shorten URLs. Bit.ly also has analytics to help you track where, when, and the source of your links being opened. Some blogger buy their own custom shortened URL (you'll notice that all of Refinery29's URLs are r29.co when shortened). Bit.ly explains how to set up your own custom domain here.
If you're using Hootsuite for Twitter, they have their own URL shortener. I tend to just pop a bit.ly link in there so I can share the same URL across multiple social media platforms (my website, Facebook, Twitter, etc)!
What are Twitter lists? How & why should you use them?
Twitter lists are ways to organize the people you follow. For example, I have the following lists set up on my Twitter (or rather, through Hootsuite): Style Coalition (where I follow my fellow Style Coalition members), Fashion Bloggers, New Orleans bloggers.
Lists are great to use if you follow thousands of users and want to be able to read particular topics at once. You could have a list of all the brands you follow, all the bloggers you follow, and all media outlets. You could make a list of bloggers you'd love to work with, so you can quickly reference what they're talking about. You can create a list of your favorite 100 people to follow on Twitter. The options for lists are endless.
For extra reading, Sarah Von Bargen's Using Twitter Lists for Fame + Fortune (or you, know, time-effective networking) is a great read.
Is the lack of comments – either on Facebook or blog – a bad sign?
This is a tough one. Yes, it can be a bad sign, but it isn't ALWAYS a bad sign. Here are some questions to ask yourself to figure out if it's a bad sign for you and your site:
What time of year is it? Do I have recurring traffic & engagement patterns during this time? I always notice a dip in traffic and engagement in the holidays and during summer. People are just doing other things! I try not to take it personally that they don't want to see my cookie recipes at Christmas, because I know they're probably out making meaningful memories instead.
Are ALL of my posts being met with silence? Actually look at your analytics. Look at what posts are receiving comments (any at all) and which aren't. Do you notice any common threads? Are the posts where you talk about your personal life receiving comments? Are your outfit posts, with no text, being met with silence? Figure out what qualities make people engage, and recreate it. On Facebook, see how many people your posts are reaching. If they're reaching a lot of people (15-20% of your followers), but no one is engaging, you may be doing something wrong. It's not compelling them to post. The best Facebook posts prompt a response from readers AND reach a higher percentage of your followers.
Am I providing meaning with my methods of communication? Am I providing people with a reason to respond? This goes back to my post last week, which is you need to offer readers something of value. It isn't enough to just indulge your own interests, but you need to keep them coming back for something MORE.
And sometimes you just have to remember… that as more and more blogs are created, people are absorbing more and interacting less. I believe that commenting is valuable, but I'm not always sure of its longevity. Social media is changing so quickly, and the best way to continually engage people is to create content they CAN'T skip over.
Thank you to all the fabulous members of the IFB community for sharing your questions with me! If you have any embarrassing silly social media & blogging questions, please leave them below. I'll either answer in the comments or do a follow up in the upcoming weeks!
[Image Source Shutterstock.com]