Living For ‘Likes’ – Emma Hill

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Since the evolution of Social media our patterns of behaviour are changing; why we do things, what we buy and where we go.  Not everyone will have fallen in to this trap but I have for sure.  It’s not necessarily all bad though, social media also brings a lot of good vibes and inspiration to the table.  Good vibes and inspiration, those are the fundamental elements which I always wanted my blog and social channels to, well, channel.  However it’s been very easy for me get swept along with the numbers game, especially being on this side of the social cube.  I love photography, I have’t always, it’s definitely been a passion which has grown since starting my blog.  I now really appreciate photography, of all different forms and I like to experiment with my own.  For me looking at a good photo can be such a game changer, it can inspire in ways I never thought imaginable and it can certainly lift a mood or evoke a productive streak of motivation.  But, yes there’s always a but, stunning photography and Instagram don’t go hand in hand as harmoniously as you’d think.

You only have to open up your Twitter app to see many a blogger complaining about ‘the algorithm’ (dun dun duuuuunnnnn) and how they spend so much time on their photography and no one sees it.  I totally understand that this is heartbreaking and there are some fabulous accounts out there who rightly deserve more followers, for their photography alone.  However, from the mouths of Instagram themselves, their algorithm does not (yes NOT) prioritise iPhone (smart phone) images over those shot on a DSLR, contrary to popular belief.  Their algorithm is about engagement and it’s my firm belief that most people love a good iPhone snap because it’s ‘of the moment’, it’s realistic and it’s attainable.  I mean how many of you guys have a £3K camera to instagram with?  And then how many of you have a smart phone?  Exactly.  Now me being the little go-getter that I am, I stuck to iPhone snaps on my Insta feed for a good year and a half, and I saw incredible growth.  Almost every single picture I posted would end up on the explore page and my engagement went through the roof, pictures getting on average at least 20k likes and 100’s of comments.  My following grew by sometimes 1000 newbies a day.  It was a wave, and I rode it hard, but all waves must end and mine did when I got to around 390K.  Since then my rate of growth has halved, likes halved, engagement halved, why?  Absolutely no fucking idea haha and I don’t think any of us will ever fully understand how it works or find the ‘magic method’ for posting.  So yes I had a minor breakdown for about a week, then I got over it.  I reached 400K which is a number that I never thought I’d ever get to and I have the most amazing relationship with you all, I bloody love the interaction and LOL’s we have and I know that when I put out my content, you appreciate it, it might not be with a ‘like’ and that’s totally fine with me.  I’m certainly not going to start begging for you all to ‘like’ my pictures because all I want is for them to be inspirational and full of those ‘good vibes’ I was talking about earlier.  It’s with this in mind that Simon and I have picked up the DSLR again and I’ve started posting more of those pictures on the gram, do they perform as well on the like-front? No they don’t but I love the pictures, as do so many of you and I’m really done with living for ‘likes’.

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