Hello! How are you? Are you enjoying the summer so far? It’s my first time doing the freelance childcare/holidays juggle. To be honest it’s not been that bad. I have my mum to help out and we have some free childcare hours that can be put towards holiday club. I dread to think what we’ll do when our daughter goes to school and the funding stops. I’ve seen loads of my fellow freelancers managing brilliantly so I’ll turn to them for advice when the time comes. If all else fails I’ll buy a summer pass to our local soft play where they have the holy trinity of on duty childcare – WIFI, coffee and cake!
Speaking of cake, I went to Instacake Manchester in early June hosted by the lovely Katya. It was a little different this time, moving out of the city centre and into The Creameries in Chorlton. It was such a lovely venue; really chilled and loads of greenery. Basically an Instagram dream. It was nice to catch up with old faces and meet some new people and make new connections. Sadly we missed Sara Tasker of Me & Orla fame by a day. She posted about visiting The Creameries the day after we were there citing it as one of her favourite places to chill out. Probably best for her that she didn’t have us fan girling all over her!
I also ran my second Instagram for Business workshop this month. It was a smaller group this time but just as much fun. It’s funny that even though I was presenting the same workshop, different questions were being asked and people took away different things. I’ve not scheduled one for August but will restart in September so look out for date announcements.
Earlier in the month I took a little break from Instagram. As you know its my absolute favourite platform but I was finding it was becoming a bit of a time drain. More so in the evenings when I’d find myself scrolling for hours instead of reading a book or having a conversation my fiancé. I took a step back for a few days and it felt really good. I think it’s healthy to disconnect every once in a while and just gain a bit of perspective on the amount of time you’re spending on social (especially when it’s your day job!) How do you feel about this? Do you step away from social media from time to time or is the FOMO too much to bear?
Without further a do let’s move onto my social media news and updates round up. It’s been a bit quieter compared to other months but I hope that’s because everyone is out enjoying the sunshine!
- Instagram began to remove the ‘like’ count from posts. (Post creators can still see this metric). This is in a move to reduce so called ‘vanity metrics’ and make Instagram a more level playing field where posts are judged by the quality of the image and caption rather than the number of likes it gets. I’m all for this although I can understand influencers being riled by this as they make a living from generating like and comments. I do worry that users will become obsessed with other metrics such as follower numbers and that will lead to an increase on bots and other bad practices. There’s not been an announcement about when this will be rolled out across the UK. Keep a look out.
- Instagram is also trying to fight back against online bullying by releasing a new feature called Restrict. Users can place bullies on a restricted list which gives them control over comments (including deleting them) left on their posts by that person. The bully will have no idea they are on the list, nor will they know when an action has been taken on their comment. It also makes it harder for the bully to find someone via tags and @mentions. Sounds like a good idea in principle.
- Twitter rolled out their desktop redesign to mixed reviews. My timeline was awash with people lamenting the new design with #bringbackoldtwitter trending for days. I think people are getting used to it now. Many, myself included, like it for it’s fresh, less cluttered look. I honestly think it’s an improvement – once you’ve figured out where all the buttons have moved to!
My podcast of choice this month has been Dolly Alderton’s Love Stories. It was recommended to me a while ago and I’ve finally got round to listening to it. It’s a really lovely chilled listen – perfect for office days. My favourites so far have been Lily Allen, Stanley Tucci and Emma Freud who recount past loves, heart break and the relationships that made them who they are today.
Finally, I’ve had lots of conversations this month about the decline in organic engagement on Instagram. Despite protestations from Insta HQ, something has definitely changed. I know a lot of people have seen their engagement figures take a nose dive. I wondered if you’ve noticed it and the impact it’s had on your marketing? Are you doing anything differently as a result? Have you turned to paid advertising? If you’re feeling stuck then Katya has written an excellent blog on how she thinks you can use the down turn as an opportunity to think differently about what you post. Let me know how you get on!
So that’s it for this moth. You can catch up with previous round ups and have a chin wag on social @stripesocial. I hope you enjoy the rest of the summer and hopefully have some down time planned. We’re going camping in Scotland – pray for good weather!