A lot has been said about social media and especially about Instagram, the fastest growing social media platform at the moment, with a staggering 400 million monthly active users worldwide..As a visual person this is my favourite platform by far!
Some people think that Instagram is superficial, fake, all about appearances and looks, and does not reflect the real world at all! I can certainly understand where this is coming from, as a lot of users handle and build their gallery that way. They mainly post selfies, duckfaces, tight sexy dresses and even butfies…:(
I however don’t follow such accounts and certainly don’t post pictures like those myself, with the small exception of a hatfie with nice background once in a while, cause I have to admit I love my hats:)
For me Instagram is mainly about meeting likeminded people all around the world, to inspire and be inspired! My inspiration and passion is travel, architecture, nature and just pretty lifestyle pics in general, so that is what you will find in my gallery. And those are the accounts that I will follow, to keep my feed inspirational and clean.
I do NOT follow for (un)follow and don’t use apps or paid tricks to grow my account. In my opinion Instagram is all about real engagement, why else would it be called SOCIAL media??
In a few weeks I will be celebrating Authentic Chica’s 1 year anniversary on Instagram and in the past year this account has reached more than 18,000 followers with almost 600 pictures shared so far (1-2 a day). I have to admit it has become a small addiction and daily piece of joy in my life…
A few reasons why Instagram is a very positive thing for me:
- Looking at beautiful pictures daily, while waking up, during my coffee breaks at work and on the way home always brightens up my day
- I have fun with the filters and possibilities of Instagram by editing my pictures to make them even more beautiful. I try to post only my best pics, beautiful travel memories and daily moments, so my gallery becomes an inspiration board to myself and others
- Instagram inspires me to take more pictures and motivated me to take up a photography course which makes me look at the world differently and appreciate the beauty around me more
- I have made several friends through Instagram, a few I met already in real life as well, and have become true friends with. But I also have friends around the whole world now to meet up with during my trips or even stay over if I want
- I love to meet other bloggers through this platform, to share experiences and tips with, and sometimes even collaborate with and help each other grow
- Collaborations with companies and brands are also possible through Instagram. Sometimes via DM (Direct Message) or even by receiving or posting a comment under a post. If you have a blog, website or just something good to offer and are serious and active, this will certainly be a possibility
- Because of Instagram I will be traveling much more this year and will be doing more than 10 collaborations with several brands, hotels and destinations that I love. Because of this I will even be able to help companies with their online marketing campaigns and give away free hotel stays for my favourite hotels to my most loyal and engaging followers, how cool is that?
If you are happy with your account just being a gallery for yourself of course that is fine and you can definitely enjoy it on your own. But if you want your Instagram account to inspire others as well, meet likeminded people, engage and have the same positive effect for you as it has for me, I suggest you try to keep a few things in mind…
If you follow these tips I am convinced you will enjoy Instagram more and will also see your engagement and numbers grow at the same time:
- Post more often and consistently to keep your followers engaged, they are following you because they want to see your pics, right?! Not a few weeks of nothing…
- Engage more, a small comment or emoticon only takes a second but can make people smile, and it never hurts to be social!
- Be open and react on comments under your posts, people like to connect and to get feedback on their comments
- If people consistently like or comment your pics, try to give back once in a while and check their accounts more often, it is always nice if the feeling is mutual right?
- Don’t forget to double tap and like everything that inspires you. Just think about it: it is nice to receive appreciation for your pics, so why wouldn’t you do the same for others, instead of only thinking it?
- Be open to DM’s, of course you don’t want or have to do this with everybody, but sometimes this can lead to great business opportunities, collaborations or even friendships..
And most importantly, don’t play the follow for follow game, this will only lead to un-inspiring feeds, un-interested followers and low engagement!
Instead, just follow people whose account you really love and whose pics you really like, to you keep your daily feed inspiring and to be able to make real connections. Here’s some of my favourite suggestions to follow:
From my homeland the Netherlands I follow a few really beautiful people, both on the inside as out. I look up their pictures daily and have even met and have become friends with them in real life. I am happy to have found them through social media! And besides that they just have really great pics, which everybody should see, just click on the pics to go to their Instagram account and don’t forget to tap the follow button:
- Sigrid is a girl addicted to travel, with a huge heart for Asia, animals, nature and adventure. I just love to see her daily pics and enjoy her Dutch blog, which you can also find in her Instagram bio.
- Marieke is a real globetrotter and has visited 58 countries already! I really enjoy her Asia inspired pictures, but am loving her current pictures from Iran as well. She also writes for a Dutch blog, which you can find in her bio.
- Daphne has a beautiful website for which she interviews world travelers about their experiences and writes on her Dutch blog about her personal food hotspots and travel favourites all around the world. Her daily pics are always different and show the beauty of Holland as well.
Boudhanath Stupa, Kathmandu, Nepal | Travel 🌏 | This photo is made before it was damaged by the earthquake! So sad! #foodandflipflops #365daysoftraveling #unesco #unescoworldheritage #boudhanath #stupa #kathmandu #nepal #visitnepal #nepali #buddhist #asia #asian #igersasia #travelasia #southeastasia #ig_asia #goasean #travelstoke #wonderful_places #placetovisit #doyoutravel #seetheworld #travellife #globetrotter #neverstopexploring #letsgoeverywhere #wonderfulplaces #beautifuldestinations
- Kasia has been a blogger friend of mine since the beginning and always inspires me with her luxurious travel accommodations, collaborations and breath taking pics! She has just been to Asia for 3 months and her Instagram gallery and bi-lingual blog are filled with desirable pics of it. Check the link in her bio for the most luxurious hotspot hotels!
- Priscilla’s pictures are all stunning! She has a great eye for composition and is always on point. I love to follow her travels and short trips around the world and really like her as a person.
Fisherman's Bastion, Budapest 2016 #Architecture #budapest #citytrip #cbviews #discover #europe #earthlandscape #holiday #hungary #instatravel #landscapes #landscape_captures #luxury #trip #travel #traveler #traveling #travelgram #takemeback #unescoworldheritage #view #viewpoint #world #worldtravel #wanderlust
Outside the Netherlands there are some awesome girls which I have great contact with on IG, I haven’t met them in real life yet, but hopefully will soon! These are the girls who’s pics rock, inspire me and I just know I can travel the world with based on our mutual passion, spirit and personality! I can’t wait to see their pics every day and so should you:
- Liberty is a British beauty who has traveled to some of the most extraordinary places in the world and has many awesome pics of it, and a wonderful blog filled with them. Check out her gallery and the link in her bio for daily inspiration.
- Mirja’s from Finland and has a real eye for beauty. Her pictures are always pretty, inspiring and calming! She loves nature and exactly knows how to capture the moment, during her travels, but also in her beautiful homeland.
- Marina is a blond beauty from Barcelona, who seems to be traveling 24/7 next to her dayjob, visiting new destinations every week. Her pics are spectacular, taken from the best viewpoints and from the most exciting perspectives. She’s definitely a huge inspiration to me!
Sometimes there is no next time, sometimes it is now or never…⏳ . . . . . #igglobalwomenclub #lovetheworld #openmyworld #liveauthentic #timeoutsociety #lonelyplanet #ig_today #femmetravel #hangloose #doyoutravel #natgeotravel #ig_serenity #letsgosomewhere #traveldeeper #tlpicks #huffpostgram #tripadvisor #forbestravelguide #bbctravel #athomeintheworld #beautifuldestinations #letsgoeverywhere #instantes_gf #sharetravelpics #vscogoodshot #mthrworld #portugaldenorteasul #visitportugal #areyouawake #girlsborntotravel
- Tuni is the cutest German-Vietnamese expat student living in Denmark and rocking the Copenhagen lifestyle. We have been friends on IG for a long time and I just love her spirit, cityscapes and inspiring website with self-designed interior posters. Her pics from around the world and Copenhagen are to die for!
- Arzo, is a German teacher with a responsible mind and a huge passion for traveling. With her colorful pics and beautiful perspectives she brightens up my day every time! Her wonderful blog is definitely worth a visit as well, just follow the link in her bio.
While many praised Earth yesterday and promised to do good to Mother Nature, I didn't. I know I harm the environment. I travel, I drive a car, I use more more products than needed, I do not only eat organic food, and I still eat/drink some milk products. All above points destroy our earth, so I don't want to say I promise to save the earth but I have started with changing some habbits: I don't eat meat anymore (farm animals cause more greenhouse emissions that planes), I reduced diary products to a minimum (though I never was a fan of it) I hardly drink water from bottles (drink more tap water and just refill), I get my coffee to go in my own thermos mug (which my nephew just smashed but I will get a new one), I buy less clothes (less but more high-quality), I always carry cotton bags with me and I try to stop using any kind of plastic. I try to leave my car and take the bus more often. It is still a long way to go, so I cannot say I honor the environment, but I try to change day by day… Only the travel is what I cannot change currently 🙄 – – #earthday #sheexplores#igglobalwomenclub#openmyworld#doyoutravel#natgeotravel#bbctravel#girlsborntotravel#oftd#fashion#lonelytravel#travegram#outbounderlife#myfavtourlina#passionspassport#beautifulexplores#worldtravelbook#dametraveler#germanblogger#bucketlist#pretty#cablecar#view
But I have at least 10 more favourites, as my Instagram addiction and the inspiration on there is insatiable. I promise another top 10 will follow soon, so stay tuned!
Btw, are you following me already? If you do, I will try to inspire you on a daily basis and will always reply on all your comments, I promise:)
xxx Naomi (aka Authentic Chica)
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Do you have the same positive experiences with Instagram or social media in general and what’s your favourite platform? Love to hear your thoughts on this!