Aspire to Be #InstaFamous: 5 Ways to Improve Your Online Footprint

You’re on Instagram, scrolling through your feed, when you find a really unattractive photo of someone.  But then you notice this post has about 20 times the amount of likes you’ve ever gotten on your highest-liked Instagram post.  Oh, the outrage!  While this is certainly infuriating, you too could soon be that person—the person with thousands of likes on their Snapchat-turned-Instagram-selfie—which is why I’ve compiled a list of 5 ways to improve your “online footprint.”  Hopefully, after reading this, you feel inspired to be on the same level of InstaFamous as Selena Gomez.


Hashtags are your friend, so use them wisely.

Before creating and using a hashtag, either on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc., scroll through to find the current trending hashtags on your desired social media outlet.  This will help you gauge what people are currently talking about, so if you use a popular hashtag, it will pop up and more people will be able to see and share/like/comment on your post.  Also, make sure your hashtag relates to the content you’re posting, and is clever, informative, or funny.  It needs to get people’s attention, and add content to what you’re posting.




Save the private accounts for…nobody.

Let’s face it—you’re never going to get actual followers (other than the people you already know) by having a private account.  Sure, the occasional spam account might request to follow you, but certainly nobody noteworthy that you don’t personally know is not going to take the time to search you, request to follow you, and hope you have good content that they didn’t just waste their time on.  Additionally, even if you are utilizing appropriate hashtags, people that don’t already follow you are never going to be able to see the hashtags you use, because when they conduct a search or click on a hashtag, yours won’t pop up because the account is protected.  So basically, all that time you spent crafting a clever hashtag was a waste.  Bummer, right?  Time to have a public account!  (FYI: employers can still see your content, even if it’s private.  So what’s the point anyway?)


Online narcissism is absolutely not becoming.

Looking to lose followers?  Continue to only talk about yourself!  Although you might find yourself to be the equivalent to the Dos Equis Most Interesting Man, the rest of the world probably doesn’t.  An occasional Facebook post or tweet celebrating an exciting accomplishment is fine, but consistently only talking about yourself will only lead to a decline in interest, and eventually, followers.  Try changing it up to posting about current events, funny pet stories, or videos you find interesting.  And of course, hashtags, hashtags, hashtags!


Social media is not the place for introverts—time to reach out.

Once you make your accounts public, start pressing the @ button and reaching out to people through social media!  This could be as simple as tweeting your favorite celebrity on Twitter, or if you want someone to actually respond, sharing videos or links to a particular follower of yours that you know, but would like to get to know better.  Something like, “OMG, this video reminded me of you!” and add a “#hashtag.”In fact, Dave Lee, technology reporter for BBC News, describes the importance of reaching out, specifically on Twitter, in terms of gaining popularity.  Lee says, “there’s no denying it: the biggest news often breaks first on Twitter,” and goes on to describe how just using a simple hashtag or @ can influence people or an entire company.

“Press offices around the world dread…a wave of negative tweets…that can deeply embarrass a firm.  It can be a remarkably effective way of making a company change its policy.  Whether it’s getting rid of offensive t-shirts…there’s no faster way for consumers to well and truly kick off.  Meanwhile, on the financial markets, many have started using social media to predict the future value of businesses.  By analyzing the “firehose” (that is, all the tweets from everyone), researchers say they can make an educated guess over how stocks may perform – sometimes up to six days in advance.”

Last but not least…promote yourself!

Although you might not be quite so InstaFamous just yet, in addition to all of the steps listed above, the most important is to promote yourself on your various social media forms.  For example, link yoru Twitter page to your Facebook bio, and vice versa.  Post a clever bio on Instagram that gets people’s attention, so then they look down and find the link to your Twitter or Facebook.  Good luck!

Want more advice on how to become an Internet celebrity?  Check out these resources for increasing your Internet presence: