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Instagram’s smart tech is a loving me thing

It is Saturday afternoon and as I write this, I am waiting for a meeting to resume. Unfortunately, two expatriates seated at the far corner of the conference room are talking loudly about assorted bedroom activities. I gather that the man is gay and his woman friend is a married straight woman. I suppose they are comparing notes?

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

It was impossible to hear myself think, so I am standing near an open window to let the sound of traffic drown out their voices. And while I am here, I thought it would be good idea to update you with my Instagram goings on.

At the moment, I’m hardly doing any posting on Instagram. But for the past eight days, every 23 hours to the hour, I see that I have 25 new followers. This exact number, at exactly the same time, tells me that this is the work of a machine. 

Remember that last year, Instagram was burning my posts. And now, after two months on the platform, the smart tech is working for me. I was advised in a Clubhouse room, a couple of months ago, that Instagram was doing a big reset. I was also advised to take advantage because this was a once-in-a-lifetime event. The problem was that I am an introvert. Going live on video will never happen. Because of that, I needed a modified approach.

Photo by Tim Gouw

Here is what happened after two months and 18 reels, 3 stories daily, no topless selfies, and zero live videos. I am at 472 followers. This low effort method is working, so I will continue to do that.

Metrics 

  1. This is a business account. 
  2. I do not pay for ads which means that all of my engagement is organic. 
  3. All of the new followers brought over from Instagram’s smart tech are 85% artists in the NFT community, 5% follower boosting accounts and 10% crypto investors. 
  4. Quite a number of my other followers are from Clubhouse. The apps share data with each other. Instagram will automatically suggest my account to anyone following me over there and vice versa.
Photo by Fiona Art

Posts and engagement  

  1. After my first five posts, I started posting reels in the form of animated videos showcasing my artwork. 
  2. Avoid captions. Only a few of my reels have them. Instead, I tell a story in a slideshow or MP4 video. 
  3. Nearly zero hashtags on posts or reels. Instagram treats hashtags like spam. 
  4. Edit all videos or images (to create a slideshow) in the IG native editor using filters.
  5. Add music. Music choice is the number one compliment I have received so far. People seem to enjoy the art more because of the music I chose. 
  6. Repost my own reels to my stories with added stickers, text and gifs. 
  7. Hashtags only in stories – limited to one per story and this is always NFT related. 
  8. Follow back as many accounts as possible. Check occasionally to make sure that all followed accounts are active. 
  9. Restrict spammy, fake looking accounts and never follow sales people (crypto investors). 
  10. Answer or react to direct messages always. Accounts look spammy if they don’t talk to each other. 
  11. Mute accounts that post more than 5 reels in one hour. These kinds of accounts rarely engage with my posts. Then I look spammy to the smart tech. 
  12. Visit new followers’ profiles and engage with posts. 
  13. Engage with my timeline. Hide, mute, like or share posts to friends.
  14. Join live posts even for a few minutes. Send comments and reactions while there. This tells the smart tech that I am a real person.
  15. Engage with my followers’ stories by sending reactions and comments. Gauge feedback to these and mute accounts that are not responsive. 
  16. Remix posts from active followers and share them to my stories. Most artists don’t animate their posts, so I add music, fun stickers, gifs, scribbles, text and mentions.
  17. When a follower mentions my story in their stories, immediately share that back to my stories.
  18. Use voice chat, memos or calls on IG where possible, because this tells the smart tech that I am a real person. 
Photo by Steve Johnson

If you are interested in testing this, try it on your Instagram account. I must point out that I am niche specific. I am an artist in the NFT community. I focus on graphic design and I’m interested in paintings from visual artists. And though I never tell Instagram what my specific niches are using captions or hashtags, the smart tech is able to find only accounts that are related to blockchain technology, abstract painters or other artists in the NFT space. Then, bear in mind that I spend no more than 30 minutes a day creating at least three stories. I also respond to all of my messages.

No selfies, no bikinis, no bare butts. Only plenty of good music, interesting stickers, and artwork to inspire me. Best of luck.

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Music for book marketing

Do you like classical music? Are you squeamish about reading romantic fiction? Well, I am working on a story you might like. I am vaguely romantic in my head, but do not give me any details, please. I do not want to know what happened after the first button came undone.

In this post, I will share a marketing strategy that I am working on for my current WIP.

Photo by Jansel Ferma

After stumbling into the NFT community on Twitter and Clubhouse, I found myself minting my artwork on the tezos blockchain late last week. When I first discovered NFTs in March, I set about minting the treatments for my current and future writing projects to protect the copyright.

Then, after selling out my first three collections of art as of Monday, I had enough to cover the costs of hiring a composer and musician to help me create music for my YouTube channel. My YouTube channel with 43 followers. It is great to know that for once, I am not out of pocket with marketing costs. And if I plan to do bigger projects, I had better sell more art.

Photo by Ludwig Kwan on

You may recall that I had mentioned this music project in an earlier post. I wrote that, “My YouTube channel is dry and ashy so I asked a composer friend to help me out. I am hoping to share the music with artists and creators who like listening to music as they work.”

I am happy to announce that this project is ongoing. After waiting eight weeks to hear back from the composer, I was told last week that his schedule had cleared up. I am officially a music producer. And I imagine that this sounds fancy but it really means working to find the right sound, recording them, and refining arrangements. It has been great waking up every morning this week to find new tracks and librettos in my inbox.

Photo by Budgeron Bach

What we will have arranged is a suite of nine etudes for piano, violin (which he plays) and cello (which I play). Three tracks have been completed so far. Two of them sound fantastic, and one needs to be redone. It will take time for the entire suite to be set in jelly, but it is on the way. I wanted to share one of the tracks with you right now, but the composer will surely m3rd3r me, so I will not.

The purpose of the compositions is to capture the moods of the story and develop emotional ties with readers. The moods are serene, romantic, regal, grounded, and broody. The music is created for writers, artists, and other professionals who enjoy listening to background music as they work. My social audio apps of choice for promoting the music are Greenroom, Clubhouse, and Twitter Spaces. By the time you read this, I will have already spoken about the project on Twitter. And soon after that, I will be asking my networking contacts on the other two apps to consider streaming the songs in their rooms.

Photo by Eleazar Ceballos

Quite a number of armchair marketing experts say that you have to sell a project before you start it. Why will my plan work, even though I am not selling the music? As I mentioned earlier, several people from social audio have bought The Quarter Percent, and they also enjoy classical music. Pitching (shilling) the second book will happen every time I talk about the music. Even for people who do not read, playlists of classical music have value over time. They might share the playlist with friends who may enjoy the music and might want to read my work.

Again, the music is pure marketing, but I will be minting the librettos and artwork for the story. The former process will protect the copyright and selling the latter will generate funds to pay for more bizarre marketing stunts.

Please watch this space because one of the tracks will be featured here when it is uploaded to my channel. I hope that when I do, you will visit my channel and listen in.

Thank you very much for reading. See you soon.

P.S. I am getting better at shilling. Last night, I tricked a friend in Dehli into buying my book off Amazon. In vocal fry, I said, “Yeah, dude, like, did you not read my Twitter bio?” But he also read the reviews out loud while I groaned in agony. So, we are even.