Friends or Followers? A 5 Step Guide to Forming Relationships Via Social Media

1. Find someone you have similar interests & things in common with 

2. Stalk them like it's nobody's business

3. Wait for them to stalk you back

4. Bam! - new friends 

5. Repeat

Haha okay totally kidding. Well, kind of. Hey everyone, Kellie here again. I'm no expert at social media (I mean how can anyone truly be an expert at something that is supposed to be a creative outlet and bring a different experience to everyone?), but I have been told I have a knack for it. And that I may or may not spend too much time on it. And that I may or may not post too many selfies.  But hey, when you love something and have a passion for it, who's to judge you for that? I have met some incredible women through social media (okay we haven't actually "met" in real life... but the friendships we have formed are nothing short of real), and to me I'd rather spend my leisure time here than pretending to enjoy watching mindless television. Unless it's The Bachelor. 

Anyway.... I've been asked by several people how to "increase my followers" or "promote myself more" via Instagram and other social media outlets. At first the question strikes me as silly, because is the sole purpose of being here to gain popularity? For some, I suppose the answer is yes. In all reality, it is human nature to want to be liked and paid attention to. Personally, my only "goal" if you will, is to connect with people who have the same interests and aspirations as I do - people who are positive, uplifting, supportive, and who make me laugh. So is there a secret to gaining followers? Yes and no. Unless you're willing to fork up $7.99 or whatever it costs to "buy followers" or gain "likes for likes" from people/robots who don't actually have an interest in what you're doing or who you are, there really is no way to gain hundreds of followers overnight. Personally, I'm here to make "friends", not "followers." 

Ironically enough, I'd say about 90% of my current followers on Instagram are in the home decor community. This makes me laugh and also confuses me a little bit because about 90% of my photos are NOT home decor related! In my first post I talked about some things that make me happy -- coffee, painted nails, the people I love.... these things are pretty much what dominate my little photo squares that make up my IG account, as well as anything wedding, fashion, newlywed, my husband, our dog, or selfie related. I'm still waiting for the day when all of my "home decor" friends will realize that I am in fact not a DIY'ing-beautiful-home-maker guru like most of them, and say their silent goodbyes (because in the social media world you rarely tell someone that you are planning on parting ways... it is usually done as silently, stealthily, and passive-aggresively as possible). Haha!

In all seriousness, I have formed some incredible bonds with many of these women (mainly by me obsessing over their homes and dreaming that mine can someday compare), and I like to think that my genuine interest in their lives (as well as my occasional funny one liners), is what keeps them connected to me and coming back for more. In addition to my home decor friends, I have connected with so many other people who have similar interests as me including: teachers because of my career in special education, fashionistas due to my occasional #ootd (outfit of the day) post, young mamas because I'm obsessed with starting my own family soon, other bloggers with similar values and faith as me, a handful of ladies who share my same wedding date (including Deb, holla girl!!), other newlyweds, and more. It all goes back to making real, genuine relationships with people that you plan on interacting with on at least a weekly, if not daily basis. Check out Chloe's post for more tips related to forming relationships in the blogging world!. 

So my advice? Give that little list I semi-jokingly posted up there a try (maybe just don't be so aggressive about it ;) ). Make connections with people who have similar interests as you do. Compliment someone when you like what they have to say or when they post something you love. Give a little love (or a lot) and it will come back to you. Just be patient, and remember that becoming "instafamous" or "blogger of the year" won't happen overnight. Just like everything in life, it will take time and effort- just make sure that effort is genuine. 

Until next time....