Why Instagram for 55+? What's in it for Me?!
Yep, social media can be overwhelming. What data should I be worried about with this stuff? What is the best privacy setting for me? Why would I want to think about ONE MORE THING?!
I ALWAYS have too many spinning plates, but I feel like Instagram is like a little picture book or magazine of inspiration designed just for me. So start there – do it just for your own joy, not to communicate with family and friends, search for recipes to cook for family and friends; in fact, you don’t have to post a damn thing! You can set up an account and make it full of things that make you happy, pop in there now and then, and fill up your soul. And you can make it completely private, so if you do decide to post, it only goes to folks that have your permission to follow you.
cARING and sharing
Accounts look for follows, hearts (likes), and comments, and for you to dig further and check out their website and who they are from their profile page. I am eternally annoyed by having to go to the profile page, click on the general link, and choose the photo subject I am interested in to find out more, but whatever. Some marketing accounts have enough market share to shop directly from a post. Instagram is now owned by Facebook, so they are wanting and giving value to reader engagement. My Insta @GrandyCamp page is fairly new, and full of cute and creative things I hope you’d be interested in seeing, and hope will send you to the website for more fun.
WHO TO FOLLOW
Josh Spector of @ForTheInterested suggests you make a list of 20 general topics you are interested in, “a blend of topics you already consume as well as a few more obscure things that you’re curious about.” Use the Instagram search feature on your topics to find one interesting account for each topic. From a search, go to a profile page of someone you might be interested in, check out their "mantra" and samples of their posts and push "follow." Once you get going, Instagram will suggest more. I am a designer at heart, so my “feed” (accounts I follow) is full of color and pretty from sites like @dominomag, @abeautifulmess, @joannagaines, @riflepaperco, @designsponge, @leannefordcreative, @designmom, @designcrush, @rsadventures, @sweetpaulmagazine, @smittenonpaper– you get the idea. It is like a fine design magazine with no ads. This summer I started following several oil portrait artists since I was working on one myself.
There may be folks you look to for a quick inspiring quote, like @annlamott, @supersoul, or @brenebrown. Add @fortheinterested to your list!
If you like to cook, follow your favorites just to see their pretty staging or table setting, with no pressure to actually make something (but you can click the bookmark tab under a picture on the right too to save it). Most have landing pages on their profile page with the recipe or a link to the recipe - as mentioned, it will take you a few clicks to get there. @pinchofyum, @smittenkitchen
Follow some brands you like to see their latest products or a new idea using them, but I would keep that list slim. Unfollow if they only have a meh approach on Insta. And, you probably already get email notifications from those anyway. I follow @stitchfix just because I like to see how they put outfits together, but I don’t have a stitchfix account.
This is not the biggest grandparent demographic, but there are more every day – I follow to keep track of the growing market and make new connections. Use the search button a try some out - it is starting to be an active group! Don’t be afraid to “unfollow” as you craft your perfect feed for you.
Certainly, you can follow friends and family, but I mostly keep that to Facebook, unless they are good photographers or make things. Remember, I am not keeping in touch here, I am feeding my soul.
These are short little video stories to give you a little more “story” behind someone you follow. They are popular, but so far, I haven’t been entertained much when I click on one. It may be my age, or the artist in me, but I think I want to just want visual inspiration on my Instagram - like stop talking to me and let me just look. (Yeah, I don't like Facebook Live either, for any reason. Well, maybe the weather report when we are in the middle of a blizzard.)
Don’t worry about them. Hashtags are just a way of organizing subjects and connecting, and there are thousands of versions. You don’t have to use them in your post at all unless you want folks to see it who might interested in the subject. You can now follow a hashtag you are interested in – just put it in the search and see what comes up. So, if you like knitting, you can be as general as #knitting to #knittingbaby, #knittinghat, #knittingisfun, #minnesotaknitter, #grandmaskills (who is actually a young mom doing grandma skills), etc. Following a subject will help you craft your feed to follow just your favorites sites from the general hashtag. It comes in really handy when you have an obscure interest.
If your Instagram is about family, you could create a hashtag for your next family reunion, and be able to see all the photos from everyone at the event in one spot. If you post a picture that we would be interested in, absolutely tag with #grandycamp so we can find it! We want to see your Grand adventures, Grand cuties, and Grand creations!