How to be mindful with social media

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As a yoga teacher and a digital marketer I am in constant conflict over social media.

When social media hit, I fell in love with it – suddenly there was a platform that turned the whole world into a podium, a platform – millions of people connecting, chatting, sharing content, voicing their opinions, making a stand, a difference, a change… it was so easy to speak to friends who had moved half way across the world – I could see what all my mates were up to at the drop of a hat, birthday parties became suddenly SO easy to organise – and my job as a journalist had just become very, VERY exciting.

A career in digital media was only natural, but the more I delved into it, the more aware I became of the negative effects of instant gratification, of poor posture from constant scrolling, damaged retinas from screen gazing, and also what it really meant to have the whole world as a podium with every Tom, Dick and Harry were voicing their opinions, opinions that often weren’t all that…

So that’s when I turned to yoga, to give myself some space from the digital world, but in doing so – I learned new skills to help me navigate this connected world that I had become a part of.

Yoga helped me step back, find balance, and approach social media in a more mindful way.

So if you’re struggling, here’s a few thoughts from me on how to be more mindful with your social media…

1. Don’t use social media every day

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You don’t need to post something every day – particularly the Instagrammers out there – why not give people a glimpse into your life once a week, and spend the rest of your time, living your it? If you are sharing nearly every moment of every day, how are you ever truly living in the moment and being mindful?

2. Don’t engage with social media first thing.

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When waking up, while it may feel natural to reach for your phone first, don’t. Roll over and hug and kiss the person next to you. Open the window and check out the weather. Do some stretching. Make a cup of tea or meditate. Give yourself time to connect with yourself before connecting to social media.

3. Go to bed with a book in hand instead of your phone.

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This allows you time for yourself, escapism too, but also helps you stay present in the moment – and maybe even help you fall asleep quicker too.

4. Don’t bring your phone with you when you have special plans.

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If you have to take photos take a camera that is not connected to your phone or at the very least put your phone on flight mode so you won’t get any notifications. And if you do take photographs, please let it be of people and not your food?

5. Disconnect every week.

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Every Thursday I teach yoga, and 3pm on a Thursday is my golden hour. I turn my phone off, listen to music and lay on my yoga mat and relax. Sometimes it’s for 40 minutes, sometimes I am lucky enough to get an hour, but it’s never anything less than 20 minutes. It’s important to have this time away from your phone, and everyone else trying to connect with you. So try and reserve space once or twice (or even much more) times a week if you can. And as a yoga teacher – I can honestly say yoga retreats are the greatest for this – five days without your phone is the ultimate heaven.

Try it.

Social media isn’t going anywhere, at least anytime soon, so just give yourself the time to switch off for a bit – you’ll thank yourself for it later!

Are Instagram ads confusing you?

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They’re similar to Facebook, and yet they are confusing many marketers – Instagram ads.

Marketing on Instagram enables you to diversify across all platforms and avoid the over-saturated land that is Facebook. But how is it different? What’s the potential and What objectives are available? Read on my friends, read on…

Instagram campaign objectives

For Instagram Feed Ads, the supported campaign objectives are: Brand Awareness, Reach, Traffic, Video Views, App Installs, Lead Generation, Engagement, Messages, Conversions, Catalog Sales, and Store Traffic.

For Instagram Stories, the campaign objectives available are: Brand Awareness, Reach, Traffic, Video Views, App Installs, Lead Generation, and Conversions.

A great way to start attracting followers is with an Awareness ad, then you can move on to Lead Generation and Conversion.

Instagram has a great explainer of what all the ads do here.

Instagram ad placements

Although limited, they are powerful, the Instagram ad placement allows you to have your ads appear on people’s Instagram feed or in their stories – and these are run from Facebook.

You can find more on that here.

Feed ads

The Instagram Feed enables marketers to show content to their target audiences in between organic posts of users they follow, and can seemingly appear as native content.

This is why they can be highly effective in driving new users into your funnel and encouraging them to engage, click through, or convert through a re-marketing campaign later on.

What are the feed ad specs?

According to Facebook, the technical specs for the Feed Ads are as follows:

  • File Type: jpg or png
  • File Size Max: 30MB
  • Video Layout: Square or Vertical
  • Video Max Size: 4 GB
  • Video Duration Max: 60 seconds
  • Hashtag Max: 30
  • Carousel Cards Max: 10

Instagram Stories Ads

These are less intrusive appearing at the top of your feed, and are therefore highly effective in driving clicks to your designated landing page. 

What are the Stories ad specs?

According to Facebook, the design and technical specs of Instagram Stories Ads are as follows:

  • Layout: Vertical
  • Photo Stories Visible: 5 seconds
  • Image ratios: 9:16 and 16:9 to 4:5
  • Image Size: 1080×1920 however, key elements will appear within a 1080×1420 space.
  • Carousel Cards Max: 10
  • Carousel Video Duration: 15 seconds
  • Prompted Carousel Video Duration: 60 seconds 
  • Video Duration Max: 120 seconds

Using Your Existing Organic Instagram Posts as Ads

Seen success with your organic Instagram posts? Then boost them!

The post will appear in the newsfeed of your target audience without seeming too out of place or disruptive and it’s the simplest way to spread awareness on Instagram.