22. How To Stay Engaged On Social Media


What People Think They Need To Do.

I'm gonna start this blog off nice and easy. Do you follow f***jerry on any social media platform? What about thefatjewish? The two have just under 19 million followers combined on Instagram alone.

Do you ever wonder how they got there?

Social media "experts" will tell you that if you want a strong following, then you need to post engaging, meaningful content every day. Some even say multiple times a day.

For a band, is it actually realistic to think that they can announce a new EP or upcoming tour every day? For everyone else, is it possible to think of a quote-of-the-year multiple times a day? That doesn't even make sense.

When social media first started taking off, it looked like if the trend continued that only highly influential people (like the quote-machine people or bands playing sold out arenas every night) would amass a global following.

This turned out to not be the case.

Accounts like f***jerry and thefatjew are so popular, not because they post profound, original stuff every day, but because they post simple, relatable content. 


A photo posted by thefatjewish (@thefatjewish) on


There is this amazing NPR podcast called Invisibilia that I strongly recommend listening to. Anyways, one of the episodes dissects the need to be validated.

When we're angry about something, we feel the need to vent. When something hilarious happens, we just have to tell someone right away. Why?  

We need to our emotions to be validated. That's why.

So when these accounts post something plain but relatable, the viewer feels a subconscious sense of closeness to the user. It's an emotional bond that is needed to stay engaged on social media, and these simple, consistent posts are creating just that.

Still think you need to post original, groundbreaking tweets every day?

That's Okay. Just Don't Overthink It.

If you take time off social media from time to time, that is more than okay. I do it myself.

Don't stress too much about the consistency of your content. But if your goal is for your account to grow and become a force, then you need to show up every day.

Don't think about what you're posting. In fact, don't think at all.

All Hail Stories.

You all watch SnapStories. Don't kid yourself. You will even watch your ex's story at 3 a.m. on a Wednesday with no shame. They're addicting, and now, they've found their way onto Instagram.

Stories are key. This is where social media is moving. Even prominent journalists are using them to report on stories in semi-real time. 

Stories are the absolute easiest way to post content quickly and in bulk. You don't have to capture the perfect picture, then spend 20 minutes editing it. You don't have to type out a million hashtags. You just shoot and post, and watch the viewers skyrocket.

The difference between a story and a tweet, for example, is that a tweet can easily be scrolled passed. A story? We all watch the stories, and we watch them until they are finished.

How do I know what to post, you ask? Keep reading.

Document Vs. Create.

"There is no excuse for not talking to the world. It just doesn't have to be your thoughts and words every time." - Gary Vee, CEO VaynerMedia.

Obviously, the original and engaging posts are the strongest, but not everyone can create every day like that. Not everyone has the time or money to shoot amazing video with an expensive DSLR. Not everyone can take the entire day to create graphics and edit video.

This isn't a bad thing.

The bad thing is when people realize that and stop trying. Do those things when you have the time. Don't cut your projects short, but at the same time, don't feel bad for posting a video of your goofy cat or your morning coffee. 

If you don't want to do that, go out and document the world as you see it. Everyone likes seeing the world from someone else's point of view. If you don't feel like you can create, then document. It's that simple.

People do care and will find that stuff entertaining. It will work.

Watch this video, and you will understand what makes a truly great brand (I apologize in advance for the language):

Zach Micklea // Art Director & Online Content Editor, Urban Geographer. Connect with him on social media @zachmicklea.

Zach Micklea // Art Director & Online Content Editor, Urban Geographer.
Connect with him on social media @zachmicklea.

Zach Micklea

| Art Director and Online Content Editor at Urban Geographer | Host of The Oakland Underground on 88.3 FM WXOU | Manager for Prima Vera |