Student blog: tips on nailing your social media
Sekar was one of the 2018 Brisbane International Student Ambassadors from Jakarta, Indonesia. She studied Public Relations in The University of Queensland with interests ranging from arts, culture, and people.
Being an international student is not only about study. Some of the best things you can share with your beloved friends and families back home are great quality pictures and videos of you being half local and half touristy. So, you will need to make sure that you’re stepping up your game with various of ideas and experiences! To help you nail your social media, here are some tips and tricks for you.
1. Know your interest
It is essential that you are aware of what you really like. If you like visual art, delve into the galleries and museums around the city. If you’re into music, make sure to head along to watch live performances at the local bars. If you’re an active person, explore your neighbourhood and do some outdoor activities. Everyone has different interests and that is what makes every story unique. Your interests will help you create your own brand on your social media.
2. Explore like a tourist
When you’re an international student, it is an obligation for you to study in order to pass your courses with remarkable scores. In the meantime, you might as well take a break and have fun! Bring out your inner tourist and explore your city in the right way. Find places to visit through trustworthy websites, do some research by looking at photos and reading reviews. Then you’ll be able to plan your itinerary. Grab your friends to join your trip or recharge yourself by being a solo traveller!
3. Live like a local
Being a tourist in a country you will eventually call home is such great fun. But don’t forget to also show how exciting it is to live your life like a local. Eating like a local can be one of the best content themes for your social media. Making friends with the local and learning their culture (might as well learn their slangs!) are the best ways to connect with your city and indulge yourself in the environment.
4. Find the hidden gems
There will always be a point when you will feel like you’ve been living in the same city for too long, so nothing seems exciting anymore. This is when this tip comes handy! Pay attention to your surroundings in your everyday life. Can you spot a cute little coffee shop by the corner of the road, a hidden alleyway with beautiful street art, or a small patch of lovely roses growing in the bushes? These hidden gems are great for your social media posts! It’s a great way to show you’re always discovering new things about the city.&
5. Quality is the key
Whether using your phone or your camera, make sure to have the best quality possible. The easiest way to check the quality of your photo is to zoom in as much as possible to see if your photo is pixelated. If it’s a video, you can play it on a bigger screen such as your laptop to check the quality before you post it. Avoid taking pictures or videos with apps. There is a higher chance that it will decrease the quality of a picture or a video.
6. Edit it right
Once you get the perfect shot for your social media, you might want to give it a bit of a touch-up to enhance the brightness, contrast, or even to add some stickers or filters. Remember: too much editing can make your picture or video looks fake and less interesting for people to see. Make sure to save it in a high quality or in the actual size to minimise decreasing the quality. Here are some of my favourite photo editing apps: VSCO, Snapseed, Unfold (for Insta stories), Lightroom CC, Photoshop Fix, and Picsart (for square fit cropping).
7. Write a good caption
Write a story about what’s in the frame. It can be anything - about the place, about how you felt about the object, your mood, or whatever comes to mind. It can be several paragraphs, it can be one or two words in a sentence. If you’re into emojis, feel free to throw some in to support your writing. But please keep in mind, the fewer emojis, the more words people can read!
8. Know your platform
It is important to understand the social media platform you will be posting to. For example, if you’re planning to post on Facebook, inserting a link to your caption can be a good idea to support what you’re posting. However, hashtags don’t really work effectively on Facebook. If you’re posting a video on Instagram, be aware of the length and frame size of the video. Instagram only allows a maximum of 60 seconds video to be uploaded. However, hashtags work very effectively on Instagram. Make sure to put only the relevant hashtags on your Instagram caption.
9. Know your audience
The person who knows your followers the best is you. Learn your followers’ habits from all the past posts. You will gradually know more about the best timing to post, or what kind of content can boost the most likes and comments from your followers.
10. Stay authentic
Even with all the tips in mind, make sure to use your social media wisely. Know yourself first before sharing what you want the world to see. Your social media is about you, and you are the one in control. Don’t change who you are just for the sake of your social media. Stay true to yourself. Brand yourself with your own uniqueness and charm.
Now that you’ve master the social media game, remember to give yourself a break every once in a while. Sharing your life online is fun, but your real life awaits. To all international students out there, your journey of a lifetime has just begun!