Creating an Online Presence
Most people want validation on what they are doing. It's why we have so many different social medias to use. Honestly, it gets a little overwhelming trying to organize everything and make sure you have all these posts made, all the tags correct, making sure you don't lose followers, and maintaining your real life. I can honestly say, that throughout the course of the day, I talk to a minimum of 30 people. Daily. Tolia always wonders how I do it, because he may only have one or two going on, one of them being me. Having been on Facebook since I was 14, I'd like to say I have a pretty good grasp on creating an online presence, and I want to help you create yours.
First off, you gotta find your name. As long as it isn't offensive, it's great. It's also an extra if you have a little story behind it, but isn't necessary. SeiferNoir was actually my nicknames mashed together from high school! I was called "Seifer" specifically from Kingdom Hearts 2, but I'm hoping to cosplay his Final Fantasy costume as well. "Noir" was from when I was a Homestuck, ironically. And all my friends had the troll nicknames, but I was a really angry person during that time, so I was stuck with Jack Noir. For a while, my Neopets account was called JackSeiferNoir, and I just shortened it to SeiferNoir. Again, not every username has to stick with a story. "I like pizza, I'm a dude, and I enjoy cosplay, so I'm PizzaDudeCosplay," is a completely valid username and it's quirky. But if you pick a username, it's best to stick as closely with that on all your socials. Like, I'm SeiferNoir on League (Message me, we'll play sometime), Instagram, Twitter (I don't really use it like I should), Trello, and my website (which you are reading on right now <3). The only difference I have is my Facebook, which is Seifer's Stitches, but still maintains the theme. If you choose 8 different usernames, it's going to be difficult to get followers on different platforms.
Once you've chosen your name, you need to start posting. Maintain a reasonable schedule on when you post. Currently, I believe, the best time to post in order to get better reach on Instagram is between Noon and 2 pm. But I believe the same is true for 10pm to Midnight, since most people are on their phones, laying in bed. Since Instagram was bought by Facebook, the algorithm has been shot to Hell, so even though you have 800 followers, you might only get 30 likes per post. Don't fret, it isn't necessarily your fault. With the introduction of Insta-Stories, you can share your posts on there and encourage people to check out your posts. Currently, I have about 1,065 followers and I still only get about 60-70 likes MAX per post. Occasionally, I'll get a huge boost out of nowhere. But I also don't post every hour and I try not to post too much to annoy those following me.
Once you have your schedule, you need content to post. If you're a creator like me, you'll want to show off your work. Luckily, Instagram allows up to 10 photos per post, so you can also show work in progress shots. This is super helpful since I know I take a lot of pictures of my work to help others recreate the pieces I make for cosplay, but I don't have to post them individually. I also try to post once a day, and around the same time, then share it to my Insta-story to let others know I've posted. It's hard work, but I feel like it's slowly paying off. This month, I've gained a little over 50 followers. I can't explain it beside maybe the tags I am using?
Tags are important because if you don't use em, you're only exposed to the followers you have. So if you only have five followers, those are the only five that will see it. You want to be able to gain new followers, right? Well, your tags are going to save you. These are the hashtags you use when sharing your photos, and deserve to be carefully thought out. I put mine in the comments section because I don't really like spamming a bunch of tags. You are more than welcome to do whatever makes you happy. I may post a Chompette picture, and use the tags: "#Chompette #Chompettecosplay #nintendocosplay #cosplay #Cosplayer #sexycosplay" Because I am shameless. Only keep tags on the photos that actually have to do with them. I can't tell you how many times I've seen people posting a cosplay photo and they will tag it with literally all of the even remotely relevant tags they can. You don't want to seem desperate to the potential followers. They can smell it.
Remember, it's okay to lose followers. It's bound to happen. I lose followers almost daily. But also long as you reach out and collaborate with other creators, you'll almost always have some platform to create on. People are also more likely to stay on a page as long as you are positive and create a positive message. I know quite a few content-creators that lose followers because they complain about losing them. If you create a circle of negativity, you'll only get negativity. Commenting on others' works positively also lets others know you are there. Obviously, don't put down other cosplayers because they "aren't accurate." It isn't nice and you're pooping on everybody's parade. If you post positively, you receive positivity.
Good luck on your endeavors to create your own online persona. I wish you the best in gaining the followers you desire and if you wouldn't mind following me (@SeiferNoir) let me know what you thought about the article! I'd love to feature you on my instagram, if you'll allow me :D