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How Peloton Star Ally Love Made Her Wedding The Biggest Event On Instagram

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If you’ve ever wondered how Ally got so popular, she showed the world this week.

Posted on August 6, 2021, at 8:01 a.m. ET

This is an excerpt from Please Like Me, BuzzFeed News’ newsletter about how influencers are battling for your attention. You can sign up here.

Ally Love is a Peloton instructor who has turned her platform as one of the workout company’s most well-known faces into a truly impressive business and social media empire.

Not only does Ally have more than 750,000 Instagram followers on her personal account, but she also has more than 76,000 on her Instagram account for Love Squad, her fan community turned business venture. On the squad’s website, you can buy branded merch (a limited-edition crop tee runs $68, but a tank is only $32) and sign up for webinars. Ally also has some high-profile side hustles, like serving as a host for the Brooklyn Nets and as a global ambassador for Adidas.

If you’ve ever wondered how Ally got so popular, she showed the world how this week. The secret? Ally is really, really, good at personal branding and content creation. She executed a truly epic Instagram event: her five-day wedding extravaganza in Mexico.

Ally crafted her social media strategy for her wedding flawlessly. On July 22, she hosted a “wedding celebration ride” on Peloton. She wore a “bride” T-shirt and rode to a playlist made up of songs submitted by her followers, to which they had either danced or walked down the aisle at their own weddings. By making her Peloton riders feel as if they were part of the celebration of her big day, Ally subtly drew them into her inner circle, creating a parasocial relationship with her community that the best influencers have mastered (more than 75,000 people have taken the wedding Peloton class so far).

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Even if you weren’t a member of the #LoveSquad before, if you’re anything like me and you took the ride, you’d probably be curious enough to follow Ally on Instagram before the big day(s). But right before her wedding week, Ally did another brilliant move: She went private on Instagram, so you HAD to follow her in order to watch.

“Taking it all in with my friends, family, and community 🧡,” Ally wrote. “Reminder that I will be going PRIVATE on IG 🤫 to make this time to remember extra special to those who have supported me and is a part of my community!!”

Some people may assume I am shading Ally by saying she went private as a business strategy rather than to exclusively provide content to her community, as she claims. But I’m not at all, and I think her motivations were probably both. I also think influencers often get shamed for doing things that make business sense when there’s nothing wrong with them. By providing her followers with an exclusive experience, Ally gets to reward them for their loyalty and continue cultivating that parasocial relationship.

Finally, this week, Ally pulled her smartest move yet. She had all her Peloton coworkers who attended (all influencers and celebs in their own right) wait to post content from her wedding at the same time. After getting married, reportedly on July 31, Ally went back to a public account and began posting her wedding content on what appears to be a schedule. For example, one night was Carnival-themed, and each instructor in attendance posted their pics from the night around the same time (some also included more pics from the other nights of the wedding as well).

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Watching Peloton instructors all post about the same thing at the same time is kind of like watching the Avengers assemble. It made the entire viewing experience like a game. Each instructor had their own perspectives of the event, their pictures and videos, and, of course, their lewks.

By crafting her content and her friends’ content, in this way, Ally turned her wedding week into an entire Instagram event. If you’re a fan of the Peloton gang, you can spend an hour going down the rabbit hole of who wore what, who got invited, who didn’t get invited (and is that shade in the comments?). When discussing the wedding with my husband, he said the rollout reminded him of another master class in social media content: Taylor Swift’s star-studded 4th of July parties.

Some people may snark on caring about workout instructors or a stranger’s wedding, but I think it’s fun! It’s taking something mundane in life, like working out on a spin bike, and turning the experience into an entire character-driven event on multiple platforms. How many media companies would kill for that? Peloton’s brand loyalty is unmatched, and tons of people are talking about it.

I’m sure others will say how awful it is that Ally turned a special life event into content, that she’s too calculated, blah blah blah. To them I say, welcome to content creation. The industry has been around forever, and it is here to stay. Ally has mastered how to grow a community around herself and have a ton of money and success. It may not be for you, but you can’t argue it isn’t working for her.

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Plus, Ally is doing a great job at one thing: keeping her actual relationship private. Her husband isn’t even tagged in the posts, and he seems to live a normal life out of the spotlight. Fame, fortune, and keeping her personal life private? We stan a content queen.

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5 apps for scheduling Instagram posts on iPhone and Android

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Alright, we get it. You’re an Instagram Nostradamus.

You know exactly what you want to post and when you’re gonna want to post it. Maybe there’s a meme or comment you want to make that you know will be totally relevant for a future moment or event. Or it could be that you’re an influencer and you want to make sure you keep a steady stream of content coming, so you want to schedule posts for times when you know you won’t be active (or won’t have internet access).

You’ll be happy to know there are apps that are specialized for just such situations. So listen up, InstaNostradamuses…Instagrostra…Instadam…Insta…uh…you guys (we’ll workshop it. No we won’t. We’ll probably just abandon that effort completely. You’re welcome) — these are the Instagram-post-scheduling apps for you.

While all of the iPhone apps below are free to download, they all have some in-app purchases.

1. Planoly

PLANOLY

We’ll start with “official partner” of Instagram, itself, Planoly — an Instaplanner that uses a grid to let you plan, schedule, and publish posts (as well as Reels) on Instagram. The app also lets you see post metrics and analytics so you can make sure your post didn’t flop.

Planoly is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

2. Buffer

BufferCredit: buffer / app store

Buffer is another Instagram post scheduler that helps you plan your posts and analyze feedback once they’re published. Use a calendar view to drag and drop posts into days/time slots for easy scheduling.

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Buffer is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

3. Preview

PreviewCredit: preview / app store

Preview offers typical post-scheduling tools and analytics along with a few helpful extras. Get caption ideas, recommendations for hashtags, and more.

Preview is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

4. Content Office

Content OfficeCredit: content office / app store

An Instagram post scheduler with a visual boost, Content Office allows users to plan and schedule Instagram posts while learning “marketing and visual guides to grow your brand on Instagram.” Like aesthetics and using visuals to create cohesive themes? Maybe this is the Instaplanner for you.

Content Office is available for iOS on the Apple App Store.

5. Plann

PlannCredit: plann / apple store

You’ll never guess what “Plann” lets you do…

Aside from scheduling posts, get content ideas and recommendations, as well as strategy tips to ensure you’re maximizing your Instagram engagement. Ever wonder when the best time to post something is? Plann can offer you some help with that.

Plann is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

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Social networking websites launch features to encourage users to get boosters

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Facebook Instagram and TikTok are launching new features to encourage people to get their coronavirus booster jabs.

From Friday, users will be able to update their profiles with frames or stickers to show that they have had their top-up jab or aim to when they become eligible.

It follows on from people previously being able to show they have had their first and second jabs on certain social networking websites and apps.

TikTok also held a “grab a jab” event in London earlier this year.

I urge everyone who is eligible – don’t delay, get your vaccine or top up jab today to protect yourself and your loved ones

More than 16 million booster vaccines have now been given across the UK.

People who are aged 40 and above and received their second dose of their vaccine at least six months ago are currently eligible to have their booster.

A new campaign advert is also being launched on Friday, which shows how Covid-19 can build up in enclosed spaces and how to prevent that from happening.

Vaccines minister Maggie Throup said:  “Getting your booster is one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself and your family this winter.

“It is fantastic to see some of the biggest household names further back the phenomenal vaccine rollout, allowing their users to proudly display that they have played their part in helping us build a wall of defence across the country.

“I urge everyone who is eligible – don’t delay, get your vaccine or top-up jab today to protect yourself and your loved ones.”

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How many hashtags should you use to get the most ‘Likes’ on Instagram?

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Hashtags are a key feature of Instagram posts. In fact, they have become an essential means of ensuring more ‘Likes’ on social media – so long as you choose them wisely.

But how many hashtags should you use to maximise your popularity on the social network? The answer might surprise you.

It’s a question that many Instagram users ask themselves: what’s the right number of hashtags to add to a post? To find out, the Later platform analysed 18 million Instagram posts, excluding videos, Reels and Stories.

Interestingly, Later’s results differ from Instagram’s own recommendations. According to Later’s analysis, using more hashtags helps get better results in terms of “reach”, or the percentage of users exposed to the post. By using 20 hashtags, Later observed an optimal average reach rate of just under 36%. Using 30 hashtags gets the next-best reach rate. With five hashtags, reach hits just under 24%.

And while a post’s reach is important, engagement is even more so. From “Likes” and comments to shares and follows – on average, 30 hashtags appears to result in better engagement rates: “When it comes to average engagement rate, using 30 Instagram hashtags per feed post results in the most likes and comments,” says Later’s research.

Yet, at the end of September 2021, Instagram advised its creators to use between three and five hashtags for their posts, while warning them against using too many. The social network advised that using 10 to 20 hashtags per post “will not help you get additional distribution”.

For Later, there could be other reasons behind Instagram’s recommendations: “As Instagram continues to expand their discoverability and SEO tools, it makes sense that they want users to experiment with fewer, more relevant hashtags – this could help them accurately categorise and recommend your posts in suggested content streams, like the Instagram Reels feed or the updated hashtag search tabs,” the website explains. – AFP Relaxnews

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