Top five social media platforms – Instagram
Facebook 2.3 billion
YouTube 1.9 billion
Instagram 1.0 billion
Qzone 531 million
TikTok 500 million
Where is social now?
What is the current state of social media, and what should you be looking out for?
From myspace to TikTok, social media has exploded over the last 15 years. A digital space with almost no rules, or a true definition of what it is and where it’s going. It was the unknown, and still is.
Fast forward to 2019, and social media is mammoth, with huge personalities presenting to an even bigger audience, insane data and gurus. With all this change, structure, and specialised careers coming out of the past 15 years, there is one thing you should always know – social media will always change, and you’ve got to move with it.
Right now, as a brand or person of interest entering into social media for the first time, it may be daunting. How are you meant to compete with those giants who seem to have it sussed? Social media works in mystical ways – ok, not so mystical, but more on the algorithmic ‘understanding your audience and finding your voice’ side of things.
Although these giants may have teams of creative, copywriters and strategist, you will always have your personality. No large team can recreate that. Being authentically you has never been more desirable, and enables your audience to create a more meaningful connection to your brand. you don’t need to bring them into your personal life, but let them see you, hear you, and find out what you stand for through your content and tome of voice. Don’t be scared to push those boundaries. How far you push is up to you.
Not every piece of content or story will be a home run, and that’s ok. It will take time to build up a network of people who are genuinely interested in what you have to say. So don’t be discouraged – it may also be that you are just not telling it in the right place or to the right people. Keep looking for your audience. They may be in places you don’t expect.
The question that comes up all the time is ‘how do you measure success?’ this has had people up in arms figuring out what’s important. What do you want to achieve form your content? Was it to grow your audience or create engagement? Let the intention be engagement rate or like for like. Social media is powerful, but it can be incredibly fickle. Don’t let your stats entirely define what to create. If something doesn’t work, go back and look at why. Review, Rework. Re-publish and review again. Once you are able to determine what your audience enjoys, where they are and how you would like to show your personality, build on that. Social media is all about escalation.
“It will take time to build up a network of people who are genuinely interested in what you have to say.”
5 Instagram Stats
Advertising audience 50.3 female 49.7 male gender split
Top age demographic 18 to 34 make up 64% of users
Brand hashtags 7 out of 10 hashtags are branded
Product recommendation 30% of users purchased a product after seeing it on Instagram
Engagement 2-7% of users interact with each post. The highest rate across social media
As one of the quickest-growing visual led platforms. How can grow your audience by using a personality-led strategy?
Instagram has over 1 billion active users per month, and accounts that surpass 120m+ followers. It’s easy to see why so many brands have invested their energies into building an engaged community using this website.
It’s a given that your profile should feature some of your work, brand or products that you sell. All these points will help potential followers understand what you offer, but how do you really become unique?
Pick a consistency topic. This could be your products, brand values or concept. Merge this with a specialist topic. This isn’t an always-on feature, but will enable you to expand outside of your normal publishing realms, building an audience that appreciates not only your work, but also your commentary and curation.
For example, if you are an illustrator, your page could feature your work, mixed in with appreciation and/or commentary of other peoples’ illustrative work. By sharing and introducing your passions, you are further injecting your personality and interests. All these traits give a user a reason to follow you, as you are aligning further with their own interests.
It’s been reported before, but I’m here to tell you that colour coordinated profiles are over. Ditch the block colours, colour themes and colour matching. Instead, focus on the creative – let it sit jarringly next to the post before. There is a need for less conceited profiles, an injection of the raw and experimental.
Instagram stories are more throwaway, but this doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your content quality – it just means being more accessible and engaging, and less like a series of adverts. An example would be using a question or poll sticker to support a live draw on stories, documenting each stage with the involvement of your community.
If you are going to ask a question or any include any form of a call to action in a post, either on stories or your timeline, make sure you do something publicly and respond. There is nothing worse than seeing a brand ask a question just for the sake of engagement.