Take Advantage of Instagram’s Latest Update

Instagram announced that it will be changing its news feed algorithm so that consumers will receive content in order of personal relevance, rather than in the order that it was posted by those the consumer follows. You, as someone who uses Instagram, will be receiving content that Instagram thinks you will like and engage with the most. Although we don’t know how the app is going to accomplish this technologically, we do understand that changes like this exemplify the importance of businesses, brands, and people focusing on sharing content that’s relevant to their target audience.

A change like this really shouldn’t come as a surprise to anybody, as Facebook started the trend years ago by curating content and only showing the most relevant content to it’s users—weeding out the people and subjects that the consumer hadn’t been interested in in the past. Twitter has also adapted a similar strategy recently by deciphering which tweets it believes will be the most relevant to the consumer. All of this content curation comes at a time when we, as consumers, are more saturated with content than ever before, and it’s only going to get worse.

As more people create content, more brands have the opportunity to impact their audience members, and more saturation occurs. This forces platforms to curate that content so that users aren’t inundated with too much information, get annoyed, and end up leaving the platform altogether. How can a business, brand, or person use this information to try to create better content: content that isn’t getting pushed to the side and makes it to the eyes of the consumer? The best and easiest way is simply to ask your audience.

Social media provides the perfect platform to reach out to an audience. If you want to find out what content your audience will engage with and enjoy the most, there are many ways to start the conversation. A simple tweet asking this question might bring about an audience response. If your social media has been slow going thus far, you might have to encourage your audience to participate with a contest. Ask your audience to participate in exchange for a free gift, or run an online survey and select a lucky participant as the winner. There are endless ways to engage your audience, but flat out asking them is the best way to learn specifically what content they will enjoy the most.

Once you find out what your audience wants to hear and see from you and you begin to implement this campaign strategy, you can simply watch the insights, analytics, and data to find out what types of content they are engaging in most and then post more of it. Content marketing isn’t that hard, but engagement marketing is. It takes a deep look inside your consumer to find out what he/she really needs and wants. It takes a lot of time and effort to be able to come up with this content while engaging with consumers all at the same time, but it’s worth it. Companies that invest their resources in building a rock star engagement strategy will win over the next 5 years, 10 years, and beyond, as long as they keep investing and adapting.

Intern Blog: Social Media from the Eyes of a 22-year-old

The more I learn about digital advertising and engagement marketing, the more I hear about the use of social media as a major pathway to reach consumers. There’s talk about which platforms are best for which types of messages, Snapchat’s newfound spot at the top of the social media food chain, new forms of content distribution on newsfeeds, and what this all means for marketers.

I got to thinking about the fact that people like me– young, social media users– are the demographic that marketers are so concerned about when it comes to their research about these platforms. Ironically, most of us Millennials don’t even think twice when it comes to social media usage. We’ve grown up with it since high school. We are so used to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat trends and how to appropriately use each of them that it has become second nature to us. I decided to try to flesh out the way that I feel about each platform and how I post on it and what I look to get out of it, as to better understand what marketers could do here that would interest me:

Facebook: To me, Facebook is still the mothership. Although I may post on other platforms, what I’m doing usually goes onto Facebook as well. For instance, I might pick the most perfect photo from a trip to post on Instagram, but I still post that, along with all of the other photos I took, to Facebook. Facebook is all encompassing—I think of it as a scrapbook for my life. Every photo I take or is taken of me shows up here. Messages that loved ones send me for my birthday show up here. Articles/pictures that I care about are things I share to my wall. My profile picture is more important than an Instagram or photo put into an album—it represents me in a clear way, where as my Instagram and Twitter icons may be silly or artistic pictures. Facebook is the go-to.

-So for Facebook, I’m focused a lot on meaningful things. Since this is all about creating a place (my page) that has to do with me, I’m not interested in seeing ads for discounts or a sale or for shoes. I’m interested in seeing stories, like the new Extra Gum commercial, or HONY posts, or not-for-profits and what they care about.

 

Instagram: Instagram is a place to really show off. Where as on Facebook, one might upload all of their photos, Instagram highlights only the best of the best, and it’s all edited and captioned to witty perfection. Instagram is a place where you do not know anything about the user aside from what they look like, so it’s a little bit more superficial than Facebook.

-On Instagram, I WANT the unnecessary, superficial, treat-yourself ads. I’m already in a mindset about aesthetics after stalking people and how attractively they portray their lives to be: I’m more likely here to be inclined to take a second look at a beauty, fitness or fashion brand.

 

Twitter: Here’s where thoughts really shine. With only so many words and so much time on an ever-changing newsfeed to make a point, Twitter is a platform that reflects intelligence (aside from a funny retweet here and there.) I can only speak on behalf of myself, but while stalking (which we all do, just admit it) I find that I get a sense of someone’s personality best on Twitter. Although Facebook is also a meaningful platform, it is highly centered around photos, and Twitter isn’t. Seeing a series of short thoughts from someone, mixed with what they find important shown in their re-tweets, or what they like shown in their favorites, I find Twitter to be a platform that shows one’s truest self.

-Here’s where I want to see things that encourage me to have an opinion. A survey for what consumers like better. An article about the presidential election. Posts that care about someone’s personality and thought process, not just the way that they look.

 

Snapchat: I’m surprised that Snapchat is thought to be potentially the most successful social media platform at this time, not because I don’t think it’s extremely entertaining and fun, but because it’s kind of a joke to me! Snapchat is where I make double chins and send them to my friends, or where I can take a piece of content (photo or video) and Mystory it even though it would never be meaningful enough to put it on Facebook or Instagram. It’s a place where nothing matters for long, because it’s so soon gone—something that’s not common online or on social media.

-Here’s where I don’t really want to be affected by marketers. When I look at Buzzfeed or Comedy Central mystories I look for cool content and article’s to read that might be promoting a TV show or product, but not outright advertising for it. With Snapchat, I’m just looking to be entertained.