If you’re a social media marketer you’ve probably noticed the numerous Snapcode Twitter profile pics popping up lately (or at least I have), as well as the recent influencer talk around Snapchat. You might have also heard about Instagram’s upcoming changes to their feed and the need for users to have to turn on notifications to get alerts of the new posts the accounts they are following send out. There’s every indication that the two social media events are correlated. Furthermore, they’re a sign of something even bigger that marketers and anyone doing social media should consider for their online marketing (to stay effective).
The NEW Instagram feed and Snapchat 2.0
For Instagram’s changes, there’s been an outcry of great disapproval by professionals, artists and brands who use the platform to reach their fans/followers and by marketers who already had to deal with and continue to deal with Facebook’s newsfeed changes. In addition to the news coverage and influencer talk about what’s going on, I saw an Instagram post by BallertAlert informing users that people miss on average 70% of their feeds and I had an avid Instagram user tell me that thanks to the rant of one of the vlogers they follow, they finally figured out why they weren’t getting updates on the people they follow on Instagram.
Instagram’s use has grown exponentially thanks to the personalized experience they offer and the fact that it revolves around images (we all love pictures and we all know the emotional response they bring with them). Users are able to get that ‘people to people’ experience using the platform and have an inside look at the personal aspects of artists or brands. The changes Instagram has decided to make is not welcome on either end and I suspect is causing the shift to another social network, one of which also offers a great personalized and interactive experience, Snapchat.
On Snapchat users can share pictures, short videos, add filters, text, emojis, and with Snapchat 2.0 rolling out yesterday, users can now send audio clips, have video conversations, and more. Also, Snapchat doesn’t control what stories you see or don’t see, you add the friends you want to connect with and know who has added you (whether you connect with them or not).
What it means for you
The biggest takeaway from this bit of background information is that users are on social to engage with the people they follow. They want to see their posts and not have to think about taking additional steps (like Instagram has now made them do) to see the new content that gets posted. People also like to have a personalized experience with the brands they follow by having the opportunity to see what they’re doing through images and videos. Lastly, users don’t like social networks making it harder for them to see the content of the artists (especially) and brands that they’re following.
As a marketer and/or business owner you can’t control what social networks implement, but you can listen to what the public is saying. In this case, they’re saying that they like to see the behind the scenes side of your business. This is especially true for artists and B2C businesses; a B2B business will have a different approach because of their audience, but I’m sure a little bit of fun and personal sharing on social can’t hurt.
The second biggest takeaway from this story is that people are moving towards video and interactive content consumption. Even though the majority of Snapchat’s users are between the ages of 18-24, they will get older and Snapchat is how they like to communicate. I’m all for focusing your marketing efforts on where your target audience is, but with the quick growth Snapchat has shown and with another recent platform coming out (blab.im) that is also picking up momentum; it is very clear how people want to learn about things, about your brand, and how they like to interact with you.
I’m not saying you need to jump on Snapchat and start using it, but you do need to consider producing more engaging and personal content. Add some video content to your blog, consider holding a monthly live show on a platform like Blab or record a live presentation and put it on your blog, add some behind the scene pictures of your day to day life with a valuable and helpful message. Basically, keep an eye out on how users are communicating and consuming online content because that’s how you can keep growing your relationship with them through social media and your online marketing efforts.
What’s your biggest takeaway from all the noise around Snapchat and the response to Instagram’s changes?