Ten years ago Listservs and Newsgroups dominated internet conversation. They were text based and most of the people you talked to were strangers. Their focused topics were often intense and at odds with casual conversation – actually, it was easier to make enemies than friends!
Today’s generation are flocking to easier, friendlier social media. They are casual, inclusive and fun, and fit in with lives on the move.
A Picture Speaks a Thousand Words
Smart-phone cameras make pictures easy and instant. The strongest sites and media in recent years have strong visual elements. Photos communicate at a glance and build familiarity, and one picture can say it all – with the right caption.
Research shows that followers on Instagram show 58 times more engagement than on Facebook and 120 times more than on Twitter. It’s no accident this places them in the order of their visual content.
Instagram has 300million+ users. 70million photos are posted every day, the majority from mobile phones, on buses, in bars, on lunch breaks, out shopping. The challenge for marketers is to be succinct, fresh and entertaining. Traditional marketing is the exact reverse – premeditated, repetitive and relentlessly focused on selling. In social media these qualities flop!
Approaching social media as an SEO exercise is a mistake. Links and keywords in social media have little influence on Google and a bad effect on relationships with prospects, customers and contributors. Social media is about people, not things.
Making websites and social media work together is an art, so seek an experienced company for advice (redsnapper is a web development company in London with a proven track record).
More Graphics, Less Text Makes Captions Crucial
Instagram feeds cut captions off after a few lines, so front-load them, putting the point at the beginning. Use fewer than 150 characters.
Mentioning users’ names in caption guarantees their followers will view them, and rounding off with a question encourages responses. Liking and replying to contributions and comments is good manners and you won’t build a following without it. Building relationships builds influence.
Adding hashtags enable your contributions to show in the feeds people follow. Remember, keywords are used by customers who have decided to find something, but hashtags get your contribution in front of people to interest them in the first place.