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The Psychology Behind the Rise of Social Media

The Psychology Behind the Rise of Social Media

More and more people are going online each year. As a response, more and more companies are also bringing their offers and operations to the Internet. Bank transactions can now be done online. Payments for utilities are now transacted online. We can now even shop through websites.

In a way, the online world has become an active community where a lot of our traditional offline activities already have viable counterparts. Because of this, cyberspace has become a significant medium for social change. We are familiar with the rise of influencers, or those people with a huge following on social media. Their voices and posts sometimes become catalysts for change.

Interestingly, the effect of influencers and the effectiveness of the Internet, in general, are still hinged on basic human psychology. In a way, what we observe online is just a digitization of basic human functions. Hence, only the medium, and never the phenomena, is new.

“It must be good because others are doing it.”

The bandwagon effect is one of the most established concepts in psychology. It basically refers to the tendency of people to do something simply because others are doing it. And this holds true even if that something violates their beliefs and core values.

The trends set by influencers become successful because of the illusion of relevance and prevalence that social media creates, especially in the mind of an ordinary follower. Because social media presents only the images and posts of the people that a user follows, the user will be bombarded with similar information over and over again. They will reach a point when they think that the behavior in the presentations is actually prevalent. They start feeling left out. “They’re all doing it, I’m the only one who’s not!” In effect, they, too, start imitating the behavior they see in these posts.

“A lot of people are following them, so they must be good!”

If you think that the number of social media followers does not matter, think again. Very closely related to the previous point, people are often drawn to personalities and products that are already famous. You see, we usually think using biased mental shortcuts — what psychology calls heuristics — and one of the most enduring biases is the follow-the-majority heuristic.

The shortcut basically means this: if others are supporting this person or product, then this person or product must really be good, so it deserves my support too. So, when you see someone having 1.5 million followers on Instagram, you will be pushed to believe that they are good and valuable so you follow them as well. It is for this very reason that many influencer-wannabes would want to buy Instagram followers or Twitter supporters.

“I have many followers. I am powerful.”

As an influencer’s followers increase, so does their belief in their own power. It is a well-documented fact in neuropsychology (usually with primates as subjects) that the brains of those who occupy positions of power vary physically from the brains of those who merely follow. And it looks like the differences came to be because of the adaptations made by the organism to the role or position that it has.

When applied to the practical world of humans, it could be that the influencers also change in the same way. We all are very familiar with how they become more vocal and feisty as their popularity and number of followers grow.

The Internet and various social media undoubtedly have presented us with a different world. However, this world is not something that’s totally alien. It still functions according to the old rules of psychology; so, it is still predictable in some way.

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7 Instagram Secrets You Need to Know For Business Interest

7 Instagram Secrets You Need to Know For Business Interest

Social marketing has over the years been proven to be much more than simply a fad. By utilizing social marketing properly, you can promote your website for just a fraction of what you spend on conventional marketing. Instagram might be one of the recent social media sites that a good number of businesses have seen a significant return on investment using but it’s still an excellent resource for businesses that can maximize on return on investment effortlessly.

It does not just count as the star child of the social media scene, its popularity is similarly on a continuous rise and with the recent introduction of Instagram Stories, this fact has been amplified to greater extents. To get the most out of this powerhouse platform, you will not only need more eyes on your content but also enough to convince your followers to invest in whatever you’re selling.

Content Scheduling

Having content is not a problem for many brands, knowing to post and creating the time for this is what makes it rather hard to get things moving. One of the most significant parts of marketing on Instagram involves maintaining a frequent, consistent content schedule.

There is a ton of social media marketers who know the importance of keeping a healthy queue of photos and videos but not all of them are aware of the various ways of making content scheduling even easier. There are apps that can put together a content calendar for Instagram marketing by planning posts long in advance giving you more time to interact with followers and fans and strengthen your presence your presence on social media.

  • Effective Use of Hashtags

In the social media landscape, Instagram hacks are what make the world go round and this applies especially to Instagram. They have a great impact on the engagement received on every post and can help in determining whether your content gets to reach the eyes of your target or not. There are a couple of different hashtag strategies but the perfect mix has not yet been identified. The most effective ones, however, are those that are local or directly relevant to your post.

  • Keep Post Drafts within Reach

Draft is a feature on Instagram that most people have not discovered yet. It can be a great alternative to scheduling apps in that it enables you to create a post with the content and captions but you can choose whether or not to publish just yet. This you can pull up immediately from storage in the app the next time you are ready to publish.

  • Create a Seamless Feed

It might not exactly work for every business but a seamless Instagram feed is a visual spectacle that could transform your profile into a uniquely beautiful gallery for your fans and any potential customers. Seamless feeds are exactly what they sound like – drawn from photos edited in a way that the feed looks like a single giant image.

  • Post Content from Behind the Scenes

In the middle of promotional content and product posts, you are bound to find a lull in your Instagram content queue. The best way to fill up this gap is using behind the scenes content, a form of content that is often overlooked and underappreciated by marketers. The reason behind the success of ‘how-to’ content on almost all platforms is the fact that people like to be informed of the processes. This kind of thing can help in building stronger connections with followers, fans and prospective customers.

  • Share Reviews and Testimonials

Social proof can mean everything for your target audience with regards to making a purchasing decision. If you intend to use Instagram as a means of driving sales for your business, one awesome idea for content is customer reviews and testimonials. It’s one thing to tell everyone you have the best product to solve their problem but it’s an entirely different thing to show prospective buyers what other people say about it. This can greatly help in building positive customer perception for your brand.

  • Discounts and Promotions

This can come into play when all else fails. Using Instagram to share promotions and quick discounts is a pretty underrated form of social marketing. Often, brands focus a lot more on building their aesthetic on Instagram so much that they forget that it means so little if it fails to drive revenue for their businesses. A simple way to get fans to act urgently and become consumers is sharing occasional discounts. Once they have followed you for a while, they might lose interest, which is why you have to keep them engaged with promotions that steer them away from the indifference.

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How to Grow Your Followers on Instagram

How to Grow Your Followers on Instagram

Instagram outgrew its first impression as a fun app for kids quite fast and has become a pretty serious tool for audience building, networking and content marketing for individuals and brands alike.

It’s quickly becoming one of the most popular sites for social networking on the planet with more than 200 million active users logging in every month and actively sharing over 60 million images, generating up to 1.6 billion likes daily.

Engagement rates for the other social networks for brands are less than 0.1 percent but Instagram blows this all the way up, with an average extending up to an epic 58 times higher than on Facebook. Whether you’re a huge brand seeking to get more new followers or still at the developing stages seeking to create prospective customers base out of target audiences, the following are 3 of the most powerful tips you can employ to become an Instagram unicorn.  

Invest in a Complete and Curated Instagram Aesthetic Profile

If you wish to get more followers today, you need to pay closer attention to what your Instagram feed looks like. Your Instagram business profile is the first opportunity you get to make an amazing first impression and entice people to hit the follow button. By creating a consistent brand story through your Instagram profile and aesthetic, you can transform the casual visitors into engaged and devoted followers. Therefore, you can start using Instagram bot it assists to get more authentic followers.

The fact that Instagram is becoming a go-to for consumers to turn to when searching for brands means that your profile will soon become your new homepage. Thus, there’s the need to put in as much effort into the visuals and copies on the profile that’s put on the homepage of your website. Instagram profiles are a reflection of owners’ brands, products or services and should be attractive enough to encourage visitors to become followers. Focus on the Stories Highlights and an eye-catching bio to make your page aesthetically appealing.

Hack Instagram Stories for More Exposure

For Instagram Stories, 2018 will definitely be a huge year, and because organic reach is dropping for regular posts, stories are fast becoming a key approach to engaging with followers and staying on top of the game. Did you know you can gain more followers with Instagram Stories? Yes, Instagram stories appear on the explore page, which implies that even people who don’t follow you can easily find and view your stories. Who knows? If they fall in love with what they see, they might just give you a follow.

This is just another reason why you need to have an active story running on your Instagram feed at all times. Other than appearing in Instagram’s explore page, your story may also appear in stories for other hashtags and locations. Most Instagram hashtags and geo-locations have their own stories but this is an underutilized feature that you can seize. If you have to post a great piece of content or something interesting on your story, it can attract the attention of Instagram users and turn casual viewers into your new Instagram followers.

Get Featured Off of Instagram

One of the most effective ways to attract Instagram followers today promoting your account but not through the Instagram app. Instead of struggling to test all ways to hack the algorithm to optimize your content, spend more time on promoting your profile in other areas online. Of course, you will be going back to the basics of PR with this strategy but it’s actually practically workable. When people hear you online, they are more likely to look you up on Instagram even before they Google you.

Get featured in the press, guest posting on someone else or doing a podcast interview and see what it does to your Instagram following. This you can achieve by pitching your ideas to other Instagram accounts, podcasts and blogs that you’re sure your target market would read.

Always say yes to giving a quote for an article or doing an interview even if it’s simply a small publication – they might potentially have an audience that’s much more engaged and you can’t really be sure who’s listening or reading. When you get an interview, plug your Instagram account, always. And whenever you get the chance, mention your Instagram account and maybe even add a screenshot of one of your posts.

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5 Things to Consider to Promote Your Business on Instagram

5 Things to Consider to Promote Your Business on Instagram

Instagram is steadily becoming one of the most popular, most engaging social media applications. It has become a proven social media platform for brand building and marketing especially considering the fact that there are more than 8 million registered business accounts. Additionally, around 80 million photos are uploaded daily on Instagram by its huge and active user base that businesses can tap into.

A greater percentage of this user base is made up of youngsters, a demographic that can be particularly viable and highly valuable for businesses trying to build an audience for the long-term.

This pretty much makes Instagram highly competitive, but with a firmly established brand identity as well as a well-coordinated marketing strategy, you can get your business the right kind of exposure.

The following are 5 things you can leverage to promote your business on Instagram

Seize the Environment

Instagram is now a must-have social network for every marketer. This is more so applicable to younger audiences that are constantly seeking Instagram for brand personality, engagement, and interactions. The platform continues to be an ideal environment for commenting, tagging, liking, and sharing. Additionally, despite the fact that purchases are limited to a link in the user’s bio, younger generations can be inspired by this to make purchases much easier. The core users of the app can navigate it seamlessly and the videos and images from brands form the basis of driving engagement, which can only help you promote your business even further.

Brand Personality Has to Be Professionally Showcased

If you intend to use Instagram to promote your business, it’s important to make a clear distinction between your personal and business accounts. For starters, optimize your account such that your attention is focused not just on the product but more on the audience. This means you might have to use photos on travel adventures, friend groups, and selfies. It might seem completely obvious, but a huge amount of personal content tends to make its way to your brand feeds. Think more about what your audience needs to see and not an inside joke or your friends. Striking a good balance between personal and business content, however, you can buy Instagram followers, it’s a great way to show your excellence.

Your Username Has to Be Simple and Searchable

Probably, a majority of your customers already know that they can find you by doing a quick search on Instagram’s Explore feature. It’s your duty to make it as painless as it can possibly be to find you. Don’t use several different names across your networks. Rather, keep all social media handles simple and consistent by using simple and easy-to-spell usernames without any special characters, numbers or underscores.

The Bio Has to Be Simple, Too

In the same vein as the username is the bio – it should be just as simple to match your brand. Keeping Instagram bios to a minimum while ensuring you mention who you are and what you do makes it easier for your followers to understand what your brand is all about. At the end of the day, this is one of the few places that truly promote your business hugely. You can include a link in your bio and maybe use URL shortening tools that users can follow to learn everything else you feel they need to know about your business. It can be a link to your website’s homepage, promotional, sales or other marketing landing pages. In this way, you get to keep the move from Instagram to your site much easier and more cohesive.

Hashtags Are Inevitably Useful

Hashtags are a great basis of discovery for Instagram; they’re like Instagram’s rule of thumb. Whether it’s intended to increase visibility or find what you’re looking for, hashtags for Instagram is an awesome way to go about it. As a basic guideline, you’ll probably have to search for the newest hashtags that exist in your industry. It doesn’t exactly have to correlate with your brand but it definitely has to be relevant. Once you identify candidates, you can use them in campaigns to attract new followers thus getting that little extra reach. The best approach is to combine both standard and branded hashtags, as it greatly helps to track engagement.

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4 Types of Social media competitive analysis you must do before creating a social strategy

4 Types of Social media competitive analysis you must do before creating a social strategy

Smart marketers know that the success and failure of their marketing efforts depend largely on how flexible they’re in staying ahead of the curve.

For social media managers in the fast-changing world of social; they’re acutely aware of this fact; hence, it is not uncommon to find them in search of means to keep abreast of trends in their industry.

However, it can be quite daunting to keep up with everything that’s happening within the industry – track competitors, get used to new technologies, and still stay sane to implement your marketing plans.

So how do you keep it all together and keep grinding?

We figured the best place to start is by helping you keep a tab on what your competitors are up to.

Conducting a social media competitive analysis helps you identify what’s working and what’s not working in your niche.

Think of it like data mining – that throws up valuable insights into what your competitors are doing right, where they are failing, what the customers want, which and what content perform well and of course, uncovers areas you can leverage to shore up your competitive edge.

To make the task easier and a bit more manageable, we have grouped the social media competitive analysis into four types.

Types of Social media competitive analysis

Audit level of Competitor Activity

This analysis aims to gain a clear picture of how other organizations are currently using social media. This means you’d have to spend significant time going through their channels, profiles, reading through their posts and taking note of how customers react to this content.

Your goal when conducting this analysis is to answer the following questions:

  •    Are there core platforms everyone seems to be active on?
  •    What’s the balance between automated posts and personal content on their channels?
  •    How often do they update their accounts?
  •    What content format do they use?

Audit what they use social for

Most brands today are utilizing social as a tool for customer service. Hence, it’s essential to assess what goals organizations in your niche are using social media for.

Do they have separate accounts that handle marketing and customer service?

Are they proactive helpful when responding to client’s complaints?

Check also, for the tone and style – are they funny, educative, formal, etc.

Uncovering and understanding the insights gathered here enable you to identify how to position your brand and what tone and style resonant with your ideal audience.

Assess the strengths and weaknesses of competitors

Social media competitive analysis helps you identify gaps in the social strategies of your competitors which you can go on to leverage when creating your social media plans.

This assessment should help you determine:

  •    What everyone does well so you can benchmark them as the minimum.
  •    What nobody does so well you can do to set your brand apart and become a leader in.
  •    Finally, what customers respond to most?

Assess what customers respond to

It’s imperative to understand that being active on social media doesn’t equate to having an engaged audience.

There are far more moving parts involved in developing a core audience that’s responsive to your messaging, and it starts with understanding precisely what your customers want.

Pay attention to the posts that are getting the most attention. For instance, on Twitter check out those posts with more rewets, likes, and replies.

On Facebook, study the content that has the highest likes, shares, and comments. Then, replicate this on other platforms.

Take your time to study the content formats (text-based, images, videos, gifs, Infographics, etc.) these brands share on their walls.

Also, ensure to understudy the tone and style of their content – are they funny, serious, formal or educational?

Why is this important?

Understanding what works and doesn’t work before developing a social media strategy helps increase the odds of achieving success with your social efforts.

Also, aligning the insights gained from the competitor’s strengths and weakness analysis with customer behavior ensures you’re more likely to find a valuable intersection that gives you an edge.

A word of caution though: don’t copy your competitors; it’s obvious right? Add a spin to the insights gained, let your brand voice and personality shine through that’s the way to win in this game.

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