The Evolution of Social Media Part III: Social Media Tribes & Clans

In the Evolution of Social Media Part 2, we talked about innovations in social media technology, along with the battles among platforms. In part 3, we’re addressing how human evolution has impacted social media use. Specifically, tribalism… and the other way around, how social media is shaping the tribalism of the modern world.

Humans are Tribal in Nature

Saul Levine M.D., writes in Psychology Today, “We humans are a social species, tribal by nature. We’re given to gathering and communing in familiar groups. ‘Belonging,’ our capacity and need for empathy, compassion and communication, is in our DNA.”

Social media only amplifies this tribal nature.

Dr. Levine writes about the “dark side” we also have, consisting of tribal animosities. (You don’t need us to tell you that social media amplifies that too.)

What Do Your Social Media Habits Reveal?

Social media users often make posts revealing their values, interestings, and views. But what can we learn about users based purely on the platforms they frequent, without even looking at the content they post and engage with? Are instagrammers more lifestyle oriented, are twitchers cool nerds, and are TikTokers free minded cultural challengers? 

Forget the horoscopes or traditional personality tests. Tell us what platforms you’re on and we can identify some of your key traits. This is particularly useful for brands who want to reach and activate their user communities. Most platforms offer detailed demographics and interest filters that enable brands to effectively reach their target audiences in order to optimize spend. But by thinking beyond demographics and thinking ‘culture’, ‘mindset’ and ‘community’, a whole new world of consumer targeting opens up.

Increasing Segmentation

With the proliferation of platforms, there’s something -and somewhere- for everyone. Influencer Marketing Hub published a list of 103+ social media sites you need to know in 2021. As the sheer quantity of platforms continues to rise, social media audiences become increasingly segmented. This segmentation is increasingly based on mindset or social behaviors, making social media ‘tribes’ less about age and more about beliefs, lifestyle, values, and interests. Yes, mindset over demographics.

For example, Untappd gives beer drinkers a platform where they can rate beer, share pictures of beer, and review tap lists from venues nearby, and ReverbNation, which is dedicated to musicians and helps them build careers. So what if you run a brewery or supply musical gear? What better place to reach your community? 

Content Houses Combine Influencers into Clans

To drive additional value from content creators, some brands have launched “content houses,” in which influencers are given a luxury residence for a set period of time so they can use a product and create content. 

Gen Z fashion brand Finesse creased a house in LA from April to July, and esports team FaZe Clan was formed back in 2010. “Content house marketing can boost reach and also the relatability of branded content, says Tim Armoo, founder of Gen Z talent agency Fanbytes and the Byte House, the UK’s biggest TikTok house with up to 90 million views a week across its six creators.” 

Tulant, Simone, Eric, and friends

Kris, Malwyn, Franny and friends (Youngsters)

Aditotoro, Stucki, Nathi, and friends (the Youtubers)

Carly, Leo, and friends (Western-Switzerland)

Zeki, Rash Jr, Goustav, Ivan (the Comedy-Club)

Battle of the Generations? 

There are numerous memes mocking millennials and of course, the famous, “OK Boomer.” This is one of our favorite mockeries of the trend. Gen X seems to be forgotten in the middle, something we’re generally just fine with. Then there are claims that, “Generations are fake and it’s time for the industry to change this way of thinking,” as written in Talking Influence.

Still, there are some trends we can observe according to age. For example, App Annie’s State of Mobile 2021 report includes, “In the US and UK, Gen Z had the highest affinity for Snapchat and Twitch, respectively.”

Generation T (for TikTok, Of Course)

But there is one platform that is challenging this more and more. When it comes to TikTok, “Generation T is age-agnostic.… on TikTok, mindset trumps generations.” Talking Influence defines Gen T as valuing community building and having a thirst for knowledge along with an interest in connecting to subcultures. Although the TikTok audience is overwhelmingly made up of younger people, with 65% of users in Switzerland being between the ages of 13 and 24, other generations are also becoming more active on the platform. TikTok is investing actively to become seen as an age-agnostic platform for everyone. One is example is the growing mother community on TikTok with content focusing on cooking, household tips, children, or even leisure tips and much more. 

With TikTok in the lead, they’re undeniably setting trends. According to App Annie’s State of Mobile 2021 report, “TikTok’s average monthly time spent per user grew faster than nearly every other app analyzed, including 70% in the US and 80% in the UK – surpassing Facebook. TikTok is on track to hit 1.2 billion active users in 2021.”

The Social Media Clans in a Nutshell  

Instagrammers can be described as the selfie taker clan, focused on appearances, posting photos that make their face, hair, makeup, and physique all look flawless and pore-free like a Barbie doll. This “appearances clan” also carefully curates photos that make their lifestyle appear glamorous and fun.

The narcissism prevalent on platforms like Insta has given rise to a new platform, Poparazzi, which strives to be the antithesis of the selfie-obsession, maintaining the positive attributes of social media while eliminating the negatives. “Poparazzi is an app where you can’t post photos of yourself. Instead, you have to tag a friend. Selfies are persona non grata… While you can react to Pops with a range of emojis, the app takes a firm stance against the popularity competition. Profiles don’t show how many followers someone has.” Additionally, you can’t edit your pics.

TikTokers want to entertain and display their creativity. Many of the top TikTokers post dance videos… but no popular accounts post technical critiques of those dance videos. The focus is enjoyment and entertainment, not technical proficiency.  

While the population of people who “use” YouTube in terms of watching video encompasses practically everyone who has internet access, there are some similarities among YouTubers who actively create content. Many are educational, with tutorials on everything from improving your skills cornering on a mountain bike, to makeup, to building a guinea pig cage. If you can dream it, you can find a video tutorial for building it. One member of our team has uploaded choreography ideas for teaching step aerobics and cardio kickboxing.

For many users, Facebook retains a greater connection with the “IRL” world. Many users view and share local events, photos with friends and family, and discussions in community groups. Two-thirds of Facebook users visit a local business page weekly.

On Twitter, only the bravest speak. Kayvon Beykpour, the head of consumer product at Twitter, stated, “A lot of people are terrified to tweet. A lot of people don’t use Twitter for the creation side at all. They’re here to consume.” Data from Pew Research backs this up. “Adult Twitter users are younger and more likely to be Democrats than the general public in the US for example. Most users rarely tweet, but the most prolific 10% create 80% of tweets.”

Our Most Important Tribes are Online

Facebook recently worked with researchers from The Governance Lab at NYU to provide new insights into the importance of online communities. “Facebook groups are used by over 1.8 billion people every month, with more than half of all the people using Facebook now members of five or more groups. There are also 70 million people leading these groups as admins and moderators.”

To rank relative importance, respondents were asked whether the most important group they belonged to operated primarily online or offline, or both. “Overall, 77% of respondents indicated that the most important group they’re a part of now operates online,” either primarily or in combination with offline operations.

Clans for Good

Based in Switzerland, the Conscious Influence Hub (CIH) is a non-profit NGO that encourages conscious behavior in influencer marketing.

Working together, Kingfluencers and the new CIH recently launched a new Code of Conduct that includes best-practice guidelines and examples. Initiatives from CIH included a pro-LGBT campaign and collaboration with major Swiss brands such as Zeki to use influence for good.

Translating to Revenue

Brands need to make choices about where they should be active based on where their audiences are. Investing in promotions and influencer marketing in the places your target audience frequents most will make your campaigns efficient, lowering costs. 

When building social media campaigns, consider the various clans as you make the following choices:

PlacesWhere: When deciding what platforms to use, review the demographics of each platform to see where your target audience is most active. “The Evolution of Social Media – Part I,” includes stats on the average ages of different platform users. Also consider what most of the users are doing on that platform. While it’s possible to stream a workout video on Twitch, clearly users expect video games. Your chances of building a following increase if you provide the type of content audiences are actively seeking and consuming.

Approaches: After selecting platforms, continue to consider the typical mindsets of users on those platforms. Comedy works best on TikTok, while style and glamour are a great fit for Instagram. On LinkedIn, appeal to authority is popular. The top two influencers are Bill Gates and Richard Branson, and posters often share the commentary and insights of such business thought-leaders.

Formats: Consider what each clan prefers and post accordingly. On Instagram, inspirational quotes, food, landscapes, and human faces (or the back of human heads with an arm pulling the viewer forward), are all popular content. On TikTok, people enjoy dance videos, lip-syncing, and challenges.

Resources: Ideally, brands both create their own content and partner with influencers, and in all cases, creative ideas are needed. You can then commit resources to adapting those ideas to each of your chosen platforms. Take a theme such as a “share your best summer experiences,” contest and encourage submission of imagery on Insta and funny videos on TikTok. All the while, always stay true to your brand values, be authentic, and prioritize the human.

Goals: Always start with a strong foundation, which includes clearly defining your messaging and setting goals, such as:

  •  Visibility and awareness
  • Increase social media followers and engagement
  • Increase website traffic
  • Conversions, such as email sign ups
  • Improve brand reputation
  • Generate revenue, and social selling

Social influence marketing delivers reach and real impact on consumer decisions. Rather than being blinded by vanity metrics such as big numbers of views and followers, remember to consider the quality of the connections within your target audience. Remember that influencer marketing can enable you to succeed with secondary or tertiary goals, such as generating press coverage.

Author: Megan Bozman, Owner @Boz Content Marketing

The Evolution of Social Media Part II – Battles for Platform Dominance

In the Evolution of Social Media – Part 1, we looked at the established giants as well as emerging players. In part 2 we’ll cover the various fronts in the ongoing battles for dominance. 

Change is the only constant in social media. We realize that by the time we finish proof-reading and uploading this article, things will have changed. For the brands and content creators, this means new opportunities emerge often, such as new platform green fields to earn followers. New challenges also pop up, like the need to climb learning curves. Don’t forget to follow us on LinkedIn and Instagram to stay up to date.

Explore New Platforms & Stay Open-Minded

Just because a platform is the latest and greatest, doesn’t mean you have to jump on it. On the other hand, just because it’s new and trendy also doesn’t mean it’s a passing fad for kids and you should ignore it. Among constant change, some things remain prevalent, such as ongoing growth of total users. Even with such growth, each social media platform must still compete with the others for users’ time and attention. 

Stability Followed by Volatility

The oldest established giant, LinkedIn, officially launched in 2003. Facebook launched next in 2004, followed by YouTube, Reddit, Twitter, and finally Instagram in 2010. The platforms innovated, such as both Facebook and Instagram launching live video streaming in 2016. But overall, the social media landscape remained stable for several years – that is until TikTok became available worldwide in 2018.

In the end, all the platforms want eyeballs – more eyeballs and for longer – since that drives more revenue. We’ve broken it down into 5 important specific battlefronts in which leading platforms are currently trying to take the leader position.

1. Battle for Innovation

When I envision a “battle,” I think of opponents facing one another, each trying to outperform the other. But social media platforms competing to innovate are most accurately described as spying on one another and chasing behind. A consistent trend among social media platforms is to copy good ideas. 

  • SnapChat is known for FOMO-inducing content which disappeared, then Instagram launched “Stories,” described as a Snapchatty feature.
  • In April 2016, Facebook launched Facebook Live, a live video streaming service. Instagram launched live video November 21 of that same year.
  • TikTok is credited with having taken advantage of Vine’s departure. Vine was a very similar app which eventually fell due to difficulty monetizing videos.
  • Instagram released “Reels” in 2019, described as a direct competitor of TikTok. 
  • On 25 Feb 2021 Twitter announced paid Super Follows, which let users charge their followers for access to additional content. Other platforms with direct creator payment include Facebook, YouTube, and even GitHub.
  • “YouTube Shorts,” considered to be a rival offering to TikTok, launched in the US on 18 March 2021
  • Launched in late 2018, “Lasso” was widely regarded as Facebook’s TikTok clone. However, Facebook shut it down after only a year and a half, making that a swift surrender.
  • Twitter Spaces is a “Clubhouse-like” live audio feature

Getting dizzy yet? These are just a few examples but there are countless more, and new examples are appearing ever faster and more frequently as time passes and competition in the social media landscape sharpens. 

Whatever new functionality and user experience any social media platform launches, they can expect copycats. Still, there are fresh approaches, such as Facebook leveraging the Oculus VR platform to beta-test a virtual world that allows people to explore, connect with others, and play games.

2. Battle to Capture Creators

Content is still king. Each platform would be nothing without creators sharing content that draws users. For example, my favorite local gourmet deli only posts their specials on Facebook. For that alone, I must keep my account. No wonder Facebook has been focusing on the small and medium sized business segment to sustain current and future business revenue and growth. 

Creators are key to success in the social media world, since their unique, engaging content gets audiences hooked longer and coming back faster and more often. Recognizing this, TikTok was strategic at recruiting and compensating content creators. “TikTok has recently created a $1 Billion Creator Fund. This money will be paid by TikTok directly to its creators in an effort to further solidify its relationships with influencers.” TikTok describes an additional creator bonus, “The LIVE gifting feature allows viewers to show their appreciation to their favorite creators by sending them virtual gifts which will be taken into account by us in the calculation of the reward for the creator who is hosting a LIVE stream.”

TikTok’s algorithms also serve users the content they like, whether the platform makes money from it or not. Whereas on platforms like Instagram it might be more difficult to grow one’s audience as the platforms algorithms seem not to favour content creators to the same extent as others do. The expectation is that we might see changes in this positioning from Instagram in the future however.

Twitter announced paid Super Follows, which let users charge their followers for access to additional content. Kayvon Beykpour, the head of consumer product at Twitter, stated, “For Super Follows, our goal is not for Twitter to make money. Our goal is for creators to make money.” 

Described as an “answer to Substack Local,” Facebook will spend $5 million paying local reporters to join its news platform in an effort to maintain a strong content flow and appeal to the content consumer. 

Digitalisation has been speeding up the rate of content consumption by users and at the same time content shelf life is ever shorter. As a result all platforms and media providers are experiencing this ever growing need for content and thus the content creators who help provide it, and as such are experimenting in how to establish a strong creator pool and sustainable content flow.

3. Battle for Engagement

Among the 4 key reasons TikTok will grow and broaden its appeal in 2021, it’s the easiest platform algorithm for users to train to feed them content they love. Additionally, TikTok users are also 31% more likely to engage with brands than users of other platforms.  

“TikTok’s average monthly time spent per user grew faster than nearly every other app analyzed, including 70% in the US and 80% in the UK – surpassing Facebook. TikTok is on track to hit 1.2 billion active users in 2021.”

Engagement is the new currency. Although engagement on its own might not be 100% key for users, it does indicate the degree to which users like the content and thus how the platform is succeeding in delivering content that users appreciate. In turn, this will be a driver of long-term success.

However, for brands the story around engagement is a little bit different. Engagement is one of the main metrics a brand should measure to evaluate the success of its marketing efforts. More engagement means more people have actually taken the time to absorb your content and who have thus heard your brand’s message. Therefore, the platform that provides more engagement becomes more interesting to invest time and effort in from a brand perspective. 

4. Battle for Spending and Social commerce

Platforms want both consumers to make purchases and brands to spend advertising money. Of course, these objectives are inextricably entwined, since the latter won’t happen without the former.

Many platforms are actively courting brands and helping them succeed. TikTok launched new tools to help SMBs use the platform to their advantage, including new promotions, ad tools, and education sessions. A TikTok announcement on May 4 states, “Business owners can also share their experience and give us a peek into their world. From packing orders and behind-the-scenes tutorials to business advice and motivation for the tough times, we are excited to see more business owners and their supporters interact with each other on TikTok.”

In the summer of 2020, TikTok gave small businesses $100 million in ad credits and launched TikTok for Business to help them connect with communities.

Facebook has been betting on small and medium sized business (SMBs) to drive growth and revenue generation. In late 2020, Facebook launched a “Season of Support” initiative which included free training, marketing support and insights to help small businesses capitalize on the holiday shopping season. The program also included support for Instagram.

70% of consumers search for products they need to buy on Instagram and Facebook. More than 50% of Millennials would buy through social media, figure that rises even faster for generation Z consumers.”

An even more important evolution is the growth of social commerce. Social commerce capabilities are another way platforms are working to help businesses drive revenue, as well as generate revenue for themselves. In 2021, 52% of socially-engaged shoppers have already made one or multiple purchases through a social platform. Instagram and Pinterest provide the most relevant social commerce experiences for brands today, but Facebook, Snapchat, and TikTok are all expanding their offerings rapidly, investing heavily to try take the lead and capture a bigger share of this rapidly expanding business model, with (online) shopping expected to shift increasingly towards social commerce in coming years. Social commerce capabilities and features are evolving and advancing fast as a consequence. With Instagram Shoppable posts, you can sell products directly from shoppers’ feeds. “TikTok has invested more heavily in commerce capabilities, recently introducing tie-ups with retailers including Walmart that allow consumers to purchase products without leaving the app.” Social commerce accounted for about 44% of Southeast Asia’s $109 billion e-commerce market last year, according to Bain & Co. Meanwhile the number of US social commerce buyers accelerated 25.2% to 80.1 million in 2020 and will grow another 12.9% to 90.4 million in 2021. Total US social commerce value is expected to be over $ 36 billion in 2021. 

5. Battle for Screen Time

While platforms must continue to compete with one another for users, they’ve collectively succeeded at winning over traditional media. Time spent on mobile devices now actually surpasses time spent watching TV. According to App Annie’s State of Mobile 2021 report:

“The average American watched 3.7 hours of live TV a day, whereas they spent 4.0 hours on their mobile device in H2 2020.”

Of course, competition remains, such as the current battle to dominate audio streaming. 

So, What Next?

While these developments can be fascinating to observe, it’s tough to stay up to date when things change fast.
Following Kingfluencers can help you stay current.


Author: 
Megan Bozman, Owner @Boz Content Marketing

How to Use Social Media to Connect & Engage

Sharing content is a core component of social media use. There’s certainly nothing wrong with posting selfies, but ideal use of social media involves building a relationship with your communities. Here are top tips for using social media to connect and engage.

Know your Audiences & Where to Find Them

There is no one “best” platform, influencer, or campaign format. You must invest time in researching options and making the selections that best help you achieve your objectives. Accurately identifying your target audience is a critical first step, followed by determining the best platforms for reaching them. Check our previous blog post about the evolution of social media platforms here.

For younger people interested in dance, TikTok is a given. 60% of users are Gen Zers and the two most followed TikTok accounts are young dancers.

Keep It Relevant

Consider what most of the users are doing on that platform. Your chances of successfully engaging increase if you provide the type of content audiences on the platform are actively seeking and consuming, such as video gaming on Twitch. The platform has over 9 million active broadcasters and all of the top 5 are gamers.

Drive relevance even further by segmenting your audience within each platform. For example, on Facebook, you can generate a custom list of people who have previously messaged your business and reengage prospects that have fizzled out.

Make Campaigns Interactive

Social influence marketing provides an agile, real-time communication channel with consumers. When doing IM, like social media in general, brands should engage with consumers and aim for effective two-way communication. Too often brands push out a stream of content to their audiences without bothering to also listen. But interactive campaigns lead to increased engagement, brand advocacy and likability, as well as more conversions and better customer loyalty.

Social media provides brands with the unique opportunity to make campaigns interactive and collaborative. You can turn campaigns from brand monologues into conversations by encouraging participation and interaction, as well as incorporating user-generated content. The close connection influencers have with their communities is ideal for engaging audiences in conversation and making campaigns interactive. Influencers can generate interaction in various ways, including:

Challenges

Contests

Polls

Q&A Sessions

Leverage the Latest Technologies

Technically, the concept of virtual reality (VR) isn’t new, but with the release of the Oculus Quest in May 2019, it has expanded in popularity. VR can enable people to interact with others across the globe, which is particularly important considering the ongoing need for social distancing. Facebook is leveraging the Oculus VR platform to beta-test a virtual world that allows people to explore, connect with others, and play games

Additionally, Augmented Reality (AR) is even more accessible, since it doesn’t require additional hardware beyond a smartphone. AR filters can be used to encourage fan interaction and promote new products. 

For example, popular chocolate brand Kinder’s “Jump into Africa” campaign enabled consumers to discover animated 3D safari animals while in the aisle of Tesco supermarkets in the UK.

Stay Up to Date on Your Chosen Social Media Platforms

Be sure to stay up to date on the various offerings of social media platforms since things change fast. Following Kingfluencers can help you stay current. For example, on 25 Feb 2021 Twitter announced paid Super Follows to let you charge for tweets. “YouTube Shorts,” considered to be a rival offering to TikTok, launched in the US on 18 March 2021.

“The YouTube Shorts product itself was first introduced in September and has been beta testing in India over the past several months, where it has since seen adoption triple.”

And TikTok has launched “TikTok For Business,” providing tips such as info on various elements of brand-building, including notes on creative elements, ad strategy, and key trends. Among the tools for brands is TikTok Ads Manager, a simple, self-serve tool where you can create and launch your ads directly into the TikTok feed.

Prioritize the Human & Use Stories

Human interest stories help the audience relate to your brand and drive engagement. Show people using your product, rather than photo or videos of the product alone. Stories can be powerful in creating emotional connection with your brand and driving purpose. A SocialInsider study found that images in Stories have a 5.65% higher tap-forward rate than videos. Imagery of people using your product within relatable situations can help users connect. Those humans could be hired actors, paid influencers, or happy customers – all of which are beneficial.

Consumers are 2.4 times more likely to say user-generated content (UGC) is authentic compared to brand-created content. Additionally, your employees at all levels are likely advocating your brand already. You should channel and grow that enthusiasm. The people who build your product are highly credible sources.

Humans also like to see human faces. Research published in the Journal of Advertising Research shows, “Ads featuring human faces and ‘face-like’ (i.e., pareidolian) images capture greater attention and preference than other ads in short time lapses.”

Display your Values 

Consumers want to support brands that embody their own values. As written in Inc., Gen-Zers, “want to see authenticity in marketing, including proof and a culture to back up claims of strong company values.” 67 percent agreed that ‘being true to their values and beliefs makes a person cool,’ and they feel the same about brands.

74% of respondents in a Twitter survey want brands to showcase acts of kindness, and 77% feel more positively about brands that try to support society during this crisis.

While it’s tempting to focus on stats such as follows and likes, remember that engagement is a two-way street. Interacting with your community also helps build trust and credibility. 

Follow Kingfluencers for more tips on making your social media campaigns engaging.

Author: Megan Bozman, Owner @Boz Content Marketing

The Evolution of Social Media – Part I

The term “social media” has been used as far back as 1997, which predates the release of the major platforms we think of today. In part 1 of this series, we’ll look at the established giants as well as emerging players. In parts 2 and 3, we’ll cover trends and what makes each platform best suited for different objectives. Follow Kingfluencers on IG and Linkedin to catch upcoming articles. 

Emergence and Growth of Social Media Platforms

LinkedIn

We’ll move chronologically with some key stats on the giants. The oldest of our established giants, LinkedIn officially launched on May 5, 2003. There were originally many technical professionals active on the platform, and savvy marketing people discovered we could hop on and easily find our targets for free. (We probably annoyed them back then; sorry about that.) But it made sense to emerge as a place for professionals in all industries to share their work experience, network, and find new work opportunities and new employees. 60.1% of LinkedIn users are 25-34 years old, followed by 18-24 year olds at 19.2%, and 35-54 at 17.5%, and, reflective of the workforce, only 3.3% are 55+.

Famous LinkedIn Posters: The top influencers of the year on LinkedIn, as ranked by engagement and more, start with Bill Gates, followed by Richard Branson, Mohamed El-Erian, James Altucher, and Bernard Marr.

Facebook

The first version of Facebook was launched in 2004 and it currently has the following distinctions:

2.7 B

monthly active users

59%

social media reach

3rd

most visited website

2nd

most downloaded app after TikTok

Facebook’s largest audience segment by age is 25-34 years old at 32.4% of Facebook users. The next largest group is aged 18-24, representing 23.5% of Facebook’s audience. 

Famous Facebook Users: Funny, but unlike other platforms, ‘Facebookers’ hasn’t become a common term. As far as the most popular accounts, the Facebook platform itself comes in first, followed by Samsung, footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid CV, Coca-Cola, and FC Barcelona.

YouTube

Three former PayPal employees created YouTube in February 2005. Google bought the site in November 2006 for US$1.65 B and it now operates as one of Google’s subsidiaries. YouTube has over 2B users, which amounts to almost one-third of the Internet.

Three former PayPal employees created YouTube in February 2005. Google bought the site in November 2006 for US$1.65 B and it now operates as one of Google’s subsidiaries. YouTube has over 2B users, which amounts to almost one-third of the Internet.

As evidence of their investment in creators, the number of channels earning six figures per year on YouTube grew more than 40% year over year. YouTube is the world’s second-most visited website, used by 77% of 15–35 year-olds, as well as 73% of Americans aged 36 to 45. Unlike with many other platforms, use does not drop off with age. YouTube is still used by 70% of those aged 46 to 55 and 67% of those 56 and older.

40%

yearly growth

77%

of 15-35 year olds

2nd

most visited website

70%

of 46-55 year olds

Cognizant of the huge impact of user-generated content, in 2006, the Time Magazine “Person of the Year” was ‘You’. “It’s a story about community and collaboration on a scale never seen before. It’s about the cosmic compendium of knowledge Wikipedia and the million-channel people’s network YouTube and the online metropolis MySpace.”

Famous Youtubers: In first place is PewDiePie, known for video game commentary videos as well as coverage of internet memes and viral videos. Next are Kids Diana Show, Like Nastya, and Vlad and Niki, all of which feature children playing with toys and going on adventures. In fifth place is Dude Perfect with videos of trick shots, famous athletes, and comedy.

Reddit

Claiming the accolade of, “The Homepage of the Internet,” Reddit was founded in 2005. The ability to upvote both posts and comments within posts enables the best content to rise to the top. The approach is appealing and has been proposed for other scenarios. With over 52 million daily active users and 50 billion monthly views across 100K communities, it’s the 12th most popular site worldwide. Quirky humor abounds, such as the fact that the subreddit r/trees is all about marijuana while the subreddit r/marijuanaenthusiasts is “the go-to subreddit for all things dendrologic!”

Famous Redditors: Redditors notoriously don’t reveal their real names. Anonymity is an appealing feature of the platform. Celebrities occasionally participate in an “AMA,” Ask Me Anything, which resulted in this wonderfully wholesome, uplifting quote from Arnold Schwarzenegger. One of the most famous Redditors, instrumental in the January 2021 disruption to the stock GameStop, is known as, “Space-peanut.”

Twitter

First described as a “microblogging service,” Twitter debuted in March 2007. Tweets were originally limited to 140 characters, which was doubled to 280 on Nov 8 2017. Twitter also has one of the oldest audiences with 63% of users between 35 and 65 years old. At 353m monthly active users, the platform sits below Reddit and above LinkedIn in popularity.

Famous Twitter Posters: While an individual post on Twitter is called a “tweet,” those making tweets aren’t referred to as “tweeters.” Former US President Barack Obama is the most popular with 127.9m followers. Justin Bieber is next, followed by Katy Perry, Rihanna, Cristiano Ronaldo. Former US President Donald Trump hit a peak follower count of nearly 89m on Nov 17, 2020, before seeing a decline in followers, and being permanently suspended on January 8, 2021.

Instagram

Instagram officially launched in 2010 and, although it’s primarily used through a mobile app, Instagram is the sixth-most visited website. Over 1 billion people use Instagram every month.

Instagram officially launched in 2010 and, although it’s primarily used through a mobile app, Instagram is the sixth-most visited website. Over 1 billion people use Instagram every month.

81% of people use Instagram to help research products and services, and 2 in 3 people say the network helps foster interactions with brands. Like Facebook, the largest user segment is 25 to 34 years old, at 33.1 percent of U.S. Instagram users. The second-largest user group is 18- to 24-year-olds.

Doing it “for the ‘gram” has become such a ubiquitous concept, it’s mentioned in the chorus of the Iggy Azalea’s latest song, “Dance Like Nobody’s Watching.”

81%

people use Instagram to research products and services

2 in 3 people

say it helps foster interactions with brands

33%

is 25 – 34 years old

+22%

growth in 2020

Famous Instagrammers: Like Facebook, Instagram itself is the most followed account, with 2nd place held by footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, followed by Ariana Grande, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Kylie Jenner, Selena Gomez, and Kim Kardashian West.

TikTok

TikTok was originally released in the Chinese market in September 2016 and became available worldwide after merging with another Chinese social media service, Musical.ly, on August 2, 2018. As the world’s most downloaded app in 2020, TikTok is available in over 150 countries and has over 1 billion users. TikTok users are younger, with 60% being Gen Zers. About one third, 32.5%, of US-based TikTokers are 10-19 years old. The next largest segment is aged 20-29 – 29.5%, followed by 30-39 at 16.4%. Looking for tips on how to succeed on TikTok as a creator? Check our our previous article here.

TikTok was strategic at recruiting and compensating content creators, knowing that they’re key to the success of any platform. “TikTok has recently created a $1 Billion Creator Fund. This money will be paid by TikTok directly to its creators in an effort to further solidify its relationships with influencers.”

Famous TikTokers: The two most followed TikTok accounts are dancers, 16-year-old Charli D’Amelio with 100.2m followers, followed by Addison Rae. In third is magician Zach King. The actual platform itself comes in fifth with 43.6m followers.

Twitch

I confess, I went straight to a subject-matter-expert here: my 12-year-old son who loves video games. He said Twitch is the best platform for vid-gamers to stream their play. You can subscribe to your favorite streamers and even win in-game prizes for watching in games such as Rocket League (a name I kept forgetting and calling it, “Car Soccer.”) However, the tech doesn’t enforce that you actively watch. Running in the background is adequate.

Twitch is operated by Twitch Interactive, a subsidiary of Amazon.com, Inc. There are both free and paid versions as well. With over 9 million active broadcasters, it’s not exclusively gaming, but all of the top 5 are gamers.

Other Emerging Platforms

Clubhouse is an exclusive, audio-based social media app that’s by invitation-only. Users share audio clips instead of text posts. In May 2020, the company was valued at around $100 million. In a recent article, Mashable described it as, “something akin to a live, free-flowing podcast. You can simply listen or choose to throw in your thoughts. Imagine a cocktail party or, clubhouse.”

Clubhouse is popular with celebrities including Oprah, Kevin Hart, Drake, Chris Rock, and Ashton Kutcher.

There’s a rule that conversations can’t be recorded, and they’re not saved. Although I have my doubts that we’ll never hear some scandal revealed from the app.

Triller is a video-making and social networking service that allows users to automatically edit and synchronize their videos to background tracks using AI.

New Players Overthrowing Established Platforms?

People sometimes claim Facebook is dead and deleting it has been trendy. There’s even an entire website dedicated to encouraging deletion, addressing how it fosters toxicity and polarization as well as exploits our biases. Social media breaks, such as in January, are also popular for instance.

With the emergence of new players, there are concerns established platforms will be abandoned. For example, MySpace was an early pioneer and it made me genuinely surprised to see that it’s still live, however I don’t think anyone would argue that it’s relevant. And Vine has languished. Is TikTok to blame? It probably didn’t help. Join us for part 2, where we address competition between platforms and more.

PlatformMonthly Active UsersGrowth 2020Daily time spentEngagement %Revenue 2020
LinkedIn303 M+9.39%<1 min0.4%8.05 B
Facebook2.4 B+7.27%58 min0.19%85.96 B
YouTube1.9 B+5.00%40 minmicro-influencers: 1.63%
mega-influencers: 0.37%
19.77 B
Reddit330 M+23.26%16 minN/A120 M (2019)
Twitter330 M+4.12%1 min0.036%3.72 B
Instagram1 B+22.87%53 min1.42%
micro-influencers: 3.86%
mega-influencers: 1.21%
22.2 B
TikTok1 B+37.50%52 minmicro-influencers: 17.96%
mega-influencers: 4.96%
1 B
Twitch140 M+14%9 minN/A213.8 M

Author: Megan Bozman, Owner @Boz Content Marketing

Going crazy during the lockdown? Our influencers share their exclusive lockdown survival tips!

As the world grapples with a second (and in some cases even third) COVID-19 wave, many people feel stuck, defeated and hopeless due to the numerous lockdowns they have had to endure in the space of a year. Switzerland imposed a “semi-lockdown” on 18 January 2021, causing many shops to close their doors once again since the end of the first lockdown in March. Kingfluencers, therefore, asked a few Swiss influencers to share tips and tricks to not only cope better with the situation but also to grow personally in this lockdown.

Wednesday, January 13th 2021: The Swiss Federal Council has announced that from the next Monday on, the nation will set yet another semi-lockdown in place at least until the end of February. Millions of sighs of frustration from the first lockdown last March were exhaled at that moment. Here we go again, many thought. Within just a few hours, information spread like a digital wildfire and the nation knew what to do starting Monday and streets and malls were crowded nationwide over that “final weekend”.

Now it’s been four weeks since the semi-lockdown and we have survived the first lockdown back in March. Nevertheless, many are left feeling frustrated, confused and lost since the announcement of the semi-lockdown. To help you not only survive the lockdown but also thrive in it, we have asked our influencers to give us their survival tips and tricks in their areas of expertise.

DIY and hobbies

Doris Flury presenting her fluffy freshly baked bread: All home made!

One of the few things many of us can make the best of is the extra free time. Even if you are lucky to be healthy and still employed, you may find yourself with nothing to do in the evenings whereas pre-pandemic you were normally out with your friends, colleagues, family or life partners. Take advantage of this and try out new things or reconsider your old hobbies that you never seem to have time for. Austrian-native food blogger and mother of three Doris Flury has made home-made bread during the pandemic:

There is nothing better than freshly baked bread.

Sustainability blogger and actress Anina Mutter also recommends “learning a new instrument or singing”.

Harmonie Matthey proudly posing with her home-made octopus toy that she made for her daughter

Harmonie Matthey, Neuchâtel-native blogger and founder of decoration and interior online shop Au_numero_9, had a fun DIY idea. Her daughter wanted a stuffed two-sided, flippable octopus that would indicate one’s mood. One side would show a happy face and the other a sad or mad face. “I could order it in two clicks,” said Harmonie, “but we took the chance to produce it at home! Making your own is a great way to be active and avoid contributing to worldwide mass productions. We found a DIY guide on Etsy, re-created it and posted the result. We have a really cool octopus at home now.” She also values the experience in creating the toy: “Making it at home also was a fun experience. Not only is this a new, home-made toy for my daughter but is now also a great memory for us!

Steven Epprecht has taken advantage of the free evenings since the first lockdown to re-discover his love of reading.

You can also spend this lockdown to try out new hobbies or even re-discover old ones, like reading. Many of us have lost interest in reading over the years due to numerous reasons, including model, event host and blogger Steven Epprecht. He has grown fond of reading again since the first lockdown back in March 2020, especially since he was always out and about in the evenings pre-pandemic.

When you’re at home more often on the weekend, you get the chance to read. I also find it good for switching off.

Netflix: Our influencers’ favourite binge-watching series

For this article, we have asked our influencers which series they binge watch or are rewatching at the moment. If you are looking for new series to binge watch, see if you find something of interest for you. Two shows that came up multiple times as all-time favourites were Netflix originals Narcos and Lupin.

Moreover, most shows that influencers mentioned were ones that they either rewatched or finally were able to start watching even after they ended because they finally had enough time (especially in the evening) to catch up. The shows that were named were the following:

  • How To Get Away With Murder
  • Revenge
  • Friends
  • The L-Word and The L-Word: Generation Q
  • Suits
  • Cable Girls
  • Breaking Bad
  • 24
  • Vikings

If you are seeking on-going shows, beauty, health and lifestyle expert Frieda Hodel highly recommends Netflix Originals Ozark and The Queen’s Gambit. TikToker and Virgin Radio co-host Younes is also a fan of Riverdale. Geneva-native TikToker Carly Réveil also recommends The Queen’s Gambit and Umbrella Academy.

Carly Réveil and Younes Saggara’s exclusive TikTok tips

There is no doubt that TikTok has boomed globally since the first lockdown back in spring 2020. According to Sensor Tower, they crossed 2 billion downloads after the best quarter for any app ever. Nowadays, the viral short video social platform has over 1 billion active monthly viewers, as Wallaroo Media reported recently. Since the first worldwide lockdown, not only did TikTok’s users increase their average watch times, users of all ages also started posting their own TikTok videos. From participating in viral dances and challenges to posting their own cooking, financial, study or fashion tips, a TikTok user has access to many genres of short videos that can be either entertaining or informative.

When it came to tips for current or future TikTok creators, we reached out to two of Switzerland’s many popular Tiktokers, Geneva-native Carly Réveil and Virgin Radio Co-Host Younes Saggara.

Carly Réveil recommends posting dynamic TikTok videos over posting longer ones.

Carly is especially fond of TikTok “because lots of people take pleasure and invent new trends as crazy as each other.” Here we list his exclusive tips:

  1. “Be regular and post at least once a week, because people need to get into our universe.”
  2. “Be effective in the dissemination of content. You don’t have to make long videos but they have to be dynamic and you also have to ask yourself: If I came across this video and it wasn’t me, would I still like it?
  3. “Have the urge. You don’t have to make content to want to be a star but to have fun and pleasure. If we don’t have fun, we can’t stay motivated and keep making quality content.
Younes Saggara’s TikTok top success tips: Be yourself and spontaneous!

Younes has further TikTok tips to add:

  1. My biggest tip is to be yourself because there’s only one of you and that’s something nobody can ever take away from you.
  2. When a cool idea comes up, just do it right then and there. As long as you don’t break any of TikTok’s rules, don’t think of what others might think. Just film and post it.
  3. Let yourself be inspired by other TikTokers — That’s what TikTok is all about.

Steven Epprecht’s exclusive skin care tips for men

Men’s skin needs love and care too. SSteven Epprecht agrees!

One conversation that we have seen come up often since the pandemic is of women worldwide agreeing that we finally have time to pamper ourselves and indulge ourselves in at-home spa days, whether solo or together with the people we live with. But what about men? Their skins need love too! We therefore asked Steven Epprecht for exclusive grooming and skin care tips for men.

We have to start early with our skin care routines,” says the model and blogger/influencer. “Us men should definitely pay more attention to our skins to prevent premature aging”. He has repeatedly shared his daily skincare routine on Instagram and is happy to see comments and messages of male followers showing interest and asking for more tips. His own simple and quick routine which he follows every morning and every evening is as follows:

  • Wash face with a foaming cleanser
  • Apply serum and moisturizer
  • Gently apply eye cream
  • Occasionally: apply a mask (because why do only girls get to enjoy masks?)

Needless to say, we need to see our skin care beauty routines as complemential to drinking enough water, eating healthy, exercising regularly and reducing stress.

Mental health

According to the Swiss Corona Stress Study which was conducted by a study team of the University of Basel, “the share of people reporting maximum stress was about 11 percent during the April lockdown,” which then “rose to 20 percent in the second wave in November.” Moreover, the percentage of respondents with major depressive symptoms has increased dramatically over both lockdowns:

“While the percentage of respondents with major depressive symptoms was 3 percent before the pandemic9 percent during the April lockdown, and 12 percent during the May lockdown, it rose to 18 percent in November.”

According to a Swiss Corona Stress Study conducted by the University of Basel, 29% of Swiss 14-to-24-year-olds experienced major depressive symptoms in November 2020 (source)

It is therefore important to not only keep our physical health but also mental health in check. This is also an especially crucial time to check on othersFrieda Hodel states the importance of looking after others in this difficult time:

Notice which people in the environment are strongly affected by the pandemic without perhaps disclosing it from themselves, be it from an economic or private point of view — and motivate and cheer them up with sensitivity!

Frieda Hodel agrees that we shouldn’t only keep our own mental health in check but also look after others in these difficult times

Anina Mutter also recommends appreciating the little joys in life, going through these extraordinary times

step by step, with lots of self-love and acceptance for our own and everyone else’s human-ness

and putting things into perspective:

“Fresh air, exercise, cooking, reading a good book, a gentle and inspiring routine, playing guitar, gardening. All we really have is the now, so why destroy this present moment with too many worries & fears from the past or future?”

Anina Mutter: “All we really have is the now, so why destroy this present moment with too many worries & fears from the past or future?”

Younes also recommends meditating and writing in a diary. Not sure what to write in your diary? In his diary, Younes writes about how he is feeling, what is going on currently and his manifestations for the future.

It is certainly interesting when you read your diary entries 10 years later.

Younes Saggara takes the time to reflect and write down daily entries in his diary. “It is certainly interesting when you read your diary entries 10 years later.”

Moreover, spending time with loved ones has been a luxury for many but it still is crucial to stay connected in this lonely situation. With social-distance-friendly apps like Zoom, FaceTime, Whatsapp, Telegram and other social media platforms on the rise since the first lockdown, many have thought of and shared creative ways to stay connected with each other while still following social distancing guidelines. Online drinking games, Zoom Friday night drinks, simultaneous movie nights, live study sessions etc. were activities that we have only ever done together with long-distance friends, family and/or partners.

Now it seems like we are trying our best to overcome loneliness, one of the numerous secondary issues ensued from the pandemic and necessary measures implemented by our government officials. Remember that you are not alone and even though you feel lost because you have no control over what is happening currently, you can change your perspective of the situation. As Frieda said wisely: “Learn to distinguish between things that you can change in life and things that you cannot influence”. This gives you inner peace and a sense of security!

Contact your loved ones, “the how is only secondary”, said Anina.

Takeaway message

This extraordinary situation also helps put things in perspective and perhaps also makes our pre-pandemic problems seem small. Many of us learnt to appreciate the things we took for granted. As Anina says, “happiness lies in the small things”. Here we list some takeaway messages from the influencers we have interviewed:

  • Harmonie: “We are privileged. This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to be home and to see how lucky we are. All the rest is only detail. We all learned a lot about ecology and gratitude.”
  • Anina: “Use this time to rethink your lifestyle and integrate sustainable changes into everyday life in small steps. Also, small acts of kindness like trying to be there for others, or smiling at strangers while walking, etc. can be so fulfilling.”
  • Doris: “Support local businesses and shop seasonally.”

Share your unique tips to prevent going crazy during the lockdown. Stay healthy!

Author: Sherriene Redha, Marketing and Social Media Officer at Kingfluencers

The Magic of Creativity and Authenticity in Content

We’ve known that “Content is King” for over a decade, but content must be creative and authentic to effectively captivate and engage audiences. By taking a creative, authentic approach, brands have the opportunity to connect with their audience and drive measurable results.

Authenticity is Vital and Consumers Notice It

Consumers want to support brands that embody their own values. They expect brands to be authentic in their operations as well as marketing. As written in Inc., Gen-Zers, “want to see authenticity in marketing, including proof and a culture to back up claims of strong company values.” 67 percent agreed that ‘being true to their values and beliefs makes a person cool,’ and they feel the same about brands.

Additionally, brands must not only show authenticity but also operate in accordance with the values they espouse. “If a brand advertises diversity but lacks diversity within its own ranks, for example, that contradiction will be noticed.”, explains McKinsey and Company.

Connecting with authentic influencers is one effective way to engage audiences. Influencers can also help your brand to be more creative, bringing fresh ideas no one else inside your organization may have thought of before. According to the Swiss Influencer Marketing Report 2020, about half of the marketing managers surveyed estimate the return on investment of their influencer campaigns to date to be higher than with alternative forms of advertising.

Experiment and Determine What’s Most Effective

Experimenting is vital in the quest for authenticity. Marketers cannot just assume they know what people want to hear — they must get the facts. Test ideas and gather input from a representative sample of your audiences. As you test, vary not only the content of your message, but a wide variety of attributes, such as:

  • Channels: Email, social media platforms, Point of Purchase (POP) displays
  • Themes: Current events, holidays, leisure activities
  • Topics: Individuality, environmental sustainability, social justice
  • Media: Text, videos, images
  • Social media formats: lives, stories, IG TV, Tiktok and reels videos, interactive polls, forums

Step outside the box.

@thefashionfraction for Samsung Switzerland Campaign

The accessibility of measurable results enables marketers to shift gears quickly and further boost the most successful campaigns. Additionally, working with creative experts such as Kingfluencers can infuse additional creativity into your experimentation repertoire and boost your outcomes.

Highlight Sustainability

According to a Facebook-commissioned study of 11,300 people across 11 countries, 68% of Gen Z expect brands to contribute to society. Influencer marketing can be an effective medium for brands to highlight their positive efforts, such as environmental sustainability. Kingfluencers ran a campaign with Evian highlighting the brand’s sustainability efforts with the hashtag, #bottlesmadefrombottles. Posts from influencers including Elvira Legrand achieved engagement rates as high as 4.15%.

@elviralegrand for Evian Water #BottlesMadeFromBottles campaign

Patagonia, an American manufacturer of outdoor clothing, pays a “self-imposed Earth tax,” 1% of sales, to support environmental nonprofits working to defend our air, land, and water around the globe. The company also leverages user generated content to build strong connections with consumers. As one Patagonia fan writes on Medium, “I love when brands use photos from their fans or ambassadors. I think it does a really good job of creating a relationship between the brand and the consumer, and makes them feel like they are appreciated by the brand… By posting the photos and giving credit to the photographer they [Patagonia] are not only getting breathtaking photographs, but also making their customers feel like part of the family.”

Make Campaigns Interactive and Collaborative

Brands that are more creative achieve better results, specifically:

  • Increased engagement
  • More conversions
  • Better customer loyalty

Social media, in particular, provides brands with the unique opportunity to make campaigns interactive and collaborative. By incorporating user-generated content and encouraging participation and interaction, campaigns become conversations rather than brand monologues.

For example, CoverGirl partnered with eight TikTok influencers to boost product awareness among Gen Z. The campaign encouraged audience interaction with the content by incorporating lip-syncing, one of the central engagement drivers on TikTok. The #CleanFreshHype branded campaign generated over 6.5B impressions and a 5.7% engagement rate.

User Generated Content and Other Sources

While influencers are an effective vehicle for connecting to your audience, they can also contribute their subject matter expertise and collaborate with you to develop creative campaign ideas. Creative ideation can be done either independently by an influencer or together with brands.

Additionally, social influence marketing includes more than professional influencers and content creators.

A wide range of individuals can contribute to your marketing efforts, such as employees, CEOs and other leaders, and consumers.

User Generated Content (UGC) from brand fans and advocates can be very valuable and boost community engagement.

Most influencers have a high degree of specialized expertise. Their dedicated focus helps them earn big followings. As subject matter experts, they’re uniquely qualified to bring fresh, creative ideas to your brand’s marketing.

Creativity thrives on many platforms such as TikTok, helping the most creative users rise to the top. By tapping into their creative energy, you can collaborate to generate content that hits the right notes and truly engages.

Influencers Can Generate Content, Connect with Your Audience, + Both

And, of course, influencers can serve as channels to connect with your audience, sources of content creation, or both. For International Women’s Day, Microsoft leveraged one group of renowned adventure photographers for content creation and another group of established social media accounts to distribute and promote the images. The campaign, which aimed to encourage young girls to work in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math), featured photographs accompanied by authentic stories. The posts were sponsored on five of National Geographic’s Instagram channels, reaching 91 million total followers.

Kingfluencer’s own Chief Influence Officer Anja Lapčević, commented on the role of influencer marketing in making connections and forming relationships.

The nice thing about our work is that we always create relationships. The same principle applies here as in a love story: if the chemistry and values are right, the result is love. Love from the influencer for the brand and back results in the love message to the consumer. We want to work with this principle, and I look forward to many more love stories at Kingfluencers. But as it is in love, the way there is not always easy. Not every relationship has a happy ending and therefore we are constantly working on it. Because we believe that in the end every pot will find its lid.

Author: Yoeri CallebautChief Growth and Marketing Officer at Kingfluencers