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

TikTok in Switzerland

According to Statista, TikTok’s user base in Switzerland amounts to around 1.7 million users in 2021 and is growing fast. The platform is known to be the place for brands to reach and connect to Gen Z audiences. We’ll cover best practices and what successful brands are doing.

What is TikTok?

Considering TikTok was the most popular and most downloaded app globally in 2020, and so far in 2021, you’ve probably already heard of it. 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 U.S.-based TikTokers are 10-19 years old.

TikTok has been strategic in 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.

TikTok’s Swiss Audience

The Swiss “import” most of the content they consume. Swiss creators account for only 23% of all video views in Switzerland.

Why TikTok for Brands?

TikTok empowers brands to communicate with younger generations in a way that captures their attention: through creative short videos. TikTokers are highly engaged. 

Some good news is that the high engagement rates include brands as well. Incoming engagement on brands’ social posts has increased during the pandemic, and TikTok users are increasingly active when interacting with brands online. The following average increases have occurred across all networks and industries:

  • 44 more engagements received per day
  • 7.3 more engagements per post per day

TikTok users are also 31% more likely to engage with brands than users of other platforms. 

TikTok‘s unique algorithm allows it to tailor content to the users‘ preferences in a detailed and accurate way. 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.  

Some excellent news is that not only are people present and active on TikTok, they’re not shying away from ads. According to Adweek,

Fortunately for advertisers, Gen Z doesn’t mind being advertised to—as long as campaigns demonstrate inherent entertainment and brand values they can get behind.

Not a day goes by that TikTok isn’t in the news. TikTok is also growing substantially, having grown 37.5% in the year 2020. The social media powerhouse is constantly releasing new features and functions.

What Can Brands Do on TikTok?

TikTok is the new battleground for the hearts and minds of consumers, now and for the future. While the platform may be particularly popular with a younger audience, brands of all kids are still striving to connect, including Porsche. 

TikTok is also the first digital entertainment platform to sponsor the UEFA EURO 2020 European Football Championship. “TikTok is looking to cement its position as the home for football fans to share their passion for the game, following a number of football clubs across the world signing up to the platform and creating content for its fans.”

For brands looking to connect and engage on TikTok, many of our social media tips apply, such as:

Keep it relevant

Make campaigns interactive

Prioritise the human

Display your values

How are Brands Getting Creative on TikTok?

For brands which are inherently visual, such as fashion or makeup, coming up with ideas for posts can be straightforward. But what would a bank post? Well, PostFinance, one of the largest banks in Switzerland, which belongs to Switzerland’s national post service, has found success on TikTok. They share a mix of funny home office videos and short videos showing their services. PostFinance has also shared many HR marketing videos, displaying their work environment, which should help position them as a sought-after employer. 

Ceylor Switzerland, the most popular condom company here in Switzerland, uses humor accompanied by current, pop music to inform the public of the importance of always practicing safe sex. This creative brand makes posts that are clear to non-German speakers that there’s no reason to avoid using these condoms because they might be too small.

How Can Brands Drive Conversions & Sales on TikTok?

In a recent study, about half of users said they discover new products through advertisements posted by a product or brand.

A large audience is great, and a large, engaged audience is even better. And best of all when the platform makes it easy for that audience to act and convert to customers within the platform <- That’s a formula to surpass other leading social media platforms.

The platform is investing heavily in its social commerce and features to help brands advertise. The TikTok Pixel, a small piece of code that you place on your website, helps you find new customers, optimize your campaigns and measure ad performance.

On 27 October, 2020, TikTok announced a global partnership with Shopify, an e-commerce platform for online stores and retail point-of-sale systems, to help merchants create and run campaigns geared toward TikTokers. The partnership makes it easier for Shopify merchants to tap into the creativity of the TikTok community, be discovered, and optimize their marketing campaigns.

Some Surprising TikTok Trends

While TikTok’s largest demographic is Gen Z, older users are becoming increasingly active. TikTok shared new data on this growing trend. “Every day, millions of parents, teens, grandparents and in betweens come to TikTok to share snippets of their day-to-day life. Here’s what’s unique: often, the whole family participates together—even teens don’t shy away. It used to be a challenge getting everyone to sit still for a photo; now we see perfectly choreographed dance routines from the whole family, including grandma.”

TikTok also notes that parents are sharing “tips, tricks, and in-depth knowledge.”

How Can Brands Get Help? Kingfluencers’ Full-Service Approach

We are here for you – from strategy to execution and optimization, including: 

  • TikTok influencer marketing
  • TikTok ads/performance marketing
  • Social commerce optimization

Kingfluencers makes great brand + influencer matches, drives successful campaigns such as Joung Gustav posting for Samsung Switzerland’s #Samsungs21 campaign, achieving 346K views. Mimoza Lekaj shared a fun dance video for Dosenbach, retailer of trendy shoes, accessories, and budget-friendly sportswear, reaching 54K views.

#Samsung21 Campaign

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