What’s the best way to stay on top of social trends? Yes, you can read articles, attend events and listen to talks, or, you could go straight to the horse’s mouth and ask your ‘ young people’. This is why we always encourage our Verve TY students to share their expertise. Our most recent chat touched on people’s interaction with social media, how it changes with time and how people use the platforms to express their multiple identities. We also discovered that millennials are more likely to distance themselves and unfollow brands who’s content becomes too curated and perfect – leading us to the topic of Finstagram.
So, what is it, why does it exist and how can brands make it work for them?
Finstagram is the combination of the words “Fake” and “Instagram”. But it isn’t a knock-off site, it’s actually a phenomenon playing out on Instagram itself.
Since the photo-sharing app became so rooted in the curation of a visually perfect life, posting a picture became a bit of a stress. Every photo had to be so painstakingly considered that people couldn’t be their real selves. Enter Finstagram, a second Instagram account that users have where they can express a more authentic and transparent version of themselves.
On their “fake” account users can be silly, funny and weird ; all the things that they shy away from on their (Rinstagram) real Instagram. This is a fascinating insight into how people manage their online selves, but how can brands use it to their advantage?
It’s crucial for marketers to understand that the relationship users have with social media is as important as the changes that programmers make to its algorithms. We believe, that like their fans, brands need to start hinting at their true selves
Brands like Denny’s, Tesco Mobile and Innocent Smoothies have all built a reputation online for being relevant, memorable and totally unique. These brands all have one thing in common; they sound human.
Take a round-up of the most memorable social media campaigns of 2017/18 and notice how few of them relied on huge budgets or surreal story-telling techniques. Social media is ‘the great equaliser’ of marketing and the frequency of content means that brands are forced to get more personal with content. KFC got hundreds of thousands of people talking by following The Spice Girls and a few guys called Herb on Twitter, and then waited for loyal fans to figure things out.
Niche fashion brand ‘Wholesome Culture’, stood out by posting memes and content related to their environmentally friendly brand. Posts weren’t always directly promoting their goods but their technique helped to build a really likable brand. Music streaming platform Spotify took user data and turned it into a funny campaign around New Year’s Resolutions.
All these brands show us how important it is to talk to your fans with the right tone of voice, especially young millennials. They show that the best way to gain followers is for a brand to ‘be itself’ and the right people will come. While it’s not easy to establish a brand tone of voice, once it’s been formed, all content should flow much more fluidly.