How we use social media has changed, and we don’t talk about that enough

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The way we interact with social media has changed. I don’t think we talk about this enough and I’ve been thinking about it a lot, especially because I started an Instagram account for Digital Deconstructed.

If you think about your own behaviour on social media, I think you can see the clues.

Less Likes, Comments and Shares

Do you like things less? I know I do, it takes a lot more than it used to for me to hit that heart on Insta under a pic. In fact, I’ve been making a conscious effort to like more things on my feed, both on Instagram and Twitter, to challenge myself to sprinkle likes around. This has two effects: firstly, by giving more likes I’m actively trying to reverse the trend I’m seeing, and secondly, it makes me take stock of the accounts I follow. If I don’t like posts enough to engage with them, why am I following them at all?

The same goes for comments and shares. There’s a whole lot less love around for commenting. I certainly started to use Instagram a lot more for that reason. I wanted a place where I could scroll, see pretty pictures and just keep going. No comments needed, and very few are visible underneath each post, which encourages you to scroll on by.

Followers

Do you find a new account via one you already follow on Instagram, check their grid and think, no thanks, and move on without following? Again, I’m definitely do that.

I think we’re really questioning what we use social media for now and with that we tend to ‘protect’ ourselves a little more. By that I mean, we like, comment and follow less as we know ourselves and our social media usage better. We’ve all felt like social media is just making us feel like our lives aren’t good enough. And studies now back this up, if you aren’t in a good place then you aren’t going to be able to scroll your cares away. We follow and unfollow a lot more frequently to make sure that our feed isn’t making us feel bad. A lot of people I know are taking steps to check social media less and less, a lot more people are deleting their accounts on some platforms all together.

What does this mean for your social media?

So what does this mean if you are a business? Well, it does mean that finding followers is a hard fought game. But it also means that once you’ve gained a follower they have often invested a lot more in following your account. Many large accounts are seeing a drop in followers as Instagram makes a real push to delete fake and bot accounts, so they are losing followers but know that those they have are real.

It also means that likes, shares and comments are just one indicator of the reach your posts are getting. If you feel like you are posting to a soundtrack of virtual tumbleweed, then take heart, there are people watching and taking in your content.

I’m losing count of the amount of times that I’ve posted something, got little or no engagement and then met people in real life who follow me and will say to me ‘so, I see you’re doing…’  They haven’t engaged with the post at all, in some cases I’m surprised they were even following me, but they’ve taken note. People see your posts, even if you don’t know about it, and a connection who is going to remember that until you see them next is a connection well worth having, way beyond the casual like they might have given your original post.

Take aways

It is easy to feel disheartened when it comes to social media. There is so much comparison going on and you will find other accounts that you think are the same as yours and worry that you’re not doing as well as they are.

Go back to connections. Go back to what you want to get out of your social media. Is it helping you find and connect with your right audience and people? Then it’s working. Engagement is useful but it won’t tell you the full story.

Think about how you use social media. There is a high chance that your customers and connections feel the same way about it as you do. So if you aren’t interacting with accounts as much, chances are that they won’t be either.

If you are looking to think about your social media and how to make sure it is aligned with your business goals and doing the best it can for you, then do get in touch. Find out what it is like to work with me here, and get in touch for a chat and a coffee, locally or virtually.

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By Laura

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