In the first half of this 2 part story I spoke with 5 young professionals under 25, from various creative backgrounds, about how they utilize social media to advance their personal brands. The post turned out to be very popular.
Today I’ve turned my attention to what the members of the group – who all came of age along with the internet – viscerally think about what’s in, what’s out, and what’s next in social media.
You may be surprised by their answers.
I offered for consideration this 2 part question;
Which Social Media platforms are ‘in’, and which ones are ‘out’? And are there new up-and-coming platforms that you consider important?
And here are the groups answers;
Digital social media is what you make of it, so it’s difficult to confidently say one is less useful than another. Facebook may be falling out of favor, but I am increasingly enjoying the comfort and ease of it’s straightforward platform. Pinterest isn’t going anywhere, but Twitter I worry about, only because it can go so terribly wrong if mishandled.
Social media can be dangerous. How often do we hear about a tweet or Facebook image that swiftly sullies a person or corporation’s reputation? But, if you stand by your voice, and live life in a way you aren’t afraid to share, you won’t have a problem.
Right now Vine is far and away my favorite social media tool. Like Twitter, the limitations of the medium (140 characters for Twitter; a short span of recording time for Vine) guarantee more entertaining output because the application favors the quick-witted and visually acute. Aside from physical beauty (which can be a huge help in cultivating your social media network) I think humor is the most enviable quality of successful social media users. Vine is almost always funny, even if it’s unintentional. Of course, as an audio-visual medium, Vine tells stories in a multidimensional way, and if I’m bored with your story, at least it’s over in 6 seconds.
Used well, Instagram is the strongest social media tool of all. Because of the uniformly square cropping and filter options, you can create glamour out of nothing, excitement from the mundane, and there’s so little reading. Modern communication is all about symbols – even my middle-aged father communicates in emoji’s when we text. Along that line, I think Instagram is a very pure form of symbolic communication.
I’ll be annoyingly vague and say it really just depends. In any case it’s important to constantly update, be relevant, creative and authentic. People are inherently curious. They want to trust you, and they want to be entertained. Figure out how to make your brand come to life in an interesting way and follow one golden rule: be yourself.
While it’s not exactly up and coming Instagram can be really important. I’ve had multiple friends advance in their careers through IG. It’s one of the more contagious platforms in my opinion, meaning you don’t have to be a celebrity to acquire a major following.
Vine is another great example of a newer platform that can help enhance your personal brand. There is a lot of room to be creative in the way that you use it, and it’s a really simple way to show your perspective on just about anything.
They’re all in at the moment. Some are more niche (Pinterest, LinkedIn) and others broad (Facebook, Twitter); it’s just a question of what your message is for your personal brand.
As for what’s new, Instagram is a fantastic content generator, embraced by people to record their days, highlighting their lives and aspirations. Although the instagram photo filter is now a borderline cliche, it’s not worth complaining about: everyone looks better courtesy of balanced skin tones cast in faux-nostalgia.
And a tangent regarding nostalgia: children born today are already being recorded on Facebook. They will be 30 year olds with easily browsable, 30 year histories, the first several years of which were out of their control. How will that affect the development of their personal brands, personal stories? Among my generation I belong to the subgroup of those born during the second half of the 80’s – those who remember both a pre and post interenet immersed adolescence. And I can’t help but think that although I wouldn’t choose the non-connected world over the connected, it seems like the next generation needs to abandon pre-interent mores about sharing information. It will be less about complete, semi or non transparency, and more about the conscious manipulation of a medium to fit your story.
I don’t use my personal Twitter account as frequently as I would like to. There are around 500 million people on Twitter. If I post something, using a specific hashtag that will hopefully get it noticed, I know that it will quickly get pushed to the bottom of the feed. I feel like you’re either HUGE on Twitter or you’re not and get very little attention. I have 457 friends and family on my Facebook page and out of that number only about 20 are on Twitter. With that being said I think Twitter is going to eventually burn out.
Pinterest and Instagram are also very popular right now, and I use both platforms all the time. Personally, I think our society is all about sharing visuals right now. We want to share images of food, places, and what goes on in our daily life. I think Pinterest and Instagram give us the opportunity to connect with each other, just by posting pictures or videos.
I know that Instagram has been around a while and it’s not exactly up-and-coming. However, it is growing and the new video feature is gaining popularity. The video feature is important because people are finding really creative ways to use it and express themselves. I love that Instagram is made to instantaneously share a photo or video. I think there’s something really beautiful about that. I’m a ‘live in the moment’ kind of girl, so I’m all about Instagram.
Facebook will always be in because everyone’s most comfortable with it. I wouldn’t say any of them are out except for MySpace, but that isn’t anything new. I think the more specific a Social Media platform is, the less likely it is to become a sustained “in” platform.
As far as what’s next, I think really the most underrated platform is Google+. Google is perhaps the most powerful search engines in the world. If you are a business and looking to get higher rankings in organic searches, perhaps posting regularly in Google’s social media platform with help you rise the ranks in terms of SEO. Google is really pushing this platform and wants it’s Gmail users to give it a try. If you’re a Google fan like myself, I think you should give Google+ a try.
I’m not sure about you, but I am certainly happy to learn that I’m not the only person who struggles with Twitter. Do you have profiles on Vine, Instagram, and Google+? I’ve got 2 out of 3, and enjoy adding content. If you’d like to share your experiences with Social Media, leave a comment – it would be great to keep the conversation going.
Written by CJ Dellatore