Which Social Media Platforms Should Your Business Use?

You may have come across multiple influencers trying to sell you their Digital Marketing programs over multiple Social Media. The good news is, if you don’t have a lot of cash to shell out, you can just go to YouTube to learn it for yourself or use any of the hundreds of service providers available on the internet (we do recommend Creative Dalaal though!)

By far the number one social media platform your brand should be present at is Instagram. A few simple advertisements and a well-curated feed, topped by well-selected highlights, can pull off the Digital Marking magic you were hoping for.

A lot of people have been using Instagram lately. It doesn’t require you to familiarise yourself with trending topics necessarily such as YouTube (and even you would agree that it’s easier to upload a funny selfie with a GIF rather than make a YouTube video.) Other platforms such as Snapchat are primarily used, at least in the Indian diaspora, to maintain streaks. Very few people actually subscribe to a channel of their liking or care about swiping up when a featured ad runs on their Snapchat.

Instagram has mixed the snappiness of Snapchat, the creative freedom of YouTube, and the infinite-scrolling feature of Facebook. The feed just never ends, but whereas Facebook’s ads were more blatant, Instagram introduces your brand to the world in a more subtle way. A random sponsored post will come up or a story asking you to ‘swipe up’ would present itself to you. Nowhere does it feel as if any attempts are being made to control your decisions.

The reliable trust which Facebook once had (but lost after the Cambridge Analytica scandal) can now be found when a user interacts with Instagram. This appears counterintuitive since it’s not very exclusive knowledge that Facebook owns Instagram and WhatsApp. The reason, however, that Instagram doesn’t appear to bother people much is their subtlety with advertisements. You are never made to feel as if the app in itself wants you to do something.

Compare this with the age-old policy of Facebook itself: you’re watching cat videos but then suddenly an advertisement pops up. You accidentally miss the ‘skip advertisement’ button and the app takes it as a confirmation of you liking the advertisement and adds another advertisement to your watchlist. Not only that, but your newsfeed on Facebook also ends up having more sponsored content than the posts of your recently married friend.

We can look towards Apple for a better understanding of how genuinely Instagram markets itself. Apple is a brand known for its slow upgrades, which usually becomes the subject of mockery in all Android circles. Take IOS 14 for example. The ability to add widgets to your phone’s screen and customize them is not something that would turn the heads of any Samsung or OnePlus user. However, the secret lies in the idea of refining one feature to the point where you’re not making choices anymore. This is exactly what Instagram has done: It has taken away the choices of people in a way such that it reduces the plethora of options which aren’t noticed by multiple users anyway. Nobody wishes to see options of ‘checking in’ and ‘tagging people’ pop up when they’re typing a serious Facebook post. Instagram takes away these options and shelves them in the form of buttons. You can access the limited functionality of all these features, but you have a choice to not see them at all if you don’t want to.

All in all, Instagram has managed to streamline user experience as per the needs of its users. It is never too hard to tag people in your stories and posts, while at the same time you don’t get the pesky buttons to do so whenever you’re ranting about your cold coffee. Another masterstroke that was designed by Instagram was to not bombard new users with sponsored posts. If you have a limited number of people in your ‘following’ list, Instagram assumes that you’re new to the platform and decides that it’s not the best idea to showcase advertisements to you at that time. Your feed now comprises solely of content posted by the people you follow, and not of some beauty product in which you have no interest at all.

Instagram removed the feature of being able to see someone’s total number of likes (unless it’s your own post), apparently, because of the mental impact, it was having upon users. This is important because people were usually busy checking the likes of their own posts, which one can still do. Then why was the removal of this feature popularised as a step towards better mental health guidelines? The answer is simple: Marketing. Instagram wants to become a ‘safe’ place for various communities around the globe. Its algorithm knows what to show you in order to keep you in your comfort zone. Whenever something controversial comes up, whether true or false, Instagram is more likely to take it down than a semi-nude picture of a model. It doesn’t want to threaten its user base, and these restrictions become more and more strict every time someone clicks on ‘I need more space for myself’ whenever they’re asked to cite a reason as they deactivate their account. At the same time, Instagram has always been very vocal about issues pertaining to the LGBTQ community and minorities around the globe. It verifies various human rights organisations and their Instagram handles without much hassle. They have managed to strike the perfect balance of interface required for people who wish to have a solemn experience whenever they log into their account, as well as catering to the needs of those who wish to ‘venture out in search of the truth.’ It partners up with various handles on its own platform (like the infamous Egg-picture handle which broke Kylie Jenner’s record of having the most liked picture over Instagram) and yet manages to speak out against the oppression faced by the black community in the USA.

All in all, Instagram is here to stay for the next couple of years, unless they do something blatantly wrong and it comes to light (like the entire Cambridge Analytica scandal).  It will continue to control the bombardment of choices for its users (such as defining a limited number of fonts which can be used over Instagram stories) while at the same time giving them the option to do so (unlike Twitter, which offers a limited number of text-space for each Tweet). Not being able to reap the benefits of this platform can be seriously detrimental towards your business, and you should definitely check out social media handlers if you feel like you have better things to attend to.

So, when can we expect a call from you at CreativeDalaal? 

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