Lecture 7: Working with Digital Media pt. I

1. Understand your audience

It’s important to understand who your ideal audience are and what type of content they enjoy from you. A simple way to do so can be creating a quick Instagram poll asking for content ideas and suggestions. This not only ensures your content is desirable but also allows your followers to feel connected and valued as part of your creative process. As Brogan and Smith point out, influencers or “trust agents” are individuals who are trustworthy and know how to connect and build “healthy, honest relationships” with their followers (2009). Always remember the golden rule: treat others how you want to be treated. It’s important to have a clear understanding of ongoing and current issues. The worst thing an influencer can do right now is act “tone-deaf” or lack a critical understanding of societal concerns.

2. Use more than one platform

It’s always a good idea to branch out and be on more than one platform. Not all your followers will be in one place (e.g., Instagram) so it’s important to be on a variety of platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, etc. As Brogan and Smith conveys, it’s important to “understand the culture” where your followers are based (2009). When you are searchable on many platforms, you have a greater chance of potential followers finding you and your content.

3. Don’t be a gatekeeper

While we all know information is valuable, it’s always a good idea to be open and honest and share information you know. This not only ties into being authentic online as an influencer, but also shows that you are there to help and creates a deeper bond with your followers. After all, content creators should “resonate with consumers by speaking their language” (Ge & Gretzel, 2017). While some information is arguably highly valuable and personal property and you should be cautious of what you share online, if you do have advice that is easily searchable on Google, it’s nice of you to take a moment and share that with your audience! 😊

4. Emerge yourself within your community

When you connect with people online, it’s a good idea to emerge yourself within your community, whether that’s art, science, or sharing your love of cats. Share other creators’ content and comment on their posts. Like Brogan and Smith explain, you should “promote others 12 times as much as you promote yourself or your [brand]” on social media (2009). Engagement is essential when it comes to content creation and helping other creators not only shows good merit but also enriches the community. Do good things for others not because of what you might get in return but because it’s the nice thing to do.

5. Be active on your platform

It’s always a good idea to be active on your social media platforms and interact often with your followers. You should try and respond to comments that mention “you, your content, or your brand within the hour” to improve your engagement on social media (Ring Central, 2012). You can do so by dedicating the 30 to 60 minutes following a new post, blog, or video by just “hanging around” online and responding to any questions or comments. This not only boosts your overall engagement by showing the algorithm you are active, but you are also emerging yourself with your community and followers.