Do you find social media unpredictable? Are you struggling to understand what works and what doesn’t on various social media sites? There are many people who believe that social media is chaotic, it is messy and there is no apparent rationale that drives anything that happens on the virtual platforms. What do you think?
The truth is that social media is as predictable and as unpredictable as us. It is nothing but an extension of who we are. It is as perfect and as imperfect as all of us. At one end you have people engaging in body shaming and at another end you have people standing up against the same. At one end you have people embracing the truth, through studies or public surveys, and the same findings are refuted with extreme rejection by many. Social media represents the best and the worst of us. Since human behavior has been studied for ages and a lot of who we are have been scientifically explained, there ought to be some science to help decipher how social media works.
Indeed, there is some science behind social media success. There is always a pattern, a trend of trends, history does repeat itself and everything can be boiled down to facts, or some simple realities. Here is a brief guide that sheds light on the science behind social media success.
• More tags get more likes and comments. When you tag people, they come to know about your post and they check it out. With more people checking out your post, the likelihood of getting more likes and comments would obviously increase. And since the tagged people’s friends would also get to see that they were tagged, they too check out the posts whereas you are not directly related or connected to them.
• No filter is the best filter. This applies particularly to images and thus image sharing platforms like Instagram. Photoshop and Picasa enthusiasts should take a break. Saturated photos, those that have been edited too much or which have lots of filters or even one filter, tend to look artificial. People don’t like fakes or pretentiousness on social media, especially on Instagram. People like genuine stuff.
• Photos with faces get more likes. It is obvious that photos that have a person or the person whose profile it is will get more likes. The more well known the photos, the betters it is and thus it gets more traction.
• Relevance is the king. This applies to everything online, not just social media. You claim to have an offer that would save someone some money and then you take that person to a website where they have to sign up, do something, play something or contribute something to qualify. This is outright trickery and in milder language, irrelevance. You cannot claim to have something and then not have it for the social media users. If you buy website traffic showcasing a particular offer or a certain kind of content, then you should deliver the same when the people get redirected to your website or a particular webpage. You cannot be irrelevant. Social media responds very well to relevant content.
• Relevance exceeds the realm of content. The message you convey, the way you convey it, the discussions you incite or how you engage your audience must also be relevant. Controversy helps but any controversy that stems from polarized opinion or condescending presentations would backfire. Self promotion helps but unabashed self promotion with nothing to benefit the audience will backfire. These are the finer realities that form the science behind social media success.