The guy from the next yard
Social networks have evolved so much that they required a separate direction in marketing and analysis. They have become a huge platform where you can study and observe all the changes taking place with users. Changes are taking place dynamically, and sometimes just swiftly.
New trends in social networks
Here are the latest social media trends. Recently, all social media users were interested in the growth of subscribers and the number of likes. It is easy to learn how to catch up subscribers and wind up likes. But now even views are not that important, and the main trend is group engagement. And in order to have an engaged audience, you have to give up working with large groups. Consequently, another new trend was the division of subscribers into groups.
Offline stars and celebrities, who used to collect the largest number of followers, have ceased to be the only celestials thanks to social networks. And the popularity of real offline stars in social networks began to decline noticeably.
It is too late to claim that we are witnessing the emergence of a new trend. Rather, we are at the peak of a new trend. The world’s most expensive Instagram post can be bought from a person who is considered an Internet star.
Compare: Kylie Jenner is in the first place in the world for the cost of a post. One of her posts on Instagram is estimated at $ 1.2 million. She is a model who became famous thanks to reality shows, and only then increased her popularity thanks to painstaking work in social networks. The list of the most expensive bloggers also includes Cristiano Ronaldo, a person who, first of all, is still an offline star. After all, at first he achieved tremendous success in football, and therefore managed to perfectly monetize his fame as a media person. He held the lead in terms of the value of the post for a long time. However, in 2019, a post on his instagram costs $ 300 thousand less than that of Kylie Jenner – and he is only in 3rd place!
This year, marketers have recorded a very important event: for the first time in history, recommendations from Insta Stars influenced more purchases than recommendations from offline stars. A corresponding study was conducted among social media users in the United States for an Instagram audience from 18 to 50 years old.
Small group rules
More and more often, users form communities – open or even closed – uniting by opinions, interests, feelings, experiences. And the most interesting thing is that it just brings us back to our origins. In the book Homo Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari, it is said that for hundreds of thousands of years people lived in very small communities, but they began to live in large cities only a few hundred years ago. Not enough time has passed for our psyche to adapt to such significant changes. But the Internet and social media gave us the opportunity to return to “small communities” and communicate in small groups, even if not in real life. However, the uniqueness of social networks was born from this trend – this is online communication, and here you can simply ignore people, forbid them to read their posts, etc. But in villages and communities, this could not be done. And this is a significant difference.
The British Guardian writes: “Social media have become responsible for the social polarization. There you can join groups with those who support your point of view – even if it is a flat earth community. “Do not cross me, or I will ban you – and this is my prerogative!”
So, social networks are no longer a tool for uniting, but a way to divide people into groups. This leads to the most important marketing takeaway: this trend will grow, large groups will disintegrate into smaller ones, and they will have loyal users who will be loyal to their community.
And such changes, of course, make life harder for marketers. After all, now we need to participate in the life of not ten large groups, as it was before, and not work, as before, with 5-10 influential bloggers. Now we need to look for opinion leaders in each group and work with each of them – and this is already getting hundreds of people. Opinion leaders change. Now this is a conditional guy from a neighboring yard, but the “yard” is virtual. If there are 20-25 children in each yard, then the fame and authority of a guy (or girl) in the past extended to 100-120 children. Yes, social networks have expanded this circle. Nowadays, groups with 2000 or even 5000 subscribers are not out of the ordinary. A large number of subscribers no longer speaks about the influence of a blog or group.
If the audience of the group is several million users, and it has only thousands of views, then it is clear that these subscribers are fake. But if an account gets 2-5 thousand views with similar numbers of subscribers, then its owner is most likely the person who has weight for his audience and influences their opinion.
Thus, we are moving from working with influential people (influencers) to working with the “guys from the next yard” (microinfluencers).
About the Author
Alexander Gruzdev is an extraordinarily experienced consultant in business analytics. Since he was 14, Mr. Gruzdev was working in the market research industry and started several businesses including gambling organizations, retail shops, and real estate.
Since his first entrepreneurial endeavors began, he never quit market research – in fact, during the last 15 years Mr. Gruzdev held the positions of general manager and shareholder in this segment. His experience in global market intelligence spans over 20 countries including Europe, Russia, Asia, and the MENA region, for more than 100 different customers.