Today on the blog we chat to ByHarrison on our third week and this time about social media.
Why Social Media? What made you pick this industry?
For me, it was more exploratory. Growing up at school, we never had social media. We had Bebo and MSN but that was about it. It wasn’t until my final years at school that Facebook really took off. Then whilst I was at college, I studied media and that’s where I learnt a lot more about blogs. I discovered Youtubers and realised that actually, this is something I could do. This is something I loved and it’s a great way to exercise my creativity. So that’s where the blog was born… out of creativity. Social media… well that just comes hand in hand with the blog I think. When I got into Social Media, it was all very new. Nobody really knew what they were doing and algorithms didn’t exist… it was fun. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy it now but it’s definitely become very saturated.
Positives VS Negatives?
I think the best way to answer this one is with a few bullet points…
- It’s a great way of staying connected. Especially now I’m a million miles away from all my friends and family. Without social media, I wouldn’t have a clue what’s going on in their lives or what they’re up to. So It’s definitely a great way of remaining connected.
- Opportunities. I love the way social media has opened up so many opportunities for people. With people forming careers out of it, meeting their life long partners from it or even just making incredible friends from it. Social media has been the opening door for so many great things, for so many people.
- Creativity. It’s a new form of creativity. I remember when I was at school, if you wanted to get into something that was creative, you would simply have to do art. Where as now, you’ve got a whole avenue of things to explore with digital media and social media and it’s really been a great way for me, to exercise my creativity. Instagram, as much as we love to hate it, has definitely been the frontrunner in creativity, for me.
- One of the biggest things that annoys me about Social Media is this whole ‘Cancel Culture’. One person steps one foot out of line and it’s a witch hunt to see their profiles get deleted, their careers cancelled and to never have them step foot on social media again. As great as it can be, it’s definitely a playground for the keyboard warriors out there.
- Pressure. The pressure to keep up, to compare yourself to people and to try and create a life that doesn’t exist. Let’s not forget, people only every portray themselves in a good light on social media… it’s not real life. The pressure for people to try and achieve that perfect life, in real life can be a bit worrying at times.
- Anti-Social behaviour. I see it with so many of the younger generation… they’re just not as social. They have all their conversations online, over messenger or on Snapchat that actually, they’re incapable of having a real life conversation. They forget real life is still happening outside of their snapchat streaks and actually, they’re going to have to communicate with real life humans. For something that promotes being social… social media has definitely made people less social. (how many times did I say social in that last sentence)
How Do You Stick In Your Own Lane And Not Follow The Crowd?
This one is actually really hard to answer, because of the fact it’s really hard to do. I think we would all be lying if we said we had no temptation to imitate. If you see someone doing really well, you see a certain trend performing well, of course you’re going to want to have a bit of that yourself. Nobody who is entering the social media world, looking to turn it into a business, is wanting it too fail. For me, it’s all about self-confidence and being who you are. If you are 110% yourself online, then it’s impossible to move into anyone else lane. Just do you and you’ll be sure to stick in your own lane. Have confidence in the content you’re creating, be proud of what you’re creating and do it for the love. Just be yourself because everyone else is already taken.
Do Numbers Matter?
There is such a flip side to this question. Ultimately I think, yes they do. If you’re wanting to succeed, if you’re wanting to make this a business and rise to the top, then the measurement for that is numbers. Followers, likes, subscribers. It’s all about how many. If a company is looking for influencers and they have two to pick from. One of them has 1000 followers and the other has 10000, they’re going to pick the influencer with the larger following… that’s just how it is.
But have you ever heard of the quote “If you have 1000 true followers, you’re set for life”. So if you have 1000 people, who are truely interested in what you’re saying or doing… you’ll be set for life.
When it comes to numbers… in my opinion it’s more important to focus on engagement. Rather than just look at the amount of followers someone has, look at how engaged their following is. Ideally, you’re striving for a 10% engagement rate for you to be ‘successful’. There’s no point in having 1 million followers if none of them are interested in what you’re saying.
It’s a tricky one. It’s never going to go away, people will always focus heavily on the numbers and unfortunately, that’s the way social media has gone. There has been talk of Instagram removing the ‘like-count’ from pictures, so you won’t be able to see how many likes someone else picture received… which I think would be a great move in the right direction. But for now, numbers unfortunately matter.
If I had one piece of advise and I try to practise this as much as I preach… it would be to ignore the numbers though! Just do it for the love of it, for it because you enjoy it and don’t do it just to try and make that number grow… you’ll end up becoming someone you don’t want to be.
Where Do You Think Social Media Will Go In The Future?
It constantly pivots. One minute it’s short from media that’s at the top of everyones priority list, then it’s long form, in the shape of blogs. Then it’s picture content that’s more popular, then it moves to video content.
I think social media will sort of plateau for a little bit. I think video content is forever become stronger. Short form videos like Insta Stories remain really popular… for now, I think photo content has taken a back seat. I see loads of people (including myself) doing the polls on instagram, asking people if they prefer stories or feed. Everyone’s polls have come at that their audience prefer the stories rather than the feed.
So the way I would look at it is this: The feed is the advertisement, the way to hook people in and get people interested. Then the stories are the main content, the bit on the inside. Like a film… the feed is the trailer, the stories are the movie. Weird analysis, I know.
Social media remains as strong as ever and I really can’t see that changing any time soon though.
Some very strong points there! We enjoyed this interview and are so thankful you will be back next week for our fourth week! Same time, same place, see you in a weeks time!