Double-Edged Sword ⚔️ - Carney
The Daily Carnage

Double-Edged Sword ⚔️

How to avoid sabotaging your content. Plus, lessons from 115 million Instagram posts.

Instagram Statistics: Lessons from a Study of 115 Million Posts

Fact: there are approximately a trillion research reports out there about social media.

Okay, that’s totally a lie. There aren’t a trillion, but there are a heck of a lot. And the majority of them tend to be surveys (bad), rather than actual reports on user behavior (good).

That’s why the folks over at Mention decided to do a report in the correct way. They collected more than 115 million Instagram posts and had their data scientists crunch the numbers on engagement. Here’s the full report.

It’s super long and really in-depth, so if you don’t have time to read it, here are the important facts:

  1. Instagram posts get an average of 1,261 likes. Uhh, what? That doesn’t seem right, but it is. That’s only because it’s skewed by the massive number of Instagram “celebrities.” When Mention looked at the median – the midpoint between the most and least popular posts – they found that it’s closer to 200 likes per post.
  2. The top 5 Instagram hashtags in 2017. These are the five most-used hashtags: #love, #instagood, #fashion, #photooftheday, #style. So should you start using those hashtags in every post? Absolutely not. Even though those are the most used, they don’t actually get the most engagement, which leads us to our next point…
  3. Hashtags don’t increase engagement rates. Their data is pretty clear on this. Even though it’s pretty dang surprising, Mention’s research shows that with every hashtag you use, your engagement will actually decrease. The quality of your content matters way, way more than the hashtags you use.
  4. Tagging other people does increase engagement. The more social you can make social media, the more effective it tends to be. Duh, right? Mention suggests that you try to tag other users/businesses organically. Don’t be spammy about it and you’ll easily increase engagement.
  5. Video posts have the highest engagement rates. Videos aren’t posted nearly as often as images on Instagram, but they’re actually better at getting engagement. Might be time to rethink your Instagram strategy a bit.

That’s only a few nuggets of data. Dive in to get it all.

The Double-Edged Sword that Can Make (or Break) Your Content

Sounds pretty ominous, doesn’t it?

Today’s Listen is taking us through the perils of ::dun dun dun:: technology-assisted strategy.

Now, that isn’t to say that strategic and analytical tools are bad—heck no. We just need to make sure, as content creators, marketers, and writers, that we’re using them appropriately.

So, let’s get to the bottom of it. Here’s what to expect in Copyblogger’s latest episode:

  • (02:20) Two ways of thinking about strategy that can both mess you up
  • (03:00) Ways in which content marketing makes “artists” and writers wince
  • (03:15) The major turn off of “cynical, mass-produced content”
  • (03:45) How to create content for a well-defined purpose and self-expression
  • (04:10) The secret for creative people to use their craft in ways that aren’t mass producing content
  • (04:40) What happens when content serves the strategy and technology before they serve the art
  • (06:20) How technology companies create bad approximations of things human would be better at delivering
  • (07:25) Using tech and strategy for the assist, not the creation
  • (07:45) The idea that technology needs to serve people, not the other way around
  • (08:15) The problem with serving SEO robots instead of serving your readers
  • (09:00) How analytical and strategic tools can help us serve our audiences better
  • (10:20) What companies can do to be smarter about how they’re using content strategy tech
  • (12:50) What writers can do to be part of smarter content organizations

Sign of the Times

For World Climate Day last Friday, the environmental group Conservation International released an arresting PSA.

Using real journalistic footage from hurricanes and storms around the world, the ad features a compilation of stop signs being battered by strong winds and flooding. The imagery is incredibly impactful, followed by the deafening message, “Nature is trying to tell us something.”

The chief creative officer at the agency behind the PSA had this to say:

“By putting them in a different context, we were able to use the signs to convey messages to humans from nature and the earth so people stop and think about the impact their actions have on the world. ” 

“It’s okay if you fall down and lose your spark. Just make sure that when you get back you rise as the whole damn fire.”
Colette Werden 

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