GAMING THE SYSTEM
SOCIAL MEDIA HACKS & CHEATS TO INCREASE YOUR #BRANDOFME AND #INSTAFAME FOLLOWING
The kidsmediacentre has been researching young people’s social media behaviour for many years. We saw in #Instafame how resourceful young people can be when it comes to building a following. Hashtags, in particular, are the mechanic of choice and youth have figured out the multiplier effect and the personal brand building potential of the pound key. Language is also morphing and young people are at the forefront of that movement. Of course it’s all happening on the platforms of choice - Instagram and Snapchat. We’ve drawn/stolen inspiration from BuzzFeed to help demonstrate the ingenuity of youth.
Read and learn.
10 REASONS TO HIJACK HASHTAGS
1. We all want to be social media famous
Many of today’s youth want to be famous on social media. They spend endless hours snapping and posting and snapping and posting, all in an attempt to build their social media profiles in the hopes their account will “blow up,” and become famous.
2. We want to maximize our likes, shares and follows so the world knows how fabulous we are
For teens, the definition of success is a social media profile with thousands of likes, shares and followers. The greater the volume, the greater the perceived cache and social capital. To do this, young people constantly search for new and innovative ways to make their profile appear more interesting.
3. Really, we just want our content to be seen
Teens use a variety of tools and techniques to increase the number of views their content receives, no matter what the content!
4. So we hijack hashtags
Hashtags are an integral part of social media. Teens cleverly repurpose hashtags to help them in their hunt for social media fame. Hijacking hashtags is the preferred way to ramp up your social profile.
5. Hashtags were originally created with the purpose of linking similar content through search
Through a simple hashtag search, all content with the same hashtags can be found.
6. Now, industrious youth understand the key is to use as many trendy, popular hashtags as possible to boost their metrics (likes, shares, etc. etc. etc.)
How do you do it? Simply use trending, popular hashtags - unrelated to the content of your post! Presto! You’ve just increased the likelihood the post will be seen by others.
7. By using popular hashtags that don’t relate to our content, we lure unsuspecting users to our site thereby increasing the traffic to our social media profiles
Users constantly search for the most popular hashtags to hijack in the hope it will lead them to social media fame.
8. There are hundreds of popular hashtags. Why not use them all at once?
Some popular hashtags include: #F4F (follow for follow), #Love, #InstaGood, #me, #tbt (throwback Thursday), L4L (like for like), #Cute, #TagforLikes, #Girl, #Selfie, and many more. Teens use lots of #s, often maximizing the space allotment in the comment stream.
9. Youth become obsessed with using the perfect combination of hashtags
The perfect combination can unlock the Holy Grail – thousands upon thousands of views. Influencer nirvana.
10. Hijacked hashtags pave the road to social media fame
Today’s youth have successfully repurposed the hashtag to better suit their social media needs. Bottom line? It works!
8 Lessons for “Buying” Followers
1. To be famous on social media you need a LOT of followers
Being famous on social media is directly realted to the number of followers you have. The more followers; the more celebrated your profile. Followers, then, have become a strong focus for young social media users.
2. Followers, however, are difficult to attract
Gaining followers can be difficult and time-consuming. With so many profiles on social media, interesting content alone doesn’t guarantee an audience. What’s a young person to do?
3. To make profiles appear cooler, teens purchase followers
Followers for social media sites can be purchased online. Some of the most popular websites to buy followers on include: Fast Followers, Twitter Boost and Devumi. These sites are extremely popular and are well known to follower-hungry #instafamers.
It’s a simple way for teens to boost their followers with little to no effort.
4. The prices vary
For as little as $2 - yes, you heard it right folks - $2, - followers can be purchased. For big spenders, $25 buys you 5,000 followers.
5. Thousands of followers can be purchased with the click of a mouse
With a click and a credit card, you too can be popular!
6. These websites are advertised all over social media
You’ll have no trouble finding these services on the web. Better yet, they’ll find you. These companies reach out to profiles through comments, follows and direct messages.
7. Buying followers can quickly change the way people perceive you
With more followers, young people can start to climb the ladder of social media fame. Other fame-conscious social media users are more likely to follow a profile with a high numbers of followers, creating a snowball effect. An individual’s Instagram star status can be quickly altered with the purchasing of followers.
8. Being cool has a price
Everything has a price these days - even followers.
10 REASONS SPAM ISN’T JUST PROCESSED MEAT
1. When people think of spam, they typically think of this
2. Teens have an entirely new definition of spam
3. For teens, spam is unsolicited content sent directly to them on social media
4. Profiles send “social spam” via comments, direct messages, tags and links
5. The goal of social spam is to draw social media users’ attention to specific content
6. Social spam can be used as a tool for many things:
7. An advertising tactic (i.e. “get a deal on this new, amazing product”)
8. A self promotion device (i.e. “check out my cool profile @username”)
9. And, as a tool to boost followers (i.e. #Follow4Follow, follow me @username)
10. Social spam is quickly becoming a strategic tool for those looking to reach their social media goals
9 FACTS ABOUT CELEBRITY SPAMMING
1. Every social media platform has it's “A” list
2. The most popular posters tend to be celebrities
3. These social media celebrities are extremely influential online, getting millions of daily views
4. So teens spam social media celebrities through the comments section
5. These comments, however, are not meant for the celebrities
6. They are used strictly for self promotion and include “follow for follow”, “10 likes for 10 likes,” “follow me for Justin Bieber’s phone number,” “check out my hot profile,” and more.
7. Because celebrity profiles get the most views on social media, so too, does the spam in the comments section
8. The goal of celebrity spamming is to have your self promotion seen by the millions of people who follow the celebrities, eliciting more likes, shares and follows
9. Teens are strategically using the fame of others to increase their own fame
Just How Popular Is Snapchat?
By now, you’ve likely heard of the ever-growing social media phenomenon that is Snapchat. Created in September of 2011, Snapchat is a video messaging application where users can take photos and record videos — to which they can add text and drawings, and send them to a controlled list of recipients. These features combined with the fact that all correspondence in the app is “temporary” (users choose how many seconds their recipients can see their “snaps” for and Snapchat claims to delete the data on their end afterwards) have led to Snapchat having the youngest representative user base of all popular social media platforms:
As well as now being the third most popular social media application overall amongst youth:
These facts alone show that Snapchat is here and here to stay.
8 REASONS WHY SNAPCHAT IS SO POPULAR AMONG KIDS
You may be wondering why Snapchat is so popular — let’s start with these 8 reasons:
1. There is no social pressure
With no follower “score”, number of likes, or comments, (and the ability to send snaps to specific people within an already curated friend’s list) young people - regardless of popularity, creativity, or content quality - feel less judged and can snap to their hearts content.
2. It’s quick and easy
As shown by the demographics above, the most popular social media platforms among kids tend to be those that focus less on written content and more on easily creatable/consumable/sharable content: pictures, short videos & memes. With Snapchat you can create and share these with the touch of a button.
Part of Snapchat’s appeal is the “snaps” you send disappear after they’re opened by the recipient. This helps remove a lot of the stress associated with the possibility that what you do on social media on some random Tuesday, may last FOREVER.
4. You choose who sees what
Kids can ignore the “what if my mother sees this” aspect of their social media persona, by, well, not sending it to their mother.
5. You know who’s watching
With social media streams increasingly saturated, one can send a snap, safe in the knowledge only your friend will see your cool photo from last weekend.
Being able to add fun captions, filters, and drawings to the content lets young people explore their creative side.
“Oh, you didn’t get John’s snap this weekend?” — this captures the potential exclusivity of the app. Unlike Instagram or Facebook, where someone can see what they missed out on, if you didn’t receive the snap, then you didn’t make the cut.
8. It’s the place to be RIGHT NOW.
Last, but not least, being the app du jour, has a certain level of cache. Just like having the cool new phone, or cool shoes, Gen Z and millenials must have the cool new app, or risk being on the outside looking in.