Until a decade ago, social media, especially Instagram was nothing more than a trend that few had latched on to. We thought it was something that only big stars and celebs used. An influencer was a person who held parties in person well before the term became a concept-community by itself that could trigger trends and change stories for brands. Today, not only do we have a large number of instagrammers, micro and well-established influencers, we also have real creators on social media and microblogging platforms.

Today’s generation is the Snapchat and Insta generation. Social networking is the norm. In fact, it has officially embedded itself into our lives. In this age of online influence and content creation, how does print retain attention from readers? In an overcrowded influencer space, how do they create content to stand apart? At the Bombaywaali discussion Kiran Manral, Ideas Editor, SheThePeople.TV, was in conversation with influencers Aanam Chasmawala, Ila Johari, Shanaya S, Elton J. Fernandez and Tinaz Nooshian, Executive Editor, Mid-Day. They dug deep into the content consumption patterns of the digital age content consumer and discussed the challenges of creating content for both online platforms and print.

“While we may believe that social media is an amplification tool for content that’s on the primary platform – in this case, the print product – I am not sure that’s how the Instagram users see it. They may never transition from social to digital to actually buying a subscription.” – Tinaz Nooshian

“The typical Sunday Mid-Day subscriber is aged 30 to 40. On Instagram, 25% of its followers are 18-24 year-olds – the millennials. While we may believe that social media is an amplification tool for content that’s on the primary platform – in this case, the print product – I am not sure that’s how the Instagram users see it. They may never transition from social to digital to actually buying a subscription. We must accept that this is how and where they are going to consume our content. They don’t want more and we have to be okay with that. From our end, we must focus on how to engage them on their chosen platform. Consumption of content has changed dramatically and for anyone handling print – whether magazine or newspaper – that’s our biggest challenge,” says Tinaz Nooshian, Executive Editor at Mid-Day.

When asked how much the consumption of content on social media has changed over the past decade, blogger Aanam Chasmawala said, “When I started out I used to do a lot of detailed blog posts. They wanted pictures too but coupled with good reading material. Today everything is shortened and it has to be a quick Instagram story.” Consumption patterns have changed and attention spans are lower she explains. “Anything they initially wanted to read on a blog post or watch through a YouTube video they now want in a 15 second Instagram story or worse  a 10 second Snapchat story.”

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Makeup artist Elton J. Fernandez spoke of his experience as a male beauty expert. “As a queer man, I am always swimming against the tide. In India, you face a strange environment constantly. Whenever I post anything even remotely related to LGBT or as a queer man, I find I lose followers instantly. But in a way, it’s a good thing for me because I feel like I am filtering out my audience.”

“I now try to tailor my content according to how my following has changed,” says Ila Johari

“First of all, thanks to Instagram for sharing the analytics now. We can be more technical about creating content. I have about 77% male and 22% female followers. So when I am talking about women’s issues, I miss engagement from my male followers. I now try to tailor my content according to how my following has changed,” says Ila Johari, Founder and Creative Director of The Fleamarket Queen.

Also Read: Women Who Are Changing How We Buy Online

Shanaya S, who is also a DJ apart from being a beauty and fashion influencer, brings a bit of herself into all her posts. “Personally I use social media to share my journey. So it differs from day to day. Somedays, it’s about the outfit and on other days it might be about the kind of music I choose on a journey. Using social media varies from person to person. You should just post what relates to you the most. Don’t be bothered about what people expect of you and post what resonates the most with you.”

So do influencers or creators change their content often? Do they get affected by social media trends?
About restructuring content, Tinaz noted, “While every platform must mould content to requirement, we needn’t panic about keeping up. Social media can do that to us. We are constantly worried about competition. Cater well to the loyal consumer while figuring how you can reach potential users. Don’t mess with the DNA of your product, what’s unique about your content.”

Read More Stories By Ria Das

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