The importance of social media to content creators

Over the past number of years, social media has slowly become a large part of most people’s everyday lives. The popularity of Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter has grown exponentially over the past decade. Erin Killoran explores how content creators now rely on social media.  

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Over the past number of years, social media has slowly become a large part of most people’s everyday lives. This has led to a phenomenon of a new way of promoting products, services and content via social media. As a result of this large companies such as the popular skincare brand ‘The Ordinary’ have changed their marketing strategies to advertising their company exclusively via social media platforms. 

Recent studies have shown that the average adult spends 2 hours and 3 minutes on social media per day. This consumption of social media has allowed for ordinary individuals to create content and upload it online for the general public to enjoy, with the possibility of financial reward for the creators. Presently, Youtube, TikTok and Spotify are by far the most popular platforms for content creation. 

The rise in popularity of podcasts has led to a huge surge of people creating a production of their own, covering a number of different genres. This new phenomenon is revolutionary as it allows the audience to listen in their own time, unlike traditional radio programmes. But in order to gain  any form of traction with these podcasts, these content creators need to promote themselves on various social media platforms to prevent getting overlooked in this heavily saturated market. 

TheCity.ie spoke to the host of ‘GleeCap Podcast’, Conor Burke, who said: “Social media is essential for me for not only promoting my podcast, but also plays that I produce and star in. It is single-handedly responsible for getting a few thousand listeners a week on the podcast. I always tell people if I didn’t have to promote anything, I probably wouldn’t have any social media because it just takes up so much time.”. 

Becoming a creator online has become extremely accessible for most people as there is no longer a need for a significant amount of funding to start up a project. Burke said: “I set the podcast up in late May, and our following has just grown organically through Instagram. It not only grew the following of the podcast on social media, but also my own personal social media accounts. Before creating this podcast, I don’t think I particularly thought about how heavily I would have to promote it online to achieve a consistent audience.”

Prior to social media, any form of promotion was solely reliant on print media, TV and radio advertisements. Now, this is no longer necessary and has made advertising significantly easier for everyone. Burke told TheCity.ie: “There’s absolutely no way that this podcast could have grown to the extent that it has without social media. Without it,  I would have just recorded an episode and posted it online, but no one would be able to discover it and listen to it.”

This method of social media self-promotion has eliminated the need for advertising and the assistance of marketing experts. Therefore, removing unnecessary costs for content creators working with a limited budget.

Studies have proven that when social media users engage with their followers, they gain more traction. Burke said: “Interacting with listeners on Instagram and Twitter has grown our podcast exponentially. 

“We often post interactive memes and get people to ask us questions prior to an episode. And while recording our podcast we’ll answer them. I have definitely found that the number of listeners go up due to this interaction as it allows them to look forward to the next episode. I also think that the numbers go up depending on the guest that we have on due to them promoting the episode via their social media accounts.”

Due to his consistent  promotion of this podcast on social media, Burke has garnered the attention of a number of stars from the TV show Glee, including Dot Marie Jones, which has given him the opportunity to interview her and soon, a number of other stars of the show. He said, “I know that when the cast episodes come out, more people will listen because of their large social media following.”

Burke also mentioned the importance of having a business profile as a content creator. “Instagram’s ‘business profile’ feature has been very helpful for myself. It has allowed me to see what posts my followers react well to and how much overall traffic my account is getting each day and gives me some kind of indication as to how many people are going to listen to my most recent episode.”

The uses of social media for content creators is endless and continues to help millions of people grow their audience each day. 

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