Social media platforms play a huge role in our lives: We use them to read the news around the world, catch up with friends, and post pictures that others might find interesting. If used wisely, these platforms are a great source of learning. For example, one can see how WWII unfolded, step by step, by following a twitter account that’s dedicated to one of the biggest events of all time.
These portals also represent a great marketing tool that brands can use to reach a wider audience. Instagram is one example: “via Instagram, brands have begun to form more intimate relationships, and, with the involvement of brand ambassadors, a new paradigm shift began. These personas did not only allow companies to bring aspired lifestyle into life, but to exhume the intimacy, vulnerability, and personableness that was needed to shift consumers from being secondary group members to primary group insiders,” said Sara Bernát, contributor at our sister site, Brandingmag, while trying to unlock the spell of Instagram.
Of all social media platforms, Instagram is somehow special, as it is quite different from other ones. Sure, Facebook has far more users than Instagram, but when it comes to engagement, the social networking service owned by Facebook “reigns supreme,” states Irish Tech News. Out of its total users, over 70% are women who love shopping. With Instagram, it is easy to influence their shopping choices. Also, the engagement rate of users through comments is much higher here. Finally, many of them prefer Instagram because it offers a better content display.
The platform can be used to communicate a message in a non-aggressive manner. This is the case of K’s Galleries which wanted to be sure that we don’t forget about what happened to the victims of the Holocaust. In preparation for the Israeli Holocaust Remembrance Day 2019, the brand created an Instagram account and attributed it to Eva Heiman, a 13-year-old girl from Hungary who was tormented in the Auschwitz concentration camp. While being there, the young girl wrote a diary that can be read now, more than 70 years after the event, on Instagram.
This project, along with the one presenting the WWII events, is part of an educational category, so to speak. But there are people who turn to Instagram for inspiration. You can see Constantin Brâncuşi’s “Endless Column” reaching infinity on social media. Or you can read classic books via Instagram stories. You can even enjoy a theatre play. The latter marks the subject of our weekly #ThrowBrandThursday column which focuses on one of Shakespeare’s plays.
Because of the lockdown, the St. Petersburg Masterskaya Theater was forced to cancel all of its performances and premieres. Both actors and spectators were locked home with nothing much to do except read, watch TV, or killing time on social media. Fortunately, the time of users in Russia has not been completely wasted, as the theater decided to play no matter what. Thus, they reached the creatives at Jekyll&Hyde agency with a simple task: “Help us run this play!”
“The show must go on,” so the artists created the “Tragedy in Comments” Instagram account, where they published a poster for the canceled premiere. Under the poster, the “Romeo and Juliet” story unfolded, which was visible through comments. It all looks great now, seeing that each character has their own account. But things were not that simple: “We faced a lot of problems during production. Most of the time we were unblocking characters’ accounts. Instagram thought they were suspicious (troll factories or something like that). When accounts are blocked, all comments get hidden, no one can see them till they are unblocked,” says Mikhail Rakov, Creative Director at Jekyll & Hyde.
The creatives say that the hardest part was to trick Instagram’s algorithms: “An order of comments depends on too many criteria — rating, interests, activity, visit frequency, and much more. Also, we found out that algorithms were different for mobile and PC. Algorithms decide which comment will be on top and which on the bottom. But they don’t work for accounts that have no history and statistics. We created accounts with zero ratings for every character and real actors and it worked, we cheated Instagram’s algorithms (only mobile version),” he continues.
Their work pays off. The creatives feel like the project has the potential to make teens discover the beauty of literacy. The agency used the fact that young people love to spend their time on social media, reading comments. Therefore, artists believe that by presenting the play in this way, they were able to really communicate in the language young people use.
Not even COVID-19 can stand in Romeo and Juliet’s way, “For never was a story of more woe / Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.” (Act 5, Scene 3, Lines 308–309).