“What an egg teaches us about social media” well there’s a heading I never thought I’d write. But, in the wake of the recent world record broken for most Instagram likes by a stock photo egg, here I am.
The egg in question, perhaps better known as the @world_record_egg, stole the record for ‘most liked photo’ clean out of Kylie Jenner’s hands, which currently has around 18 million likes or so. Upholding completely anonymity, nobody really knows who’s behind this, and where the idea came from. All we know is that the said egg came to conquer, and it did. (Again, a sentence I never thought I’d be saying but it’s 2019 and evidently, anything can happen).
Though only being an active Instagram account for less than a month, and despite only having but one photo of the egg, @world_record_egg has already racked up 5.7 million followers, 40 million likes and has even earned a verified blue tick.
And that’s not all. I can’t really believe I’m saying it, but there’s even been a range of Merchandise you can now buy off the back of this – the egg truly knows no boundaries.
Kylie Jenner even responded to the farce after being knocked off her first place pedestal with a passive aggressive Insta-video. And I can’t blame her for her frustrations, to be honest. Imagine being arguably the worlds biggest influencer, and being pipped to the post by a stock photo egg for a world record title in your field of expertise?
I wouldn’t be best pleased either.
But what can this tell us about social media, if anything?
I didn’t just come here to tell you about the world record egg, though. You’re probably sick to death of hearing about it already.
No, actually – I’ve something else to discuss. There are lessons to be learned here, believe it or not. This stunt – which presumably started off as a joke but has quickly become the hot-talking-topic of the nation – can actually tell us a lot about social media. And how much time (if you’re involved in SM-management or PR) you ought to spend thinking about it.
This whole charade totally absurd, granted – but there are actually some key takeaways from the initiative.
Lesson #1 – It’s not that deep, and by ‘it’, I mean social media
We knew this already, of course, but the @world_record_egg reinforces the belief.
No matter how many hours you spend analysing algorithms, or how many times you pain over executing the perfect campaign – you can’t get around it. Social media really isn’t that deep. Most users are along for the ride primarily for the humour and for the lifestyle perks – few are using it for anything above that. Meaning for a business, well – there’s not much business in it at all.
It once was, but nowadays there’s no getting around the fact that social media may not be the most effective tool for brand promotion anymore. Not least on Instagram.
Businesses can, and do, get it right of course – take Greggs or Twitter UK. However, what this record-busting egg shows us is that social media really isn’t that deep. Extensive planning is rarely effective here, hell I can tell you for certain that whoever’s behind the @world_record_egg account wouldn’t have spent longer than 10 minutes thinking of, and creating the account. Yet here it stands, the most impressionable page on Instagram at the moment, and covered in every paper, platform and publication you can think of.
What we can learn is that the simpler, the better. Overcomplicating things on social media can be a recipe for disaster – and our @world_record_egg proves that sometimes, it’s the most straightforward efforts that prove the most successful.
Lesson #2 – You’ll never be able to crack it (pardon the pun)
The latter point leads us to this. No matter how much you exhaust it, or how much you perfect it – no social media strategy is guaranteed to work. Social’s a tricky game that’s near impossible to crack, and aiming too high is a sure fire way to fail.
And that’s largely because it’s unpredictable, perhaps one of the most unpredictable platforms out there in fact. You never know if a campaign is going to be welcomed or shunned, and you’ll also never please everybody – so it’s a tough game to play.
This doesn’t mean that there’s no value in social, mind. It depends what you want from it really. If you’re looking to increase your company’s web-traffic or generate leads, say – then it can work for you. With a well-supported plan, these goals are more than achievable. If you’re trying to break the internet, however (as Gillette only proved to us this morning), it can often come back to bite you. And let’s face it, there’s rarely a chance you’ll be able to pull it off anyway.
The best campaigns are creative and clever, but that doesn’t always mean they’ll win. Sometimes, things can get swept under the carpet on social media, overshadowed by better efforts (or even an egg, in recent times). And other times – you can time it completely right and revel in the success. The point is, social media is super unpredictable – and is one of those that nobody will ever be able to get completely right, 100% of the time. A stock photo egg defaming the world’s biggest Instagram influencers examples this entirely.
Anything else to add? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the @world_record_egg, and the wider world of social media. So if you have something to share, drop me a comment below or reach me on Twitter.
P.s. – Thank You!
I’m not quite done yet either. I’m in a small but brilliant pool of talented and creative writers, and I too often feel as though I don’t belong here. Therefore, to be in amongst the finalists for the UK blog awards for best PR, Marketing and Comms blog means so much to me… Beyond words.
It’s amazing in fact.
Therefore, I just wanted to say a big… No, a MASSIVE thank you to everyone who voted for me in the awards. If it wasn’t for the people who read my blog and support me every day, I almost certainly wouldn’t bother. So for that, endless gratitude is in order.
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