If you open up your Instagram right now and started browsing, what would you see? Most likely pictures of friends, probably (definitely) a lot of memes, and cute animal videos that everybody loves.
Why are people following this trend? Well, creating content that is visually engaging or having a stance on a subject matter is something that is key to any social initiative. It’s very easy to forget sometimes, especially when you’re a creative working in social media, that it doesn’t always have to be about creating the most beautiful piece of photography, designing the most well thought out graphic or illustrating the most beautiful picture. Sure these things help, but they should always come as a secondary thought.
For example, looking at memes from a purely creative standpoint, there is almost no craft involved and most, if not all, will usually be a remix of something that already exists - such as a screenshot from an old video. The visual quality will be, generally speaking, average at best and it’ll be usually tagged along with a simple caption.
The whole point then is not how it looks, but what the content contains. That simple screenshot could capture a perfect facial expression that may sum up a very specific, relatable feeling of a situation. That’s the key for engaging content - finding situations that are relatable on a personal level but universally understood among a mass audience and translating it visually.
What about the stuff that’s only there for the sake of looking pretty? Well, there is a place for that too as not everything has to have a connected meaning behind it. There is nothing wrong with sharing something that’s visually cool, it’s more about the urge of thinking or feeling something in the right moment that will make you want to capture and share that photo. Sometimes the talking point can be about the 'how' it was made rather than the 'what' it’s about. That can be equally as powerful and engaging as connected emotions.
Cute animal videos online are loved by many as they are simply visually pleasing, there's no reasoning behind it. The portrayal of the aesthetic of ‘cute’ means that it becomes engaging in its own right.
The best of both worlds do exist, however, and more often than not creates the most powerful stories and engagement. We live in a world, however, where no one opinion is the same, with one person's rubbish becoming another's treasure. There really is no right or wrong way of posting content but if you do want to make an impact on your aim, first ask yourself the purpose of it, why you are doing it? Once you figure that out then you can apply the ‘how’ you will approach it.
Dennis Korycki, content producer, Wilderness