Essentials of social media engagement [research infographic]

Engaging their community on social media is what all community and brand managers are striving for. Social media may be the best place to interact with audiences, but without clear understanding of the psychology of how people engage , brand efforts may fall flat and fail to reap the expected social media ROI.

In my latest paper, I discover top characteristics of social media engagement every manager should keep on top of their mind.


The paper goes on to explains in more detail driving factors of social media engagement and its benefits for brands. It is forthcoming in the Journal of Marketing Management – watch their space or get in touch for more details.

PS: To find out more about creating an infographic from research papers, click here and here. This time, I created mine with Canva

Instagram, from social media to money media

A post by Amaïa DARRIGADE, MSc student in Digital Marketing @KEDGE Business School. 

Created at the end of 2010, Instagram has become one of the most popular social networks by users, and it is my favorite. It allows us to share our moods, purchases, outfits, dishes, photographs, short trips… just about everything!

This is a unique photo sharing network on which a true community exists: we can create and interact with it. Instagram offers a real experience for its users: the user can escape the space of a moment in one click, surf from one image to another, from one continent to another, observe the photographs taken by one of a friend in New York, or follow the posts of their favorite blogger… So give yourself a moment of decompression in an active day…

For a long time, Instagram was free of any commercial activity, and only users ruled the roost…But everything changed with the arrival of the giant Facebook !

With over 400 million active users worldwide (including 5.5 million in France) and 80 million photos shared daily, Instagram was finally acquired by Facebook in 2012.

After this acquisition, users were able to see some changes including the emergence of advertising in the form of sponsored images since March 9, 2015. Paid publications of brands appear in users’ news feed even though they did not subscribe to the brands’ feed.

As if that wasn’t enough…Since March 15, 2016, like Google, Instagram has implemented an algorithm. The publications, which, in the past, showed in chronological order, will over time be presented to users based on an algorithm and supposedly, the tastes of users. In other words, Instagram decides to show the publications based on users’ interests rather than on posting time.

There remains a void as to the definition of this algorithm, as Instagram hasn’t revealed anything about it yet.

Many users have already contested this new decision, petitions have also been launched… Some fear that the feed Instagram became the advertising relay major brands and lose the spontaneity that this social network had managed to create.

It seems that the experience offered to the community on Instagram will be upset over the coming months…

Should we believe that Instagram, and behind it, Facebook, will tell us some « good news » in March each year?

To be continued…

Reaction after the announcement on Instagram:

Some reactions on

A rumor circulated on Instagram as what the algorithm would be implemented from Tuesday, March 29, 2016. Users (famous or not) or brands have called their subscribers to « turn on notifications » to be alerted as soon as a publication will be published.




Instagram has tried to calm things down by reassuring users via a tweet on March 28, 2016.


Here you can see Instagram CEO explains how this change can be good…


People + Things = ?

In a research project I was conducting this summer, I came across this quote:

People and things only exist in relation to each other (Orlikowski & Scott)

A house is only a house if it is somebody’s home. A person is only a landlord, or tenant, as long has he has a house to live in. A book only performs its purpose when being read. A person only becomes a reader once he has read the words.

Another example is that of social media. Think about it. If there was no one on Facebook, or Twitter, the platform would be completely useless. With no one to talk to, what is the point of being on a social site? Facebook needs you to perform its purpose. Simple enough.

However, YOU need Facebook too, to perform your goals. By  liking, commenting or sharing, you actually do things. Facebook allows you to achieve goals and perform actions. And behind this stands the concept of “affordances”.

The idea behind the concept of affordances is that tangible or intangible objects (a book, or a website) give humans performative capacities. People seldom think about what things enable them to do, because their usage is often automatized and thought-free. Who writes a comment on Facebook and actively thinks that the mere fact that this comment section exists and has been developed allows you to:

  • share your thoughts
  • engage in a discussion with your friends
  • signal things about your preferences, personality and standpoint
  • be embedded in a network of discussions about a specific topic
  • be more accurately targeted by ads
  • and much more…!

Take a moment to think about what the simplest object in your life allows you to do. Think about what websites allow you to do. Think about…the real utility of each of these things? What are your thoughts?

The price you pay #noway!

I recently came across a twitter trend called #Youaretheproduct. As I am curious of everything that has to do with products and marketing, I clicked it and ended up on quite a few interesting articles. What these articles were stating was quite simple: You are the product. You? Do I mean: you? Yes, you, reading this just now, you are a product.

You might think that this is nonsense, and you would be right…as long as you are not registered on any social network, using any search engine or other Google product, if you have disabled all the cookies on your Internet browser and have unsubscribed from all networks’ ad servers through a very strenuous process. Basically, if you are my great- grandma!

As I still come across people that do not believe or understand what I mean by this, let me explain why, you are indeed a product, with a very simple example: Facebook.

When you registered on Facebook, you saw on you screen: “Facebook is free and always will be”. You probably though it was very cool and quite normal, in the end. Why would you have to pay to be on such a simple and quite meaningless website? Well you DO pay. Your private information is the currency. Every single information that you provide when filling in your profile info, uploading photos, tagging people or places, or just by surfing the web, is gathered and used to serve ads to your computer screen. Ads that are supposed to be highly relevant and targeted to your wants and needs. Really? Well, think about it. How would a company valued at over $100 billion, with over 900 million users and 3500 employees have a business model that does not generate money? The way Facebook makes money is by selling all the information they have about you to those willing to pay for that information: advertisers. Believe me, I worked in this fascinating industry for a little while.

Would you pay to be on Facebook or use Google Search? How do you feel knowing that all the information you put online, even on professional sites like LinkedIn or simply entering a search in Google, is stored, mined, used and sold? Is that the normal price to pay in today’s information society?

The Internet is scary because it has pushed the boundaries further and is more sophisticated than most other marketing programs, but just being part of any store’s loyalty programs make you a product, they have not reinvented the wheel.

Is there a way to escape the market logic? As consumers, are we increasingly gaining or losing power? That’s the question!


If you want to know more, check the related links on Forbes, SocialMedia Today and The Atlantic.