Blog Post Written By: Melrose Michaels
Not too long ago, I posted a tweet that read, "Instagram is for building an audience based on your looks, Twitter is for building an audience based on your ideas, and TikTok is for building an audience based on your story." This idea sparked numerous questions and discussions among creators about the philosophy behind it. Thus, this blog delves into the art of cultivating audiences that harmonize with the platforms you're active on.
Of course, we're all well-acquainted with self-promotion on social media. In today's digital landscape, especially for individuals in the realm of digital sex work, leveraging social media is the most cost-effective and impactful means of advertising products or services. When I mention cost-effectiveness, I refer to the absence of upfront expenses associated with posting on social media. In contrast, other methods of traffic acquisition typically entail prepayment for directing traffic to your offerings. What truly intrigues me about the Creator economy and Marketplace is the fascinating prospect that possessing a substantial social media following significantly slashes the cost of acquiring customers or fans.
This insight is crucial because when striving to foster an audience that propels your business, comprehending their behavior on specific social platforms is imperative. Each social platform has a distinct interactive nature that aligns with its unique attributes. Instagram originated as a platform for photos, and that association remains strong. Snapchat gained prominence with its 24-hour disappearing stories. Twitter made a name for itself as a hub for textual thoughts and ideas, while TikTok skyrocketed to fame with its short-form videos.
Mastering the art of tailored posting for each platform, catering to how audiences engage with content on those channels, expedites audience growth. A prime example of non-native posting is sharing a picture of text on Instagram. Does it yield results? Sure. But does it resonate with what users anticipate when they open the app? Maybe. Data indicates that photos featuring faces tend to outperform those without faces. This phenomenon likely stems from how human brains process facial recognition and, in part, how we've been conditioned as social media users.
Similar principles apply to Twitter. In its initial iteration, Twitter revolved around text posts limited to 140 characters. These early days shaped our user behavior and interaction norms on the platform. In essence, aligning our actions with the conventions familiar to social media users enhances our prospects of engagement and conversion.
Adhering to the established patterns of interaction on various social platforms enhances our chances of resonating with users and facilitating conversions. It's about blending seamlessly into the platforms' natural dynamics to organically connect with our intended audiences. I initially discussed Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok in my original tweet, but I'd like to expand our discussion to include Snapchat as well. Let's start by delving into Instagram.
Instagram is well known for its photos, videos, and meticulously curated and polished portrayal that offers a glimpse into creators' lives. Our engagement with this content involves scrolling, double-tapping, saving, and sharing content we believe others will appreciate.
When it comes to building an audience on Instagram, it's crucial to acknowledge these key aspects. Crafting content that resonates with the preferences of the app's audience is paramount. While I suggest moving away slightly from overly polished content, as audiences are increasingly seeking relatability, photos and videos continue to dominate consumption patterns on Instagram.
So, what insights can we gather from this? It's evident that the photos you share on Instagram should include elements of teasing, sensuality, fun, or lifestyle. It's no coincidence that Instagram has become known for the "thirst trap" photo trend in our current era—this type of content is widely consumed on the platform. Hence, when embarking on audience-building on Instagram, it's crucial to recognize that your emphasis should lean more toward your looks and appearance than on other platforms.
It's essential to note that thriving on Instagram doesn't demand flawless beauty. Rather, the emphasis lies in highlighting your physical presence, as this aligns with the audience's predominant consumption patterns.
On X (the platform formerly known as Twitter), followers and users are highly likely to connect with you not solely based on your appearance, but primarily for the content you share. While looks might hold some sway, the substance of your tweets holds more significance. Entire Twitter accounts exist that have never shared a photo and are managed completely anonymously, with the account holders hiding behind a profile picture. This reinforces the notion that ideas and thoughts have the potential to drive your Twitter presence. However, it's worth acknowledging that this dynamic also contributes to the prevalence of controversy and arguments on Twitter compared to other social platforms.
Understanding that you can convey thoughts, opinions, and emotions through your tweets opens up the avenue to attract an audience aligned with your perspectives. Consider the strategic advantage this insight provides. For instance, if your goal is to engage an audience with a penchant for luxury spending, tweeting about cars could be effective. This stems from the fact that the world of modified cars and the entire automotive scene often entail considerable expenses—a notion that appeals to those with disposable income. This deliberate approach aims to draw an audience characterized by expendable financial resources, capitalizing on topics that resonate with them.
You can approach your Twitter posts in a strategic manner, using them as tools to target specific audiences. With a well-defined vision of the audience you aim to attract, you can pinpoint which subjects to delve into, ensuring your content appears on their timelines.
Now, I must note that I've also experimented with storytelling on Twitter, recognizing its substantial potential for success. By crafting extensive narratives through Twitter threads, you can captivate your audience, foster relationships with your followers, and enhance engagement. These threads, when encountered by individuals who relate to the content, can considerably boost interaction. Hence, adopting this approach on Twitter can be equally rewarding.
Discussing TikTok in this particular context holds significant importance due to its distinctive algorithm. TikTok's algorithm can easily lead to content being pigeonholed and shown primarily to a specific audience segment. For instance, during TikTok's initial rise to popularity, dance videos dominated the platform. However, this trend shifted rapidly. If you had launched an account centered around dance videos and later attempted to diversify your content, the new content types often wouldn't perform as well. Many TikTok accounts went dormant due to this challenge of transitioning niches. TikTok has a tendency to categorize and label creators, aiding in delivering their content to the most appropriate audience, thereby enhancing the likelihood of virality. While this mechanism benefits creators striving to thrive on the platform, it can pose challenges for those exploring new directions without a clear focus for their TikTok account.
Nonetheless, one consistent success factor on TikTok has been storytelling. In my opinion, incorporating effective storytelling into any form of content, particularly short-form videos, presents the best approach for audience growth. By infusing storytelling elements into your content, you differentiate yourself and captivate your audience. For example, if you're sharing fitness gym workout videos, weaving a narrative into your routine demonstration, sharing your daily workout regimen, adds intrigue and distinctiveness. Importantly, a storytelling format within video content boosts watch time since viewers are invested in learning the story's outcome. This engagement principle can be strategically harnessed by attracting the right viewer demographic through well-crafted stories.
I'm sure many of you have encountered strippers or full-service workers sharing stories on TikTok, as I have. While I caution against pushing boundaries too far due to TikTok's content policies, I do recommend a similar strategy. These sex workers often recount client experiences or club stories, catering to the curiosity of those interested in such aspects. Crafting stories and short-form video content aligned with your target audience's interests and demographics is key. An example is the "get ready with me" videos, where a fashion enthusiast gradually layers clothing to unveil a final look. If I were to invest more in TikTok presently, I'd create such content, weaving in a compelling narrative that builds up to the reveal of the final appearance.
The rationale behind this strategy is intriguing. These TikToks start with minimal attire, grabbing the attention of male viewers, and the unfolding story maintains their engagement, bolstering overall watch time. Consider an instance where I recount getting ready for and attending a fan-facing Expo, encountering the guy I lost my virginity to—a true story, by the way, and somewhat amusing. This approach exemplifies the seamless integration of storytelling and "story times" into content tailored to your intended audience, magnifying the potential for resonance and impact.
Snapchat is primarily known for its disappearing 24-hour stories. This is important to note as it cultivates a habit among your fans and viewers to regularly check your story. The fear of missing out (FOMO) on your content before it vanishes instills a sense of urgency and engagement. This behavioral dynamic ensures your fans remain actively involved. Leveraging Snapchat effectively involves tailoring your posts to appeal to your target audience.
In my approach, I engage my ideal audience by frequently hosting "ask me anything" sessions or responding to fan comments on Snapchat. These interactions are then shared on my story. Given the prevailing challenge on Snapchat—the large increase of premium Snapchat accounts, including many scam artists and trolls—establishing authenticity and trust is essential. Maintaining a high level of engagement and publicly addressing fans on your story serves to validate your identity and establish legitimacy, overcoming this barrier.
When it comes to the kind of content suitable for Snapchat, storytelling proves to be a powerful tool, similar to the strategy employed on platforms like TikTok. Just as on TikTok, you can add narrative elements to your Snapchat content to captivate your audience and convey your message effectively. This narrative-driven approach complements the platform's short-lived nature while engaging your viewers on a personal and impactful level.
Audience Building - TL;DR
Ultimately there is no right or wrong way to build your audience on social media. However, there are certainly ways to speed up the process. The key to achieving quicker results lies in ensuring your content harmonizes with the platform's inherent nature and aligns with the audience you aim to reach. Here's a pro tip: when faced with uncertainty, storytelling comes to the rescue. Across platforms, your story holds the potential to resonate deeply and forge a connection with your audience, proving to be a timeless strategy for engagement and growth.
If you enjoyed this blog, you'll love the Twitter Space we did focusing on this topic. I added more context and personal experience not mentioned above so you'll definitely want to check it out. Have a question about how to grow your audience on a specific platform? DM or tag @sexworkceo on Twitter and Instagram or send us an email. We're always here to help, it's what we love to do! Want to be part of the conversation? Join us Tuesdays at 1 pm CST on Twitter where we discuss new topics weekly to help take your adult content creator business to the next level. Unable to make it live? No problem! You can listen to all our past Twitter Spaces here.