Tagged: social media

Buying and Selling Instagram Accounts

Social Media Strategist Kris Ruby was recently interviewed by MarketWatch in the article titled, “This 23-year-old has made $120,000 buying and selling Instagram accounts.”

Flipping Instagram Accounts

 

 

Here are just some Google search results you will see when searching “How to buy Instagram accounts.”

“How to flip and sell Instagram accounts”

“Sell your Instagram account with real followers”

“Instagram accounts for sale with high engagement”

“Marketplace for Instagram account trading”

But is buying or selling an Instagram account a good business decision? And what are the risks if you get caught?

 

Flipping Instagram Accounts & Buying Verified Instagram Accounts: Don’t do it 

People are flipping Instagram accounts. Social Media Strategist Kris Ruby suggests steering clear of this trend and explains why it is bad for your business. 

What are the main ways people buy and sell Instagram accounts? Can you buy verified Instagram accounts?

People are buying and selling Instagram accounts through sites like Swapd, TooFame, Social Tradia and Insta Sale, to name just a few.  Instagram accounts that are for sale are advertised through Reddit threads, Facebook groups, such as Buy, Sell, Exchange, Instagram DM’s and Facebook DM’s.

What does it mean to flip Instagram accounts?

Instagram accounts are flipped the same way real estate properties are flipped. Buy low and sell high seems to be the motto. The practice of buying and selling Instagram accounts appears to be most prevalent with niche accounts.  Niche accounts are created around a specific vertical of content, which typically attracts a target audience that is primarily interested in that specific subject.

Instagram Like Neon Sign

Why are people buying and selling accounts on Instagram? Is it because they don’t want to run the Instagram accounts anymore?

Instagram accounts are bought and sold for a few reasons. Any time something is perceived to have value in the marketing world, it will be exploited. However,  the notion of “value” in the Instagram ecosystem is currently one that is up for grabs and is being redefined as we speak. Instagram is currently testing out a feature which would essentially hide ‘like’ counts. This will be a game-changer for the influencer community and will essentially force everyone to start from a more even playing field. While follower counts will still be critical, engagement will be the most important metric to benchmark against.

There is currently an entire underground market that exists within this influencer community for buying and selling Instagram accounts.  This is not something that a reputable social media agency would endorse or support.  People are buying and selling verified Instagram accounts to make money, not because it has any real intrinsic value for the business who is buying the account.

Why the Instagram influencer bubble was bound to burst

If Instagram hides ‘like’ counts, it will have a massive impact on the entire Instagram ecosystem beyond influencers.   If someone wants to become an influencer, they will have to work much harder to gain the same traction they were previously getting. Influencers will have to focus on creating quality content if they want to increase engagement.

I was never a fan of relying on like counts as a metric anyway. When people want to work with Ruby Media Group for social media management services, I always ask what success would look like. If someone says, “An increase in X number of followers,” I know they aren’t a good fit as a new client for the agency. Why? Because follower count is not a true measure of success. Three hundred followers that are actually in your target audience mean way more than 10,000 followers from all over the world who will never be your customers. Vanity metrics are garbage and have always been pretty much worthless. I have been saying this for years. Likes do not equal new customers and profitability!

So, why does this matter for buying and selling Instagram accounts? If you redefine value in a marketplace, you also redefine what people are willing to pay for that perceived value.  As the metrics of measurement and value change in the Instagram ecosystem, everything will be impacted, including how people flip Instagram accounts. The main metric they were using to measure these accounts may disappear entirely in a few years.

Click and Collect Instagram likesWhat makes an Instagram account valuable?

Followers used to be the supreme way that people measured how valuable an account was. Like count was viewed as equally important. But with Instagram testing a feature that would hide like counts, the notion of value will be redefined. Engagement is the most important metric of what makes an Instagram account valuable.

However, an Instagram account in a silo is not a true measure of value. People make the mistake of thinking one Instagram account can make or break their marketing. It can’t. An Instagram account is one tactic within a larger social media marketing strategy that must exist under the umbrella of a strategic marketing communications plan.

Instagram is not a quick fix to raking in new sales overnight. You have to evaluate the platform in correlation with your target audience/ demographic and where they spend their time online. Whether you are B2B vs. B2C also factors into what makes the most sense for your business. I can unequivocally say that the #1 thing that makes an Instagram account not valuable is a fake account purchased through a third party swapping platform.  Username and third-party verification is also important, but there is an underground market for getting those blue checkmarks too.

Let’s say someone sells an active account with 100,000 followers with decent engagement.  How much would that Instagram account be worth?  How much would a sponsored post on that Instagram account be worth?

Instagram accounts sell on the underground market anywhere between a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars. It is difficult to say how much a sponsored post would be worth as it would depend on how many followers the account has, how much engagement the account has, and the activity level on the account.

Do companies ever buy Instagram accounts so that they can have the username?

Brands buy Instagram accounts predominantly for the follower count and prepackaged audience. Username is a factor as well but not the driving force.   I always encourage people to secure their username on every social media platform.  Even if you don’t plan on using the account, no one can take the social media handle from you if you have secured it first.  In an age where personal branding reigns supreme, owning the social media handles for your name is invaluable.

Is it legal to sell Instagram accounts?  Buying and selling Instagram accounts violates the company’s terms and conditions. Do people actually get in trouble for buying and selling accounts? 

The people who get in trouble are the ones who have bought the Instagram accounts. They may think they got a great deal, but in reality, it is a terrible deal. Why would you want to build something on top of a pre-purchased Instagram account? The Instagram account can essentially be kicked off at any time for violating Instagram’s TOS. That seems like a terrible investment and a big gamble and makes no logical business sense.

Additionally, you have no idea what you are really getting by buying a prepackaged audience that has been built for someone else and not for your business. Furthermore, all it can do is hurt you from a digital marketing perspective. Your ad targeting will be thrown off if it is not custom-tailored to the target audience of customers and prospects you have built for your business. No one else knows your business as well as you do, so why try to purchase it from someone else? Stop looking for shortcuts and do the hard work yourself to build an organic following.

Have you ever heard of circumstances in which an Instagram account has gotten shut down or if someone has gotten banned for buying/selling Instagram accounts?

I haven’t heard of a circumstance in which an account has gotten shut down for buying and selling Instagram accounts because I do everything by the book and don’t fundamentally agree with this practice. I believe in building your own following from scratch — not buying someone else’s and hoping it works out. It is also worth noting that Instagram appears to be kicking people off their platform for any reason they deem fit these days, including what they recently did with the meme purge.

What is Instagram fraud? How do you spot a brand scam on Instagram? 

Check out this snippet from our interview on Fox 5 NY on how to spot a social media scam artist. Hint: If you don’t hear from The Director of PR or Marketing, you are most likely dealing with an Instagram brand scam!

 

Kris Ruby’s Final Thoughts on Buying and Selling Instagram accounts: 

  • Instagram very clearly states this is against their TOS to buy and sell accounts.
  • Do not buy Instagram accounts through these services. It will hurt any targeting digital advertising you are doing, and Instagram can remove the account at any time if it violates their TOS.
  • The old metric of likes and followers will increasingly matter less in the future of Instagram marketing as Instagram experiments with hiding like counts.
  • Focus on quality engagement and content and stop looking for a shortcut to doing the hard work of building the audience yourself and creating great content.

 

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NYC Social Media Strategist Kris Ruby on Fox News Discussing New Inclusive Language Guide

Social Media Strategist Kris Ruby of Ruby Media Group was recently on Fox News “Fox & Friends” Discussing Colorado State University’s new all inclusive language guide. To watch the full segment, click here. 

 

Should Marketers Adopt Gender-Neutral pronouns?

The Rise of Gender-Neutral Marketing Pronouns 

As marketers and copywriters, we take for granted using basic pronouns.

Of all of the copy changes we make on any given social media post, blog or ad, pronouns are typically not the first thing we think of.

All of that will soon change.

Think about every famous ad that includes pronouns that are now considered offensive. Take Maybelline for example. “Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe it’s Maybelline.”

In today’s political climate where PC language reigns supreme for brands, this ad would be considered offensive.

How would you rewrite that ad in a way that is no longer offensive?

And if you do rewrite it, does it still carry the same appeal?

The war on language will be the biggest thing to disrupt marketing.

The pronouns we take for granted will soon become obsolete in a world that is banning words and rewriting the language.

What do you think, marketers? Is this something you have been thinking proactively about with new ad copy?

Is this a good thing or a bad thing for marketing?

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NY Social Media Strategist Kris Ruby Discusses FaceApp Privacy Concerns

Ruby Media Group CEO Kris Ruby was recently on i24News discussing the privacy concerns surrounding FaceApp. Click here to watch the full segment. Should you be concerned about FaceApp? Will your data be compromised?

If you are so worried about the Russians access to your data, why are you not worried about access to your data that big tech companies hold here in the US? The hypocrisy in all of this is the real issue.

Everyone is so focused on this “FaceApp” they forget that the big tech companies here have massive access to your data.. and who really knows what they do with it.. Kris Ruby’s take on FaceApp below and why this is only the tip of the iceberg in the larger privacy debate with big tech.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sucyDt5Zkm0
FaceApp Privacy Concerns

 

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NY Social Media Strategist Kris Ruby Discusses New Wearable Tech Device

NY Social Media Strategist Kris Ruby of Ruby Media Group was recently on Fox News “Cavuto” discussing a new wearable tech device that allows you to assign remote shocking privileges to your loved ones. Would you try it? Click here to watch the full segment.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3R69gNxGAK8
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Are You Digitally Compatible? How Social Media Differences Can Destroy Relationships

Social media can make or break a relationship.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZCvY1CBru4

 

Social Media and Relationships

Recently, I was on Hot 97 and Fox 5 NY “Street Soldiers” discussing How Social Media destroys relationships. It was a 20 minute special series on social media and relationships, and it also aired on Hot 97 for a full 40 minutes nationally. So, why am I sharing that information with you?

Because clearly, social media is having much more of an impact on relationships than people realize for a network to run a 20-minute special segment on this topic. The majority of this blog is written for business owners who are looking to increase exposure. But, many business owners are either in relationships or are searching for one, so this topic is important to address.

We are living in a new world today, where social media can have a substantial impact on your work relationships, personal relationships and even romantic relationships. To ignore this is to ignore the new reality of the world we are living in today. And when you have so many generational differences mixed with differing levels of digital connectedness, it can potentially be a recipe for disaster. So, it’s important to know if you are digitally compatible with someone on social media. It can have long term consequences on the health and longevity of the relationship if you are not. You may think, “How absurd!” If the relationship was strong enough to begin with, it could sustain differences in social media incompatibility.

Well, if that were true, you wouldn’t see social media being cited in as many divorce cases and litigation and you also wouldn’t see so many relationships fail to launch as a direct result of social media. I am touching on a phenomenon here that many people experience in a very real way, yet few have actually talked about it. The primary reason for this being that we have not adequately explored the societal role of social media on long-term relationships due to the fact it is still a relatively new phenomenon. The more we address this and put a label to it, the easier it can be to determine if we are a match with someone in all of the ways that matter (because digital compatibility DOES matter).

It is a cop-out to say that strong relationships can sustain these digital incompatibilities. People are addicted to social platforms, often more than they are to their relationships. They can even serve as a primary attachment portal in place of a relationship because of the dopamine rush people get from the likes that they can’t get In real life. Before you write off this concept, consider if you have ever had an argument with your significant other or with someone you have dated because of differences in social media views. It is pretty safe to say that every couple at one point has had at least one argument over what is appropriate to post vs. what isn’t along with a plethora of other social media related issues and its impact on the relationship.

10 Social Media Signs You are Digitally Incompatible

Here are ten things to consider to determine if you are digitally compatible with someone:

1)    Your partner cares more about their personal brand than the relationship.  If your newsfeed is entirely dedicated to friends and family posts, but your partner’s newsfeed is all about their career, there may be a problem. Discuss this early on in your relationship. Your partner may be reluctant to introduce a new relationship on their feed because they only want to use social media to promote their latest career achievements. Or perhaps their company monitors their social media channels, and they don’t want to give out any personal information. You, on the other hand, use social media to share things you do with your family and friends. You can’t understand why your partner isn’t incorporating you into their digital presence. Their constant self-promotion may also leave a bad taste in your mouth.  Without expressing your feelings about this, it can lead to hurt feelings and resentment.

2)    Your partner is ambivalent about committing publicly.  Announcing that you are in a relationship on social media shows a level of commitment to your new partner. If you post a relationship status or tag them in photos, but your partner doesn’t, it might make you look more committed to the relationship than your partner.

3)    You post more about the relationship than your partner does.  Maybe you post more about your relationship than your partner does.  Do you see that as you being more committed to the relationship than they are? If someone resists sharing information about you with their circle on social media, it could show that they are resistant to sharing you in all aspects of their life.

4)    You haven’t connected with your partner’s friends and family online. Do your partner’s family and friends show an interest in your life on social media? For example, has your partner ‘friended’ 15 of your friends and family on Facebook, but you haven’t connected with any of their friends and family? Why is it so lopsided? Is your partner afraid to fully integrate you into their life? If you have connected with your partner’s family online, do they like your posts or ignore them? Everyone wants to feel digitally connected with their partner’s family. If not, it is a red flag that may be indicative of a larger issue. Partners should feel digitally supported in the relationship by both families, not just one!

5)    Your partner posts photos that make them look single. Does your partner post photos to maintain the appearance that they are single?  If so, this can cause animosity and make your partner feel you are still seeking outside digital attention.  This is different if your career requires it. For example, you are an Instagram influencer and your job is to maintain this appearance in the fashion world to sell more dresses. Regardless, you need to be with a partner who understands this and supports it. Be clear with your social media motivations up front to avoid any miscommunication. Are you willing to give up posting sultry photos on Instagram if it offends your partner? If not, make that clear before you get too deep into the relationship.

6)    You have generational differences with your partner. Keep in mind that there are major social media differences between Baby Boomers and Millennials. For example, a millennial may expect their partner to view their Instagram story every day, like all their photos and comment on their posts. If the boomer is not active on social media, yet it is a core need for the millennial, it should be discussed before there is conflict.  See if you can compromise on social media viewing habits and frequency. If not, you may be digitally incompatible.

7)    Your partner thinks you over share and post too frequently. Your partner may see your need to post 10 Instagram stories a day as narcissistic and indicative of someone who may not make a great mate and needs constant attention and stimulation. Others may see someone’s daily posting of self-promotional and personal branding posts as too “me-centric” and may make a judgment on the bandwidth of emotional availability if they are so career focused. In this sense, even though it may be a snap judgment, social media can be a good predictor of larger personality traits based on someone’s usage of social networks. Pay close attention to this and to how their social media habits make you feel.

8)    You have a different definition of micro cheating. Don’t underestimate the power of micro cheating on social media. Micro cheating is any minor action that makes your partner feel snubbed on social media channels. If it makes you feel uncomfortable, you should express that to your partner, and your views should be respected. If they can’t respect your views, you may not be digitally compatible. Social Media should not be such a constant strain in the relationship, and if it is- there are more significant issues to address.  If your partner feels controlled by your needs of not wanting them to follow members of the opposite sex on social media, it may show a larger incompatibility with social/political issues and values. It can also be indicative of other problems that can emerge in the relationship. For example, if you feel uncomfortable with them connecting with new people on social media they haven’t yet met, you may feel uncomfortable with them hanging out with members of the opposite sex in real life.

9)    Your partner thinks “likes” equal support. As soon as you post something, your partner has already liked it. For some people, likes equate to support, but for others, likes have an entirely different value system. Perhaps they want to support you in real life with a hug instead of a like. They may also feel like the partners “like” means much less if you have a group of fans who like everything you do as soon as you post. This could dilute the overall value of their like and could make them feel like just another fan. Your partner may also feel intimidated by your social media harem. If 50 people like your post, do you care more about their likes or your partners 1 measly like? Some people feel intimidated by this and think it’s just too much to compete with.

10)    Your partner shares more with their audience than they do with you.  In the old days, if you had big news to share, you would share it with your partner first and then call friends and family. Today with social media, your partner can often be last to know if you post the news first for all to find out. Perhaps you have a very busy job and just want to get the news out, but if you are with someone with traditional values, this will feel like a slap in the face.  Some people won’t slow down to share things with their partner first before sharing it with the world on social media. If you are uncomfortable learning about your partner’s day on social media rather than through them directly, you may not be a match.

Take social media intel seriously and use the behavioral data to determine if you are a good match with someone. Digital compatibility is just as important as real-world compatibility in today’s dating world. To ignore it is to ignore a new reality of dating. If you don’t like the idea of being with someone who posts a new professional achievement daily online to push their personal brand forward, can you really be a match long-term? Or will you always feel uncomfortable every time you refresh your newsfeed?

Instead of ignoring these feelings, we should be facing them head on much earlier on in the dating process. People make the mistake of ignoring their gut instincts or saying it’s “just social media” but social media is a further extension of our lives, and every aspect of our lives should feel fully integrated and comfortable for the people we choose to spend our time with, both online and offline.

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How Publications Increase Revenue In A ‘Grow or Die’ Environment

Social Media Strategist Kris Ruby CEO of Ruby Media Group recently joined Cheddar live from The New York Stock Exchange to discuss innovative ways the publishing industry is changing the way it looks at revenue and why companies are investing in millennial talent.

In this video, NY Digital Media Strategist Kris Ruby discusses:

  • Why a recent study showed a positive outlook for magazine media and what to make of the outlook.
  • How media companies are taking a new approach to making money
  • How social media plays a role in media companies making money and if it is truly a reliable revenue source
  • How other companies can keep up when Facebook and Google have a combined 57.1% of market share this year

PLUS the answer to…

  • Is there any money to be made in print or is it all in digital?

Watch to find out!

Kris Ruby Cheddar TV

 

HOW SOCIAL MEDIA IMPACTS PUBLISHERS

Social media changed the way we consume news. But is this a good thing?

Why are local newspapers struggling?

Newspapers are struggling because newsrooms are shrinking locally and they don’t have the infrastructure and team to support the massive demands that traditional print publishing requires. This is why you have seen so many local newspapers get acquired by larger regional players in their respective markets. This is a major problem for local news.

People depend on local news for reporting and to know what is happening locally in their area. Now, you have added pressure of these traditional print outlets to make quota and fill dormant ad space.

What does this mean for journalism?

It means the notion of church and state from an editorial perspective is slowly shrinking and the lines are becoming blurred. This is also why you have seen such an increase in advertorial and sponsored content. Local newspapers and media outlets are looking for new ways to reinvent themselves to stay alive in a media landscape that is rapidly declining.

This makes it even more challenging for people who really want to get their business featured in the local news because it is becoming increasingly difficult to get organic editorial without also placing ads in these outlets.

As a publicist of 12 + years, I can unequivocally say this. I see it all the time and also have to explain the process of how local media has changed and how the new media landscape works.

SOCIAL MEDIA’S IMPACT ON LOCAL ADVERTISING

Has social media harmed or helped news organizations?

Unfortunately, social media has harmed local news organizations. Why? Because with targeted Facebook ads, people quickly learned they could get a much better ROI with digital advertising dollars deployed on Facebook for way less than they were spending on traditional print ads.

Plus, these print ads aren’t targeted and pinpointed as precisely as Facebook ads are. There is simply no comparison in the precise targeting options that digital social marketing offers.

Ads in local papers still play a role in brand building, but they are not the whole marketing communication pie that they once were. Social media tech giants have substantially cut into the profits of local media outlets.

Is social media good for local advertising and local publishers?

Social media has also made it increasingly harder on the responsibilities for journalists. Instead of only focusing on reporting, local journalists also have to focus on how to get more eyeballs to their Facebook news page or Instagram account.

Journalists and news anchors are under tremendous pressure from the higher-ups at the local news stations they work for to get more followers and likes on social media. They have to worry about being brands on social media in addition to reporting the news.

Don’t you want your local news reporter to be laser focused on reporting the news, instead of focusing on reporting in addition to how to get more Facebook fans?

THE DANGERS OF LIVING IN A NEWS DESERT

Why is local news important and what are the dangers of living in a news desert?

Local news is important, especially for an aging population in a specific region.  This may be the main way they access their news if they are not able to be as mobile as they once were. The dangers of living in a news desert are extreme.

Whoever controls the news controls the narrative. If you only receive your news from a few sources, such as Facebook, that news may be skewed and can contain bias. Plus, Facebook has gone back and forth on what their role really is.

  • Is Facebook a media company?
  • Is Facebook a publishing platform?

Facebook has yet to take a definitive stance on answering these very basic questions.

Facebook also needs more content moderators and a standard set of content guidelines if they are going to be in the role they have found themselves in. They cannot change the guidelines when they deem fit to support a narrative.

Facebook and Google control what we see. That means if Facebook decides that vaccine information is bad, they won’t show it to users. This is dangerous for users. Why?

Traditionally, consumers had access to ALL information on both sides of any topic and could decide for themselves.

That’s no longer an option if big tech makes publishing decisions and tells you what is real and what is fake.

Shouldn’t consumers get to decide that?

Social Media and the Future of Traditional Publishing

It is dangerous for Google or Facebook or big tech to control the news.  They control the entire search market- they are not neutral parties here. Massive ad dollars are deployed at these companies and when advertising is involved, that will impact what information is shown to consumers. It shouldn’t. There should be a clear delineation, but unfortunately, we are living in a new world where it is all blurred because of social media.

The dangers far surpass Facebook or Google. There are news dangers on every major publishing site that allows contributors too. When you allow this to go unchecked and publishers have people contributing content marked as journalism without any checks and balances, you ultimately dilute the name of that publishing outlet.

Something has to change or journalism as we once knew it will become extinct.

RESOURCES

Fox Business Interview “Facebook Expands Today In News”

Traditional Marketing Vs. Digital Marketing

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NY Social Media Strategist Kris Ruby on Fox News Discussing Social Media Algorithms

NYC Social Media Strategist Kris Ruby of Ruby Media Group was recently on Fox News discussing social media algorithms.  YouTube linked the Notre Dame fire to 9/11 and Twiter wrongly flagged tweets for sensitive content. Why can’t social media platforms get it right? Watch to find out. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abjOW5jZFlo&t=20s

news,

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