Social Media through comics and anthropology

depepi.com, depepi, pop culture, anthropology, social media

How can comics and anthropology help your social media? By reading comics and observing them you can notice certain aspects that can help your social media strategies. The other day I wrote about “Iwojima x Marvel’s Infinity: popular culture subconscious triggers.” In this post I explained how a comic cover could move and trigger certain feelings on the audience in the United States, resulting in sales, while leaving totally cold the Spanish audience, resulting in lots of comics getting dusty on the shelves.

The art of observation and learning through participant observation is what many anthropologists do when researching a culture not their own. You can do participant observation off-line and online and use anthropological techniques to get closer to your audience and avoid getting many issues of “your comics dusty on the shelves.”

Do you know the focal vocabulary of your audience in your social media?

Do you communicate correctly with them?

Do you know the average age of your potential audience in Tumblr?

What do they like to share the most?

Knowing your audience is key for success, but knowing them takes time. Observing how your potential audience interacts is key to understand them. Using online participant observation, and creating field diaries that you can later use for your social media are key to create a community around your brand. Even if it takes time, it is worth the effort.

Without knowing your audience, how they communicate with each other, which images prefer, which symbols they are more dragged to, is crucial in order to get your brand a strong community. Creating a community around yourself will ensure sales while will also give you an opportunity to be part of a sub-culture, or even it can give you an opportunity to create one of your own.

Anthropology can help you create a healthy and long relationship with your audience. To be able to have the appropriate interactions with your audience across social platforms is paramount in order to create a strong image which can be internalized into your audience’s digital and off-line identities. In other words, you must know your audience, not only what they like, but also how they act, when and how they talk to each other.

The first step is to create a field diary for each of the social media platforms we are engaged in. In each of them we might have slightly different audiences. What we need to discover is:

  • Which is the focal vocabulary my audience uses while communicating? Which words do they use? What do they mean? Do they use memes? Do they use gifs? What type? How do they use those?
  • From the posts I share, which ones are the ones they are sharing the most? Do they comment them? In which way? Which day of the week do they act in this way the most?
  • Contrast each of your field diaries. Does your audience use similar words across platforms? If so, which words are the common ones? Do they have the same behavior in different platforms? What do they share more in Facebook? And in Tumblr? And in Twitter?

To have even better results you can also spy on your competitors. What are their audiences doing? Which focal vocabulary are they using? What are their digital customs? Taking notes on your competitors’ audience can also give you hints on how your own audience might be acting, might like, or even the type of focal vocabulary they are using.

To behave like a member of your audience, to talk into their language and to know what their tastes are gives you a privilege position from which you can create a community, give them services or sell them products in a way they will understand, and create a strong relationship that might be long-lasting.