Updated: Aug 24, 2022
How the Chief of Instagram (Former CEO), Adam Mosseri, builds meaningful relationships with his consumers, and how you as a CEO can do it yourself - today.
The Instagram chief has been working on building relationships with his consumers for quite a while. Since 2018, Mosseri has built his digital presence as the CEO (and now Head of Instagram) of one of the most popular social media platforms in the world. For years now, he’s been sitting in front of the camera, delivering his message to his audience, asking them questions, engaging with them, all while maintaining his natural, calm, and easy going demeanor.
This analysis, which provides you with a glimpse into Mosseri’s Instagram channel and helps you understand what his philosophy and guidelines are, is something that you as CEOs can (and should) start doing today. It’s actually so simple that it’s almost impossible to believe that we used to think about content creation and self-branding as such a complex thing.
What makes Mosseri’s Instagram channel so good?
1. Authenticity - Look at Mosseri’s locations when he films his videos - most of the time, it looks like he is sitting in his house, either with his workstation behind him or in his living room. Just a few videos have been filmed in his official office or in other commercial locations. This is the number one way of building a connection - when he films himself so naturally and at eye-level, it makes us feel very close to him. It almost feels like he didn’t plan to do so and just pressed record - a truly authentic video.
2. Simple - The video editing style and graphic elements that you can see along the video are very basic - but it actually works very well. Based on the fact that Mosseri wants us to feel very comfortable watching him, without us feeling like it's a type of marketing initiative, the editing style he chose makes us feel like he does it by himself, without professional video editors involved, making him very approachable, and emulating his style very attainable.
3. Outfit - Although Mosseri is the Head of Instagram, he wears very casual clothes in his videos. This is not a coincidence. Mosseri is one of the big CEOs out there, but he doesn’t want us to think about it when he delivers his message. He wants us to feel like this is an eye-level conversation, without any arrogance or distance between us - which makes it easy to build a natural and authentic connection. You can almost feel like you caught him for a chat in the middle of a work day, without any official planning.
4. No cameraman - Check out the first few seconds of his videos - you can always see that Mosseri is pressing the record button for himself. He doesn’t need anyone else to make this video come to life. This is what makes us feel that he is really spontaneous, and that the videos are a genuine effort at connecting with his audience.
5. Listening - It’s not just about delivering your message, it’s also about hearing your viewers, learning more about their expectations and connecting with them. If you check out Mosseri’s videos, you can see that most of the time he finishes the post with a question or request - “Please let me know what you think”. For us, as viewers, it’s amazing to feel and know that this big CEO wants to hear what we have to say.
6. Modesty - Mosseri isn’t trying to hide behind his title to paint a picture where everything is perfect, in fact, he does exactly the opposite. He turns to his viewers and says the truth as it is (at least the truth that he chooses to share). For example, with Instagram’s new “full-screen version” that some of the users can currently see on their Instagram account - he admits - “It’s not yet good,” noting that the experience will have to be improved if it’s introduced to the rest of the Instagram community. This type of message shows Mosseri in a modest light, allowing his viewers a peek into the progress of the company and their transparency.
7. Use his own platform - Mosseri isn’t just creating the content, he also uses his own platform to edit the videos. Keep in mind that you always need to walk the walk and not just talk the talk. By doing that, Mosseri helps us understand that he, as an amatuer video editor, can really use this platform to deliver his messages, and you, as the user, can too.
8. Private life - If you’ll check out Mosseri’s Instagram you can see that he covers lots of different topics - it’s not just about Instagram as a company or about the platform itself, but also about his family, the things he likes and what he believes in. That provides us a glimpse into his personal life not just as a CEO, but also as a person - a father and a family guy. Humanizing himself in that way allows others to feel comfortable reaching out and connecting to Mosseri.
9. Real-time marketing - Mosseri reacts in real time to what really happens in the world. This post, for example, is a pure reaction that he published a day after celebrities like Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian criticized the app for “trying to be TikTok”. This is further proof that he does not plan these videos months in advance – he learned how to build this relationship with us (the consumers), and understands that in order to stay connected to his audience, he needs to respond and engage with real-time events and updates.
How does it look when it actually works?
If you check out Mosseri’s Instagram channel, you can see lots of engagement and collaboration from the viewers related to his posts - millions of comments, shares, and likes.
You can see that his videos really have an effect on people when they start developing emotions about it - people don’t just react with likes and views, but also make a lot of effort to react and connect to the content with their own videos and thoughts. Here you can see someone who created a parody about Mosseri’s video. It’s amazing to see how impactful his messages are.
Remember - as long as you increase your users, engagement, and digital presence, you have a significant impact - both in and outside the company. You don’t need advanced equipment, professional experts, or expensive tools - you just need to be your authentic self.
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