How 14 year-old blogger Michael Moore built up a massive social media following

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  • By Michael Moore

    As a student starting GCSE's next year, I am thinking about my future, and trying to balance it with life as an ordinary 14-year-old.

    Five months ago, my school invited all Year 9s and their parents to an information night to help choose our GCSE courses for next year. The head of year advised us the most successful people are passionate about what they do. This helped me to self-reflect, as I thought over what I really enjoyed doing. It became clear to me I was interested in business and how it works, and so I knew that was what I was going to do.

    Like almost everyone in my age group, social media is a big part of my life. In my year at school, every person I know uses Instagram and Snapchat. The majority of people use these to socialise with their mates or to share videos and pictures.

    However, a small minority (like me) can see the potential of using social media for other purposes to what they are typically used for.

    Here is my story.

    A friend and I decided to start an Instagram account. However, we both had different intentions as to where we saw it going. We chose to post pictures of food specifically because we had a mutual passion for it and we felt other people probably would too!

    After a while his interest began to wain, but mine grew stronger as my following grew quickly. I became excited by the information that could be provided by Instagram in a business account telling you about the demographic of your followers and the engagement per post. I started to look for trends in my posts.

    Six months later I have built a following of over 15,600 followers which is growing by the hour! Because of the business account’s analytic feature, I now know:

    • 70% of my followers are female

    • 61% are aged between 18-34

    • My biggest following are based in Brazil

    • My top post has been clicked on 186,000 times - in a week

    These stats are most important as many marketing groups are interested in particular demographics. This gives my hobby an opportunity to progress into a business where companies can advertise their product through my page direct to a group of people who are likely to be interested. The income that can be made through this is insane!

    I have become more analytical in the types of pictures I post, the hour I post them and the hashtags that I use to gain an even larger following and engagement.

    As the days go by many larger business, and even smaller businesses, are waking up to the idea of social selling but many are lagging behind.

    Many people buy products differently, typically depending on age. Let’s take how someone purchases a pair of shoes as an example. My Dad would walk into a shop, look at the shelves, see what he could afford and buy them immediately. My Mum would research on different websites and then find the best deal. However, the last pair of shoes I bought was through an app on my smartphone, that I downloaded after following their Instagram page.

    Although today it is only a pair of shoes that I am buying, in 3-4 years I will be buying car insurance and more expensive things. For companies that aim to sell to the next generation, they only have a small period of time to work out how to sell products to people my age.

    After seeing my Dad use LinkedIn for work, I took more of an interest in how it worked and how it was different to Instagram. What I have found is the majority of people on there are highly qualified, middle-aged adults who haven’t grown up with the tech that we as a generation now have access to. I decided to open an account in order to share my opinion as a Gen Z in an area where they are not represented well at all.

    Within a week of my account being open my original post has been seen by over 500,000 people all around the world. I have had hundreds of supportive messages many of which keen to explore work opportunities together all because I was different! I now have more than 2,000 followers in my professional network including CEO’s of companies, recruiters, entrepreneurs and many more. When I am old enough to be looking for my first full time job I am certain the network of people I have already built up will be useful.

    So it has been an interesting journey for me after such a simple hobby has turned into a world of opportunity. My initial interest in Instagram taught me so much about what people like and gave me the motivation to look at social media uses in business.

    Visit my instagram page

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