Staying sane with social media

The social media landscape is changing more rapidly than ever before. And like everything else, these changes are increasingly polarizing and controversial. Platforms are shifting to act more like TikTok, despite backlash from users who want different platforms for different things. The Instagram algorithm is constantly putting the content you want to see in some untouchable mystery realm and is flooding your feed with influencers, massive brands, and pages “you might like” instead. And what is Snapchat or BeReal? Social media is an ever-changing landscape, and keeping up with the latest trends is a full-time job. Fortunately, we have a full-time social media manager at H2.

Advertisers and media buyers are increasingly hitting pause on Twitter advertising amid concerns about brand safety and moderation under new owner, Elon Musk. Media agency bosses have privately expressed concerns about how Twitter is moderated and the erratic behaviour of the new CEO. Brands with a presence on Twitter  have removed their ads and are watching what happens with bated breath. There’s good reason to be concerned about the platform’s future and what it will mean to advertise there. According to Media Matters for America, half of Twitter’s top 100 advertisers appear to no longer be advertising on the website and according to the report, seven additional advertisers have slowed their advertising to almost nothing. 

We’re advising brands to avoid the platform because we cannot guarantee it’s currently a brand-safe environment. The sudden departure of many Twitter employees in charge of moderating Musk’s online behaviour has already resulted in a surge of hate speech on the platform. If and when Twitter becomes an attractive place to advertise again, by all means, buy ads there. It isn’t about Musk, anyway; it’s about protecting your bottom line and showing massive tech businesses (we’re watching you too, Zuckerberg) that you care about where you’re spending your money and they need to do better. The bonus of social media is that there is no shortage of platforms to relocate ad spending – with more than 280 characters to boot! 

What’s coming in 2023 for social media marketing?

Year-over-year, social media has become a more significant part of the overall marketing picture. After years of growing pains, platforms are diversifying their offerings to brands and creating unique opportunities to develop a following and participate in authentic audience communication. 

Here are a couple of trends you can expect to see in 2023:

  • Fewer influencers, more creators. The rise of the influencer was a big deal in the last decade. Now the importance of seeing social media platforms as community-building opportunities is crucial. Rather than working with an influencer simply because of their following, brands should work with creators who are part of a bigger community that fits your brand voice and values.
  • An omnichannel world emerges. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, TikTok, Reddit, LinkedIn, YouTube and soon, BeReal. Consider these platforms as tools in your marketing kit when building your brand’s social playbook — they all excel at something different, so explore strategies that work best for your particular marketing needs. 
  • Social Search will take a leading role. Google has been the lead search engine for a long time, but younger generations are using TikTok and Instagram to search for where to go for dinner, where to travel, and how to do things. They get their news from Twitter and read reviews on Reddit. When it comes to Google, the search will never be dead, but this is just the beginning of social search. 

For the last decade, social media platforms have been tripping over themselves to copy the most successful features of their competition. This comes at the expense of advertisers, brands, and users — we’re wise to remember that people use platforms for different things, and they don’t want this to change. Curate your content for each platform that meets your business needs, save time keeping up with every feature change, conduct an audit on your content and existing platforms, and work on harnessing your strategy for 2023. Social media is a powerful tool and an essential part of any marketing mix — let’s make it work for us, not the other way around!

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