Navigating the Evolving Social Media Landscape
JIM FREDERICKS, Executive Director, PPMA
Social media is an essential tool for showcasing your brand and point of view and is also an asset in connecting with your current and potential customers. There are nearly 5 billion people using social media in 2023(1)—more than half of the world’s population! Social media remains a dominant part of consumers’ lives, and with their growing reliance on these platforms comes numerous opportunities to advance your business. As vital as this resource is, it moves quickly, with new changes and updates that can affect your success on the platform. To fully capitalize on social media marketing opportunities, you need to have a strong understanding of the platforms and be able to strategically integrate ongoing innovations into your programs.
Monitoring is Key
Pearson’s law states that “When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported back, the rate of improvement accelerates.” If you are not tracking your growth, how will you know how far you have come, how long it took you to get there, and how you need to pivot along the way? Social media monitoring is simply the act of listening to measure the effectiveness of your communication. It helps identify who is talking about your business and what they are saying in relation to your brand. Through this medium, you can deduce data on consumer behaviors and trends and determine what resonates with and motivates consumers in their decision-making processes. Consider incorporating frequent monitoring into your marketing plan, as it can also help in reputation management and navigating crisis situations before they spread further.
Monitoring takes many forms and can be as broad or in-depth as you are able to handle. In the simplest form, it is a recurring analysis of what consumers are saying about your business and how they are interacting with your brand. How many likes did your profile receive? What post performed the best and yielded increased user engagement? What attracted new consumers and helped to grow your audience? If there is revenue behind your social strategy, detailed monitoring is indispensable and should include data analytics reports from each platform, providing insight into audience reach, impressions, clicks, ad value and more. As you integrate this tool into your plan, remember that success looks different for each platform, so it is important to take the time and explore the various media, understand their nuances, and identify what works best for each.
Having proper knowledge of what performs well on each SOCIAL PLATFORM WILL PROVIDE A STRONG FOUNDATION to make changes that will be successful.
What’s New in the Social Landscape?
This year alone, there has been a wide range of updates across various social media platforms. Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, launched a new social platform, Threads, for sharing text updates and joining public conversations. With the release of the app this summer, there were over 30 million downloads in the first five days, and a week after its release, there were 100 million users on Threads. While there are currently no paid advertising opportunities, Threads does, however, build off your Instagram profile and can carry followers over, so you’re not building a brand-new audience from scratch. With the seamless integration with your Instagram profile, you can share your Threads content directly on your Instagram, increasing the overall reach of the post.
While new platforms are on the rise, some of the classics are getting a makeover. X, formerly known as Twitter, has undergone a number of changes in the past year, with the recent rebrand being among the most significant updates. Some of X’s modifications, like purchasing verifications, have driven users away from the platform. However, there are still millions of active users on X each day, so there’s not much strategic reason for your business to leave the platform just yet, especially if you already have an engaged audience.
Having proper knowledge of what performs well on each social platform will provide a strong foundation to make changes that will be successful. For example, if you know that some of the best-performing content on Facebook are videos, branded infographics and anecdotes that help to support your message, you will be able to ensure new ideas are in line with proven success tactics. Likewise, knowing that direct, attention-grabbing and straight-to-the-point videos see a lot of engagement on TikTok, you are less likely to beat around the bush in your videos when integrating new content ideas. The social landscape is constantly evolving, so it is important to remain adaptable to the shifts in the digital space as we head into 2024. Who knows the latest trend that will sweep TikTok or Instagram and make content go viral? However, you have to be prepared and ready to seize those opportunities as they arise.