Take a look at our guide to understand how social media has changed this year.
If you want to crowdfund your latest project or get your e-commerce business off the ground, you need some marketing skills. And no doubt you have them. However, they may require some adjustment as social media has gone through a big upheaval.
What users go to social media for, what they engage with, and how you get it to them are all changing. If you have a business you want to market, read this guide on how social media has changed this year.
Users buy more online from like-minded companies
Lockdown did a lot of things to society and made for some interesting habitual changes. For one thing, people started buying more online.
We organically found many items we wanted simply by scrolling through social media feeds. We also learned more about what we bought and who we bought from through thorough research.
More than ever, people look up brands on social media to make sure the company’s policies align with their personal values. As a brand, it’s in your best interest to declare loud and proud what your brand stands for.
This doesn’t have to be controversial. For example, pretty much everyone can get on the same page about supporting small businesses, cruelty-free products, and sustainable items.
Additionally, more communities exist now—across all platforms. Algorithms introduce people to other like-minded users who have similar interests or identities. Leaders of these communities rise to the top due to high engagement and large followings, resulting in micro-influencers.
Working with these micro-influencers is a great alternative to connecting with the major influencers. Users no longer trust big influencers because they come off as greedy, disingenuous, and willing to shill anything regardless of merit.
What users want from marketing has changed
What is considered quality content nowadays has changed. You don’t have to have the best camera with the highest resolution. But you need to offer content that your users can engage with.
Users know if they are watching an advertisement. This is in part because you have to make it obvious. But users won’t watch ads unless they’re worth their time, and ads often aren’t worth watching.
No longer is your goal to showcase your business in 30 seconds. Instead, you need to keep your customers’ attention. Simply outlining why your product is the best isn’t enough. You need to provide followers with information, a laugh, or a narrative.
For example, you can create a 30-second video about learning how to trade crypto. If you can make it funny, you’ve created engaging content. You can demonstrate your products or service—tapping into the oddly satisfying hashtag with before and after reveals—or give users a behind-the-scenes peek at either your office or team.
Believe it or not, a joke is a narrative. A conversation of only 3 lines is a narrative, which means you won’t be too limited when you’re making content.
The point is, giving your audience a narrative doesn’t require being Dickens for a day. Write an anecdote, make a joke, or have fun with trends, and you’ll probably make someone laugh.
There are a lot of new features coming to social media platforms—and a few that are already here. For example, Instagram’s push into retail is obvious with the launch of Shops, which allow users to view a brand’s shop directly from their profile page. There are also price tags in posts, allowing users to quickly find items and go directly to the purchase point.
Furthermore, there is an affiliate marketing feature that connects influencers with marketers like a commission forum. Influencers can put themselves forward for affiliate marketing opportunities, and marketers can search for the ones that best fit their needs.
Meanwhile, Twitter and LinkedIn have both made moves into podcasting. Podcasting is a useful marketing opportunity and an easy content format, which means both brands and influencers are starting their own podcasts.
Twitter has added a little podcast tab in users’ menus so that they can find podcasts that suit them. LinkedIn has also launched its own platform with content made by industry experts. They’ll both likely expand beyond these initial moves, and marketers will have more places for podcasting ads beyond Spotify.
Overall, keeping up with social media changes will help the success of your business.