It goes without saying that 2022 threw the social media world for a loop – but the tumult doesn’t have to give executives and social media managers anxiety. A level-headed yet innovative approach will carry your brand through the ebbs and flows of 2023, with a sharp eye for what’s making a lasting impact in organic and paid social media messaging.
Among the changes happening in the world of social media, the most obvious headliner in 2022 was Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter. His own penchant for politically charged tweets has created an environment where a company’s mere presence on Twitter is considered a political statement.
According to Kepios’ analysis of Twitter’s self-reported data, about 10% of the world’s population 13 and over (excluding China) is on Twitter. However, those people are overwhelmingly male: 72.7% compared to just 27.3% female. Therefore, if your brand is primarily geared toward female consumers, those stats could give you pause.
Russell Herder social media strategist Maddie Fetters says brands ought to examine audience response to their Twitter messaging in light of the new, post-Musk takeover environment.
“If you feel like trouble might be on the horizon and it’s not a path you’d like to go down, it might be a time to focus on other social
media platforms such as LinkedIn,” Fetters says.
LinkedIn: Not your boss’ social network anymore
LinkedIn has expanded far beyond its origins as a job posting network, Fetters adds. The platform evolved into both a means for business peers to communicate with each other and a way for the curious to research companies and follow the thought leaders of their industry. The site’s prodigious engagement numbers reflect LinkedIn’s expanded role; it’s promising territory for both paid ads (although they’re expensive to place) and organic content.
According to Kepios, the majority of LinkedIn users, (58%) fall into the 25 to 34 age bracket. When combined with users in the 18 to 24 age bracket, they add up to around 660 million people capable of seeing ads on the platform. So if your marketing team wants to target young professionals or other businesses, LinkedIn is just the ticket.
“LinkedIn users want to engage with potential job seekers, generate B2B leads, and build brand awareness through their posts,” Fetters says. “Using storytelling is the most effective way to evoke emotion and build a connection.”
Facebook and Instagram, the Meta Duo
According to Fetters, Meta’s Facebook used in concert with Instagram can be a valid option since the two platforms complement each other. Instagram works well for organic posts, that is to say, posts your company creates for themselves. In particular, the app’s Carousel feature (essentially a series of photos rather than just one) can turbocharge your reach because using it gives bonus points from Instagram’s algorithm. In contrast to the hype surrounding Reels, the efficacy of still images used in carousel doesn’t get as much attention.
“Carousel posts are the most under-utilized content type on the platform,” Fetters says.
Facebook works well with paid ads such those skillfully created by an outside firm like Russell Herder.
BeReal, born in France, offers intimacy
Still more up-and-coming alternatives to Twitter are also attracting new audiences. Kelsey Christiansen, Russell Herder social media strategist, says one way to tell which social apps are on the rise is to look for which functions the other social sites are incorporating into their own platform.
One such muse for imitation is BeReal, a French startup that aims to foster authenticity among its users by requiring them to take a photo at a random time during the day. That photo is taken from both the front and rear facing cameras of the person’s smartphone, so the photos they submit include one selfie and one picture of their surroundings. Furthermore, the photo must be submitted no more than two minutes after the notification is sent by BeReal to avoid being labeled “late.” Finally, the photo must forego filters and other edits that modify the user’s appearance. While it’s not designed for brands, brands can certainly take notes on the positive response the app has gotten since its rise to US notability last year.
“To see other larger apps that have previously encouraged the exact opposite of BeReal’s mission, then go on to adopt features of BeReal, is a shift,” Christiansen says.
TikTok recently adopted the front/rear camera feature for its own platform, an indication that BeReal has become the trendsetter in the realm of social media.