Social Media – from TikTok and Instagram to Facebook and BeReal – has held its own in the news cycle in the first months of 2023. Following Twitter’s takeover by magnate Elon Musk, the company has been on a wild ride, Instagram’s ever-changing algorithm has caused influencers and businesses alike to be agile in their content creation strategies, Facebook’s transformation resulted in Meta, and BeReal has flipped the entire sector on its head by promoting the sharing of strategy-free, un-curated, everyday content.
So, with all these changes, is social media still relevant?
In short, yes. Absolutely.
Over half the world’s population are classified as social media users, so with 4.76 billion people with accounts across the platforms*, it would be remiss to ignore such a strong market. Admittedly growth has slowed in the last 12 months, showing only a 3% rise, however that’s still 142million new people making an appearance in the social media sphere.
2022 saw the highest annual level of digital advertising spend ever, and social media sites were one of the top types of websites visited and apps used. The year also saw the number of marketers who rated social media as an effective advertising platform increase to 7x the level of 2021**.
TikTok has now overtaken Facebook as the most valuable social media brand in the world, according to Brand Finances Annual Global 500. TikTok and its Chinese counterpart, Douyin, are now valued at the 10th most valuable Brand in the world, with TikTok having increased in value despite efforts to have the platform banned in the west due to concerns on the influence on the company by the Chinese government.
Meta, the parent of Facebook and Instagram lost close to 50% of its brand value over the past 12 months due to a significant decline in advertising spend on the platform, while Twitter is suffering from a huge reduction in advertisers associated with the take-over of the platform by Elon Musk. However, usage rates are still high, and advertising is far from the only reason people are opening their apps. Brands still sell products, sure, but competition is rife, and product development alone is no longer the sole determining factor in purchasing; people are increasingly connecting with brands and their stories, buy products because of their connection with their values rather than filling a need in their lives. And social media is a great way to do this.
So, what does this all mean to the average business?
Not a lot really. Social media is still here, and with no exit lanes on the highway for 2023, it’s absolutely still worth investing in.
That said, it is as important as ever to have a solid brand strategy, and run with it.
Stuck for ideas? We’ve got you covered.
1. Be honest to your brand.
• Connection is king. When your brand’s values align with your customer’s, then you’ve hit your sweet spot.
2. If something works, replicate it.
• There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. You know your customers, you know what channels work, and you know if it doesn’t. If you need a hand re-working your strategy, reach out – we’d love to help you try something different.
3. Imitation is the highest form of flattery.
• We’re not talking about downright plagiarism here, but by all means borrow content ideas – use the trending songs for reals, collaborate with brands to cross-promote your products, but remember to stay true to your brand.
4. Treat your audience like your friends.
• Know their birthdays (demographics), know their address (area location), know their interests (which platform they use most) and tailor your strategies using this. Data is easy to access, and is your best friend in determining where your hard-earned money is best spent.
If 2023 is the year that you’re getting your social media sorted, whether that’s for the first time or the 50th, the team at Gerald and Rose have the experience and the expertise to help you build your brand. Reach out today, we’d love to chat.