Sep 19, 2023

How Has Social Media Marketing Evolved in the Past Year?

Who would believe that 20 years ago is when the first Social Media platform, MySpace launched. MySpace was a free, advertising-supported service that allowed users to create Web “profile” pages that feature photographs, express their interests, and, most importantly, link to other people’s profiles. Sound familiar? The basis of all social media platforms stem from the same premise – connecting people virtually.
Over the last year, there have been some significant evolutions especially when we think about new technological advancements and changing consumer behavior. As Confucius once said, “Cultivate the root; the leaves and branches will take care of themselves”

Social media trends powered by technology.

Live Streaming: The rise of Live Video Streaming on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitch and YouTube has become more widely available making it much more popular. It allows users to stream events, performances, or any other type of content in real-time, enabling viewers to watch and engage with the content as it happens. This technology has revolutionized social media marketing by providing brands and influencers with a new way to engage with their followers and create interactive experiences.

Short-form video content: With the success of platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels, short-form videos have become a preferred format for many social media users. Brands have also embraced this trend to create engaging and entertaining content.

Augmented Reality (AR) filters: AR filters have become a fun and interactive way for users to engage with brands and share unique content. Brands have utilized AR filters to promote products, create branded experiences, and increase user engagement.

Influencer marketing: Influencer marketing has continued to grow in popularity, with brands leveraging the influence of social media personalities to promote their products or services. The past year has seen a rise in micro-influencers, who have smaller but highly engaged audiences.

Social commerce: The integration of e-commerce capabilities within social media platforms has made it easier for users to discover and purchase products directly from their favorite brands. This has transformed social media into a powerful sales channel for businesses.

Capturing a consumer’s attention is hard. Use video. 

Capturing and retaining customer attention is even harder. With the rise of a constant stream of content competing for attention, businesses have only a few seconds to make an impact. That’s why it’s crucial for brands to create engaging and attention-grabbing content that resonates with their target audience. Whether it’s through eye-catching visuals, compelling storytelling, or interactive elements, businesses need to find creative ways to stand out from the crowd.

One effective strategy is to leverage the power of video content. Videos have proven to be highly engaging and can convey information quickly and effectively. Platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels have exploded in popularity, offering businesses an opportunity to showcase their products or services in a visually appealing and entertaining way.

By incorporating short-form videos into their social media marketing strategies, businesses can capture the attention of their audience and deliver their message in a concise and memorable format. Whether it’s a behind-the-scenes look at their production process, a tutorial on how to use their products, or a funny and relatable skit, videos offer a unique opportunity to connect with customers on a deeper level.

Businesses that embrace this trend and find innovative ways to incorporate videos into their marketing strategies will have a competitive edge in today’s digital landscape.

Influencer marketing is a thing. 

Influencer marketing has become an integral part of social media marketing strategies in the past year. Brands have recognized the power of social media influencers in reaching and engaging with their target audience.

By partnering with influencers, brands can tap into their existing audience and gain exposure to a wider customer base. Influencers can create sponsored content that showcases the brand’s products or services in an authentic and relatable way. This type of content feels more organic and less like traditional advertising, making it more appealing to consumers.

In addition to reach, influencers also offer a level of authenticity and trust. Their followers view them as peers or trusted advisors, making their recommendations more impactful. This can lead to increased brand awareness, customer loyalty, and ultimately, sales.

However, it’s important for brands to carefully select influencers that align with their brand values and target audience. Authenticity and relevance are key in influencer marketing. Consumers are becoming more discerning and can easily spot inauthentic or forced endorsements. Brands need to ensure that the influencer’s content resonates with their brand identity and values.

User-Generated Content (UGC) is still tricky. 

Brands have recognized the power of UGC in building trust and authenticity. They encourage their followers to create and share content related to their brand, which not only increases engagement but also provides social proof to potential customers. UGC allows brands to showcase real-life experiences and testimonials, which can be highly influential in the decision-making process.

While user-generated content (UGC) can be a powerful tool for brands, there are also some potential drawbacks. One of the main challenges with UGC is maintaining quality control. Since anyone can create and share content, there is a risk of low-quality or inappropriate content being associated with the brand. This can damage the brand’s reputation and credibility.

Another challenge with UGC is the lack of control over the messaging. While brands can encourage their followers to create content related to their products or services, they cannot control the specific messages or narratives that users may convey. This can lead to inconsistencies or misrepresentations of the brand’s values or offerings.

Additionally, brands may face legal issues when using UGC. They need to ensure that they have the proper rights and permissions to use the content created by their followers. This can involve obtaining consent and potentially compensating the creators, which can be time-consuming and costly.

Increased focus on social commerce. 

In the past year, social commerce has seen significant growth and increased importance in social media marketing. We go in depth about Social Commerce in an article we wrote Why Social Commerce is Primed for Growth Social media platforms continue to expand their e-commerce capabilities, allowing brands to sell products directly through their social media profiles. This integration of shopping features has made it easier for businesses to drive sales and conversions through social media marketing.

With the rise of social commerce, businesses can now create a seamless shopping experience for their customers, eliminating the need for them to leave the platform to make a purchase. This convenience has proven to be highly effective in driving impulse purchases and increasing conversion rates.

Social media platforms have also introduced new features to enhance the social commerce experience. For example, Instagram has introduced features like Instagram Shopping and Checkout, allowing businesses to tag products in their posts and stories, and enabling users to make purchases without leaving the app.

Additionally, platforms like Facebook, TikTok and Pinterest all have “buy now” buttons and shopping catalogs, making it even easier for businesses to showcase their products and drive sales.

Increased privacy concerns and regulations. 

Social media privacy concerns have become more prominent in the past year, leading to stricter regulations around data collection and usage. Platforms like Facebook have introduced changes to their ad targeting and tracking practices, requiring brands to adapt their social media marketing strategies accordingly.

These privacy concerns are driven by growing awareness of data breaches, unauthorized access to personal information, and the misuse of data by social media platforms. Consumers are becoming more cautious about the information they share online and are demanding greater transparency and control over their data.

In response to these concerns, platforms like Facebook have implemented measures to enhance user privacy. For example, they have introduced changes to their ad targeting practices, limiting the amount of personal data that advertisers can access. This means that brands may have to rely on alternative targeting methods, such as demographic targeting or interest-based targeting, to reach their desired audience.

The increased focus on privacy concerns and regulations has forced brands to be more transparent and responsible in their social media marketing practices. They need to prioritize data protection, consent management, and privacy policies to build trust with their audience and comply with the evolving regulatory landscape.

Conquer the Trends with Us!

Overall, Social Media marketing has evolved to become more interactive, personalized, and focused on building authentic connections with the audience. The integration of various technologies and changing consumer behavior continue to shape the future of social media marketing.

At Cordelia Labs, we do our best to stay on top of the trends and way to help brands capitalize on them. Contact us today to find out how we can get your company up to speed on the new social media trends.