How stable are the social networks we spend so much time and money working with? Over the past six months, we’ve seen a spike in brands taking a stand against social media platforms and their practices. We’ve also seen serious outages that took entire networks down.
- In July 2021, over 1,000 advertisers publicly joined the #StopHateForProfit boycott calling for companies to stop paying for ads on Facebook to protest how the platform handles hate speech and misinformation.
- In October 2021, we heard testimony from Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen that the company systematically and repeatedly prioritized profits over the safety of its users, which caused many companies to reevaluate their affiliation with the platform.
- In October 2021, we all felt the impact of the six-hour Facebook and Instagram outage. According to Santosh Janardhan, a vice president of infrastructure at Facebook, this outage was triggered by the system that manages their global backbone network capacity. This global backbone is the network Facebook has built to connect all of its computing facilities together, which consists of tens of thousands of miles of fiber-optic cables crossing the globe and linking all its data centers. This outage cost advertisers millions of dollars and many companies took a serious revenue loss, especially small businesses.
- In November 2021, UK based cosmetic company Lush Cosmetics announced it was closing its accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok until the social media sites do a better job of protecting users from harmful content.
Strong brand social media followings take years to build. A wealth of time, energy and money is spent curating engaging content to create digital communities. In the wake of outages and ongoing controversy across social platforms, what should a brand or company do to ensure longevity and relevancy in the digital space?
These events, along with the fickle nature of consumers, signify it’s time to diversify social strategies and look beyond Facebook and Instagram to share brand stories. We need to ask ourselves where we would go if these platforms shut down and create alternative routes to reach and communicate with audiences.
The new year is always a great time to reflect on your goals, strategies and tactics. How might you diversify your brand’s presence on social media in the coming year? In 2022, consider taking a chance on creativity. Push for TikTok, Snapchat, Clubhouse, an internal blog, a podcast or even a Spotify playlist to connect with your audiences.
According to Forbes, one of the biggest social media trends in 2022 is going to be breaking long-form content into microcontent. This practice allows bite-size pieces of content to be distributed across various platforms that lead back to the original long-form content to create deeper connections. This allows for cross pollination across platforms. For example, podcast audio can be used for TikTok, Spotify playlists can be shared on Instagram, or a Clubhouse talk can be promoted on Facebook. The possibilities are endless, and this all leads to more touchpoints and ultimately a stronger community base.
Another benefit of diversifying your social media strategy is the opportunity to learn even more about your audiences. Making the leap into new digital spaces opens the door to a wealth of new data unique to the various platforms. Use these new insights to strengthen brand connections and loyalty.
In a recent professional development session, NST hosted a “social media dating game” to focus on social media best practices. We discussed the reach and purpose of each network and how to adapt content strategies for each platform. The main takeaway was that brands can utilize most social media networks to achieve their goals if they adapt their content strategy to the demographics and purposes of each platform. Develop content that plays to the unique strengths of each platform and avoid the temptation to use the same content across all networks. For example, utilizing the visual focus of Instagram to tell a story with pictures (like they say, a picture is worth 1,000 words) or saving lengthy text for an engaged LinkedIn audience can make a huge difference in boosting impressions.
Diversifying your social media strategy not only prepares you for any shutdowns or protests on specific platforms, but also creates a more dynamic way to engage with your audiences.
Let us know if you want to learn more about how NST can help you with social media. And if you’re a social media maven looking to take your expertise and experience to the next level with a group of engaging clients, check out our job openings to join the NST team.