THE CHANGING FACE OF SOCIAL MEDIA 

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From simple visual tweaks to completely new features, the world undoubtedly goes mad when our much-loved social streams look and feel completely different from one day to the next. Over recent months, we’ve seen an overhaul of Twitter’s timeline, the introduction of Facebook’s reactions and the first ever sponsored filter on Snapchat from Cadbury. While many social media users overreact to the smallest of changes, just how much impact do they have on brands?

Instagram has just introduced a completely new algorithm to optimise its timeline. Rather than being ordered by date, posts will appear based on an individual’s preferences and relationship with different brands and topics.

Since launching its advertising platform last September, Instagram has secured over 200,000 brands using promoted posts. However, this rapid growth has come at a cost for the social network, with consumers claiming they can’t keep up with their feeds. With the soaring amount of daily content, they miss over 70 per cent of posts.

Organic reach is now more difficult to achieve compared with the early social media days. Since making the change this month, Instagram has already received backlash from a number of companies, claiming that this new algorithm artificially favours paid-for content and prevents other posts from being seen.

While maintaining share of voice on social media is becoming more and more competitive, this latest change isn’t all doom and gloom for brands. In fact, with a sound strategy in place and a constant flow of thought-led content, it can actually be used to brands’ advantage when it comes to being noticed in the big wide world of social.

Content is and always will be king – and these recent changes highlight that even further. Businesses can no longer use their social presence as a means to an end with no real substance; they should be offering purposeful, engaging and exciting content. Both organic and sponsored posts need to capture consumers’ attention, giving them a reason to connect with and talk to the brand.

Whether it’s an interesting fact, colourful infographic or a joke so funny it can be shared over and over again, we need to be constantly generating exciting posts that our target audience will be interested in. The social landscape is changing and becoming increasingly demanding, so brands should keep content fresh and lively to keep up. What’s more, we would always recommend placing budget behind posts as part of any social media strategy, enabling you to accurately target new audiences and interact with a wider pool of consumers.

Gone are the days when social was simply a sales platform or product showcase. Consumers have less time to scroll and generally only engage with posts that are relevant to them. So, it’s time for companies to put themselves in their target consumers’ shoes and ensure they’re talking about interesting topics with the right tone of voice.

If you don’t know where to start with your social media strategy or can’t seem to crack your audience, why not get in touch to see how we can shake things up?