Consumer brands on social media are not a new thing, in fact, the brand “boom” on channels such as Facebook and Twitter was about seven years ago. In those seven-ish years we’ve seen social platforms grow up, go public, and become huge legitimate businesses. Their users have grown up and adapted as well, as have those users’ expectations and behaviors, how they consume content, and where and when they consume it. So it comes as no surprise that brands have had no choice but to keep evolving on social media, too, if they want to reach the right people with their messaging, stories and content, and make those stories matter.
We’ve been hearing this for a few years now, and it always seems to get progressively more intense and negative with each passing update to Facebook’s algorithms. As brand social media marketers we hear that content needs to be really “high quality” in order to reach more users organically. And that “virality” will play a role in how many unique eyeballs see your brand’s posts. We’ve understood that text posts on Facebook have greater reach but receive lower engagement, and that image posts get the most engagement, but don’t necessarily generate that organic reach every time, and even those ‘rules’ continuously change. It’s been a tough formula to crack and there hasn’t been a perfect answer. And now Facebook is blatantly admitting that organic reach is falling off.
As we approach the New Year we look to the future. And we also look back. What used to be so clearly defined as “social” media and “digital” in their own rights, have converged. There is a large gray area where digital meets online meets social meets content meets devices meets users. It’s all moving closer to a model that’s one in the same. You won’t be able to have one without considering the other. The silos of even just last year are looking more and more like the entire farm, working together.
You are a brand. You use social media to connect with your consumers, business partners, general fans, and other random people that clicked that button to link themselves to your social presence. You put content out there for these people to see, to say something from your brand. It might be a story. It could be a really entertaining short-format video, or maybe a longer one. You could’ve put a clever graphically-designed post out there.
There have been a lot of recent changes to both Instagram and Vine. What was once a head to head battle for short-format video supremacy has turned into something different. And, that battle was very short-lived as well. Vine launched their much desired app on Android and then about 10 seconds later Instagram was all like, “Oh yeah, did we mention we are launching video? And, our videos are over twice as long and are on that app you guys already all love for photos of the sky, your feet, and your food. And, Facebook owns us.” End quote. Or, something like that….
Last Sunday, as we all know by now, Chipotle faked their own weird, confusing, Twitter “hack.” They sent out a string of tweets that were boring as all hell, made no sense, and looked more like someone on their team had no idea how to use Twitter as opposed to a hack.
I’m being serious.
What do “engagement” and “content” even mean anymore?
These were by far the two biggest buzz words within the digital and social media world over the last two years. For a while we all had a handle on what this all meant.
I am cramming three topics into this quick blog. I wanted to write about all three but didn’t want to spam out three posts back to back. And, as it goes in the social media world – If I waited a week to post one of these it might not be relevant any longer.
Android FINALLY just got Vine. So, pretty much everything below is irrelevant now (so goes the beast of social media). Anyway, I still believe it what I said before the Android version existed…so, take it for what it’s worth. In the meantime I’m going to take my android phone and go play with Vine…