The world of social media is constantly changing and keeping us on our toes, from year to year and month to month. That means our expertise in social is only as good as our ability to change with the platforms. To that end, Redsters stay obsessively up to date on what’s happening and how we can make the most of it for our clients.
Our Red Sky Predictions report, which we put out at the top of each year, is one of the ways we demonstrate our evolving expertise in social. In it, we cast several predictions focused on social media, along with guidance about how to best manage the changes ahead. In this episode of our Red Sky Fuel for Thought podcast, host Nancy Anderson brings in two of our global experts on the topic — Redsters Davitha (“Davs”) Tiller and Stuart Hood – to talk about what we can expect for social media in 2023.
What You’ll Learn in This Episode:
- What’s the current state of the social landscape?
- Which brands are doing social the right way?
- What is most in-demand for brands on social?
- What should brand marketers be thinking about in 2023?
LOOKING AT THE CURRENT SOCIAL LANDSCAPE
To start off the conversation, Davs, our EVP of social and integration, gives her overview of what she’s seeing happen with social right now.
“Over the last year, the social landscape has undergone big and unexpected changes,” says Davs. “From Meta to Twitter, we’ve seen a major shift away from the ‘go-to’ platforms for marketers, with newcomers such as TikTok poised to step in and take over some of that space. And with that, we’ve seen some exciting changes in behavior and trends.”
Stuart Hood, executive director of social and content at Red Havas AU, then chimes in about the growing popularity of TikTok and Instagram for news consumption, referencing our Meaningful Brands study.
“People are still looking for entertainment and inspiration on social, but they want to be entertained in many different ways,” says Stuart. “We’ve found that almost half of all content provided by brands is not meaningful to consumers, and help content is the most desired category from brands today. So, whereas content that rewards or inspires is the most expected, people are really wanting to see that help content which the news agenda is pushing for consumers.”
BEHIND THE BRAND (BTB)
Next, Davs walks through our “Behind the Brand (BTB)” prediction.
“Following the pandemic, people-focused storytelling has become a staple in social strategies for brands,” she says. “This trend started with executive visibility and bringing in the CEO perspective but has since expanded to bringing in voices from people on all levels of the organization who are usually behind the scenes. The social landscape has become incredibly competitive, so offering an authentic perspective of what goes on in your business can help to differentiate yourself and break through the noise as a company and as a brand.”
BRANDS THAT ARE DOING SOCIAL THE RIGHT WAY
The conversation then shifts to brands that are getting it right on social.
Stuart lists the following as best-practice brands that take users on a journey of what it’s like to be part of them:
Davs adds to the list with brands she thinks are doing social the right way:
WHAT’S MOST IN-DEMAND FROM CLIENTS
Next, both of our guests discuss what’s most in-demand from their clients regarding their social channels.
“Brands are finally starting to look at paid social as part of their always-on organic strategy,” says Stuart. “Many social channels don’t provide very good organic reach anymore, so it’s been a bit of a battle to convince clients that while great creative is important, you also need to spend some money to ensure that people are seeing your content. But we’re seeing a big shift in how brands are becoming more educated in how paid efforts can boost their organic performance and amplify their brand storytelling.”
“We are getting an incredible amount of demand for social listening and social intelligence to look at what audiences are talking about, what they’re looking for, what they’re missing, and then proactively plugging those gaps through content,” says Davs. “We’re starting to use social listening in a much more sophisticated way to look at brand reputation, not just on the social side, but holistically from an earned social, paid influencer perspective as well.”
“In the last few months, we’ve had about five different briefs from separate clients come through asking us to develop a social listening strategy,” says Stuart. “Some clients want to understand what people are talking about from a brand point of view and what their competitors are doing, and other clients are asking for a monitoring service to understand what’s happening daily. Overall, brands are really starting to tune into what people are saying about them, and they’re using data and insights from social listening to help feed into their content strategy.”
ADVICE FOR BRAND MARKETERS IN 2023
To close out our discussion, Davs provides advice for brand marketers and communicators on social:
“Having a full understanding of the versatility of social is more important than ever. There is nothing across the marketing funnel that social cannot accomplish, whether it’s driving awareness, consideration, conversion, advocacy or customer service; it really spans the gamut. Social is a complex channel, so it is vital to invest in specialism. There’s more about it to know than ever before, but there’s also a lot that can go wrong. If you’re a brand that doesn’t have an internal point of contact or agency partner that is versed in all things social and can advise how to activate on the latest changes, then now is the time to get amongst it.”