Social in Short

Social in Short: April 2022

You already know you need to be on TikTok, right? In case you still need a nudge, we’ve got some guidance, along with the latest social updates.

Not on TikTok yet? You probably should be

At the start of the pandemic, TikTok’s popularity and downloads soared, as Millennials were starting to discover what Gen Z already knew: TikTok is special. Now, it’s time for brands to be seriously considering the platform as part of their social suite if they haven’t already activated it.

Here are three reasons why brands should be on TikTok (and what it means for them):

  1. There are more than 1 billion global active users (many of who aren’t on other established social channels) on TikTok and more expected in the coming year. But more than simply being active, these users constitute a far younger audience than legacy social platforms (Facebook, Twitter, and even Instagram). More than half of Gen Z consumers are using the platform daily, and that alone should be a reason for brands looking to stay relevant for the next generation.
  2. Unlike other platforms that have become pay-to-play even with owned audiences, TikTok’s algorithm rewards engagement and not followers or paid dollars. Instead of an ad, brands should be looking to create a moment on TikTok to engage audiences in an authentic and captivating way. Humor, honesty, and innovation are rewarded on this platform.
  3. TikTok is a less filtered and curated space that begs brands to take a new approach to content development. The same copy-paste strategy that marketers can get away with on other platforms will fall flat. Instead, TikTok provides an opportunity for brands to bring their brand personality to life–and develop a well-rounded, human essence by testing, learning, and identifying what works. Brands who’ve pivoted to TikTok, like The Washington Post, have been able to tap into the fun, bold side of their personality to better suit the platform.

Instagram introduces a suite of new messaging features

Over the last few weeks, and some still to come, Instagram has introduced seven new messaging features to the platform: 

  1. The ability to reply without leaving the Instagram Home feed 
  2. Share content leaving the Instagram Home feed by tapping and holding the share button
  3. See who’s online at the top of your inbox list
  4. Add “@silent” to your message and it won’t send a notification along with your message
  5. Create a poll in group messages
  6. Personalize your messaging chat theme
  7. Share a song (coming soon) via integrations with Apple Music, Amazon Music, and Spotify.

What it means for brands: Instagram has begun prioritizing behaviors like Shares and Saves when it comes to consumer behavior as a gauge of their interest in content. New features like sharing and replying without having to leave the home screen help facilitate these consumer behaviors (*cough* and lean into an established feature on TikTok *cough*). Additionally, for brands utilizing messaging as a means to build relationships and trust with consumers, these additional features allow for more human interactions on Instagram.

The Metaverse hits the physical world

Earlier this week, Meta announced Meta Store, a retail space that will feature their hardware, including Portal (digital video and display device), Ray-Ban Stories (smart sunglasses), and Quest 2 (VR headset). The Apple-like store will allow consumers to try out these products to see, according to Meta, what is “possible with [their] products today, while giving a glimpse into the future as the metaverse comes to life.”

What it means for brands: For categories like gaming and fashion where VR, AR, and NFTs are already being integrated into the fabric of the consumer experience, the Metaverse and its associated products offer opportunities for future engagement and are shaping how these experiences will come to life. As brands begin testing the waters of these types of engagements, it will be critical to reground strategies in your unique consumer’s behaviors, interests, and needs to remain authentic and relevant.

Elon Musk to buy Twitter for $44 billion

Twitter accepted the billionaire’s offer on Monday, giving him total control of the company. In a release following the announcement, Musk stated, “I want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans.”

What it means for brands: It’s still unclear the full extent of the impact that Musk will have on Twitter, but many speculate there will be a sharp decline in moderation, given his history of openly criticizing Twitter’s moderation. One thing is for certain: Brands and consumers alike can expect a number of platform and content feature changes in the coming weeks and months.  

Other updates of note

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