The Elder Social

Social media marketing has moved to maturity, but has your strategy caught up?

As social media moves from infancy to maturity, the way we use it as marketers has changed drastically. Whilst most brands have caught up to utilising social media well, how have you re-evaluated the role of this kingpin, as the social media landscape has changed?

Pivoting to Social

Social media is truly embedded into our everyday experiences. We don’t go anywhere without coming into contact with opportunities for it. It’s commonplace to the point of complete necessity.

But that wasn’t always the case. When social media first burst onto marketing radars a good 15 years ago, it was seen as the supplementary arm of marketing. It was the ‘do it if we have spare budget’ element that for many years lay relatively dormant, before bursting into its current status as the home for many marketing activities. 

And that change meant that we all had to pivot our strategy towards making it a priority. It is now an active marketing component rather than a passive one, driving leads, impressions and sales galore. But the question remains on how focussed you are on the best ways to use it? 

Well, we’ve tried to distil some of the ways that the social proposition is still evolving into its maturity as part of the marketing mix, as well as how best to keep your strategy up to date.

The perception of influencer marketing

One way that social marketing has distinctly evolved is the emergence of influencer marketing. It had once seemed a contentious way to promote your brand, but now is a cornerstone of many marketing strategies. Some still feel like the ‘brand of me’ is an unsavoury way to influence public perceptions, but the results cannot be argued with.

And those results are driving an identity shift for influencer marketing. It’s not just the Kim K’s of the industry, or even just celebrities, that are shaping this arena, with many micro-influencers gaining traction too.

In fact, marketing managers tend to love smaller creators as they have been demonstrably beneficial for the smaller cost outlay. In addition, the range and scale of influence of utilising many micro-influencers is arguably greater than a single ‘big name’.

But some marketers haven’t quite caught up to the changing perceptions of this tool. In America, influencer marketing is way more mature and more credible use of ad spend among marketing teams, but the UK lags behind massively, with a perception gap that means that there are sales being left on the table by not accepting and truly running with influencer marketing.

It’s worth looking at your strategy and asking how a more mature influencer market may be beneficial for your brand, because the ROI on this form of marketing can be stunning, if done intelligently.

How medium affects the marketing message

Part of the evolution of all social marketing is also based on the evolution of the platforms. We’re seeing tech companies fight for our digital attention, left right and centre, because there’s so much money to be gained from maximising this. But in doing so, new evolutions of the social experience are popping up that fundamentally shift the way that our messaging has to be curated for those platforms.

Think about the evolution of reels and how the nature of them has shifted not just messaging on reels themselves, but created a demand for more ‘burst-like’ content that has shifted even the way that video and audio is edited. The medium changes the kind of messaging that is available for us. 

And so, an integral question to ask yourself is how different forms of content suit your brand and your messaging and then pick the most congruent ones optimised for it. You don’t need a podcast if you’re a FMCG brand looking to bump sales in-store, in the same way that you won’t rely on reels as a brand seeking a more professional and curated brand image.

Pick a lane

Which brings us onto another key part of a mature social media landscape. For so long brands clamoured to be as wide as they could stretch themselves, across lots of different social channels, without considering if they were doing just that- stretching themselves too thin. A more mature social strategy will pick one or two social channels that fully embody what your brand wants to achieve and work on producing content and engagement that is genuine for those platforms.

It’s worth doing a bit of strategic analysis and considering which platforms offer you the most scope for your future objectives. And at the same time, you can consider how the changing mediums of what type of content those platforms are pushing, will either help or hinder your activities. The trick is to stay consistent over one or two, rather than adopt a strategy of trying to do it all at once.

The elder social

Ultimately social media has reshaped and reworked our lives both socially and professionally. The river of technology will keep flowing downstream and there’ll always be new innovations to master. 

So whilst there are some great current strategies in this blog, it’s worth noting that a continual review of your social strategy might be the best tactic for long-term outcomes. Other than today, when was the last time you took a step back to holistically analyse the nature of social marketing, rather than just your day-to-day objectives? There’s always a more immediate priority, but booking in time for active reflection may be the most prudent way to keep your activities relevant and on the ball.

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