Founder and CEO of Sway Group, an award-winning agency that specializes in influencer marketing with a focus on B2C nano and micro campaigns
You’ve likely seen a slew of headlines over the past few years accusing TikTok of everything from espionage and other controversial topics to its astounding ongoing ability to influence. While the platform’s contentious nature may be keeping some brands from exploring its short-form video waters, the good news is that there are plenty of other platforms that also offer highly engaged audiences, useful features and great analytics. The bad news? There’s no such thing as a social platform that offers complete brand safety or is free from criticism and controversy.
In the last year alone, we have Instagram’s infamous shift to video (and all the vocal backlash that sparked), YouTube came under fire for removing dislike counts and triggering creator burnout, and Twitter has, of course, been going through seemingly endless amounts of upheaval since Elon Musk took ownership in October of 2022.
This year, brands need a plan for navigating the 2023 social media environment. And more importantly, they need to make smart platform investments that don’t overcommit.
Prepare For Platform Turbulence—And Potential Bans
Recent events may be giving brands plenty of reason to be concerned about the effectiveness of their planned platform strategies in 2023.
TikTok already faces a growing state-by-state ban on government-owned devices, and there has been growing buzz around a potential complete user ban in the U.S. Twitter’s own ever-evolving policies have resulted in capricious user bans (sometimes reversed, sometimes not), with some predicting that a full-scale platform meltdown is yet to come.
As the platform waiting game continues, brands shouldn’t necessarily assume that Twitter will go down in flames or that TikTok will disappear from the App Store. But it’s a smart play to stay nimble with campaign investments.
Keep The Entire Social Media Landscape In Mind
TikTok may be the red-hot app of the moment, but it’s not going to be the right choice for every brand marketer. It’s the same with Twitter: For many brands, the ongoing platform drama is irrelevant because that’s not where they’re choosing to advertise.
As certain platforms gain more and more attention (for reasons good and bad), it’s important to consider the entire social media ecosystem. Established platforms like Facebook, YouTube and Instagram remain incredibly popular options for connecting brands with tightly targeted audiences. Within those platforms, a variety of formats exist (think YouTube Shorts, Instagram Reels and Facebook Stories).
For brands that are willing to experiment, there are interesting marketing possibilities emerging on Metaverse/VR/gaming platforms like Roblox and Minecraft. LinkedIn is becoming another avenue for reaching audiences, particularly B2B. The app BeReal caught advertisers’ eyes in 2022, and Snapchat remains a powerful option for reaching younger audiences like Gen Z and Gen Alpha. Tumblr even got a boost from interested brands in 2022 when Twitter’s troubles began in earnest.
By identifying which platforms are truly best suited for …….