2023 was the year Meta started to take the meteoric rise of TikTok much more seriously.
Find out more about how Meta is responding to TikTok and what the implications might be for marketing across Facebook and Instagram.
We’ll also look at key dominant trends impacting social media including:
- Emerging social media in a fractured world
- Capitalising on the Power of Linkedin
- The Importance of Mastering Short form video content
Major developments in 2023 from social platforms
The rise of TikTok and the challenge to social media giants!
The explosive growth of TikTok has been the major story this year. And, as we will see, its meteoric rise not only has major implications for marketing, but it is also a major threat to the major social media platforms!!
TikTok has grown dramatically again in 2022, and it is now the third largest Social Media platform!
Since 2018, Facebook and its parent company Meta have been under increasing pressure as a result of a variety of controversies and setbacks, including the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
However, none of these challenges come close to the long-term existential threat posed by TikTok.
TikTok, which began as a music-focused social app, has risen to become the world’s third most popular social media platform.
But the competition is also particularly unwelcome for Meta, posing an existential threat to its core model!!
Meta’s response to TikTok has been to heavily integrate its key features across Facebook and Instagram.
As a result, it is now modifying its news feeds to focus much more on these short videos, tweaking the algorithm to display the most engaging content, even if these choices are “unconnected” to accounts that a user has friended or followed.
While this is not surprising on one level, it could be a fundamental error for Meta.
To better understand this, let’s dive into the key differences between Facebook and TikTok.
TikTok – it’s an entertainment platform!!
One of the reasons TikTok is difficult to grasp is that it is not like any other Social Media Platform. In fact, it is an entertainment app rather than a social media platform!
So, what makes TikTok unique?
TikTok, unlike Facebook and Instagram, does not require that your social friends use the service in order for you to benefit from it.
The key to understanding TikTok is that its recommendation algorithm differs significantly from that of other mainstream social media networks. Fundamentally, users are served content based on its frighteningly accurate algorithm.
TikTok quickly shifted away from its traditional focus on text and images spread among people who know each other – and instead emphasised entertainment and distraction.
Facebook on the other hand is based on a social graph!
The genius of the social graph model is that it enabled social media companies to build extremely powerful businesses based on social connections. The main reason you joined Facebook years ago was that so many of your friends and family did as well – and Facebook delivered an endless stream of content based on social connections.
Meta may have made a mistake by changing its approach to content delivery.
By adapting their platforms to become more like TikTok, Meta risks jeopardising the very foundation of what makes their platform so appealing – connecting people based on social connections and interests.
All social media platforms are chasing the in-the-moment entrainment and engagement factor.
And this has major implications for your marketing!!
Emerging social media in a fractured world.
Social media platforms and content have played a significant role in the global polarisation of culture and politics.
One of the most recent social media trends has been a backlash against online restrictions on behaviour and free speech. As a result, political movements have used new channels.
As a result, we are now witnessing the emergence of smaller, niche social networks based on ideology.
Indeed, Elon Musk’s announcement of a takeover bid was motivated in part by a perceived lack of political balance on Twitter.
BeReal: Be Real is another platform that is a reaction to the social media status quo, and it truly seeks to combat the fakery that is prevalent on so many established social media platforms. And it experienced tremendous growth last year! This also speaks volumes about the backlash against established social media platforms.
Since 2018, the number of people using LinkedIn has increased 400%.
LinkedIn is probably the most underutilised social media platform for anyone working in public and government sector communications or business-to-business. By a long shot!
If you’re like most people in the public sector, you’re not using Linkedin effectively as part of your content promotion, engagement, and advertising.
Just a few areas that stand out on Linkedin:
- Individuals have a massive organic reach!
- It has enormous potential to impact key business functions, particularly HR and recruitment.
But most of all, Linkedin is the only social media platform where you can search for and advertise against job titles! And for so many organisations this ability is really important…
Mastering short-form video content is essential!
TikTok, once again, is having a huge impact on other social media networks in the form of vertical video.
As we’ve seen, social media platforms place a high value on short-form video content, particularly Reels-style videos. Unfortunately, there is a significant skill gap. If you are serious about creating video content, you will need professional training. Whether you are a beginner or need to advance your skills, we can help.
DEVELOPMENTS OF PLATFORMS
2022 was a bad year for Meta and, in particular, Facebook.
For the first time in its history, it experienced a decline in user growth.
Please keep in mind that this is NOT a reason to stop using Facebook. It is still the most popular social media platform in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Meta also suffered the following setbacks:
The doomed ‘full feed’ content proposal, sparked a massive backlash from Celebrity Influencers including the Kardashians who have some of the biggest followings on Instagram so this was a very powerful message!
More reels and stories are being pushed into the Algorithm, so you should update your social media strategies to prepare for more of this type of content – And to develop and market your own style!
Instagram’s ‘Add Yours’ Stickers:
This is essentially a way to be more social on Instagram – and it’s particularly effective for UGC interaction.
New Reel Template Section:
Essentially, this allows you to create a structure for new Reels and then reuse that structure to create Reels more quickly.
The Rise and Success of TikTok Shop
There have been so many developments with TikTok this year but I just want to centre in on TikTok Shop which is positively impacting businesses. It is now possible for businesses to set up their own products on TikTok shop. People who buy their products and post reviews or show them using the product can tag the product, allowing others to purchase it and they can set a commission for this!
So, there’s a lot to take in there, but two of the key areas to recap on are :
- TikTok’s fast popularity is majorly challenging the social media giants – who are adopting key elements of its content style
- The other fast-growing opportunity for organisations – is Linkedin – And B2B in particular needs to take it much more seriously!