The ever-evolving world of social media and why it’s critical that you have a presence
Remember Vine? MySpace? Google+? YikYak? Twitter? 😉 Welcome to the graveyard of platforms past and the social media world that is constantly changing. Just ask anyone on your team who has tried giving someone access to their client’s Facebook account. “I swear it used to be right there…” We totally feel you. It really did use to be right “there,” but the nature of social media is continuously evolving based on user behavior and what is trending – and odds are what used to be right “there” probably isn’t anymore.
Threads vs. X Case Study
What happened with Twitter is a perfect example of how fast public opinion is persuaded online and how quickly this industry evolves. Within less than a year of Elon Musk taking over Twitter, Threads has launched and entered the market. It’s true that there are many reasons for Twitter losing popularity with the public, but there’s no doubt that public opinion became increasingly negative towards Twitter after Elon Musk officially took over in October of 2022. The consequence? A mass exodus from the platform that included many celebrities and had a message to one person in particular:
Twitter is buzzing with disappointment in the changes the Tesla mogul continues to make. And what does social media do best? Allow people to share ideas, connect globally, and participate in discourse. Just like any other content that goes viral and spreads through social media, Twitter is slowly gaining a more negative public opinion (no wonder we call them X now, but that story is for another day).
Threads Enters the Chat
This part of the story is short and sweet. What did all of the negative public opinion create for Meta? An opportunity. And when are the most successful businesses created? When there’s a need in the marketplace. Threads exemplifies the fast pace that the social media industry moves at and how public opinion ultimately controls not only what platforms succeed, but also what content gains traction. So while Twitter experienced the negative sides of gaining traction as a story on social media, Threads entered the conversation as the sweeter, simpler, and non-Elon option for everyone already jumping ship.
There is a lot of research, trend following, and knowledge about each individual platform that goes into a successful social media presence. And we are ultimately here to remove the guesswork and clear your plate. Your position online is critical when running for office or trying to get your organization’s message out to folks. You never know where your audience looks for information, but you sure want to be there when they go searching. Never again wonder “What the hell should the caption be for this post?” We’ve got you covered.
How Social Media Helps Candidates and Causes
Having a social media presence is a direct line to your audience, your constituents, and those who care about the issues. Social media:
- Helps establish your voice and brand and shows your audience who you are. One of the best parts of social media is that you get to tell people your message directly. Social media isn’t a resume, it’s meant to be a sneak peek into who you are. For candidates and causes, that means explaining what you believe in and what you stand for. While the more involved a client can be the better, we cater to clients who range from having a lot to say to nothing to say at all, because let’s be real… sometimes we have to add a little bit of magic to a story to make it sparkle! The bottom line is that social media is your time to tell your story. Use it.
- Allows you to engage directly with the public and your constituents. Social media is the best avenue candidates and causes can take to get direct access to their audience. Your best shot of utilizing this AMAZING access is to follow the best practices of our old friend two way communication. Repeat after us: Speak. Listen. Speak. Listen. People want to be heard by the politicians they look to as problem solvers, those they have issues with, and the organizations they trust the most or are most frustrated with. Social media allowed us to become a truly global community and gave the public a microphone. Don’t make the mistake of speaking at your audience; share the microphone. Having a social media presence allows you to speak directly with your audience, and as we know, engaged users are more likely to come back and interact with future posts as well as take actions when prompted.
- Provides the perfect avenue to communicate breaking news/crises and align yourself with initiatives and trends. We already established that social media moves at a mile a minute, which is why it is the perfect place to comment on breaking news and crises as they occur in real-time. This is especially true for candidates and causes, seeing as they are looked at for direction in times of need. Social media allows you to align yourself with issues, initiatives, and trends in real-time. It’s an extremely helpful tool to let your audience know where you stand on issues that matter to them most, we do it all the time:
- Speaks to audiences of all generations. Okay… we’ll admit it. We’ve taken a look at a list of names on a ballot and hit social media to see who aligns with our values. Who do they have endorsements from? What do they stand for? How do they engage with the community? Especially in a crowded field, it’s important for this information to be extremely easy to find. Like right-on-your-Instagram-grid easy. This is about serving people where they’re at – when the Boomer searches you on Facebook will they find what they’re looking for? When the millennials are swiping through Instagram stories will your latest endorsement pop up? Will Gen Z get served your video on their TikTok For You page? Social media is the PERFECT place to meet people where they are – no matter which platform they prefer.
Why Not Test Your Messaging… For FREE
Social media is also an EXCELLENT place to test out campaign messaging and get this… it’s FREE! Campaigns and causes are forever looking for a way to make their campaign dollars stretch and in the early phases of a campaign or an organization’s inception, social media can be a great place to take a temperature check on:
- Who your audience is and where they are both online and geographically
- What your audience is interested in
- What they are likely to engage with
- What makes them upset or tune out
And there are many ways to do this. One way is through simple message testing by pushing posts out and analyzing the data. Another way is through A/B testing posts. But one of our favorite ways is through creating a short survey for folks to take. Many platforms like X and instagram provide polls and surveys right within their platform, and if not, creating a quick survey in NGP or Survey Monkey can help create a more comprehensive survey that can be used across all platforms. Remember to ask questions in captions, push out short surveys, and most importantly, record the data!!
Always Keep in Mind It’s Best to Proceed With Sensitivity
Social media is all fun and games until your witty reply inadvertently causes a negative news headline. Or your lack of response on an issue important to your audience rubs followers the wrong way. The reality is that you will get called out on social media. And it can get ugly. Best case scenario, you become a meme. Worst case scenario it can tank your reputation, even if it was taken out of context.
Because of this tendency for small things to blow up and go viral, social media has to be used thoughtfully, while taking your audience into consideration. Maybe publicly dunking on Ben Shapiro is EXACTLY what your audience wants to see – and you’ll go viral for all the right reasons. When in doubt, check with your campaign manager or social media team before hitting send. 😉
We Said We’ve Got You Covered and We Meant It
The number one thing we are able to do with our social media program is free up your time. Social media is not only difficult to stay on top of, but it’s extremely time-consuming as well. At COMPETE our team’s goal is to take social media off your plate. With our program we:
- Take off the pressure to be on social media all the time
- Learn your voice and tone
- Create content (statics, videos, gifs, and beyond – we’ve got it covered!)
- Create content calendars and approval processes to help with organization that works for YOUR unique style of working
- Engage with and speak to your audience online (community management: responding to posts, liking comments, showing up where your audience is hanging out online, etc.)
- Help with growth
- Measure our results (Always, always, always. We send monthly reports on all of our paid and organic efforts to help measure growth and learn from our content)
Check Out Some of Our Work:
Your Awesome Social Media Team Is Waiting For You!
Our team of social media professionals is ready to help take your campaign to the next level. We love getting to know our clients and their individual visions and needs for their social media. We have fun getting creative, collaborating on ideas, and then watching the engagements roll in.
If you are interested in hearing more about what we can do for your campaign or just want to chat about the ever-changing world of social media and best practices, reach out: