How to Navigate The Uncharted Waters of Major Imploding Platforms

phone with social media apps on screen

How to Navigate The Uncharted Waters of Major Imploding Platforms

Insights into protecting a brand’s interest amidst the ever-changing social media industry

It’s no secret that we’re living in a digital landscape where the social media terrain is evolving more quickly than ever before. From the perspective of enterprise social media, the central focus for brands lies in determining what their community needs, what role various channels play in catering to those needs, and understanding when a more appropriate alternative to the current approach is required. But for brands who’ve seemingly created the perfect blueprint for success, what happens when a major social media platform suddenly experiences an unexpected transformation? How should brands safeguard their own interests while continuing to engage effectively with their core audience?

While it’s near impossible to predict what the future holds, social media strategists can look to recent events. The highly publicized acquisition (and transition) of Twitter, and the topsy-turvy rollout of Threads, are both stark reminders that brands have highly adaptable strategies in place to maintain their broader business objectives, such as:

Contingency Plans: Expect the Unexpected

Whether it’s a sudden shift in a platform’s algorithm, changes to data privacy regulations, or moderation across multiple platforms, brands must be prepared to respond both swiftly and effectively. Creating contingency plans is essential not only for reacting to unforeseen crises but also for adapting to the many changes seen in our industry. Expecting the unexpected involves understanding the demographics and behavior of each platform’s user base, as well as staying updated on emerging trends and challenges within the social media landscape. Take for example, the sudden decimation of the Trust and Safety function of X. From a strategists’ standpoint, this may have been the most destructive policy decision by a wide margin, eroding the relevance of the platform for both paid and organic brand activity. But a valuable contingency plan outlines clear procedures for monitoring, early detection of issues such as these, and establishing a well-defined chain of command for any crisis management needs.

The Power of “Point of View” Documents

Transparency and collaboration are vital to client relationships for building successful social media campaigns. In an era where change is the only constant, regular and recurring “Point of View” (POV) documents can be valuable tools for strategists to communicate strategy, vision, and rationale behind social media situations beyond their control. When developing a stance on topics that are likely to garner executive inquiry, you should be asking yourself a series of questions relative to audience, advertising, and next steps. For instance, how large and engaged is your audience on a distinctive platform? And does it provide anything unique that other platforms don’t deliver? Was the brand’s spend effectively allocated? And, if changes to data collection practices create compliance issues, how do you plan on notifying your community about your decision – as well as where to redirect them?

Assessment of Risks and Benefits

Every social media channel has its own set of risks and benefits, both immediate and long-term. As with other moving parts of the strategy puzzle, it’s crucial to assess these factors and continually align them with an individual brand’s goals and values. For instance, influencer marketing can yield high engagement, but may also come with authenticity risks. Similarly, X – formerly Twitter – can be a powerful platform for real-time updates but is now much more likely to expose brands to rapid – and quite often – negative feedback. Social media strategists must always be carefully evaluating these trade-offs to help their clients make strategic and informed decisions.

In today’s dynamic social media landscape, agility and adaptability have become key factors for safeguarding a brand’s community engagement. By staying ahead of emerging trends, communicating issues transparently and crafting meticulous contingency plans, businesses can better protect their interests. While we can’t know for sure what is on the horizon, one thing is for certain – those who embrace change, plan strategically, and remain mindful of the shifting tides, will be poised to embrace enduring success in this rapidly shifting digital age.

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