The era of benefit of the doubt is coming to close for businesses. Consumers are growing more skeptical of brands, while at the same time holding them to a higher standard than ever before when it comes to transparency and honesty. There’s probably no clearer example of this playing out than Facebook. The social network has been roiling from a never-ending series of scandals, obfuscations and crisis mishandling. So what’s the right approach? Consumers say openness.
Much has been said about what traditional brands can learn from the nimble, data-driven and evermore pervasive direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands dominating Instagram and Facebook feeds. Brands like Casper, Warby Parker, Harry’s and others have shown an ability to build brands on social media platforms in a way that’s making traditional brands turn around and think… why can’t we do that?
People don’t talk about brands like they used to. A new report from Engagement Labs shows that conversations, among young consumers especially, dropped from 115.2 conversations per week in 2013 to 94.6 in 2018.
People are clearly going to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for different reasons, and marketers can use those reasons to make the most out of their presences on each platform.
Brands are on untrodden ground when it comes to marketing in today’s landscape. It’s a new era of activism from consumers and purpose-driven marketing from brands. Gillette, Nike, Patagonia and a small handful of others have worn their hearts on their sleeves. They’ve put messages in the world that let people know where they stand, and the result has been some of the most talked-about brands in the world.
It’s no wonder why these brands are putting stakes in the ground. People are expecting more from brands. The majority of consumers say they show greater brand loyalty for businesses that reflect their beliefs. They want more than just products. They want to feel that the companies they support are creating what they think the world should be.
Social’s still working to unload some of the baggage of its past. Social marketing started out with “fan pages” and “followers.” With phrases and terms like that it's only natural that social got its roots in being about loyalty. It was about building up communities of brand advocates to keep them excited and motivated to talk about brands. Then it all fell apart.
Algorithms entered the world of social and made their presence felt in a big way. Organic reach dropped to zero, and communities of fans and followers became worthless. There’s no point in building a community of advocates on a Facebook Page if you can’t reach them, so in turn, organic content has become inefficient and ineffective.