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Revolutionizing the Social Media Landscape: The Decentralization Movement

Revolutionizing the Social Media Landscape

Gone are the days when you used a social media app for a specific purpose.

And we’re starting to get bored.

Nearly every social media platform is starting to look the same.

  • Video on Instagram and YouTube shorts is almost no different than TikTok central
  • Facebook is starting to look at paid verification, following the lead of what Twitter just started not long ago
  • Stories features are similar to Snapchat
  • TikTok is introducing longer-form content, making it comparable to YouTube

Not every new feature benefits the current audience. Platforms are piggybacking on attributes of other platforms to draw in new audience groups, thus distilling the essence of the platform’s original purpose.

This phenomenon has caused us to reflect and ensure that we are trying for the following:

– one purpose and goal
– identifying the right platforms to use
– understanding our target audience
– monopolizing paid traffic as there’s a decline in organic engagement
– developing a consumer experience through their expectations

Loss of Opportunities

There are two ways centralized social media platforms, such as Facebook (don’t mind us, we’re going to pick on them here), are missing opportunities. First, they don’t focus on user experience. Second, they add what most consider unnecessary features, to gain new audiences to spend more time on their platforms. Despite its popularity, many businesses have also missed out on critical opportunities by focusing solely on Facebook’s features rather than what their consumers might actually need.

Take this, for example.

Many businesses have decided not to have a website and rely solely on Facebook as their main point of contact. While Facebook can be a great way to connect with customers, it shouldn’t be the only method. Businesses can showcase their brand, products, and services with a dedicated website more professionally and comprehensively. While also utilizing other marketing methods such as Google Ads, SEO, and tracking mechanisms. Additionally, relying on a single platform is risky as social platforms have changed throughout the years, and it can impact your reputation and reach your target market (don’t worry, we’ll get into this later, keep reading).

Another missed opportunity for Facebook (and others) is the lack of features that benefit specific industries; let’s use restaurants as an example. While Facebook has basic features such as displaying hours of operation and a menu, it doesn’t go further. For example, there is no online ordering, nor any connection with popular delivery apps such as Skip the Dishes, DoorDash or UberEats. Customers can’t even use it to make reservations quickly.

By not providing these features, Facebook is also missing out on an opportunity to attract and retain users looking for a more comprehensive online user experience. Many customers prefer to do everything in one place, including researching businesses, ordering food, and making reservations. Instead of expanding – they’re copying. They’re trying to be like every other social media platform.

Overall, Facebook and businesses have yet to take advantage of an opportunity to fully serve their customers by focusing on features that do not benefit the consumer who utilizes the platform. Companies could conduct a customer journey map and digital marketing strategy and review social media marketing trends. By expanding their features and providing a more comprehensive experience, businesses like Facebook could attract and retain more users, and provide a better experience for everyone involved.

P.S. We have a resource for help with your customer journey map.

Saturation

Social media is widespread, and it is probably where your target audience spends a lot of time. However, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for businesses to stand out and make an impact. In the same way that social media platforms look the same, companies are beginning to look the same, as they utilize the same types of content. To stay relevant and make an impact, companies must focus on creating new and innovative content that is visually appealing but also effective and consumable.

Here are some proven tips on what to focus on when creating content:

  1. Tailor your content to the specific platform, which refers to understanding the types of content that perform well on each platform and adapting your content strategy accordingly.
  2. Make visually appealing and engaging content with high-quality images and videos and incorporate animation and graphics to create a more dynamic and engaging experience for the viewer.
  3. Remember that the content needs to be easily consumable and doesn’t require much effort to engage with as our attention spans decrease.
  4. Deliver value through your content. It could be informative, educational, entertaining, or could help solve a problem or meet a need. Delivering valuable content establishes your business as an authority within your industry and builds a loyal following.
  5. Experiment with different formats and new types of content. Different types of content and formats help keep the content fresh and relevant. It can also mean trying out other media platforms. By staying agile and adaptable, businesses can stay ahead of the curve and continue to make an impact on social media.

If you’re having difficulty standing out on social media, it might be time to review your content strategy. If you’re having difficulty building content, check out our blog.

Forcing Change

Depending on your age, you might remember how eBay payments was by cheque through the mail. However, Paypal came up with an agreement promising better payment experiences for eBays customers.

The partnership was a forced change by a symbiotic relationship with eBay and Paypal.

Is our relationship as content consumers, marketers and content creators with social platforms the same as what we described with eBay and Paypal?

As marketers, we say no. Let’s explain with an example.

From 2010 – 2015, Facebook Business sprouted in consumer news feeds. At one time, it was considered the king of organic traffic, allowing businesses and individuals to reach various audiences without needing paid advertising. All that changed in 2016 when Facebook changed its algorithms to show more “Friend” based posts in the feed. Prioritizing content from friends and family over businesses makes it harder for food brands to get their content seen by their audience.

The change to Facebook was a forced change, and businesses that solely relied on Facebook to promote their business organically now had to pay to get noticed or build a new audience on a different platform.

And what’s even more concerning is that the user who enjoyed consuming content from businesses in their Facebook feed had no control over showing more of that content. What’s sad is that Facebook didn’t stop there; they also changed their algorithm to focus on engagement, prioritizing reactions and comments.

As a result?

A flood of clickbait and low-quality content came in.

It’s frustrating, because as these apps develop new algorithms and integrate new features, it isn’t directly related to what the users seek. It forced businesses and content creators to adapt to new strategies to keep up with the changes and to stay relevant on the platform.

It’s one of the main reasons why consumers are trying to force change.

The power to determine what content the consumer will see will now be in the hands of the consumer, not the platform.

Introducing the decentralization of social media

Imagine where you get to choose what types of content you would like to see, and all of your data is in your own control. No more centralized power. Huge social media conglomerates will have less power and influence coming from political or commercial interests and more reflective of the needs of – you guessed it – the interests of the users.

The transition means marketers must become more creative and expand their network to content creators. Platforms might be utilizing blockchain technology to enable micro-payments to compensate content creators for their contributions directly. We are already seeing this through social media platforms like Twitter. These relationships will create new opportunities for creators to monetize their work while incentivizing high-quality content.

Challenges will arise, such as:
– harder to regulate illegal and harmful content
– harassment
– harder for average users to participate and contribute to networks

However, the decentralization of social media has the potential to fundamentally change the way we think about social media and online communication.

The decentralization and how to create content should spark conversation.

The content we create should be intriguing to our audience.

It should be in our best interest to develop strategies for where our audience is and what content they consume.

Where do we go from here?

It isn’t enough for businesses to “just be online.” It’s deeper than that. The focus is shifting to a more personalized experience across all customer touchpoints. To be indispensable in the online world, companies should prioritize the customer experience.

Shifting the focus to personalized experience means understanding:

  • How to make relevant consumable content
  • Where the consumer lives in the online world
  • Customer’s needs and preferences at every stage of their journey
  • Each step there is a positive and engaging experience

Following this list isn’t an easy feat. Reviewing, creating, testing, and pivoting takes a lot of work and strategy.

How do you do it?

    1. Leverage your data. By analyzing trends, consumer behaviour, and preferences, businesses can gain insights into what their consumers want and utilize this information to optimize their presence and engagement strategies.
    2. Innovate new ways to stay ahead of the rapidly changing landscape. Experiment with different platforms, features, and engagement strategies. Experimentation will help differentiate you from your competitors.
    3. Partner with players already in the community, such as a Saskatoon marketing agency like Stealth Media, influencers, and content creators, to help reach and build awareness. It will help deliver a more personalized and engaging experience when you have people already in the ecosystem. If you need more ideas on conquering the content mountain, read our blog.

Stay relevant and make an impact. Businesses must focus on creating new and innovative content like social platforms by expanding their features and providing a more comprehensive experience. Businesses and social media platforms should attract and retain more users and provide a better experience for everyone involved.

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