Social Media Convergence: How Marketers Can Adapt
Social media takes up plenty of our attention…and our storage. In the not-so-distant past, each of the apps served a different purpose and gave us a unique way of interacting with the platforms and the communities on them.
Now, many social media platforms boast the same features, and users and marketers alike are attempting to navigate a social media landscape in which it is increasingly challenging to stand out.
So what’s the deal? Why are all of the platforms starting to look the same and how does affect marketers? Here’s what you need to know about this phenomenon and what you can do.
Overlapping Social Media Features
Once upon a time, each social media platform offered users a unique feature. But social media technology is constantly evolving, and platforms adapt to the tech every day. Platforms introduce new features like stories, lives, reels, and more to compete with one another, even if that feature wasn't originally a part of the platform.
For marketers, each app enables marketers to reach consumers and build brands, and the increasing overlap in social experiences means that marketers need to find new ways to break through the clutter and get products in front of users.
As marketers move toward influencer marketing and commerce and away from organic social media usage, the way platforms differentiate themselves (or don’t) is more important than ever in social media marketing.
But first, why are the platforms converging, anyway?
Right now, TikTok is the fastest growing social media platform in the world, topping 1 billion users in 2022.
Other platforms are chasing TikTok’s success, hoping to incorporate features that will elevate their content and draw even more creators to the platform. TikTok also boasts high engagement numbers and views.
Instagram and Facebook are still at the top of the game when it comes to social media, and by incorporating TikTok’s virality, can target the right consumers.
Instagram vs. TikTok
Many users have expressed their disappointment over Instagram’s changes as the company continues its move away from being a photo-sharing platform to a video platform. TikTok is also making changes, introducing ten-minute video formats to compete with YouTube.
The platforms look to each other, following closely and adapting quickly to try to make changes to hold the audience’s attention and compete within their markets.
But do users actually like this social media convergence? Does it change how they interact, engage and shop?
(Check out our breakdown of the differences between Instagram and TikTok).
Use Social Media Evenly
As social media convergence continues, some wonder if users would prefer to have one app that does everything, rather than keeping separate apps. Is there really a difference between Instagram and TikTok anymore? Will people still use Instagram or YouTube if they can get all their video content from TikTok, or vice versa?
Users sometimes use different apps for different purposes and types of content - one is to keep up on trends, another is for funny animal videos and another for shopping. But these preferences aren’t a reliable way for marketers to target consumers.
We don’t know the answer for sure, but we do know that marketers have increased responsibility to produce great content across all of their platforms, and need to use reliable data collection methods to find out what uses are doing, where they can reach them, and where they're spending.
Despite TiKTok’s incredible viral possibilities, Facebook, and Instagram have the best tools in the game and have the most users. For marketers, spreading their branding efforts across multiple platforms is the most effective, even as the strengths of those platforms continue to change. It's worth investing in the time, advertising, and people to ensure you're using each social media platform to its highest potential. Check out our suggestions for data reporting here.
Want to up your social media game? Slide into our DM’s or contact us the old-fashioned way.
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