Social media: the changing landscape and its impact for brands

Worldcom Public Relations Group 2000+ global consultants released predictions on the evolving communications landscape and the impact they will have on brands over the coming 12-18 months. For Australian brands, it is important to understand the global predictions and trends to be able to adapt and evolve in the Australian market.

Facebook

Facebook will continue to be the straw that stirs the drink for advertisers, but youth will win out in the end. Facebook is growing older, but its Instagram platform trends younger. To succeed, brands will need both organic and paid strategies. They will also need to be more impact driven, rather than being consumed with outputs like impressions, reach and followers.

YouTube

YouTube will become increasingly important as brands try to use the power of video to their advantage.

Instagram

Ad spend will switch from Facebook to Instagram. Instagram has overtaken Snapchat as the most used social platform by teens (85% use it at least once per month), and the departure of Instagram’s founders means that Facebook has freer rein to tinker. If Instagram embraces advertisers in the same way as Facebook, content creators will be able to monetize their content while optimizing performance.

Twitter

Twitter will solidify its status as the go-to platform for sharing real time information. As well as being President Trump’s favourite platform, Twitter really is the world’s largest megaphone. There’s no reason to believe that anything will replace it as the quickest place to share information, especially as for the first time, the platform has shown glimpses of addressing its biggest issues – harassment and user un-friendliness.

Pinterest

Pinterest will become an increasingly important platform for advertisers and over the next 12-18 months brands across the globe can expect to very innovative shopping experiences from Pinterest. As other platforms are becoming harder for businesses to use, Pinterest is getting BETTER. Pinterest stated that “more than three quarters (78%) of people on Pinterest say content from brands is useful – much higher than on other platforms.” Users feel bombarded by brand content on Instagram and Facebook, platforms that are mainly social and inspirational, not necessarily actionable. Pinterest, on the other hand, has always been a friendly home for brands because users are searching for bottom funnel content (in addition to inspiration of course)! Pinterest will make sure it has all the features available to advertisers on other platforms:

Video
Pinterest video has expanded to widescreen, vertical, and square. Whatever your need, Pinterest has it. Brands will utilise short video content that adapts and appears around users’ organic content.

Analytics
Pinterest will strive to give the same level of analytics as Facebook.

Shopping
Pinterest will make it easier for users to shop and easier for advertisers to sell.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn will move further from pure work related content in the direction of business lifestyle content. This trend has already taken off with the introduction of features such as live video on the platform.

Phillips Group is a founding partner of the world’s leading communication partnership – Worldcom Public Relations Group, with 132 offices in 115 markets across six continents, employing over 2000 staff.