Photo Credit: shutterstock
It seems hard to believe, but social media giants such as Facebook and YouTube have now been around for nearly 20 years. While both are still juggernauts when it comes to social media engagement, it’s now obvious that they are losing ground to up-and-coming platforms like TikTok. The new era of social media is almost upon us, and it’s time for brands and companies to adjust their strategies to reflect this.
So how can you prepare your brand for the next era of social media and level up your digital marketing game? Read on for three key suggestions of how you should be thinking about social media right now.
Embrace Generation Z
As a first step, brands need to recognize the growing influence of Generation Z (defined as anyone born between 1997 and 2012) across all of social media. According to the latest data, Generation Z is right on the cusp of overtaking the Millennial generation when it comes to social media use. Right now, Millennials account for 30% of all social media use, while Gen Z accounts for 24.7%. But this latter figure is growing rapidly. By 2027, Gen Z will surpass the Millennial generation in terms of social media usage, and that’s going to have huge repercussions for brands.
Make TikTok a priority
Speaking of huge repercussions, one obvious impact of the growing influence of Gen Z is the emergence of new social media platforms that are largely ignored by older social media users. The best example is TikTok, which many older social media users are quick to dismiss as just a bunch of silly viral videos.
But that’s ignoring the fact that, in terms of daily active users, TikTok is already a powerhouse. For example, TikTok passed Instagram in 2022 in terms of total daily minutes spent on the platform, and is on pace to pass Facebook in 2025. If you are looking for the one social media platform to become the centerpiece of your new digital marketing strategy, it needs to be TikTok. If you are dedicating the lion’s share of your resources to Facebook, now is the time to reallocate some of those resources to TikTok.
Experiment with influencer marketing
Finally, it’s safe to say that social media marketing is really all about “influencer marketing” right now. When brands have a choice of where to spend their money, they can buy traditional digital ads, or they can engage the services of high-profile influencers to pitch their products. But this doesn’t mean that you need to work with an A-list influencer like Kim Kardashian – there are plenty of affordable C-list influencers that are willing to create videos or stories for you, all at a reasonable cost.
At the very least, you need to become aware of who the influencers are within your industry. Just a decade ago, these influencers were usually bloggers. But text-based social media has already been replaced by video-based social media, and that means a new set of influencers have taken over. Nowadays, it’s usually people with tens of thousands of Instagram or TikTok followers. A single photo of your product within their social media feeds can immediately generate a flood of traffic for your brand.
Putting it all together
So, yes, we’re entering a new era of social media. Much sooner than anyone could have expected, TikTok will have overtaken some of the most iconic social media platforms, and Generation Z will have passed the Millennial generation in terms of influencers and tastemakers. So now is the time to recognize these facts and level up your digital marketing game. There’s still time to get ahead of these trends, but you need to start now.