Back to old school (RECAP)

By Katy Howell | December 6, 2021

Today we’re looking back at old school social. Asking what worked in the past in the world of social media and how it might work again in today’s new landscape. What can we learn and how can we go back to benefit the future?


A couple of years ago, social was very experimental and every platform was treated as its own form of social media. The approach tended to be grounded on influence, advocacy, amplification, and UGC (user-generated content).


We’ve now learned that content needs to be social-first. But one thing we did understand back then was that audiences on each platform were there for different reasons. For instance, the Myspace groups wanted music and Flickr photography.


Right now, platforms are copying each other, and many of the formats are so similar, but one thing that differs is audience behaviours and mindsets. Audiences vary across the channels and therefore visuals and copy need to be tilted for each platform.


Today, 90% of people want the brands they support to be authentic. And 79% of people say UGC highly impacts their purchase decisions. So UGC is definitely back in fashion. But it isn’t just getting users to create content. Back in the early days, reviews were crucial. At first, they tended to be just on websites like eBay. Then there came these review sites, Epinions, RateItAll, and Deja, which later became Google Groups. By the 90s, Yelp, Amazon, Google, Facebook, and TripAdvisor took the lead, and they are essential today.


Social was simpler when we started. It was not about throwing volumes of posts into the virtual world. Campaigns were more likely to be integrated, and creative took time and enabled the investment of something of value to your audiences.


To be successful on social today, we have to follow the data. But also find our personality, encourage our customers to post and write reviews, and create content that your audiences actually want to see.


Katy Howell was live on Serious Social a few months back covering this exact topic. So, if you want to find out a bit more, watch the full video here.


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