The social media environment has seen some major changes over the last several months, with the launch of Meta’s Threads, Twitter’s rebranding to X, and TikTok’s introduction of text-only posts—and marketers find themselves further challenged with navigating the ever-evolving and increasingly fragmented social media landscape. New research from business services firm Capterra explores comms pros’ opinions and strategic plans for making the most out of today’s social media opportunities, while side-stepping new pitfalls.
Key findings from the firm’s new 2023 Social Media Landscape survey reveal that among marketers with an X or Instagram account, 80 percent said they’re likely to try Threads (the survey results were fielded in July, shortly after the app’s launch)—but at the same time, 66 percent believe that it will ultimately make Instagram and Facebook weaker for marketing purposes.
Marketers are open to adopting new platforms such as Threads, but they need to have a clear ROI path before dedicating budget, especially since new platforms require ramp-up time to learn and then to establish a brand presence. In fact, even though Twitter has seemed less stable in the Elon Musk era and also did a rebrand of its own, 70 percent say they wouldn’t invest in an X alternative unless there are excellent proven benefits. Not surprisingly, the top reason marketers would consider investing in a new social media platform or app for marketing or advertising is to engage with new or potential customers (40 percent).
Marketers follow their customers, but they also look to competitors when considering new social media platforms
In fact, 40 percent of marketers only like to try a promising new or emerging social media platform when they see competitors use it successfully for marketing. Waiting allows marketers to observe how competitors position themselves on a new platform and craft their own differentiated strategies.
“Experimenting with new social media platforms should be encouraged, but avoid overcommitting,” said Meghan Bazaman, senior marketing analyst at Capterra, in a news release. “Marketers need to assess whether they are equipped to manage another platform, if the app delivers on safety and security, and if the platform offers must-have capabilities or features.”
Since Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover, a majority of marketers say that their companies have experimented with new platforms
In fact, 69 percent say their business has used or created an account on an emerging social media platform as either an addition or alternative to X. Nonetheless, 35 percent of marketers that had paused advertising on X after Musk’s takeover have already returned to previous levels, and 43 percent say their company never paused or suspended ad campaigns at all—indicating a willingness to see through disruptions and uncertainty.
Decentralized social networks such as Mastodon, Post, and Bluesky have gained traction since they don’t rely on a central authority such as Meta’s ownership of Facebook, Instagram, and now Threads. Despite their growing attraction, these platforms remain challenging for marketers given their lower adoption rates compared to established platforms and complexities in creating and using accounts—and 61 percent of marketers surveyed who adopted Mastodon after Musk’s X takeover have now stopped using the platform.
Finding the right balance between established platforms and new contenders is key for marketers in maximizing their brand presence on social media and growing their audience. Read the full report here.