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Part 1 – Evolution, Platforms, & Future-Forward Content

Remember when Amazon just sold books? Somehow, since its inception in the mid-90s, it has grown into the second-largest retailer and the largest online retailer in the world as a one-stop shop for anything and everything – retail, grocery delivery, entertainment, music, and even medical care – all from the comfort of your home. These days, it seems as though social media platforms such as TikTok may be on a similar trajectory to becoming a one-stop shop for all your digital needs.

Social media has obviously come a long way since the inception of MySpace and Facebook in the early 2000s. What started out as a social networking tool, mainly used for fun, has evolved into so much more, especially in the last few years. The pandemic greatly impacted our daily lives and digital media use; brands had to rethink how they do business and interact with their customers, and social media became a huge part of the equation. While social media is still a fun place to post photos and interact with friends, it can now be considered an essential marketing tool for companies to reach a much broader audience, a convenient shopping tool for consumers, and even a search engine. It certainly has come a long way, so we’re taking a look at where it is now, where it will be going, and what businesses need to know to stay connected with their audiences.


We might be dating ourselves, but we can remember when MySpace was the only social network on a global scale, and it was accessed from a browser on a desktop computer, not an app on a smartphone. Now, there are countless social network platforms to choose from, and the average person (and marketer!) uses 6-7 of them from their mobile device, spending an average of 2.5 hours per day.1

Facebook is now Meta, Twitter is now X, Threads is the new Twitter, and reels are the new feed post … with so many updates, changes, and new platforms popping up, it can be overwhelming for brands to keep up. One of the most frequent questions we get from our clients is what platforms they should be posting and advertising on. Our best advice is to look at your message, goals, and target audience to see which platform best aligns with these. For example, if your audience tends to be 55+, TikTok is probably not the best place to start, as nearly 50% of its users are under 30.2 If your goal is to sell your product to other businesses, then you may want to start on LinkedIn, where many business owners tend to be. And if your message is best portrayed with images, then X (Twitter) may not be the best fit, but Instagram should be considered.

The bottom line is to research the platform you want to use to know what works best and ensure it aligns with your needs. (Hint: if you are still stuck, review where your competitors are engaging!) Ensure your presence on multiple platforms benefits your business; don’t waste resources just being there. Remember to tailor your message and visuals to each channel and its audience to avoid falling flat.

Future-Forward Content

Over the last ten years, we have progressed from the ever-popular, simple food pic on Instagram to more interactive videos with step-by-step recipes, make-up tutorials, workouts, and more. Social media content today is all about creating a community and a sense of belonging, so it has evolved greatly. But at the end of the day, one thing remains consistent: you want your content to be compelling in order to connect with your audience. Creating cohesive and consistent content is an excellent way for brands to tell their story and engage users in the conversation. Here are a few things to consider when thinking about your company’s content:

  • Content-Type. With the launch of reels in 2020, social channels began prioritizing video content. But in recent months, we have shifted back to carousel images (perfect for trends like photo dumps) and even text posts. This year, we can expect these trends to continue, but platforms will also shift to longer format videos. YouTube has been the leader in long-format video for a while, but now we will likely see up to 15-minute TikTok videos and 10-minute reels on Instagram. What does this mean for brands? More flexibility to tell its story and connect with its audience, but keep in mind that short videos are more attention-grabbing, and video content can be time-consuming and expensive to create. Take a look at what types of content drive the most engagement for your pages and make the most sense for your capabilities.
  • Authenticity & Transparency. This year, these will be the keys to success as users look for honest and meaningful content. In fact, 81% of people believe that social media has increased accountability for businesses, and 86% say that transparency is more important than ever.3 This means a brand’s messaging should be consistent, clear, and honest about its values and mission.
  • User Generated Content (UGC). Since social media has become more about creating community, users are more likely to respond to content that feels personal and human rather than stiff and corporate. UGC, content from real customers, might be the simplest way for a brand to achieve authenticity with their content while building trust and brand loyalty.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI). There is a dichotomy to consider regarding AI and social media. On the one hand, it can be a great tool to help brands write captions, create images, edit voice-overs, and add music, saving time, money, and resources. On the other hand, automation can lead followers to question a brand’s authenticity as it separates the human voice from the content.
  • Influencer Marketing. Influencer marketing has become a significant aspect of the social media landscape, offering an excellent way to showcase your brand’s narrative through the lens of actual customers. It could also be a great option if you don’t have the time or resources to create social media content regularly. Next month, we will explore in-depth the most effective methods to leverage influencers.

Social media of the 2020s makes it more accessible for brands to connect with their audience in a much more interactive way, making them more than just customers. Consumers are now part of the story and an extension of the brand. Stay tuned for more on how social media is expanding and how it is changing how brands should be thinking about marketing.

Interested in building out your social media strategy?

1Global Social Media Statistics. Retrieved January 31, 2024, from

2Howarth, J. (2024, January 12). TikTok User Age, Gender, & Demographics (2024). Retrieved January 31, 2024 from

3#BrandsGetReal: Social media & the evolution of transparency. Retrieved January 31, 2024 from