Since the beginning of the year, it’s fair to say that the digital world has been turned upside down. Facebook has been at the centre of a data scandal which not only made many of its 2.2 billion users feel somewhat violated, but consequently proved a nightmare for influencer marketing companies who were suddenly unable to collect data from Instagram using its APIs.

Add to this the ever-changing analytics and algorithms, the ongoing influencer #ad visibility crackdown and Snapchat’s ongoing update dilemmas, and you can understand why marketers are finding it increasingly tough to effectively reach and engage their target audiences.

In 2017, 90% of content shared on social received less than 62 engagements, and only 5% gets more than 343 shares. Even content giant Buzzfeed has suffered – their engagements have dropped 60% in the last three years. The question on everyone’s lips seems to be – how can brands make an impact in the digital world of today?

So, here’s five things we learnt at the recent Brandwatch Content Strategy Breakfast that might help clear those increasingly muddy waters:

  1. Clickbait is so 2017. Facebook has changed its algorithm to reduce stories from sources that post headlines that withhold and exaggerate information, so forget that sentence that starts ‘You’ll Never Guess What Happened Next…’
  2. Quality is King. Gone are the days of posting for the sake of posting – people are fighting for visibility, so producing quality, engaging content has never been more important
  3. Don’t underestimate the prevalence of dark social. 65% of links are now shared privately, according to 2017 GetSocial research
  4. Understand the networks that will work for you, and use them. For example, Instagram is heavily used by women aged 18 to 29, whilst Twitter has an even gender balance
  5. Be clear on your objectives from the outset, but develop your strategy over time. Finding out what works, and what doesn’t, is what social media is all about

Food for thought, and thanks to Brandwatch for a truly insightful morning!

*all stats taken from Brandwatch presentation, April 2018