Future of Social Media

The Future of social media is…More Rebellious

From the demise of Twitter to the rise of niche communities, the time for bland, homogenised content is over says Accenture Song's head of social

By Melo Meacher-Jones

Brands, listen up.

It’s time to take the social media rule book and rip it up. It's time to be more rebellious.

Brand marketers face an almost impossible challenge. Unlike five years ago, when just a handful of tech giants dominated the industry, today's social media landscape has become increasingly chaotic and complex for brands to navigate.

The demise of Twitter, internet privacy concerns, and improved tech structures for emerging platforms have given users ample options when choosing where they scroll. Social media is increasingly fragmenting, and this shift has resulted in something oddly beautiful.

Social platforms have undergone a profound metamorphosis. They have evolved from mere information-sharing spaces into vibrant cultural hubs fostered by communities of ordinary individuals like you and me.

Whether you’re a cottage-core collector or weirdly find watching dogs being groomed therapeutic on TikTok (guilty!) – there’s a sub-community of people online who love that niche just as much as you do. But social isn’t just all ‘lols’; this shift has made it raw, unfiltered, scrappy, and powerfully rebellious.

The change in power dynamic from authority to authenticity has, by proxy, resulted in the devolution of the mainstream. Celebrities are shunned, and household brands have become obsolete. According to Hootsuite, engagement with brands on social media has staggeringly decreased by 30 per cent in the past 12 months.

The reality is that social media has massively under-delivered for brands (and vice versa), but this isn’t due to a lack of effort or investment - it’s because they’ve fallen into a trap by taking the easy route – following the social rulebook.

Social Media Rulebook 101

The social rulebook is unspoken. It’s a guiding principle set in stone in LinkedIn updates and whitepapers. We’re told to follow it with false promises of earned engagement and ‘growing fandoms’; as a result, masses of social media managers bow down to its gospel.

These rules have allowed brands to make sense of these increasingly complex platforms. Nearly every social media team follows this rulebook in some shape or form. I’m sorry to break the news; the result is a homogenised landscape where brands blend into one another, losing their unique voices and the ability to connect with users.

Instead of cultivating genuine connections, brands often find themselves trapped in a cycle of mimicry, recycling the same trends and formats deemed 'successful' by industry standards. This approach stifles creativity and authenticity, which are the elements that resonate most with today’s discerning audiences.

Brands need to embrace the chaos and unpredictability of the current social media environment. It's time to be bold, take risks, and defy conventional wisdom. The most memorable and impactful social media moments come from unexpected, raw, and genuine interactions.

Brands need to tear the rulebook up

By ripping up the social media rulebook, brands can rediscover their authenticity and re-engage with their audiences more deeply. This means throwing those sterile content models in the bin, playing in culture, and pushing creativity to the max.

I joined Song under a year ago to lead their social media practice, and our mission is to pioneer this paradigm shift. Changing old habits isn’t easy, but we’re fortunate to work with clients who want to stop ‘brand spam’ and align with our ethos of making social feeds better places for their users.

Ultimately, the brands that will thrive in this new era of social media are those that dare to be different. They will be the ones who reject the status quo, embrace their unique identity, and meaningfully impact culture.

So, it’s time for brands to tear up the social rulebook, throw those over-used content models in the bin, and start a social media revolution!

If brands are to thrive then the future of social media for they must be more rebellious.

Melo Meacher-Jones is head of social and influencer at Accenture Song


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