13 Things We've Learned About Social Media in 13 Years

Brian Powers
Brian Powers
13 Things We've Learned About Social Media in 13 Years
As Facelift becomes a teenager, we're not just celebrating our 13th birthday; we're also reflecting on the wild, ever-evolving world of social media that we've grown with. It's been a journey of discovery, innovation, and, yes, more than a few facepalms along the way. Here are 13 nuggets of wisdom we've picked up on this ride:

  1. The only constant is the change.
    When you've mastered the latest features, the rules change. We're always on our toes, ensuring that we're learning, adapting, and innovating. It taught us to focus on quality engagement over chasing algorithm shadows.

  2. Engagement is queen (and content is king)
    Quality content might draw them in, but it's the engagement that keeps the conversation going. When every like, comment, and share counts, creating content that encourages interaction is key to building a vibrant community.

  3. Hashtags are not #JustForFun.
    They organize the chaos of social media into navigable streams. A clever hashtag can catapult your content into the spotlight, making it discoverable to those who matter most. Remember the Ice Bucket Challenge? It showed us the power of a hashtag to drive a global movement.

  4. Timing is everything
    Post at the wrong time, and your masterpiece disappears into the feed void. Our analytics have shown us the sweet spots for posting, unique to each platform and audience. It's not just about the clock but understanding when your audience is most receptive.

  5. Not every trend is your friend.
    It's tempting to jump on every viral trend, but not all suit your brand's voice. Selectivity ensures relevance and authenticity, keeping your brand integrity intact. Here are some significant trends we're looking forward to in 2024!

  6. The power of a meme
    Memes are the universal language of the internet. They can make your brand feel relatable and human, breaking down barriers with humor. But tread carefully; the context is everything. A well-timed meme can be memorable for the right reasons, reinforcing your message with a smile.

  7. Video didn't just kill the radio star.
    It's taken social media by storm, with platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels reshaping how we consume content. From educational snippets to behind-the-scenes looks, video content is a versatile tool that can humanize your brand and convey complex messages succinctly. We prepared a comprehensive guide to short-form videos that you can grab here for free!

  8. Authenticity wins the race.
    Users crave genuine connections. Showing the real people behind your brand, warts and all, fosters trust and loyalty. Authentic storytelling resonates deeply, creating a bond that glossy ads cannot. One way you can do this is with user-generated content (UGC). 

  9. Privacy matters
    In the digital age, respecting user privacy has become paramount. Transparent practices in data handling reassure your audience, building a foundation of trust. The GDPR rollout was a wake-up call for many businesses and social media platforms, emphasizing the importance of privacy in digital interactions.

  10. Social listening is your superpower.
    It's not just about broadcasting your message but also hearing what the world says about you. Social listening tools allow us to capture feedback, understand sentiment, and engage meaningfully, turning insights into action. One of our favorite tools for social listening is Digimind. Take a look!

  11. Influencers: handle with care
    The right influencer can extend your reach exponentially, but alignment is crucial. Authentic partnerships resonate with audiences, while mismatched collaborations can dilute your message. It's a delicate balance of reach, relevance, and resonance. We've also witnessed the rise of nano-influencers! We've written about it here.

  12. Crisis management is part of the package.
    No brand is immune to online backlash or crises. How you respond can define your brand for years to come. Prompt, thoughtful, and transparent communication can turn challenges into opportunities to demonstrate your brand's values and resilience. You can check out our guide to handling crises and scandals on social media.

  13. Collaboration is key.
    The idea that social media management is something for the intern is a tiring, dead concept that we really wish would just go away! Social is a large-scale, collaborative effort that often includes diverse roles throughout a company, coming together to create brilliant public content. Learn more about how your organization can use collaborative social media orchestration to reach your business goals.

As we celebrate our 13th birthday, we want to reflect on everything we've seen and done. From the early days when everything was "just Facebook" to the modern smorgasbord of short-form video on TikTok and Snapchat, we've seen sophisticated strategies that drive engagement and growth arise at every turn and been a part of these journeys for thousands of customers around the world. Every challenge and triumph has been a lesson in innovation, resilience, and the power of connection, which is what social is all about.

We're looking forward, too. We're looking ahead at new updates to our array of services, our next big projects, and just generally to the next 13 years of working together with our friendly, enthusiastic, and diverse colleagues and customers.

Brian Powers
Brian Powers

More about the author

A New Yorker in Germany, Brian is Facelift's content marketing manager. With over a decade of experience in content and social, he is responsible for managing Facelift's content, which includes the blog, guides and downloads
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