How to navigate the changing social media landscape – Part 1

Posted on: May 16, 2023

Compass KeyringIt’s rare for social media not to be in the headlines these days.  With so many changes, acquisitions and algorithm adjustments, it can be hard for businesses to keep up.  And yet social media is often a key component of many marketing strategies.  For some smaller businesses, it is their only marketing channel.

Like any tech-driven tool, social media platforms are prone to updates, refreshes and buyouts.  Changing audience behaviour (and the social networks’ goals to grow or preserve market share) also create fresh developments to navigate.

In this two-part series, we flag some key 2023 trends that have emerged, particularly for B2B businesses.  Adapting your social media strategies to reflect these can help you strengthen your effectiveness in your chosen social channels.  In this article, we start by looking at key changes in some major social networks.

How are the platforms changing?


Twitter has rarely been out of the news for the last couple of years and most of it has been in reference to its new owner Elon Musk.

Different headlines relating to his plans appear frequently in the press, and recently he’s appointed a new CEO to work with him in accomplishing them.

What is certain, is that Twitter now has less staff and so moderation has significantly reduced. In turn, this is having a negative impact on the channel’s content.

Combined with the changes to the Twitter blue tick, it is prompting an exodus of many big-name brands and influential people from the platform.  Unsurprisingly advertising has also dropped, and this will have revenue implications for Twitter.

Updates have been rolled out. Longer tweets (4k and 10k characters) are permitted to those paying for their blue tick. This almost certainly suggests a move towards a more subscription-based model,  which for some truly marks the beginning of the end for Twitter.

Some businesses and brands are reporting losing large swathes of followers as accounts are closed. In contrast, others may gain new followers as the reduction in moderation and the withdrawal of inactive profiles lead to a rise in ‘fake’ account creation.

Implications for your social media strategy
  1. If Twitter is an important part of your social media strategy, and your target audience proliferates it, then monitor the latest developments closely.  Keep an eye on changes in your follower numbers, the profile of those followers, their engagement rates with your content and other returns you gain from being on the platform.
  2. Consider what other channels your best and ideal followers frequent.  Start or build a stronger presence on them so you can continue to engage with them.
  3. If you have the budget for paid advertising, it can be effective.  As organic reach and engagement become harder this may offer better results.
  4. Also, investigate new networks/platforms that will no doubt emerge in response to Twitter’s problems.  In doing so though, scrutinise if they will give you continued access to engage with your target audience.


LinkedIn has benefited from the changes at Twitter – particularly for business-related interactions.  It has also been helped by complex email privacy regulations which have meant, many people are choosing the channel to target, market and initiate dialogue with professionals.

Unsurprisingly, LinkedIn user numbers have hit record highs this year. This surge in users has raised the volume of messages and InMail’s people in the network are receiving.  Home feeds are also very busy, and it will be interesting to see how effective people find the channel going forward for engagement.

Not one to rest on its laurels, the platform has rolled out updates and new features of its own that appeal to both businesses and individuals. Examples here include the ability to pre-schedule posts from both personal and business accounts and host audio events and newsletters.

There is also the opportunity to change your account to Creator mode to receive analytics on how your posts perform. This means you gain access to more features and that the algorithm will favour your posts. For anyone sharing content on LinkedIn it’s worth switching over.

More on the rise of social search in our next article but, with its 90,000 + B2B product pages, LinkedIn members are increasingly using its search facility to help their research for purchasing, outsourcing, recruitment etc. LinkedIn has plans to add new category filters and improve the relevance of the Product Pages too.

Implications for your social media strategy
  1. Be clear about why you are using LinkedIn as part of your marketing strategy – e.g., engage with clients, contacts and prospects?  Attract new recruits? Appeal to other stakeholders? A mixture of all three?  Whatever your goal, keep your business and personal pages fresh with quality, relevant content for that audience(s).
  2. Get the support of your team to amplify your organisation’s posts.  Use the platform’s analytics to identify which posts resonate most with your target audience and plan more of the same.
  3. Use your Company page more to engage and comment on posts that put your company name in front of your target audience. Be supportive and not salesy in your comments.
  4. If your posting is sometimes sporadic, the inbuilt scheduling tool in LinkedIn can help distribute content more regularly.


Now within the Meta suite which also owns Instagram and WhatsApp, Facebook has seen a drop in popularity. Saying that its advertising options for certain businesses offer a cost-effective way of reaching a targeted audience profile. Check out its current demographics. It can be a helpful tool, particularly for those in the B2C space.

That said, it is harder to get company page organic content into people’s feeds. Facebook’s algorithms favour posts from friends, families, and groups over businesses.

Implications for your social media strategy
  1. Facebook groups still offer awareness-raising potential for businesses – particularly among local audiences and special interest groups. These can even apply to B2B discussions.
  2. Content on the channel has become aligned with Instagram.  This means there’s the ability to share reels and stories as well as video.  Can you use more visuals in your posts?
  3. Facebook can be a useful tool for recruiting prospective employees. For some organisations sharing the personal aspects of working for them and their company culture etc is a better fit for Facebook than LinkedIn.
  4. Do you check your messages? Over 1 billion users message companies every week on Facebook.


As a business, you may have wondered what was going on with Instagram last year, and that content you had shared with good results now generated less engagement.

The reason for this is that Instagram looked to take on TikTok as primarily a video-sharing platform. For a while, gone from people’s feeds were the static images and artistic squares Instagram was popular for. In their place came lots of short-form videos with trending audio.

A backlash from users complaining about the approach prompted Instagram to rethink. While not fully backtracking, Instagram has adjusted its algorithms again. Although short videos and the use of audio are still popular, images and carousels are being featured and engaged with again.

Implications for your social media strategy
  1. If your target audience is on Instagram there are lots of ways to keep reaching new potential followers without advertising.  Don’t forget to use hashtags, or keywords so you can be found in the ‘Explore’ tab.
  2. Recent stats show that over 80% of Instagram users are also on LinkedIn too, as its main audience is increasing in age.
  3. With limited ability to share links on the channel, you need to think about how to ‘tell your story’ or demonstrate your organisation’s ‘experience’ through visuals. Customer and staff stories can be a powerful example here.  Also, Instagram can be a great asset in building your employer brand credentials.


Social networks will continue to evolve to preserve their market share and revenues.  Traditional audiences will get older and new kids on the block will spring up to challenge the stalwarts.

To make social media an effective part of your strategy, it is important to remain alert to which channel your target audiences frequent.  You then also need to respect the nuances of that channel when it comes to content format, tone of voice and style.  Those nuances may evolve with the network’s users’ changing behaviour and interests.

As a business, it’s important to remember the ‘social’ in social media.  Yes, these platforms offer advertising opportunities, but if you’re trying to raise awareness and engagement with your business, then you need to share interesting, fun and engaging content.

Look to social media to prompt dialogue, interactions and discussion rather than sell or promote.  And think beyond your customers to other interested stakeholders – your employees, potential employees, contacts, suppliers, and other supporters. Can social media help other relationship-building strategies in your business?

In our next article, we’ll look at new trend implications for content sharing on social networks.

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