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View from the street: running into trouble

Social media

Sabina Kadić-MacKenzie

Senior partner

Reflects on the power (and peril) of a social media profile.

“I’m ready to hit the ground from day one.” The now famous tweet from Liz Truss, who is widely anticipated to become the new prime minister within a few short hours, won’t be the last of its kind in politics.

The omission of the word “running” is one in a long list of gaffes from our politicians, and as you’d expect led to a barrage of gardening-related memes.

In a world where everyone thinks they can “do” social media, it’s worth reminding ourselves of its staying power and influence, whether we like it or not (just ask Ed Balls).

Yes, when things go well, social media can be an extraordinary tool in your armoury, but when it goes wrong, it can go a bit tweets up!

My observation of late is that, with so many of us – as businesses or individuals – already almost two decades in to our social media use, our stale old ways aren’t cutting it anymore. It’s no wonder then that new social platforms such as TikTok are seeing a surge from Gen Z and Gen Alpha audiences, up from 25% usage in 2020 to 44% in 2021, as they abandon Twitter, Facebook and even Snapchat.

Regardless of the purpose of your social media usage, taking the time to pause (or even start from scratch) can seem counterintuitive, but taking regular stock of the how and the why is critical.

It’s clear that social media is not a passing fad. It continues to dramatically change the way that brands and consumers interact with one another. But, diving in without a plan or marching on to the same tired beat, can do more harm than staying away from platforms altogether.

Our advice, now more than ever, is to really think about using the power of social media in a smarter way. A strategy is just the start (and should hopefully prevent any gaffes) but it needs to go beyond the guardrails that any strategy deck can give you. It needs to be authentic, purpose and audience-led, and most importantly start with good content…or at the very least should be proofed for typoes before its release to the masses.


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