A Few Notes on the State of Social

As 2015 draws to a close – and I’ve been so busy with work that I’ve let the blog lie mostly fallow – I thought I’d scribble down a few unscientific observations about the state of social as we head into the New Year.

Social is moving towards simple, easy and image-rich. There’s a reason Instagram and Snapchat are so popular for so many brands (and why Instagram CPMs are so much higher than Facebook or Twitter): they are easy, simple andimage-rich. The reason? Users don’t want to hunt for content; they want content to come to them and be easily digestible, and they want to be able to hop in and out of the content as their time fragments further. Instagram provides a quick hit of prettiness in the 1-minute wait for the elevator; Snapchat lets you communicate quickly, easily and effectively with your friends – and with brands – with the click of a camera button rather than laborious typing.

For some examples of brands that are doing simple, pretty marketing really, really well, check out upstart skincare brand Sabbatical Beauty and jewelry maven Simple Studs on Instagram.

Gifs are the new words. Why say it with a phrase when you can say it with a 5-second subtitled snippet of your favourite television show? This is how Tumblrcommunicates, it’s how people communicate in the Jezebel and xoJanecomment sections, and increasingly, it’s how people communicate on Facebook and elsewhere online.

And, like any developing language, some words are more common than others – and have become standard responses in particular situations. (This one, from Parks and Rec, is one of my favourite things on the Internet – it’s become a common response to anyone behaving badly anywhere.)

Brands: please understand what “Netflix and Chill” means. It doesn’t mean what you probably think it means, if you’re planning to use it or any version of it in a campaign. Unless you’re Trojan. Or OKCupid.

In fact, this goes for any trendy language that you see used. Like “bae” or “on fleek” or “throwing shade”. If you need further instructions, please see the@BrandsSayingBae Twitter account for what not to do.

What trends have you noticed?