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How Brands Can Thrive in Social Media’s Entertainment Age

How Brands Can Thrive in Social Media’s Entertainment Age

“Entertainment fuels the social ROI engine” — that headline jumped out at us while perusing Hootsuite’s always illuminating annual social media trends report. According to Hootsuite’s 2024 survey, the main reason (after staying in touch with family and friends) that people use social media is to be entertained and unwind. What they’re not looking for is to be relentlessly marketed to as they scroll.

Naturally, this puts brands in a bind when it comes to their digital marketing strategies. With social media serving as a primary source of entertainment, brands must adapt to remain relevant and connect with their audience. Here are key considerations for brands looking to thrive in the entertainment age.

Create Entertaining Content

Obvious, right? But it bears repeating. Brands should focus on creating content that goes beyond traditional advertising. Engaging videos, humorous posts, and visually appealing content can capture the attention of users who are primarily seeking entertainment. Short-form videos, such as those on TikTok and Instagram Reels, have taken the world by storm, providing a quick and amusing escape for users. Memes, once relegated to niche corners of the internet, have become a universal language. By aligning with the tone and style prevalent on social media, brands can seamlessly integrate into users' feeds.

Leverage Influencer Partnerships

We’re living through the age of the influencer. These online rock stars boast devoted followings in a vast range of consumer niches — and the best of them can be very fun. As a result, collaborating with social media influencers and content creators can amplify a brand’s reach and impact. Influencers have a knack for producing entertaining and relatable content that resonates with their followers. Brands can leverage these partnerships to organically integrate their products or messages into the entertainment-focused content that users crave. It’s not all about numbers, either; some micro-influencers can be just as (if not more) effective than the big names.

Focus on Community

Building a community around a brand can create a sense of belonging for consumers. Encourage user-generated content (UGC), initiate discussions, and participate in trending conversations to nurture a community that finds entertainment and value in the brand's online presence. This not only enhances brand loyalty but also contributes to the overall entertainment experience for users. A good example of a powerful brand community is Lego — yes, the classic Danish toy maker. Via the Ideas site, Lego has created an extremely engaged global community, giving fans a say in future products and running fun contests that get everyone involved.

Utilize Interactive Features

Take advantage of interactive features offered by social media platforms. Encouraging user participation enhances the overall user experience, making the brand a part of the entertainment journey rather than just a passive presence. One of the simplest yet effective interactive features is the use of polls and surveys. Brands can create polls to gather opinions on specific topics related to their products or industry. This not only encourages user engagement but also provides valuable insights for the brand. Additionally, posing light-hearted or humorous questions enhances the entertainment aspect, making the interaction enjoyable for users.

Authentic Relevancy

The rise of artificial intelligence is one of the biggest stories of the past year and its reverberations are still being felt. But ironically, social media users still crave authenticity — perhaps now more than ever. Authenticity remains crucial in the digital age. But what does authenticity really mean? In short, brands should strive to be genuine and relatable in their online interactions, bringing a welcome dose of humanity to whatever platform they’re using. Understanding the current trends, humor, and cultural references helps brands stay relevant and connect with their audience on a personal level.

Questions / comments? Get in touch at digital@turnerpr.com.

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