How Brands Can Stay Relevant on Social Media
If social media has one constant, it’s change. Platforms come (BeReal, anybody?) and go (rest in peace, Vine). Algorithms are as capricious as influencers’ sponsored-post rates, and the churn of content is so rapid that it’s practically guaranteed that a trend will be stale by the time key stakeholders approve a brand’s attempt to catch the viral bandwagon.
At the same time, social media is where customers are—and where they are making purchasing decisions. According to a 2022 study by Sprout Social, two-thirds of consumers have purchased directly through social media. For brands, getting left behind—lingering too long on a platform that’s past its prime or losing followers because content isn’t fresh—could make the difference between whether the business lives or dies.
Most brands recognize the importance of social media for bottom lines: Shopping directly on social is expected to double in the United States by 2025 and reach US$99 billion. That’s why Mejuri, a Canadian fine-jewellery brand, employs three full-time employees whose job is to ensure that the company retains its strong social presence. (Mejuri has a million followers on Instagram alone.) Launched online in 2015 before later opening bricks-and mortar stores, the company has prioritized social media since day one; its target demo—women aged 20 to 40 with disposable income—tend to be among the most active social-media users.
Staying relevant on social media is a never-ending task, says Majed Masad, president and co-founder of Mejuri, explaining that the social team logs a minimum of six hours of screen time daily, consuming content from other brands and creators in order to identify trends. Within the team, everyone has a specialization—one person is more focused on TikTok, for example—but staff pitches in across platforms as needed. This constant monitoring means Mejuri is attuned to changes in its audience’s tastes.
“In the past year, we felt like we needed to shift toward content that was less curated and more ‘real’ and ‘in the moment,’” says Masad. Previously, Mejuri would post more professionally shot product photos. The brand’s feed now features photos of customers and staff sporting Mejuri goods in unfiltered images that look like they were shot on an iPhone.
Mejuri also introduced more video, knowing that this is what younger social-media users are gravitating toward, regardless of the platform. (Eighty-eight per cent of social-media users want more video from brands, according to Sprout Social.) Keeping up with the less curated aesthetic, this means lo-fi Reels instead of the professionally shot campaign videos that once pulled in the likes. Now, the team produce a lot more “on the fly” video content, like footage of staff opening a new store or talking about their favourite items.
“There is purpose behind everything we post,” says Masad. The goal might be attracting new customers or promoting a holiday sale. Sometimes, this looks like an in-depth product explainer for a new drop. Other times, it’s hopping on a trending TikTok sound, which helps content land on users’ “For You Page,” leading to a massive boost in the number of people who see the post. One of Mejuri’s most successful TikTok posts from December—a short video of sparkly rings accompanied by a clip of the popular song “Miracles Happen” from the movie The Princess Diaries—got more than 835,000 views.
Mejuri also uses a tool from Dash Hudson that generates analytics, which can be used to inform future posts. Reach—the number of people who see a post—is a key metric for Mejuri, but so are things like comments or how successfully something leads to a conversion—that is, a sale either directly through a platform like Instagram or a click-through to their e-commerce site.
“Our social strategy is driven primarily by what we predict our target demo is looking for and wants to engage with based on our data analysis,” says Masad. He says the company also draws intel from its in-house consumer-insights team, which tracks purchasing patterns and broader market trends. But it works both ways: “Understanding the type of content our demo interacts with on social media provides insights into their shopping behaviours and decision-making processes.”
Brands often make the mistake of using the same strategy across all social platforms. Content has to make sense for the nuances and particularities of each channel. “TikTok tends to skew younger, and there is more freedom to experiment,” says Masad. “Instagram, on the other hand, tends to be more aesthetics-driven.” The brand’s team tailors its approaches based on what each platform is used for and what the audience likes.
The one thing brands can’t afford to do is just sit back and pray that the algorithm will smile on them. “Similar to any marketing strategy, we constantly have to revisit our approach,” says Masad. “And we have to evolve as platforms and consumers evolve.”