SXSW – South by Southwest

March 11, 2023 – 3:22 in the afternoon

(Credit: Erhui1979/iStock)

“The only constant in life is change.” The maxim of Heraclitus, one of the greatest philosophers of pre-Socratic antiquity, could not be more relevant. And he would never have imagined that in the 21st century the speed of these changes would have to rise to a thousandth power. At least for the last fifteen years we have been living in the era of the ephemeral. And how can we quickly adapt to these transformations — or even be ready before they happen?

Here at South by Southwest (SXSW), marketers strive to understand this ever-changing consumer behavior. Brands must be agile and daring in order to be able to respond to new demands. According to Lorry Destainville, head of commercial partnerships at TikTok, the future of digital engagement will depend on a brand’s ability to collect, synthesize and identify patterns in social data that can inform key business decisions.

Have you ever thought that there are no more in this context benchmarks? Gone are the days when we had a big company as an excellent reference, it was essential to follow its footsteps and analyze how we should work. Today we have to look at very different business insights rather than best practice.

According to a survey by Sprout Social, a social media solutions company, 72% of marketers say that keeping up with changes in social media will be their biggest challenge in 2023. Fortunately or unfortunately, that’s the only way. Trends are created, socialized and accelerated on social networks. Who is in charge today is the consumer. They control the fate of organizations. Brands must understand what consumers expect, and this is only possible through an authentic connection with people.

Authenticity is the word of the moment, we already know. But what are we going to focus on? What will we prioritize? Our brand has to go headfirst into everything trends? And how will we maintain this level of trend speed? TikTok has made it even more challenging. The web has democratized the way viruses are created: anyone can invent something that tomorrow will be talked about — and imitated — around the world. It’s all of us creators in potential. We are encouraged to discover the creativity of these people that you can use for your brand.

Sprout Social CMO Jamie Gilpin offered some suggestions on how we can use this to our advantage. Want examples? Personalize engagement, communicate across networks with other brands and directly with consumers, experiment with new content and optimize for what works best.

In the face of it all, repeat your new mantra after me: “What does this trend mean for my business?”

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