Evolving platforms, timeless principles – How we develop agile, effective social media strategies

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“TikTok is testing longer videos”, “Instagram recommends keeping videos under 90 seconds”, “LinkedIn pages can now send and receive direct messages”

Social media managers and digital strategists field updates like this every week. We prepare ourselves for the moment we open yet another digital marketing newsletter with ‘breaking news’ on how digital strategies and tactics are shifting… and what was working a month ago is no longer valid. Does this sound familiar to any of you?

Just a few weeks ago, while both Instagram and TikTok pushed for longer videos, the head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, revealed that Reels exceeding 90 seconds would actually decrease distribution…

Adapt with the tools, but stick to the core principles

In the ever-evolving landscape of social media, the platforms and features may change, but the essence of successful digital communication remains constant.

But staying up to date with these regular platform changes requires not just agility but a strong grasp of the core principles that underlie effective social media engagement. 

These platforms are merely tools – vehicles through which brands share their messages, connect with their audiences, and build communities. What truly matters is the core strategy, narrative and voice that drive these efforts.

Stay true to your identity, don’t be side-tracked by frenzied tactics

As social media channels multiply and their algorithms evolve, it’s easy to get lost in a tactical frenzy.

A brand might need to master TikTok trends one day, then switch to short Instagram reels, jump on a trend on X (RIP Twitter), or create compelling LinkedIn posts that resonate with their audience.

However, beneath these shifting tactics lies a consistent truth: the need to understand and stay true to your brand’s core values and mission. And, above all, to achieve “your why”.

This means maintaining a clear, coherent voice that reflects your brand’s identity, regardless of the platform.
It involves knowing your audience deeply and creating content that not only captures their attention but also matches their interests and the ways they like to engage with your brand.

Authenticity and consistency in messaging are key, providing a stable foundation that can withstand the rapid changes in social media dynamics.

Authentic – What does it really mean?

Authenticity and community are becoming buzz words when talking about digital trends and social media.

But what do we really mean by being authentic? It’s about a brand really understanding its core values – it’s “why”. When they understand their purpose and their mandate, it is easier for brands to remain consistent across all platforms, and engage with audiences in a meaningful way.

Authenticity helps audiences feel a sense of safety and stability in your brand. It builds trust, and this trust grows every time you engage with them in a meaningful way.   

At Rooftop, we work with many non-profit organisations, foundations and UN agencies to develop successful digital campaigns for our clients’ social good projects.

The nature of their work means that our clients rely on building trust and rapport with their stakeholders, member states, donors and audiences in order to operate and achieve their mandates.

In the age of rampant misinformation and rapid developments in AI, scepticism is high, and people want to listen to authentic voices they can trust.

Whether we’re helping our clients to raise awareness about critical global issues or highlight progress in humanitarian efforts, we always build the campaign on the foundational need for audiences to believe that the brand/organization is a trustworthy source of information.

Whether we’re helping our clients to raise awareness about critical global issues or highlight progress in humanitarian efforts, we always build the campaign on the foundational need for audiences to believe that the brand/organization is a trustworthy source of information.

A strong brand identity paired with key insights creates impactful, flexible campaigns

When a brand understands its core message and target audiences, it is easier to identify which new tools and trends are worth investing in, and which can be overlooked.

This strategic clarity helps organizations to be flexible and innovative without losing sight of their overarching goals. 

For example, when the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) approached Rooftop with the challenge of developing a mental health campaign for 14 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, we devised a strategy centred around the human insight of sharing – we all share, whether online, in person, factual, or fictional. 

This approach aligned with PAHO’s commitment to creating an inclusive and supportive environment, and addressed the stigma associated with mental health challenges in the target countries.

This clear foundation enabled us to help PAHO tailor its messages across various social media channels and effectively engage with its audiences. We also brought regional content creators on board. These creators aligned with PAHO’s values and wanted to help make a positive social impact.

To find out more, take a look at our project case study here.

We all have a need for connection, understanding, self-expression, and community

Social platforms may change by the minute, but our fundamental human needs for connection, understanding, self-expression, and community remain the same.

Social media is simply the modern way to fulfil these timeless instincts. Large international organisations and agencies must recognise and tap into these core truths if they want to find creative ways to effectively engage online.

In conclusion, while social media platforms and their features will continue to evolve, the importance of a strong, authentic, and consistent brand identity and core strategy cannot be overstated – especially for UN organisations and the nonprofit sector.

By focusing on these enduring principles, Rooftop helps our clients navigate the ever-changing social media landscape with confidence and purpose. Together, we ensure that our clients’ efforts in advocacy, awareness, and community engagement remain effective and impactful.

We are dedicated to creating campaigns that cut through the noise to drive meaningful change and help our clients achieve their goals.

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