Social media is changing. Today’s consumer spends more time than ever on social media, and they’re craving more direct relationships with each other as well as the brands they follow. Here are a few brands that were able to really strive in this new environment.

Wayfair’s Implementation of Instagram Shopping

Instagram recently released a new feature that lets Instagram users “tag” items in their photos. These tagged items link directly to a sales portal, making it easier for followers to quickly purchase items that they see online.

Wayfair, a leading online retailer, took the chance to stage rooms with compelling designs, linking to rugs, tables, lamps and other furnishing and decor. This allowed Instagram users to see Wayfair’s items “in the wild” and better imagine how these items would look in their home.

GE’s Behind-the-Scenes YouTube Channel

Many older brands have struggled to make the transition to social media. GE Isn’t one of them. Through a comprehensive behind-the-scenes YouTube channel, GE has been able to build up its brand awareness among consumers.

This is important in an era of advanced competition. Competitors such as Samsung are now introducing appliances with advanced technology, and consumers who are purchasing for household goods have a tendency to buy the goods that they are familiar with.

While GE does have a fairly broad business, consumer appliances make up a significant portion. By improving brand awareness and engagement with customers, GE is able to increase the likelihood that consumers will investigate their options first.

Lexus Embraces AI Scripting

In 2018, Lexus released an incredible commercial: an AI-scripted film facilitated by an award-winning director. This was an interesting way to leverage new technology into their brand identity, securing their position as a technologically-advanced company.

It’s important for companies to show that they are future-forward, and while artificial intelligence may not be at the forefront of vehicle technology, it’s at the front of consumer consciousness. Showing that Lexus is dedicated to the future and to technological advancement is critical to developing the awareness of a brand.

2018: The Year of Snarky Commercial Twitter

Wendy’s really started something special when it started with its sarcastic tweets a few years ago, and 2018 saw other marketing brands reaching for the same kind of tone. From Moon Pie to Netflix, brands spent a lot of time joking with each other and their customers.

And 2018 may be the last time this kind of thing works, because customers are actually getting a little fatigued by this. While it worked great in 2018, customers are starting to see this a little more cynically. When SunnyD tweeted “I can’t do this more” in 2019, all the brands hopped aboard as expected—but the backlash was considerable.

Key Takeaways Brands have had to adapt to a new relationship with their customers, which eschews traditional advertising. Customers don’t want to be advertised to, at all: they want to form relationships with brands and learn more about them. The above companies have been able to develop relationships with their customers, but it’s also possible to go too far, as we can see with the commercial Twitter results. Striking that balance is important.