In Brief: Companies, Employees Compromise With Hybrid Work; Social Media Marketing Trends for 2023

January 2023
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Companies, Employees Compromise With Hybrid Work

The tug-of-war between bosses who want employees back at their desks and employees who’d rather work remotely is reaching compromise in hybrid work as we start a new year.

Surveys by WFH Research find employees want to work remotely 2.7 days per week. Companies are allowing employees more days per week to work from home, up to about 2.3 as of October. During the pandemic and tight labor market, companies were eager to please employees by allowing fully remote schedules. Now, as recession looms, they’re less accommodating. 

Leaders say in-person collaboration is better for productivity and for business. Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon told Fortune that organizations thrive on the collaboration between younger and more experienced employees. “We have to bring people together,” he said. Apple and Peloton have also instituted office mandates for employees.

Hybrid workers report feeling happier and more productive than fully remote or fully in-person employees, WFH Research finds. Hybrid workers report stronger loyalty to their employers.

People Who Share Fake News Online Believe It More When Others Approve 

When someone shares fake political news on social media, that person’s belief in the story increases as other people show their approval of the post with hearts and retweets, a new study finds. 

Researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara’s Center for Information Technology and Society found this social-approval effect occurred only when the news was negative and targeted the “other” political party.

Joseph B. Walther, a communications professor and the study’s lead author, worked with a team of graduate students to create realistic, fake news stories. The researchers posted the fake stories on a website resembling those that publish fabricated news items, with the word “news” in the website address.

For the study published in the Journal of Communication, researchers found that when a fake story portrays a politician negatively, the more social approval someone gets for sharing it and the worse they perceive the person depicted in the story to be. 

Social Media Marketing Trends for 2023

With social media now intrinsically woven into people’s lives, companies that make social media marketing part of their business strategy are better suited to weather recession, inflation, layoffs and declining consumer spending, a new report finds. 

According to “Top Social Media Marketing Trends for 2023” from Hootsuite — which manages social media for businesses — large brands are investing less in influencer marketing, creating an opportunity for small companies to hire those creators at lower costs. Marketers are developing more creative, specialized content for fewer social media platforms, the report says.

At the same time, social media’s newfound exposure in the C-suite opens social media marketing to deeper scrutiny. In surveys and interviews with social media marketers and others, the study revealed that senior leaders of companies often differ with social media marketers over how to measure return on investment from social media marketing. 

Still, “stronger brand reputation, greater customer interaction, trust and loyalty” depend on social media, said Maggie Lower, chief marketing officer of Hootsuite.

What to Know About Mastodon

Since Elon Musk’s controversial and tumultuous takeover of Twitter on Oct. 27, some users are seeking alternative social media platforms. As a result, Mastodon, a lesser-known rival, has received a big boost.

Mastodon’s mobile app was downloaded 750,000 times between Oct. 28 and Nov. 6, according to analytics firm Sensor Tower. Quartz reports that was 53 times more Mastodon downloads than during the previous 11-day period, when the app was downloaded 14,000 times.

Mastodon now reportedly has 4.5 million users (compared with Twitter’s 238 million). But the platform is struggling under the weight of those new accounts.

On the surface, Mastodon, which has been around since 2016, looks similar to Twitter. Users write posts (called “toots”), which others can like, reply to or re-post. However, according to press reports, Mastodon works very differently than Twitter does, causing confusion for people signing up for new accounts.

For starters, you must choose a server. Unlike Musk’s Twitter, Mastodon is not one platform owned by a single person or company. Instead, many different computer servers, owned by different people and organizations, use Mastodon’s free, open-source software and then link together to form a decentralized network. 

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