It’s hard to talk about marketing without mentioning the crazy world of social media. It is an unavoidable part of everyday life to most of us, and we’re sure many of you probably find it impossible to not check your feeds multiple times a day. But social media is no longer just about connecting with friends and family anymore.
For brands, it’s a great way to build relationships and communicate directly with potential customers. No middle man required. Social media is quick, simple, and fun for most businesses to get onboard with a start connecting with their customers and prospects.
But with all the benefits that social media can bring to brands, it’s important to be aware that things change. FAST.
One day, likes are the most important metric on Instagram and the next day, they could be gone. Read more about it here. You might even find that your engagement rates could plummet without any notice or change to your strategy. And of course, there’s the dreaded algorithm. This is what Instagram and Facebook use to decide what their users see.
Keeping ahead of the curve is absolutely critical when it comes to social media. So, here’s some of our top social media trends we think you need to look out for.
Stories, stories and more stories
If you have been living under a rock for the past 2 years and don’t already know what Stories are on social media, let’s break it down for you nice and simply:
“Stories is a feature that allows users to share photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours.”
See the row of circles when you open up your Instagram feed? That’s Stories. And Stories are here to stay.
Stories are particularly great for businesses. Research suggests that 25% of Millennials and Gen Z-ers use stories to look for products and services they are interested in purchasing. 15-25% of people are also swiping up on a link in branded Stories, proving that it is a great way to get consumers to head to an external page that could just be your website!
The reason why Stories have become so popular is for its authenticity compared to a traditional feed post.
So, use stories authentically and honestly. Post often. Use the features that are constantly getting updated. Try the colourful rainbow text. Add stickers, GIFs, hashtags and your location. Ensure they are visual and eye-catching, to make users stop in their tracks, and hold down on your story or swipe up on your link!
Don’t be afraid to post several times a day! Stories feel a whole lot less like spam and users are a lot more willing to look over something for a few seconds compared to an entire post on your feed.
Of course, don’t forget to save your best stories as Highlights! You don’t want new people to your feed to miss out on all the great content you have created.
With so many brands on social media today, the biggest challenge is standing out from the crowd, and creating trust with your audience. With so much distrust among users with regards to the platforms themselves as well as the big-name celebrities on social media, trust is hard to come by in the online space.
One of the best ways around this is micro influencers. These aren’t people with millions of followers or those who expect a large pay check for a single post. These are the people on social media with much smaller, highly engaged audience. While there is no exact threshold, micro influencers usually have 1,000-90,000 followers.
Research has suggested that micro influencers have 60% higher engagement rates compared to celebrities on social media. So not only can they create better results for your brand, but micro influencers are likely to be more affordable and can create more trust with consumers.
So what’s best way to find the perfect micro-influencer for your brand?
Search the hashtags! Once you find a profile that’s interesting, look at the comments they are receiving. Are they filled with generic responses that bots have made, or real questions that actual people have left there? Genuine interactions between micro influencers and their followers is exactly what you’re looking for, because it suggests that these followers are going to do the same with your brand when you start working with a great micro influencer.
Crazy, Impressive Chat Bots
Facebook Messenger has completely upped the game for chat bots. Businesses are starting to utilise this new feature at an unbelievable rate. The possibilities are endless. Just check out how Pizza Hut is using it as an online ordering tool!
These chat bots can recognise phrases sent by users and can automatically respond based on their programs. It’s a simple way to drive sales and increase revenue, plus it allows users another way to interact with your brand on a platform they already live much of their lives on.
One of the best ways you can already start to use this is by running contests on these messenger apps. Because it allows for a more private method of communication, users are more likely to respond and interact. No fear of judgement from other users goes a long way.
While Facebook Messenger and other social media chat bots can’t replace the beauty of real human interaction, it’s great for answering simple questions and customer needs so more time can be spent on the more complex concerns that your customers may have.
Social Media Advertising is a Must
Most brands can’t afford to ignore social media anymore. As it becomes a bigger part of our everyday lives, businesses know to use it more than ever before. And if you didn’t already know, social media is in an era pay-to-play.
Simply put, if you want users to see your content, you best believe Facebook will get you to pay for it. With more businesses using social media advertising, the competition to get your content seen is higher than ever before, and more expensive. It is estimated that one of every four Facebook pages now uses paid advertising as part of their social media strategy.
To counter this, ensure that you pair your ad spend with engaging and creative content. Compelling visuals, especially, can be great for boosting clicks and creating high conversion rates.
One of the simplest ways to do this is to boost content that has already performed well organically. Stick with tried and tested content and save time and money by adapting and repurposing what you have already used in the past. As long as you make sure to target audiences that haven’t seen these ads already, you’ll be good to go!