By joanne on August 16, 2016
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There are no social media. It’s sharing media now.
And that’s a huge opportunity.
People used to use social media to post personal information about their lives, challenges they faced, or even just gym selfies.
Today, they post about news, the brands they love, the pets they love, the destinations they love. And it’s changing all the time. Social media is fluidly dynamic – behaviour is shaping technology at the same time as technology is shaping behaviour. This feedback loop is throwing up a rapidly evolving system.
But the way social media marketing trends changing are directly beneficial to business. This should come as no surprise, since the biggest social network is now publicly traded. Indeed, if you look at the average Instagram profile, whether consciously or not, people are treating themselves more like brands every day. This makes it easier than ever for business brands to assimilate into their feeds.
Make no mistake, this is an opportunity not to be missed. Here are some interesting facts about social media that you should know:
· Two years ago, 75% of all Internet users were using social media. Now, there are over 2 billion active social media users worldwide.
· In the 18-49 age group, YouTube now has a greater reach that even the largest individual cable network. Most children now prefer mobile devices to TV.
· Facebook is now the number one source of traffic for 400 major media outlets, including the likes of Wired, The Atlantic, and Reuters – Facebook has overtaken Google as the number 1 traffic source.
· Google has responded to this shift by ranking social posts.
When customers enter your company name, they may well prefer to interact through Facebook than through your own website.
· Facebook is pioneering new internet connectivity where there was none before in Sub-Saharan Africa, to gain even more users.
And all this has led people to suggest that Facebook is eating the internet.
Okay, you say, so it’s big. But what about business?
Social Media Examiner’s 2015 Industry report shows that over half of business are already using social media to boost sales and increase their brand outreach. Personally, I think ‘over half’ means nearly half are seriously missing out. Don’t find yourself in the wrong half when it’s too late.
So, it’s a big deal and it’s currently underutilised. As any entrepreneur will know, that makes it ripe for exploitation, especially with huge changes coming. What changes? These are the changes on today’s effective social media marketing strategies, which are also the social media marketing trends in 2016:
All these should give you a clear indication that video is on the rise. It’s where social media sees the future being, and right now you can still get ahead of the curve.
You have to upskill your video techniques. That means storyboarding and scripting, shooting and editing, and even post-production.
Alternatively, https://goanimate.com/ and Animoto are low cost tools created specifically for marketers, and make it as easy as possible.
As I mentioned previously, vision is our primary sense, and AV content is best optimized to how our brain processes information. As such, relevant video content is the perfect attention grabber, and will help you shine in 2016.
Entertainment videos are created to get users to share them.
Buzzfeed is the current master of creating short, entertaining videos that increase their brand imprint but don’t explicitly sell anything. This is the best way to engender long term goodwill and loyalty.
Educational videos help people learn from you, and are the definition of carrot-on-a-stick marketing. Give away just enough to demonstrate value, but keep enough back to sell your premium services.
Moz has their awesome Whiteboard Friday to share about everything about inbound marketing.
Explainer videos help people make sense of the world around them. Snapchat is always active in their YouTube account that they publish a video content every time they have new features.
You can create them for your products, to describe your processes, or even complex concepts, so people feel smarter and better equipped to face their lives having watched them.
People can subscribe to live feeds and notifications from the people, businesses, and brands they love. This means people will choose to be told when you’re broadcasting. Never before has that been possible.
One of the best examples will be The International: 2016 (Dota 2). Many people are tuning in for the live video just to catch up on the tournament.
All this addresses a major challenge in social media: the lack of atmosphere. Everyone is so busy crafting an image that next to no one, including businesses, are authentic.
Live video streaming is a way to guarantee authenticity, and makes things more exciting in the process. If you can deliver live, you establish huge trust in your audience.
Using live, you can:
Make product launches and announcements that have a real sense of excitement about them, with relative impunity.
Create live events with special offers that create viewers-only incentives for a limited time only.
Let people in on the process to demonstrate a product being made or used, or a service being deployed, to boost consumer confidence.
Social media is a rich platform with high engagement, and minimizing the disruption between people seeing an advertisement and taking the proposed action can only be of benefit to users.
If you don’t want to use the top social media platforms 2016, don’t worry – all social media platforms are projected to support social commerce by the end of the year.
There are a huge number of practical advantages here. Namely:
Save on mobile apps by using Facebook’s app to host your page.
Save bandwidth by using Facebook’s servers to host a product catalogue and sell directly to audiences where they already are.
Make it effortless to buy products by coupling a strong call to action with immediate and easy fulfillment. Once Facebook has user’s details, they can authorize the ability to buy with one click.
Anyone who has seen The Social Network knows that Facebook was made to help people interact socially, directly, and conversationally. It turns out, that’s not necessarily what people wanted. Or perhaps it’s better to say it isn’t all they wanted.
Methods of communication are diversifying and brands need to be active on every touchpoint, so that consumers can pick their favorite. This will:
Lower the level of disruption experienced when people have a problem or query and lower your response time to issues.
Improve image and visibility to your audiences.
Increase satisfaction among existing customers and make new customers more likely to try you.
Text heavy search results are coming to end, and it’s easy to see why. People prefer rich content to plain text, and representing rich content in searches is becoming more prevalent.
Most of this content comes from social media trends today, which means you need to be both creating this content and sharing it where the search engines are looking for it.
And the best way to do this is by creating an infographic. Most users love it and Google will always give them the best relevant one which will provide the users with what they’re looking for.
Trust me, your images can actually ranked on Google just like how we did it:
The advantage is here is that if you create this content, you can:
Skip to the top of the line by creating relevant video and images on key searches. The number one result gets most of the traffic, and that result will increasingly be a video or image.
Beat others to the punch by being the first to get rich content ranked, while others are lagging behind.
Social platforms are doing more to keep users involved in-app for the longest time possible, offering peripheral functionality to keep users more engaged for longer, these include:
Social media apps need to make their developers money in order to survive. That comes from advertising and user data, but user data is declining as I pointed out right at the start. So conventional business is going to have to account for a larger share, and they’re going to have to do it better than ever.
The in-app search and embedded content will feature big time, and Facebook have already introduced instant articles for fast loading and auto video playing.
As such, it’s essential to make enhancements in your app to experience a boost in ROI:
Messaging for customer support will help you stay connected to customers and make them feel like you always have their back.
Geolocation allows you to target people at the right place and time, so adverts are more appropriate than ever.
Embedded Content will add value and give people more reasons to stick around in the app, and the more time they’re in, the more likely a purchase will be.
If you don’t have an app, it’s time you thought about creating one.
Most importantly, you need to get that website mobile optimized before you do anything else.
Smartphones now have more features than ever – banking apps use their fingerprint scanners for authentication, while transport systems enable NFC for payments. Think about how you can integrate the emerging tech into how your business functions.
These social media marketing trends are going to affect you. If you don’t move with them, they will leave you behind. Which is why it’s very important to have a successful social media strategy.
Take the time to make sure you understand how to do social media marketing, and think about how they might be able to positively affect your business. There are so many benefits of social media for business. If you’re in a position to seize upon one of the six trends above, you could be one of the first, and hopefully, one of the best to do so. That will yield dividends in the long term.
Now that you’ve figured out the social media marketing trends in 2016, do you think these trends will last long? If not, what will be the next trend? Let us hear you out and share your thoughts with us in the comment section down below.
Updated: 21 July 2017
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