Trends That Are Changing Social Media Marketing
“Social media is not just a spoke on the wheel of marketing. It’s becoming the way entire bicycles are built.”
With the constantly changing trends in social media, it can be overwhelming to keep up and know how to best market your business. That’s where we can help. Here are six trends we are seeing that are revolutionizing social media and some strategies to help integrate them into your marketing.
1. Messenger apps are on the rise.
Per a recent Business Insider survey, more than half of customers surveyed said they were more likely to make purchases from a company that can be reached out to via a chat app. 63% of those polled use message apps with businesses more than they did in years past and 67% plan to use more message apps to communicate with businesses in the future.^
So how do you take advantage of this trend? Many businesses are using these apps to offer general customer service, to answer product questions, make recommendations and reservations. With this trend has come the rise in chatbots. Chatbots are computer programs that simulate human conversation. Chatbots can help companies lower their team’s customer service issues load by answering many basic questions customers may have. Facebook has designed their messenger app to help customers feel heard, even when you’re not online, and they offer the opportunity to send a business a message as soon as someone lands on your page.
2. Video content is taking over.
Hubspot reports 75% of internet traffic this year will focus on video content due to the rise in popularity of live video content from platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.* Live video features provide a unique way to launch products and services as well as host live Q&A sessions to connect with your audience. Many mobile users will watch videos without sound as they scroll through their social media feed. Be sure to include captions to your videos to grab the attention of mobile users.
3. ECommerce on social media is increasing.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest have all made the purchasing of products available via their platforms. Snapchat began testing eCommerce in the spring of 2016. Instagram has also been in the testing phase of an ecommerce option since late last year with clickable posts that have a “buy now” option that is expected to take off with its 600 million users. You should never feel like you must make purchasing available across all popular social media platforms though. Consider your audience. The majority of users on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter are between the ages of 18 and 34, but most Snapchat users are younger, with the majority of users being 24 or under. Pinterest users also tend to be female.
4. “Stories” features are taking center stage.
Some experts are predicting that Instagram will surpass Snapchat in popularity because of the addition of a “stories” feature which allows users to make content permanent or only available for a set period. Instagram also offers more analytics than Snapchat, allowing you to better determine the effectiveness of content.
5. More options for social media ads.
Until now, Facebook had the monopoly on social media advertisements and the data they provide to you is hard to beat. Although, Twitter is now seeing an increase in advertising, especially in the mobile format. Snapchat and Instagram of course, are not letting themselves get left behind. Snapchat recently made it easier to purchase ad space and added a variety to video ad options and sponsored filters although ad space on Snapchat is not as affordable as advertising on Facebook or Instagram. Instagram’s advertising options now include photo ads, video ads, carousel ads, and stories ads. Over one million companies advertise monthly on Instagram and since the company is owned by Facebook, ads are managed on Facebook manager, making it easy for those already running ads on Facebook to start with Instagram as well.
6. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality
In 2014, Google Cardboard, a foldable cardboard virtual reality viewer designed to hold a smartphone, was purchased by 5 million consumers in the first 19 months. Since then, more expensive VR viewers have emerged, but at $15 each, Google cardboard offers an easy way to reach the masses. Many big-name companies are using VR to provide users an inside look at their brand and their products unseen before.
Augmented Reality is the superimposing of a computer-generated image upon the real world. Pokémon Go made AR a hit with the world last year. Pokémon Go is a gaming app which allows users to search for and collect fictitious characters hidden all over the world using a smartphone. We launched our own Pokémon Go marketing campaign for a local client last year which was a huge success. Facebook is currently working fast and furious to add AR to all its apps to allow users to leave virtual notes or images for friends. This technology is sure to open new marketing possibilities like never seen before for corporate users.
New trends in social media means exciting new possibilities for marketing. Do not let yourself get overwhelmed with the constant change though. For help implementing social media into your current marketing plan, contact our office today.
*Bernazzani, Sophia. “7 Trends That Will Change Social Media in 2017.” HubSpot. N.p., 13 Jan. 2017. Web. 15 May 2017.
^Intelligence, BI. “More than Half of Consumers Prefer Businesses That Use Chat Apps.” Business Insider. Business Insider, 01 Sept. 2016. Web. 15 May 2017.