Social Media is a rapidly evolving field that is constantly adapting to provide consumers with the best experience possible through new platforms, tools, and apps. As the industry continues to develop, new opportunities are appearing for savvy marketers who have been carefully watching trends. Paying attention to how social media changes is the best way to capitalize on these trends and increase your social media reach.
Videos are trending
Videos are already the most commonly consumed type of media, and the data shows that this trend will only continue to increase. According to the "Cisco Visual Networking Index: Forecast and Trends, 2017-2022 White Paper," Global IP video traffic accounted for 75% of all IP traffic in 2017. Cisco even predicts that the percent of IP video traffic will rise to 82% of all IP traffic by the year 2022.
Video content in social media has skyrocketed through the use of Stories. Back in May 2018, the number of Stories across four different platforms was close to reaching one billion uses everyday. These fleeting videos are known as ephemeral content, since they are only available for a short time. Ephemeral content has been thriving recently for several different reasons. First of all, they are the perfect length for the modern consumer's limited attention span. These brief videos engage consumers with a snapshot of products and services but never over stay their welcome. The fact that stories do not last long also factors into their success, which appeals to the consumer's fear of missing out. Another reason stories are so popular is how fast and cheap they are to create. Ephemeral content can be produced for next to nothing due to their quick, informal, and unedited nature.
Pay Attention to Algorithm Changes
Many of the most popular social media sites, such as Facebook and Instagram, have been busy improving their algorithms. With the changes Facebook has made, Groups have now become the most effective way for companies to connect with their intended audience. These Facebook Groups are extremely useful for gaining feedback on products/services as well as generating more engagement.
Instagram and Twitter have also made some changes to their algorithm that impacted their user's engagement levels. Instagram's algorithm prioritizes content for users based on what posts and accounts they engage with the most. Twitter on the other hand gives users the choice to switch between a real time feed and an algorithm feed. This means if you want to increase the chance of your posts showing up more often on your followers's feed, you need to appeal to these algorithms. The best way to do that is by staying active on these social media sites and engaging with as many followers as possible. Respond to their comments and direct messages, post polls or surveys to get followers involved, and above all post as often as you can.
The Importance of Transparency
Nowadays most consumers simply do not trust companies, especially when it comes to social networks. This distrust is the result of a tumultuous year for social media in 2018, with Facebook under fire for privacy and data sharing, Twitter purging millions of fake accounts, and the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation. According to an alarming study by Sprout, 55% of customers consider brands to only be somewhat transparent and 30% believe that brands are not at all transparent.
So what can companies do to gain back the public's trust? The best way to demonstrate your brand's authenticity is through a number of different social media channels:
- Read through all of the comments on your posts and provide honest responses to customer questions.
- Use stories to show consumers a more behind-the-scenes look at how your business runs.
- Be upfront about your companies manufacturing, marketing, business, and employment practices.
- Thoroughly explain any large scale product/service changes before they go into effect.
- Post about your company values and diversity/inclusion initiatives.
ImageWorks, LLC | CT Social Media Marketing Agency
Does your social media marketing strategy consistently fall short of your goals? Knowing is half the battle. If it’s time to rethink your strategy, all is not lost. Do research on what others in your industry are doing in social media: what works, what doesn’t and their tone. Take the time to get to know what your potential clients or customers want to see from you.
We understand that social media can be overwhelming, and it's not always easy to change with each update or refresh. If you are looking to boost your social media marketing then you may want to take a step back and reevaluate the online presence you already have.