A new year brings new trends, and social media is no exception!
Live video--the “it” function in all social media circles—cannot be ignored. More and more, we’re seeing news unfold via Facebook Live. Audiences are fascinated with this live, unpolished content, so consider using Periscope or Facebook Live to humanize your brand.
Study your analytics to ensure you’re using live videos on your key platforms, and strategically post video on days of the week and peak times your audience is active. Be real, be authentic, and be human.
Best use for this function:
Live stream events
Stream multiple live videos in a series
Behind the scenes
Contests and giveaways
Takeovers (e.g., Your company goes on a related company's Facebook to do a live video)
Announcements or product reveals
Ephemeral content is disappearing visual content. Snapchat is wildly popular but may not have staying power since platforms with a bigger user base like Instagram are integrating their own ephemeral content features. Pair that with Snapchat’s limited analytics for business and clunky navigation and what do you have left? Filters--which are already being integrated into other top platforms.
You can use ephemeral content in much the same way you use live video because both rely on immediacy. Add graphic designs, photos, or video production to the mix, and be charismatic, funny, authentic, and human.
Gone are the days when brands had to rely on expensive celebrity endorsements. Today it’s essential to set yourself up as an industry leader. Feature real people who have smaller followings but fit your brand's niche for maximum impact. Find someone who has a respectable following, who believes in your brand, and who will shout your name from the rooftops—ideally, in a video testimonial.
Since social networks have become more revenue-focused, you will see less organic brand post visibility. Paid advertising done well can provide a good return on investment.
To get the most bang for your buck, study your organic content analytics. What gets the most clicks, likes, comments, and shares? Spend your ad dollars there, not on traditional nor generic ads. Target specific audiences and perform A/B testing. Rotate your ads and switch up the text and images when it makes sense. Post ads with mobile in mind. Finally, understand the platform you are on and figure out if you are paying for impressions or engagement.
Consider opening an account on WhatsApp, Viber, or WeChat. Messenger apps and SMS messaging are Millennials’ preferred forms of communication. Millennials want the openness that one-on-one communications provide, as well as a fast response from companies. Not only are these services scalable and affordable, but messaging apps are also used by 4 billion users worldwide. In fact, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Viber, and WeChat together have more users than the big social networks: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
I cannot stress this enough: get rid of automated responses. Use social media to be efficient and proactive, but remember that the best part about using social media to support and grow your business is the connection and engagement it creates between you and your customers.
Social Media Ecommerce
The major social media platforms offer ways for users to purchase products within their apps. If your clients are following you on social media, it is most likely because you share great, funny, informative content. They want to be the first to know when you have a new product or promotion, as well as when you share other relevant content that a paying client would care about.
Share gift ideas, product trends, and helpful content such as tips, demonstrations, or how-tos to get people to purchase your product or service without directly asking for it.