Social media has proven to be a disruptive communication tool. The influence of platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even LinkedIn is growing at an incredible speed and this forces marketers to re-evaluate their strategies and investments.
Currently, it is not enough to focus on the size of your audience. To actually optimize your social media ROI, engagement is a must. Understanding what type of content customers are consuming and how they interact with it is a key element to grow your online business presence.
With the social media scene facing constant changes, it is very important for brands to adapt to the latest tendencies. Any digital marketing strategy should evolve with the updates of the online world and content should cater customer’s needs. That’s why we put together a list of the newest social media trends that need to be on every marketer’s agenda.
1. Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories have been one of the biggest social media trends during the past year. With over two million users each month, this new feature is one of the best ways to engage with your audience.
Not only Instagram stories in particular, but ephemeral content in general has proven to be a key tool to promote brand awareness. An expiration date seems to add a sense of urgency to customers and this promotes engagement and exposure. With Instagram stories, one of the success factors has been the ability to be discoverable even to non-followers, which has boosted reach and visibility for brands.
However, one of the main reasons for the stories’ success is its simplicity. The aesthetic demands are not as high and this allows more flexibility on the creative strategy without compromising many resources. Instagram Stories are a behind-the-scenes peek into your brand’s world and a closer approach to who you are as a company. This can build trust and engagement in ways traditional publications cannot.
2. Influencer marketing
Consumers trust more in other consumers than in brands. While day-to-day people seem relatable, buyers are suspicious when it comes to companies. That’s why Influencer Marketing has grown exceptionally in the last years and it is now considered a six-figure business. It is more than just one of the most popular social media trends, some people even call it the new king of content.
Influencer marketing cannot only increase your exposure, credibility and customer loyalty, it is also a great source of revenue. An eMarketer study found out that an average influencer marketing program earned $6.85 USD for every dollar they spent. Additionally, over 90% of marketers who used influencers in their campaigns agreed it was a successful strategy.
More brands are recognizing Influencer Marketing as one of the most effective social media trends and they are embracing it over traditional methods like email marketing, paid search and display advertising.
3. User-Generated Content
Just like Influencer Marketing, one of the main advantages of User-Generated Content is that it makes brands human. When users intervene in the content-making process, it automatically becomes more authentic and reliable.
Guest reviews, testimonials, photos shares, contests… There are many examples of how brands can use their customer’s input to support their digital marketing strategy. Chobani, the Greek Yogurt company, decided to ask its audience to submit videos and pictures of their experiences with the product. Afterward, the company displayed the content on its website and other communication channels. The campaign was so successful that Chobani reported a 225.9% increase in its revenue.
UGC is definitely one of the best social media trends to impact on the digital marketing strategy because it creates results right from the awareness stage to the final sale.
4. Social messaging instead of social media
Contrary to expectations, social messaging has already surpassed social media. Over 2.5 billion people use messaging platforms globally and the number is expected to grow. Apps like WhatsApp, Messenger and WeChat have more active users than Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Unlike social media apps, messaging platforms provide a more private and personalized approach between other users and brands.
A Facebook study about social media trends found out that 56% of the people would rather message a company than call it. That’s why brands should focus their efforts on these kinds of apps. Personalized customer service, fast response and even tech innovations like chatbots and AI will become crucial if brands want to understand consumer behaviour and needs in a one-to-one basis.
5. Video as the most popular content type
When it comes to social media trends, video is, by far, the type of content with the highest engagement rates. According to Buzzsumo, Facebook video reported twice the level of engagement than other types of posts. Also, they found out that this content has 135% more organic reach than photos.
But the perks are not only on Facebook. Videos on Twitter have 6X more probabilities of being retweeted. Additionally, more than 500 million hours of video are watched on YouTube every day, which indicates that users are investing time in consuming this type of content.
Social media apps are focusing more and more on adding new video features, so marketers should get on board with this social media trend to capture customers’ interest. This is especially important for brands with young target audiences like millenials. Their short attention span makes video the ultimate tool to deliver a strong marketing message.
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Last Edited on May 25, 2018