One of the beauties of social media is its ability to change at a rapid speed to fit consumer needs.
Social Media Marketing Moving Forward
It's important to look back and understand how social media has changed over the past year in order to better understand what developing trends lie ahead. After reviewing this year's social media advances, there were four major trends developing for social media marketing in 2019.
Now more than ever, people expect complete transparency from brands, and I can't say I blame them. Consumer's dealt with Facebook's data breach, Pepsi's poor-tasted take on social issues that featured Kendall Jenner, and so many more brand failures.
Consumers have demanded transparency from brands, especially when things go wrong. With that being said, maintaining transparency through the positive times is just as important. In a report released by Sprout Social, 86% of people said it is important for businesses to be transparent. They defined transparency as being clear, open, and honest.
This survey also revealed that 89% of consumers are willing to give a brand a second chance if they practice complete transparency, with 85% of them willing to stick with that brand through a crisis. Consumers have an even higher expectation for brands to be more transparent on social media than their own friends and important politicians!
Transparency also has to do with creating a human voice for your brand. Consumers don't want to interact with a brand who sounds like a robot, or super rehearsed in their responses. Make your brand voice on social media authentic and inclusive. One brand who is nailing this idea is Wendy's. Just check them out completely calling out McDonald's on Twitter, and people are loving it.
Not only will transparency help your brand connect with consumers, but it will help you create and maintain more loyal and actively involved customers.
So you want to improve your organic search traffic and conversions, and like most people, think paid advertising sounds like a great solution. Don't get me wrong, it is, but it is only becoming more and more expensive.
One way to off-set the cost of paid advertising but still improve your organic reach is to take advantage of user-generated content. This is content that consumers of your brand voluntarily create and put on social media. For instance, if your company sell backpacks for hiking and one of your consumers published a photograph of them using your product on Instagram, you could repost the image and give that customer credit.
Not only does user-generated content help with your organic reach, but it helps your brand make a human connection and motivates your consumers to get involved. So how do you find and publish this type of content?
The first thing you can do is search for your company name through hashtags and/or "@" tags. You can filter through the results until you find some good quality content. From there, ask for permission to use the images and give credit where it is due.
Next, you can motivate user-generated content into contests or giveaways. You can ask your customers to submit their own content that follows the given guidelines as a way to enter them into your contest/giveaway.
Influencer marketing is similar to user-generated content, but there are some major differences between the two. Influencer marketing is a type of affiliate marketing, where you find influential people on social media who have a large following and use or are likely to use and enjoy your product.
You want these influencers to be as close to your buyer persona as possible, because they are likely to attract and appeal to people who are similar to them, and consequentially, your buyer persona. For instance, if your business sells saxophones, using a fitness influencer who has never played saxophone in their life would be pointless to you, them, their fans, and your customers.
These influencers don't have to have hundreds of thousands of followers. If you can find someone with a following of that size who will advocate for your product, that's great, but they are hard to come by. Consider looking for micro-influencers, people who have around 10,000 followers or less. These people tend to have a more specific type of follower persona and are more willing to be an affiliate for a brand. If you can find an influencer who has a certain kind of niche that relates to your own brand's niche, that's the person you want to go after.
This type of marketing has recently become extremely popular and will only grow in popularity in the coming year. If you can find an influencer who relates to your brand, your products, and is willing to advocate them on social media, you will attract so many new customers.
This is not a new concept by any means, but as the social media landscape progresses, new features of video continue to emerge.
The power of video is undeniable, bringing in over 50% more brand awareness for businesses. The prevalence of video online will continue to grow, with Cisco predicting that over 80% of website traffic to be video by the year 2021.
Get ahead of the game and start integrating video into your marketing strategies. You can incorporate livestreams on Facebook, stories on Snapchat or Instagram, host webinars, and so much more.
If your company is doing or releasing something cool that you want to share with your customers, do so through video. Video is such a powerful tool, because it's not only visual, but it allows you to get your point across in a quick, creative and easily digestible way. Most people don't want to read a page-long article about your new product or the volunteer work your employees did last weekend. It is much easier for consumers to internalize and appreciate what you're sharing with them when it is shared through video.
Interested in learning more about how we develop our social media strategies? Reach out and contact us today! We’d love to hear from you.
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