The trends that are defining your social media success
The impact of social media has gone way beyond ‘checking in’ at your favourite restaurant with a mate. It’s now an entire media landscape, a mass communication tool and a crucial part of your marketing strategy – or at least, it should be.
Social media success relies on knowing the latest social trends and how to use them, so here’s five of the latest social media movements that are reshaping the future of marketing.
(Visual) content is King
A picture really is worth a thousand words and on social media it’s never been more important to be seen in order to be heard. Visual networks like Instagram, Pinterest, Vine, Periscope and Snapchat are continuing to grow at a rapid rate, and image and video now dominates the social media landscape.
Visual content is 40 times more likely to be shared and receives 94 per cent more views on social media than text-based information. It makes sense – 90 per cent of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and humans retain 80 per cent of what they see.
Creative images and videos are crucial to social media success, and brands must ensure visual content makes up a large portion of their social strategies. Canva is a useful free tool which allows you to create custom social media visuals without being a graphic design pro.
The future is handheld
Google’s recent algorithm update, which cracks down on websites that aren’t mobile-ready, means most people are finally getting on board with the need for a responsive website. However, lots of companies are overlooking the fact that their social media channels must be compatible with smaller devices too.
According to Facebook, 38 per cent of its worldwide monthly visitors are using mobiles only, and 60 per cent of all time spent on social media comes from a mobile device. While social media sites themselves are responsive, there’s a good chance your content isn’t. That really creative but lengthy infographic you posted to your Facebook page? You might find it’s impossible to read on a mobile or tablet device – meaning more than a third of people are missing out on your killer content. Consider how any artwork might look on a handheld device and make sure you’re optimising for each individual channel.
Social is smarter
The only way is targeted advertising, and the main social channels are putting more and more resources into developing new ways to send people information about the things they’re interested in. As well as enabling business to target people by interests, location and demographic, Facebook’s ‘lookalike audience’ feature is a powerful tool.
‘Custom audience’ advertising has been around longer and means you can upload a current list of targets and serve your advertising to them. ‘Lookalike audience’ is the option to create a similar audience to your existing one, allowing you to reach new people with similar interests and habits. Re-marketing is also increasing its effectiveness. Facebook has rolled out a new pixel which can be added to websites to track visitors who didn’t convert and re-target them through advertising.
‘Scommerce’ has arrived
The last thing the Internet needs is another portmanteau, but ‘scommerce’ (or shopping though social media) is here. Facebook introduced a call to action button meaning users can ‘shop now’ or ‘sign up’ directly from a company page, and the site even provides the option to include a call to action button on any video content you upload.
It’s also started rolling out ‘Facebook Wallet’, allowing users to pay for goods using the messenger app. Twitter launched ‘product cards’, and Instagram and Pinterest have both announced plans to make their content shoppable. It’s great news for businesses – real-time platforms like Facebook and Twitter are ideal for short-term deals in particular, and the advent of call to action buttons mean advertisers can finally track how social media equates to sales in a way that hasn’t been possible until now.
You have to pay to play
This year, Facebook released algorithm updates which aimed to provide a more user-friendly, personalised experience… or encourage businesses to pay for advertising, depending on how you look at it.
Facebook now prioritises content posted by friends rather than publishers, and statistics suggest that if your page has 100 likes an average post will reach as little as six people. It’s a Catch-22 situation, because the less someone engages with one of your posts, the less likely your posts are to appear on their news feed. It means that it’s increasingly necessary for business to incorporate paid ads into their Facebook strategy. The good news is that Facebook advertising is relatively inexpensive and can achieve great results when implemented correctly.