It seems as if we’ve been using social media when in reality it’s still so new for businesses. Social media originated as a platform for users to have fun, connect, and engage with other like-minded people on a variety of platforms. However, just a few years after the initial creation of Social media it has completely transformed the way we do business and engage with our customers. Every company has a unique formula for how they use social media. Whether its attracting new customers, connecting and conversing with existing customers or exemplifying the brand and voice of your company there’s always a common goal in utilizing social media and that’s brand leverage. We all have that in common, maximizing our brands potential, social following and really utilizing social to generate a greater reach and awareness.
Social media is constantly changing and with a new year brings new trends for how we will use social media to achieve our goals. While these trends all have our one goal in common, the way we implement them into our strategies may be different. 2018 is the year of constant engagement, 24-hour stories/live streaming and brand accountability.
- Constant Consumer Engagement: Engagement and constantly being there for your audience is vital to the success of your business and social media tools. Utilizing Social Media scheduling and analytics platforms to have in order to see post engagement, respond to comments, connect with followers and analyze the success of certain content. With so many companies utilizing social media and commoditizing content it’s important to make your brand stand out and you can do so by creating a personal connection with your followers. Posting content that they enjoy looking at/reading/viewing, responding to the comments and questions, messaging them online to chat, and really giving your brand it’s voice. This improves customer service and satisfaction as well as brand loyalty. People will spread word of mouth around your brand because they feel as if they are connected to it.
- Stories & Live Streaming: Due to the algorithm changes on Instagram people are spending more time watching stories than scrolling endlessly through out of order pictures on their feed. One tip-push your audience to subscribe to post notifications! By having your followers get a notification everytime you post something you are likely to get more engagement with your content! Stories and live streaming on Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat are already popular and increasing in popularity. Users love short-lived video or picture content. It shows behind the scenes of what your business is doing that day and gives them one more level to connect with you on. When you’re hosting or participating in an event, Live Stream it so your audience can tune in that exact moment and see what’s happening! Story content for updates on products, services, or how you spent your day is another way to show the voice of your brand and engage with your audience.
- Brand Accountability: Brand accountability is becoming increasingly popular across all platforms of Social Media and across a variety of companies. The public is holding brands responsible for poor service, faulty products, poor taste in campaigns or any social issues. In order for these companies to maintain their social following and customer loyalty, they must be held accountable for any wrongdoings. This goes hand in hand with voicing your opinion on certain social issues. While some companies choose to keep their political opinions to themselves (not a bad idea) there’s no harm or foul in taking a stance on other current events. For example, the push the keep net neutrality or promoting the women’s march. Be careful not to have harsh or rash posts but do promote good causes for the local community and be an activist for the good of your brand and your audience.
While there are more social media trends for the coming year these are some of the most important in terms of building your brand’s voice, generating engagement and reach and creating brand loyalty. It’s important to know your audience, what they like and who they are. Engage with them and figure that out so you know the kind of content they are looking for. Be a brand advocate, learn your companies voice and align that voice with that of your audience and you are bound to have success across all social media platforms. Implement these trends into your marketing strategies, have fun with creating content and reap the benefits!