Latest social media trends

Category: Social Media Date: Thursday, 20 April 2017 22:03

Social media continues to change the way companies market their brands and engage with customers. It’s a business essential and your brand should take a close look at how effectively it uses social media and learn how it can be done better.

“Businesses have started moving away from the idea of social media being a separate entity and are now fully incorporating it into their marketing, PR and customer service campaigns," says Todd Grossman, CEO of Talkwalker, a marketing analysis tool that assists businesses in developing a social media strategy and measuring results.

 “Many business owners now realise that the data produced by social networks holds a treasure trove of marketing and PR information."

Amidst the many platforms, it's often challenging for a brand to know where and how to focus social media efforts. But knowing what's trending may help you pinpoint where to focus your efforts and here’s a few trends you can leverage.

Visual Storytelling Is a Growing Trend
One of the most powerful trends in social media is live video and visual storytelling is a big trend.

“With support from Facebook and Instagram in the form of automatic push notifications to followers, it's possible for a business to quickly garner a sizeable live audience," says Jay York, social media manager for EMSI Public Relations. He has extensive experience in social media marketing dating back to the early days of MySpace and LiveJournal.

The interactive nature of this platform allows brands to take questions and directly interact with their following."

All kinds of brands are getting strong engagement from this form of social media posting, and social networks are also favouring this kind of content by pushing users to post live videos — particularly via mobile. 

You should aim to make videos less than 30 seconds. Longer video can certainly be worthwhile, but know you have a significant chance of losing viewers before they reach the end, so grab them early.

Social Media Engagement is becoming a Necessity

Connecting and engaging with businesses is something that customers increasingly seek and expect and this is one of the reasons that video is increasing in popularity, as it encourages two-way communication. If you simply post content and then fall flat on engagement your followers will lose interest. They want to hear from you if they comment or ask a question on your posts.

Most brands fail to add this to their social media strategy ad whilst its true that content is king, if you engage your customers and then fail to keep that interaction, they may be left feeling you're just a computer and not a person.

Social Messaging is another important trend

As customer service quickly becoming more socially influenced, brands must find new resources and channels for handling customer inquiries. Facebook has released several tools, including automated messaging, away messages and more to provide more control to brands, while ensuring they're able to assist customers before any escalation.

Today's consumers don't want brands aggressively pushing their way into social media feeds," says social media strategist Stacy DeBroff, founder and CEO of Influence Central, which connects brands with influencers. “Pop-ups, banner ads and disruptive brand messages aren't welcomed.

As consumers seek to learn about new products on their own time and when it makes sense for them, we can expect continued resentment over perceived intrusive marketing to further deepen in 2017. Consumers will vote with their feet away from social platforms that overly inundate them with brand marketing."

That being said, don’t just use social solely as a channel for promoting your own content. It’s a great channel for promotion, but if that's all you do, your audience will turn off. Share and comment on posts that you find interesting, even if they don't mention your brand.

Think about what's in it for your followers. Instead of just promoting a sale, tell customers what's in it for them by explaining how much they can save. Build your followers by being a leader who shows you're also an active follower.