There are many exciting innovations to look forward to in social media as technology speeds up to adapt to users’ needs. All you need to do is know what to focus on and how to take advantage of features that can result in measurable and relevant business. Take a look at the following social media trends that would be great for small or large brands:
1) Social ROI in the spotlight
Proving return of investment is no easy feat in social media marketing, with there being no common denominator as a determiner of ROI and stacks of data to draw from. Metrics used include: followers, subscribers, likes, shares, reach, clicks, traffic and conversions. The problem lies in the fact that a lot of these metric are not as significant when it comes to measuring ROI.
Also known as the “vanity metric”, LIKEs can be seen as the most shallow of social metrics as it’s easy to measure and most bragged about at social events, but it hardly has a big impact on business goals.
With transparency and social value now at the forefront, social media heavy weights like Instagram and Facebook are testing the removal of post LIKES from the list of metrics. According to Instagram, the aim of this adjustment is “to downplay the importance users place in receiving validation on their content and shift focus to the content they create”.
In keeping with these trend setters, brands are going to need to keep delving further into the advanced analytics of social media to demonstrate campaign performance and return on investment.
2) Squaring up to Video Content
When it comes to views, growth, and engagement, video continues to dominate on social media. The prevalence of smart-phones in society has dramatically raised the bar on social content and in order to remain competitive and current, marketers need to do the same.
In the past horizontal-only video (16:9), used to be enough to attract the attention of consumers long enough to have a good look at your brand. But currently, square and vertical videos are the more engaging formats, as they command more space on mobile social feeds and are easier for users to watch. Even though horizontal video is still the first choice format for websites, blogs and YouTube, according to buffer.com, square video (1:1) obtains 80-100% more engagement than horizontal video (16:9) on most other platforms.
3) Social Customer Care is on the money
Now more than ever before, social customer service is at the heart of high sales! Social Media is about connecting, informing and serving, so it’s no surprise that the pressure is on for brands to prioritise their social customer care.
Studies show that improving customer experiences on social media is linked to a 30-50% rise in metrics, namely repeat purchases and recommendations. So if you are engaging with clients, listening to their needs and concerns, and replying promptly with relevant information, you are on to a good wicket! If not, then best you start expanding your business strategy to include an intelligent and quality social media customer programme.
4) Bow down to Social eCommerce
We all should be aware by now that online purchasing exploded two years ago through centralised sites, like Amazon or Wayfair, but since then, Instagram has been a game changer! Thanks to its direct, on-platform selling, Instagram has created the ultimate relationship between eCommerce and social media, resulting in Social eCommerce – the biggest recent modification to retail.
Instagram has continued to improve and add to their function in social Ecommerce by introducing features like shoppable posts and stories. These features allow retailers to tag posts so users can shop directly from photos and then be guided from their social feeds straight to check-out.
Similarly, Facebook, Pinterest and YouTube quickly made their own adjustments and added native social shopping features to their platforms, making the buyers experience easier than ever before.
So, If you have something to sell, then Social eCommerce is the train you need to be on!
5) Social Media Listening at its sharpest
If you want to remain ahead of the game then you had better develop your listening skills on social media. Research and then research some more! Brands need to start anticipating the ‘next best thing’ before the rest of the competitive market discovers it. This can be used in conjunction with that clever customer care programme your brand needs to develop. By listening, you will be able to identify which sections of the market to target, recognise consumers’ wants and needs, pinpoint influencer talent and finally, bring them all together and position yourself accordingly on social media.
In a nutshell, social media marketing is becoming a tailored-made suit, not a one-size fits all!