If you’re still using the old faithful social media platforms—Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn—don’t worry. These networks aren’t going anywhere. If, however, you’ve noticed a downtrend in the number of engagements you’re receiving, it may be because you haven’t kept up with the many new ways that marketers are using these tools. The future of social media marketing has arrived. You’ll get by on your old tricks, but to really reach new audiences, you have to try new things. Here are some trends you can adopt right now to see better engagement on social.
Facebook MessengerIt’s true that about one-third of the entire world is on Facebook. This behemoth marketing platform will be a part of your routine for years to come. However, the personal nature that Facebook Messenger offers your communications really seems to resonate with today’s buyers. More than one billion people use Facebook Messenger, which means it’s ripe for the use of ads, video, and chat bots. In fact, some believe Messenger will become the new email—though we’re still reserving judgment on that. Messenger ads work just like the ads that appear in your Facebook feed. You can choose the audience according to location, age range, interests, and activities. The big difference is that the ads you send show up directly in the recipients’ Messenger inboxes, meaning you can be sure eyes touch your marketing efforts.
Disappearing ContentWhile marketing with Snapchat is nothing new—we’ve actually covered some tips for this medium before—the power of the disappearing message is really starting to come into its own. This particular medium provides a sense of urgency unlike any other advertising option. In fact, the popularity of Snapchat has inspired Facebook and its properties to create their own versions, including Facebook Stories, Instagram Stories, and WhatsApp Status. The availability of these new platforms has only increased the amount of targeted disappearing advertising that marketers send. It’s really your choice as to which of the platforms you use. You may want to keep a few things in mind as you decide. The first is that Instagram Stories has surpassed the number of Snapchat users, which may mean a wider audience for your marketing. However, Snapchat is still the social media network of choice for Generation Z and Millennials. Choose your channel according to whom you’re trying to reach.
Social VideoWhile billions of hours are watched on YouTube each day, there’s a native feel to social video—such as those viewed on Facebook and Twitter—that marketers prefer. In fact, 46% of marketers plan to add Facebook video to their marketing strategy this year. Before amassing a library of marketing video content, there are a few things to remember. Most importantly, our attention spans are shrinking. Facebook and YouTube both encourage marketers to create stories in six seconds or less. Longer video still has its place, but if you want regular engagement with buyers, keep those ads short. As you can see, marketing trends are constantly changing. To maintain your brand’s connection to your buyers, your methods must also evolve. If you’d like to explore new ways to use social media for your marketing needs, give us a call.
When marketing to Generation Z and Millennials, Instagram is an invaluable tool. The numbers are clear: this is where your target market spends their time on social media. And they love their brands and influencers on Instagram, too. Now, it’s up to you to figure out how to drive higher engagement on Instagram.
Like BackNo one wants to have a one-sided conversation, right? When you put your brand out there on Instagram but don’t take the time to interact with your followers, your fans will start to feel like you’re not even part of the conversation. Always take some time to look through posts—particularly those that tag your company—and respond by commenting, liking, and sharing.
Just AskSometimes all you need to do is simply ask, and you will receive the engagement you’re looking for. You can ask a question with your comment and invite followers to answer, with answers as simple as “true,” “false,” “agree,” or “disagree,” or you can give your fans an actual platform to share their thoughts and feelings. One way to really get your fans going is to ask for their advice. When you ask followers, “What would you do?” they won’t be able to resist sharing their experiences.
Be FunnyProvocative posts are more likely to get likes and shares, so step out on a limb with a funny or shocking post on occasion. Of course, humor on social media doesn’t always go as planned, so you can’t simply throw a post at the wall and hope it sticks. Your funny and provocative posts should be planned, vetted by staff members, and tested on a small audience before sharing with the world. Maybe that takes some of the spontaneity out of the process, but you can rest easy that you’re moving forward with inoffensive content.
Host a TakeoverInfluencer marketing is hot right now, and for good reason. Consumers tend to trust the word of an influencer more than the word of a brand—simply because brands are supposed to think they’re awesome, right? When you have an influencer on your side, their fans are likely to follow. Let that influencer take over your Instagram for a day, and watch your engagement soar. The best part is, those who find you on takeover day are likely to stick around to see what else you have to offer.
Use HashtagsHashtags have been around for so long that they kind of seem like the dinosaurs of social media. They’re still here for a reason, though: they work. Of course, you want to make sure you’re using popular and relevant hashtags if you want new people to find you. Proprietary hashtags are fun for the sake of originality and recognition, but keep in mind that many users won’t be searching for your creative hashtag. Instead, they’ll be looking up the latest challenge, searching for #ThrowbackThursday, or seeking out the latest trends. Those are the hashtags to snag if you want higher engagement on Instagram. Remember: social media is supposed to be social, and that’s what Millennials and Generation Z expect. You can prompt all the engagement in the world, but they won’t keep talking to you if you don’t talk back. For more marketing insights, be sure to sign up for my newsletter. You’ll get helpful tips right in your inbox every month!
While the whole world watches Snap stock to see if the recently IPO’d company will rise or fall, smart companies are using the social platform to reach new audiences. Snapchat entered the world of social media with a bang, offering something no other platform had dared: transience. While Facebook and Twitter were hard at work making sure every word and image shared on the platforms were catalogued and saved forever, Snapchat was busy deleting everything after 24 hours. The risky move gave messages an air of urgency—something marketers quickly took notice of. That urgency helped drive Snapchat into one of the largest tech IPOs in recent history, and it’s made Snapchat a favorite among companies aiming to reach particular demographics—specifically those aged 18-29. If you’re not sure how you can market with Snapchat, we have a few tips to get you started.
Identify Key InfluencersGetting consumers to follow brands on Snapchat isn’t as easy as getting them to follow their favorite celebrities and social media stars. That’s why influencer marketing is such a popular tactic this year. Start by seeking out Snapchat celebrities and influencers that would most likely use your brand. Remember that, while celebrities may have larger follower counts, they may not be the best option for reaching your target audience. Relevance is better than high numbers.
Share Promotional EventsWhat better way to ensure a promotional code or coupon doesn’t slip through the cracks after a sale ends than to share one that disappears after a few seconds? That sense of urgency will have buyer clamoring to catch your coupons when they show up in their feed. These codes or coupons could be redeemed either in person for brick-and-mortar retail businesses or online for ecommerce shops. Simply announce the promotion, let buyers know when to watch for the deal, and then watch as your followers jump into action.
Engage Your FollowersSocial media isn’t fun for users if they don’t experience engagement. You can get your followers in on the action by featuring them in your stories, sharing user-generated content, and simply responding to any Snaps you receive from your buyers. When GrubHub used Snapchat to promote a giveaway, they experienced a 20% increase in followers—all who joined in the fun with user-generated content in an effort to win.
Provide Exclusive ContentWhether debuting new products or sharing brand stories, Snapchat is a great way to share exclusive content that can’t be found anywhere else. You can also give users an inside view of special events or interviews with your influencers and celebrity endorsers. The very nature of the disappearing posts means that only those who are tuned in and engaging with your brand at the time of the post will receive the information. Perhaps limited audiences seem counterintuitive to marketers, but it’s important to remember that relevance is key. Rather than boosting your post to Facebook for thousands of uninterested users to scroll past, wouldn’t you rather speak to ten people who love your brand and are ready to buy your products? As you can see, there are quite a few ways to market with Snapchat. In fact, we’ve only barely scratched the surface. If you’d like to discuss new ways to reach your target audience, give us a call.
You’re probably already marketing your brand on Facebook and Twitter—and perhaps even LinkedIn. These are often the three social platforms that come to mind when social media marketing is mentioned. There’s another—Instagram—that’s often overlooked for marketing purposes, simply because the others seem to be where all the customers are. If you’ve been avoiding Instagram for any reason, it’s time to reconsider. Believe it or not, it has more monthly users than Twitter at 300 million. What’s more, 62% of Instagram users follow the brands they love. In other words, they might just be there to shop. So, how can you create an Instagram feed that your buyers will love? Let’s take a look at some helpful hints.