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.
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.
Consider What You’re SellingYou may actually be just fine without an Instagram account. If you’re selling services or software, perhaps there’s nothing for you to take pictures of. Instagram is a perfect fit for companies that want to introduce products, share tutorials, and perhaps even give social proof through images of influencers using your products. Without the need for these things, what else might you share? Before you decide against Instagram, there are a few other things to consider. Part of your brand is your company culture. What better way to show transparency than to share images and videos of your staff members at work and play in the office or on team-building exercises? You can also share thought-leadership quotes, news worthy items (like the last award you got or other good press), and videos of speaking engagements or other things your buyers might find interesting.
Go Where Buyers AreYour first question when considering Instagram for marketing is whether or not your buyers are there. It’s important to consider your buyer personas any time you open a new channel of communication. If those consumers aren’t at the other end of the line, then you’re wasting your breath. With 300 million monthly users, there’s a good chance your buyers are on Instagram. To be sure, study the demographics of Instagram—specifically as they relate to marketing. For instance, if you’re looking to reach women, you’ll want to know that 31% of women use Instagram. If those women need to be younger, then knowing 55% of all online 18-29 year olds use Instagram helps you determine if your audience is there.
Be ConsistentSwitching your bio profile image to feature products or staff members might sound fun and inclusive, but it will actually be confusing. Worse, buyers will simply scroll right past you because they don’t recognize you. You’ll have plenty of chances to share photos of your staff members in your Instagram feed. The same applies for your Instagram feed. Remember that you’re promoting your company and not your personal life. Images you use should reflect something about your business, so save your selfies, latte art, and friends’ night out shots for your personal account. There’s nothing wrong with sharing a little fun, but it should always reflect on your company—not on your personal life.
Use Your Bio SpaceThe first thing new followers will see is your business’s bio, and you know what they say about first impressions. Coming up with a short profile description is difficult but necessary. Use the small space you have to describe your business, using language that matches your brand voice. You only get one shot to let buyers know what you’re all about, so don’t waste it. Also, be sure your website is included in your bio. What good is a social media platform if you’re not using it to drive traffic to your website? You can’t answer buyers’ questions in a single Instagram post, so get those interested followers to your website! Are you considering an Instagram account for your brand now? If so, these tips will help get you started. As always, if you need help, we’re here for you.
It’s still January, but the year is already slipping away. Those goals you made to elevate your marketing in 2017 can’t be met if you don’t start putting plans into action. Your social marketing is just one factor to consider. We make it a little easier for you with these trends you could put into play right away.