As the social media landscape continues to transform, it is conferred to be a worthwhile way to remain connected with the audience. The social platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat with its new stream of updates has made it easier and efficient for the brands to engage with the audience. With the steady stream of updates and additions in the social media platform, savvy brands fully leverage the latest strategic benefits and additional updates offered by these networks.
Digitale brings forth current social media trends and strategies that the brands must be well aware of to foster interaction with the existing and new audience.
Various social media platforms run under social media algorithms. The assistance of algorithms has led to varied changes to social media. Brands must have an articulate knowledge about algorithms before taking the assistance of social media for business purposes. Posting an advertisement for your target audience with an attempt to grow from there is not enough anymore. Social network algorithms are considered a major element for brands that want to reach the specific audience.
Facebook is a social media platform that is considered to be the biggest example utilizing algorithms to great effect. The major part of the reason is that the platform is simply big enough that opts chronological news feed showcasing the audience with the content they want to view. The implementation of algorithm changed opened the era of “pay to play” entrusting the brands with the surety of getting noticed. Instagram relatively made changes to the algorithm – switching from chronological to relevancy determined algorithm. Thereafter, it seems the changes made by Instagram is paying off as this trend shows no sign of slowing down. Social media platforms like LinkedIn, Youtube and Pinterest have also adapted to this system of algorithm extending the reach even further for the brands who want to spread consumer awareness and maintain a good follower base.
Employee Advocacy has become an essential business tool with social media oriented millennials opting to work for the brands they relate to. Employee advocacy is a powerful strategy constituted to raise brand awareness in social media platform. Though leaders and social media celebrities are thought to be the major distinguishing factor used to foster brand awareness, the company employees can also be a promising factor used to peek up a brand’s culture.
According to studies, the businesses that have utilized the concept of employee advocacy have gained excellent results. Employees have up to 561% further reach than the brand alone, they are considered to be 10 times more connected and post sharing can peek up to 24 times more. This marketing tactic humanizes the brands to their prospective markets. For instance, Starbucks streaked on the agenda of employee advocacy that assisted it to gain huge traction. Based upon the strategy of employee advocacy, Starbucks referred its employees as ‘partners’. This simple confirmation granted the employees at Starbucks with a sense of belonging and accountability for their social activities. An essential ingredient in the employees’ advocacy program was comprehensively added to their social media guidelines which were made available to all their partners. This action by Starbucks enabled it to extend its reach to a much larger audience who were likely to find the advertising reliable over content that directly came from the brand itself.
Social media e-commerce is the fancy term for direct shopping through social media. This concept has become a popular component strengthening the brands’ marketing strategies. The audience is more likely to buy a product or service if they are following the particular brand or have viewed the brand on any social media channel. Facebook and Instagram are the largest platforms to successfully imply the concept of instant shopping. Through these podiums, the brands are able to engage with the consumers who already have interacted with them. The social media e-commerce also assists to increase the speed of purchase decision by offering discounts and easy checkout process.
Brand Influencer has become an important strategy for the brands to reach the right market and build a stronger relationship between the brand and the audience. This marketing tool is proven to be the most effective and successful way to engage with the target audience through a simple social media post on any social network. Brands who personally recruit a particular influencer to post about their product or service on social media can have a higher chance of making a sale than a brand utilizing traditional advertising. For instance, Hallmark to promote their holiday 2016 collection of #Keepsake ornaments partnered with a number of family-oriented amiable Instagram influencers to share their personal, tender glimpses from their families’ holiday. By utilizing the hashtag #KeepsakeIt, the influencers offered their followers glimpses into their family holiday along with a link enabling the users to buy keepsake ornaments.
The dissemination of content across all social media channels has become more personalized each day. This acts as a key that directly connects with the consumer enabling better engagement with the target market. Social media channels like Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook can be utilized as a medium to strike personalized conversation directly with the audience. A direct message between the brand and consumer can assist to create a personal connection. For instance, Tony Bianco reached out to their Instagram followers through direct message by offering a personalized discount on a pair of shoes that the follower had earlier liked. Moreover, Snapchat and Instagram have begun to use personalization as a major tool displaying relevant ads automatically to the users in between stories.
Ephemeral Content is the latest buzzword in the social media platform. Started by Snapchat, ephemeral content is categorized as an instance which is impermanent. Snapchat is constituted to be the key contributor and generator of ephemeral content, dodging Instagram and Facebook to follow the same footprint. This marketing has become popular because of its raw, native and unscripted content. The post can be made highly personalized with doodling, geo-tagging, filters and many more additional tweaks.
Though most marketers tend to believe that maximum time = maximum exposure= maximum result/awareness/conversion, ephemeral content is short lived which tends to match, if not surpass, the engagement levels of content delivery. Marketers slowly are catching on to the fact that the most valuable commodity in the digital platform is the audience attention. Therefore, if the content is not native or engaging to the audience, no one would be interested to buy it. For ephemeral content, it is essential to have a knowledge about the audience by why and when would they engage.
Similar to ephemeral content, Live Streaming is a raw, completely unpredictable and unscripted concept adapted by the brands. Live Streaming at present is available on Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram. Live streaming for branding or marketing is popular for question & answer session, audience interaction and brand awareness. For instance, Buzzfeed News in the year 2016 attained highest Facebook hits by broadcasting something which was as simple as exploding watermelon experiment. The 45 minutes long live stream reached over 8 lakh users.
As a Digital Media Agency, Digitale believes that by utilizing the above trends and formulating a thoughtful social media strategy ahead of time, brands can deliver content and experiences to their audience which are latest, engaging, exciting and fresh to their audience.