If you are having trouble keeping up with the ever-changing social media landscape, you’re not alone. The latest trends are on constant rotation, and it can sometimes seem like a bit much. However, the early bird gets the worm, so keeping up with the shifts will ensure that your digital marketing strategy remains successful.
You should arguably be reviewing your social media marketing strategy every three months while tracking your metrics weekly, so to help, here are the key trends of the year so far to help you shift and tweak your tactics. Just remember, social media marketing is often relevant to what works best for your business, so keep the good and ditch the bad!
Trend 1: Messaging apps
When was the last time you sent a text through the standard text app on your phone? Messaging apps are now more popular than social media apps thanks to their various capabilities. The sending of stickers and .gifs, their connection to various platforms, abilities for group text and read receipts, the list goes on.
Private messaging is not only a way for people to talk to their friends and family but also to businesses. That’s right; the lines of communication to your customers are becoming even more personal. It’s a good thing for your business, sure it means a little more monitoring and work, but it’s the engagement that you want!
The big messaging apps have already introduced stories and e-commerce functions so tap into this immediately.
Trend 2: Specific channels
It makes sense to figure out the best-performing channels for your business and focus on them. Play smarter, not harder. But this is also a great way to target niche audiences relevant to your business.
Don’t put the same message across all platforms just for the sake of it. You can even get rid of whole platforms if they aren’t working for you. Maybe your audience doesn’t use twitter? Ditch it. Spend your time on the channels with ROI; it decreases distractions and helps you deliver higher quality content.
Trend 3: Micro-influencers
We all know that influencer marketing has been a proven effective trend for a while now, and it seems as though the next step in this is micro-influencers. What are micro-influencers? They bridge the gap between influencer marketing and the necessary budget for it.
Micro-influencers are not really celebrities, but people with around 40k followers. Think about it, if you are a small brand, hitting an audience of that many people might be perfect? The key is finding the right micro-influencer for your target audience.
An example: You are a fitness supplements brand, but you can’t afford a big sporting personality, so instead you find a local personal trainer with a big reach. They come at a lower price, but you hit the desired audience for your product.
Trend 4: Sales enablement
Social media has always been intertwined with an element of product discovery, and this is growing. Sales enablement in the business funnel is evident based on the fact that 55 percent of users who discover a product through social media convert to a purchase later on.
Facebook, in particular, is becoming a place where people discover new products, followed by Instagram and Pinterest. If you consider this in your social strategy, you can use social media to tell your story while working on customer consideration.
Trend 5: Ad saturation
Social media advertising evolution has led to social ads being created on multiple channels. Paid social marketing works but you need to spread it out and never rely on say, purely Facebook ads, for organic or paid growth.
There is a budget element to spreading your ad spend over multiple platforms as well. If all of the competition is in one platform only, costs increase. So where else should you advertise? What a great segway to the next trend…
Trend 6: Stories
Everyone loves a good story, and that’s why they are now everywhere. Quick visual content in a simple format for our fading attention spans! Stories are an evolution of Snapchat that are now available on most platforms, and you can bet they have an advertising ability.
Stories mark the impending death of Snapchat as more than 400 million people watch Stories on Instagram alone per day.
Trend 7: No more fakes
Instagram recently announced the removal of inauthentic likes, follows, and comments. This means people in the business of offering a service through third-party apps to increase the popularity of an account are out of work.
This was a smart move by Instagram to maintain their reputation, but we will likely see a shift to the number of followers being less relevant compared to the quality of your content.
The takeaways here are:
- Don’t stress about increasing your followers
- Engage with your existing ones
- Grow your community organically
- DO NOT buy fake followers or likes
The good news here is it will be much easier to identify which micro-influences you should go with because their follow numbers are legit! Happy marketing!
James Silverwood is the digital marketing manager for a social media marketing agency in Riyadh. He helps clients grow their web visibility through all aspects of digital marketing.