Social media is a rapidly changing engagement tool that can be very valuable to businesses when used efficiently. Savvy business owners and their marketing teams can take advantage of the very profitable online commerce opportunities, as well as increase their loyal customer bases through expanded customer service touch points.
Businesses need to understand the habits of their online consumers, and they should be able to interact with their customers online, as well. This is done primarily through social media platforms. Social media trends change year-to-year and even month-to-month, so it can be challenging to predict them. Businesses that pay close attention to analytics and statistics, however, can gain valuable insight into where social media trends are heading next. To give everyone a head start, we’ve put together a short list of some social media trends that businesses should be focusing on this year.
Because of new algorithms on many social media platforms, it can be difficult for businesses to gain visibility with organic content. This is why paid content, or sponsored posts, are a growing social media trend. When a business invests in paid content on social media, it not only guarantees its targeted demographic will see the content, but also increases consumer engagement.
The type of content shared on social media makes a difference, as well. Videos are steadily gaining popularity on social media, especially the “live video” feature on Instagram and Facebook. These live videos allow for consumer interaction, and make businesses personable and accessible to their followers. In addition to live video, creating quality video posts on social media is an effective and creative way to build brand awareness. A design studio, such as 3D Digital, with a full-service, in-house video production studio is a convenient way to produce this type of content for any business.
The increase in the use of chatbots for customer service is another social media trend. With more users taking advantage of the private messaging feature on social media apps, it’s important for businesses to communicate effectively with their followers. By using a chatbot, businesses can be available to provide 24/7 customer service support on a platform already frequented by their customers. For example, Facebook has already adapted its Messenger App to accommodate chatbots.
When asked, most social media users said they would prefer to buy a product directly through a social media platform. The purchasing trend in social media will most likely continue to grow. Statistics show that over 50 percent of users say that an image on social media influenced a purchasing decision. Businesses can keep up with this social media trend by adding product videos, ads, and direct links to influence purchasing decisions through social media profiles.
Lastly, a social media trend that will benefit any business is employee advocacy. Employee advocacy is when employees share the posts and content published by their company, and speak on behalf of it on social media. Studies show that 33 percent of buyers trust messages they see from a brand, while 90 percent trust messages from a connection or an individual. Businesses that have formal employee advocacy programs, where employees are taught digital skills to effectively use social media as a business tool, see a higher ROI in terms of their user engagement.
Keeping Up with the Trends
As social media trends develop, so must your content. Be as personal and relevant to your audience as possible. In addition, use the analytic tools provided by the social platforms to help identify followers who are more likely to convert into loyal customers. This will help your target and reach a more targeted audience with your posts. Staying up-to-date on the trends is time consuming, but ultimately worth it. Knowing which specific areas of social media provide the best return on investment (ROI) will not only keep your business relevant, but also effective on social media. Managing social media profiles and producing new content, however, takes a lot of time and talent. If you are new to social media, or simply don’t have the time, consider hiring a social media management company. At 3D Digital, our social media experts will develop a long-term, social media marketing plan to help grow your business through compelling content and engaging posts.
3D Digital is a full-service, digital marketing agency located in Jacksonville, FL. We offer website design and development, video production, social media management and an array of digital marketing solutions, such as display banners and AdWords. To learn more about our services, please visit 3ddigital.com.