Social media is an extremely important marketing tool for digital marketers, and this is because prospects, clients, and audiences spend so much of their time on these networks.
Around the world, social media users spent an average of 135 minutes a day on social networks, and the amount of time is growing every year. What’s more, people don’t just use social media to connect with friends and family anymore, but also to research products and services, connect with the brands they support, and to help them make purchasing decisions.
In other words, if you aren’t connecting with your audience and your prospects on social media, then your competitors will take advantage of the opportunity.
With this in mind, many small businesses are jumping on the social media marketing bandwagon, and over 70% planning to acquire new customers using this tool.
Here are some of the ways small businesses can use social media marketing to drive growth and gain new customers:
- Sharing interesting and relevant content
- Engaging audiences in conversations
- Using social media for customer service, including answering questions and addressing complaints
- Using social media advertising to reach new audiences and convert prospects
- Building brand recognition and loyalty through engagement, commenting and sharing
- Collaborating with influencers to reach out to new markets and increase recognition and trust
- Analysing data to better understand the needs, wants, and behaviours of customers and prospects
- Gathering user-generated content to share
- Connecting with audiences on a more personal level and building relationships
The world of social media is constantly changing, bringing new trends, ideas, and unspoken rules each year. In most cases, the changes aren’t sudden or unexpected, but rather gradual and relatively predictable.
Here’s some expected social media trends of 2019. Some of them are already here, and growing slowly, but aren’t at full hype just yet. Some are big and booming, and expected to get even bigger in 2019.
Social listening (monitoring) is the act of crawling the web and social media platforms to find all mentions of a brand (or any other keywords). This includes untagged brand mentions on social media, mentions of industry keywords that signal the interest to buy a product, mentions on blogs, forums, and news sites. The current primary goals of social listening are customer service and reputation management.
Given that people share their frustrations, ideas, and recommendations online, social listening usage will continue to grow and expand.
Here’s a list of tools to help your business start with social listening.
Every year, video content continues to grow, and in 2019, video content is expected to once again dominate the market. In fact, according to some experts, 80% of what we consume online will soon be video content.
This is especially true for live videos. Having always been popular on YouTube, the trend has now taken over Facebook and Instagram, to the point when we get notified when someone is going live. These live videos increase the perceived trustworthiness and relevance of a brand, and it’s a trend that you don’t want to ignore.
In the past couple of years, social media influencers have become a major trend. We now have Instagram stars, Twitter influencers and YouTube millionaires. These people have millions of followers – their every post, or vlog, or tweet is instantly seen by more people than TV ad makers could ever hope for.
However, as the number of social media influencers has grown over time, prices for their services has also increased. That’s lead more businesses to look at other alternatives, including micro-influencer marketing.
As opposed to major influencers, micro-influencers exist in every marketing niche. They have followings of fewer than 10 000 people, but most of their followers are genuinely interested in what they have to say. And they’re very engaged – micro-influencers are often considered experts in their niche.
These smaller names are not massively targeted by advertisers, so they are trustworthy and down-to-earth making their marketing potential very high.
Given the vast amount of information being uploaded by people each day, it’s become very easy to get insights into all kinds of information about the people sitting behind the screen. This has opened the door for enhanced personalisation, and that, in turn, has increased consumer expectation for the same.
Content, products, emails – all of it can now be based on the consumer’s purchase history, clicked links, social media posts, and other behaviour.
Booking.com, for example, notifies you about deals in the locations you’ve been to, Netflix offers shows to watch based on your taste, Amazon and eBay show products similar to the ones you’ve bought before. And this is before you even consider Google and Facebook – they know us inside and out and use this information to personalise our experiences.
The future of marketing is real-time communication. The social media trends in marketing are the 24/7 customer support, real-time social selling, chatbots, and constant monitoring for a potential social media crisis.
This is because social media never sleeps – customers continue to use your products, talk about them online, and buy new items at any given moment. This has been happening for a while, and finally, technology has caught up – we now have the tools to look for mentions of a brand in real time, tools that schedule content to be posted at any point and chatbots that offer immediate help.
Consumers expect their Twitter complaint to be answered straight away. It’s the world we live in – no one has the time to wait. People want their problems solved and their needs met, now.
As a digital marketing agency, we can’t wait for these trends to come into more significant effect, and to change our lives for the better. As always, 2019 will prove to be challenging as marketers seek to adapt, but new tools and options will enhance the consumer process and provide new ways to connect and convert in real-time.