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All industries have acknowledged the importance of having a social media presence. But being present on social media is not enough to engage audiences; it’s essential to know what kind of content they respond to and what current technologies can facilitate interactions with them.
With 2019 being less than three months away, now is a good time to take a look at what the future holds in terms of social media trends. What tools can you leverage to strengthen your social media presence? What tactics will be successful in drawing attention and converting social media user into customers?
People buy from people they like. Influencer marketing embodies the effectiveness of that simple principle, as shown by its tremendous growth a lot over the last few years. And this trend will most likely keep rising in 2019.
Influencers across all industries enjoy huge followings on social media like Twitter, Instagram, or YouTube. If they accept to promote your content and/or your offer, you instantly get in front of your target audience, converting a good portion of them in the process.
To achieve great success with influencer marketing, you must make sure that:
You have something worthy of sharing, whether content or a direct promotion of your product or services
The influencer’s audience is relevant to your industry and will be interested in what you offer
The influencer is capable of generating strong engagement from her audience
You can use social media listening tools to find out who are the biggest influencers in your industry. It’s better to build up a relationship with the influencer, to get her to notice you and show her that you understand her work, before offering a collaboration. When you decide to reach out to that person, be sure to explain how working together benefits both parties.
As shown by the Pokémon Go craze a couple of years ago, augmented reality – or AR for short – can strike a chord with consumers when applied in a creative and accessible way. A more common example would be the filters and lenses that young generations love to use on Snapchat and Instagram.
Simply put, augmented reality adds elements to the user’s physical environment, as opposed to virtual reality which simulates an environment. But how can AR be used in tandem with social media?
One way to do that is to allow consumers to test the products and services. For example, a lipstick store could let buyers try lipsticks before buying. A restaurant could show you what it’s like to dine there. Videos incorporating AR would be shared on social media to increase awareness and impulse buying. Also, brands can develop their own lenses and encourage customers to use and share them.
With its ability to involve consumers in the brand experience, augmented reality will definitely impact the future of advertising and brand marketing
Social Media Video Marketing
From vlogs to tutorials to vertical videos, video marketing is booming. While it can sometimes be daunting for companies to integrate video into their content marketing strategies, the ROI cannot be ignored. The most common social media featuring videos include Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat.
Perhaps the most important trend to capitalize on here is the rise of storytelling in micro-moments. Due to people using the web and social media in short periods of time, either to learn, watch, or buy something, video content across social media must adapt and take the form of bite-sized videos that focus on telling stories. These micro-moments can be divided into four categories:
I want to know moments
I want to go moments
I want to do moments
I want to buy moments
Consumers are looking for information during the short periods of free time scattered throughout the day. Being able to meet that demand for information by posting short videos that tell your brand story and promote your products will increase leads and sales. But doing that requires a strong understanding of what kind of information customers want right away, along with the ability to deliver short content that provides the needed information in a quick manner. Without a fast and frictionless mobile experience, the attention of customers will shift to the competition.
Whether on YouTube, Instagram, or Facebook, live-streaming is growing at a fast pace.
One of the reasons live-streaming is so popular is that it feels more intimate and authentic than carefully edited videos. Marketers and audiences gather at the same time to share something exclusive. The sense of urgency coupled with excitement and fear of missing out drives high views.
With live-streams, you can hold Q&As, interviews, announcements, and events while promoting your offers. However, the streamer should have a lively personality and be comfortable with speaking and interacting with others.
Also called UGC, this form of content marketing relies on the audience creating content, rather than marketers. UGC has more authenticity in the eyes of consumers, who are more likely to trust content produced by parties other than the marketers themselves. Think product reviews, pictures, contests… for example, Expedia Singapore created a contest called EyeWanderWin, where they asked their customers to send their best travel pictures. The winner would win a trip to an unrevealed destination.
Posting UGV on social media shows that your current customers are already happy with your products and services. It also helps you create appealing visual content when it’s hard to do with your product or service. Hootsuite’s WorkFromHere campaign encouraged clients to post pictures of their workplace, and it resulted in 2.2 million daily views, which converted 2,000 new mobile users.
By encouraging user-generated content, you will draw attention to your brand while engaging your audience. Definitely an option worth considering for next year.
Since hundreds of millions of people are using messaging apps, it makes sense for businesses to adapt to current technology and use platforms like Messenger for advertising and customer service.
The evolution of machine learning and Artificial Intelligence allowed chatbots to make a strong comeback. Nowadays, you can set up automatic messages to appear when a user initiates a conversation with your business. These messages include answers to common questions like business hours. In some cases, marketers even used chatbots to increase the open rates of emails and send product recommendations.
But basic functions of messenger marketing are more than enough to serve customers and boost their engagement. To get their questions answered, consumers find messaging to be more convenient, time-saving and cost-efficient than calling a call center. Many businesses are still overlooking Messenger as a way to connect with customers, so why not make the first step in 2019?
The almost-staggering evolution of technology can sometimes be difficult to wrap your head around. But that’s no reason to keep relying on old ways of reaching your audience. Social media are changing, and so businesses must change with them. Take it one step at a time, and start by figuring out the trends that fit your industry and your audience. Being one of the early adopters of rising social media trends in 2019 will put you at a massive advantage compared to your competitors.
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