Over the last decade, the growth of social media has been explosive. And with an ever-changing landscape, new social media trends are always popping up. Connecting with people has become easier and more personal than ever. Businesses have begun to take notice. Social media is a force that cannot be ignored.
With the ability to publish content for the world will see, talk to companies anytime from your phone, and broadcast live content – social media has quickly become the new face of marketing and sales. This accelerating wave of connectivity also picks up the pace for new social media trends to evolve.
People are connected to their phones more than they are viewing TV commercials or looking at billboards.
To stay ahead of the market you need to stay ahead of new social media trends. And be ready to incorporate something innovative into your strategy. Diversify across a variety of social media platforms and expose yourself to all audiences.
Here we will discuss some new social media trends you should keep on your radar and how any business can take advantage of them.
New Social Media Trends to Watch Out For
1. Your audience, where are they?
So you’re ready to incorporate social media into your marketing budget. Where do you start? Facebook or Instagram? LinkedIn? Twitter? This depends on whether your company is business-to-consumer or business-to-business.
Certain platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest are best for business-to-consumer, while other platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter are best for business-to-business. Regardless of whether your business is large or small, your audience is on some social media platform.
So what does that mean? You should be too. Also, most users are accessing these platforms through their phones. At home and on the go, people are gravitating towards quick, easily presented, digestible content on their favorite social media platform. This is where your audience is so its time to take a slice of the cake.
It may seem daunting, but keep in mind that the same content could, and should, be promoted across most social media platforms with a bit of tailoring here and there. Each platform offers different capabilities. Every industry isn’t utilizing every platform, so you should test each social media platform to see where you audience is the most active.
2. Social Listening
Among the new social media trends available today is social listening. You’re probably asking “What is social listening?” It’s exactly what the name implies. It is the process of using data driven software to track all the talk and hub bub around the brands, words, or topics of your choosing (including yours!).
Use social listening techniques to track your own business. Observe all the conversation surrounding your company on social media. Learn what people may be saying about you but aren’t telling you directly.
It’s much more than tracking likes and mentions. It’s the core of business intelligence on social media. Probably the most leveraged use case of social listening is to track a brand’s health to see what people think of your business.
Think of it as deep market insight and finding out the real sentiment of your brand across all social media. In real time you can track approval or disapproval of a newly launched marketing campaign and dynamically change it.
Using social listening, you should be leveraging this data to provide more thoughtful and strategic customer experiences. Pay attention to what people are saying. They are on social media, and they are most definitely letting people know how they feel about certain brands.
Find out what customers expect from a company. Use what they are saying to create more engaging content.
Find out if you are delivering on those expectations. If people have complaints, listen to their feedback and act on it. If you find that your newest ad has an overwhelming approval, then you know you are stepping the right direction.
This new wave of social listening and social media takes some of the guessing games out of marketing so that you can focus on crafting the best customer experience possible.
3. Social Media has become Pay-to-Play
The days of free exposure on social media are dwindling. Pretty much obsolete. Organic reach and the effectiveness of referrals is not what it used to be. And to find your audience nowadays you’re going to need to be highly specific about who your audience is.
Social media used to be viewed as free promotion by savvy businesses, but that window is closing with the ever-changing social media algorithms.
Boosting ads, post targeting, and pay-per-click campaigns are becoming the norm. So its time to get accustomed to them. This is one of the new social media trends that is changing the game for businesses.
Don’t fret though, we all have to accept it. Instead let’s focus on how to rise to the top. While the current model across platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn has become pay-to-play, it does allow for more specific targeting.
You are no longer just throwing your content into the internet hoping it finds the right people and makes an impression. Instead, you can target by interests, location, demographics, and so on.
You’re going to need to allocate some of that marketing budget, but rest assured it is being put to good use. With less guesswork, there is less wasted money spent finding your audience. And that leads to a much better return on investment.
Platforms that implement this pay-to-play structure (which is pretty much all of them) offer some sort of social PPC or pay-per-click option. You’ll typically hear acronyms like CPC, or CPM, or CTR, or words like conversions and impressions thrown around. These are all vital metrics that tell you how your budget is being spent on social media.
CPC (Cost Per Click) or CPM (Cost Per Thousand Impressions) are two ways these platforms will charge you to make these impressions and up your exposure.
An impression is simply what the name implies – a unique view of your ad or post by a user.
A CTR (Click Through Rate) is how many times your ad has been clicked on per amount of impressions. And even further down the line, you have conversion rates which measures how many conversions, or a user performing a desired action, per amount of visitors/impressions.
4. Brand Participation
One of the best perks of this new connected world is how easy it is to get in touch with consumers. If consumers have a question or just want to engage with their favorite brand, they have that ability at their fingertips. Never before have people been able to talk to a real person so easily at the companies they love.
Whether it be through direct messaging or comments, engaging with your audience feels much more personal. Being that much more approachable takes the generally inhuman feeling out of doing business with companies, large or small.
Engaging with your audience isn’t always about making a sale either. It’s about building relationships with your customers. Which in turn builds brand loyalty. According to Instagram, 80% of their users are following a brand.
Let people know you are listening. The next time someone comments on a post, let them know how you value their support of your business.
Quite simply put, people prefer the ease of messaging through social media than calling your company’s customer support. It is integrated into the apps they use daily and finding that contact page is no longer a hassle.
Be sure to have your customer support engaged in managing social media because that is probably where a bulk of consumer questions and comments will be directed.
Dedicated social media teams are becoming the norm for companies with large marketing departments. Because social media is the new platform for marketing and sales, it only makes sense to these businesses to have a team dedicated to monitoring engagement, producing content, and making sure their brand gets the exposure it deserves.
However, having an in-house team dedicated solely to managing social media can be exceedingly expensive. It is even more difficult to find people who know the ins and outs of each social media platform and can keep up with all the new social media trends.
This is why LYFE Marketing offers the services we do. Our wheelhouse is social media. And our goal is to help elevate your brand to the largest audience.
At LYFE Marketing, we have marketing specialists with experience in almost every industry that can help you design a social media marketing strategy. We offer content creation, analytics to find your target audience, and monitoring services to stay on top of brand engagement through any platform.
Take a look and see how we can help your business grow.
5. We Want to Hear your Story
Perhaps one of the most honest ways to build a following is to get personal with your audience and share your story. This is one of the new social media trends that almost all businesses, B2C and B2B alike, are adopting. People love a company they can morally get behind. It builds trust in your brand and credibility in the community.
Not only is social media a great way to engage with your followers, it is a very advantageous publishing tool for all types of content.
Whether it be an inside look on the process through video, an album of a community event, a how it all started blog, people want to hear your story. If you can resonate with your audience, they are more likely to support you wherever the business goes.
Building a brand is a great way to build a solid foundation of loyal customers.
If finding a dedicated social media marketing team is what your business is lacking, look no further. We know every company has an inspiring story behind it and we know how to get it out there. We design marketing campaigns with content made by our in-house industry specialists to connect with your audience.
Feel free to take a look at our services here.
6. Video takes the Cake
Video is becoming one of the most effective forms of marketing content. And it will only continue to grow in the future. It doesn’t have to be a high budget, highly produced video to be effective either. People are just wanting an inside look at your brand.
It’s a great way to showcase company culture through a very rich form of content. According to Buzzsumo‘s research, video posts, on average, have the highest engagement rate overall and twice the level of engagement of other types of posts.
The results are out, people love video.
One of the more popular, new social media trends emerging is the use of live video. It gives a greater feeling of connection, exclusivity, and need to watch when a video is live. So what better way to use it than to promote your business?
Everyone is part of the mobile market, and most users are notified when a video is live, so it becomes a sort of on demand service.
Not only do live videos attract a more enthralled audience, but they also increase likes, comments, and shares. Live video provides immediate interaction between you and your viewers. Facebook is one of the bigger platforms for live video, but Instagram is another good outlet.
Don’t forget perhaps one of the most important pieces of your video though. Besides building up your online image and giving your audience an inside look of your company, videos should have a call to action.
After all, the video’s purpose is to build a loyal following so make sure you are telling your customers what you want them to do. It could be anything from subscribing to your email list to entering a content you just posted online. Make the most of your videos.
7. Ephemeral Content
Short lived content is becoming a new social media trend that is making waves in the market. Snapchat’s release of stories in 2013 proved the appeal of a new type of ephemeral content. And with Instagram’s release of their own version of stories in 2016, it only got bigger.
The average time spent on Instagram per day rose from 7 to 13 minutes to a peak of 28 minutes after the launch of stories.
Using this form of media gives people the feeling of limited time content. Not only that, but it is an already integral part of social media habits. Watching a short, limited time story is very low commitment for a user.
Again, inherently exclusive content has proven effectiveness among new social media trends. It’s an image building opportunity, a sales pitch, an engagement driver, and a brand loyalty opportunity all in one. You can think of these types of ephemeral content as daily, digital newsletters on platforms more actively used than email.
8. Influencer Marketing
The idea to use a celebrity to promote a product or service has always been around, but today’s technology takes it to another level. Nowadays, influencers have become the celebrities of social media and command quite a following in their respective corners.
For businesses, the ROI is extraordinarily high compared to traditional methods.
Today people have learned to trust other people more than trusting businesses. So what better way to leverage this than to get the opinions of highly trusted people?
Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube are the largest platforms for this type of marketing. If you are having trouble finding these influencers, use one of the new social media trends discussed earlier: social listening.
Put your ear to the computer and see who people are talking about in your space.
Now, influencer marketing isn’t one of the exceptionally new social media trends, but its developments in the space have changed how it will continue to work. New guidelines set by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have instructed businesses to commit to higher transparency when using influencer marketing.
Audiences now have the right to know if an influencer was paid to review a product.
Be upfront about your partnership and make sure the content showcases your values and the value of your product.
Nobody said that compelling content becomes any less interesting if it was paid for. Be creative and make content that the audience can truly benefit from.
User Generated Content
Another popular type of content among new social media trends is the use of user generated content. Not everyone is going to give credibility to a business’s word or a paid influencer’s review, but who can ignore an average Joe? You and people you know probably have read dozens of reviews before purchasing a product before.
People value other people’s honest, unbiased opinions. We’re talking about reviews, shout-outs, and even creative things customers have done with their products.
It can be as simple as that. Promoting user content versus always posting your own breaks up the monotony of your social media profiles. Some businesses design entire marketing campaigns based off of user generated content. So incorporating it into your social media strategy can do no harm.
Promoting other people’s content also encourages other people to do the same, and before you know it, you will have a happy interactive community of followers.
Even one of the biggest companies you know, Starbucks, uses user generated content to promote their brand. It does wonders for your promotion and your reach. Don’t wait on it either. Host contests, ask users for feedback, and you will find that plenty of people are wanting to show their favorite brands how they use their product.
User generated content is one of the easiest, effective, low budget, new social media trends that you should be using. On top of that it is one of the most interactive ways to engage with your audience while at the same time, working on your marketing.
9. Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, & Robots
Now here is where the tech is making waves. You’ve probably heard of VR and AR, but let’s take a look on how they can up your game.
Augmented Reality (AR) has already been popularized by Snapchat’s face filters, and they grew even larger with the ability to create your own. These filters are a cool, fun way to get your brand out there on a very popular platform among the younger generation.
Augmented Reality also has the ability to show you what something would look like in front of you without being there. This can add to the shopping experience and bring a customer that much closer to closing on a deal.
Virtual Reality (VR) has the same capabilities, but is a bit more immersive. It is using your phone or dedicated VR device to jump into a different reality. You can already see the applications of something like this.
The tech for AR and VR is already here, but it can be very expensive to implement. However, if it is within budget or you have the ability to develop it for your company, it can really enhance the customer experience.
Social media companies are already finding ways to implement the tech into their platforms. You can guarantee that we will see more of it in the future, so it is definitely something to keep your eye on as the tech becomes more affordable.
Another new wave of tech that is making its way into social media is the use of AI powered chat bots. Smart customer service automation is slowly being integrated into social media to provide quick answers.
Whether or not people prefer it is still up in the air, though.
The tech is developing but current interactions still feel, for lack of a better word, robotic. Not only that but to design your own quality chat bot can be very expensive.
To provide thoughtful, quality customer support, stick to a real person. Providing responses that are tailored to the situation and have empathy is hard with current iterations of chat bots.
At LYFE Marketing, we offer full monitoring services to your social media accounts. We handle customer service as well as dynamic engagements with your active audience. Reach out to us to find out more about how we can be your outsourced social media marketers.
Key Takeaway: Stay Current
All in all, social media is here to stay. It is becoming integrated into our daily lives and is the new frontier for businesses and the face of modern marketing. Don’t ignore it. It is built for everyone, so embrace it. Adapt to all platforms and the newest ones yet to come. The best way to tackle it is just to get out there and do it.
See what drives your industry and then find what works for you.
Social media changes the game by providing the most insight on your audience and allows interaction like never before. You should see it as a lifesaver for your marketing budget. So remember, always continually improve and stay current.
For businesses large and small, if you need help implementing social media into your marketing strategy, give us a call. We live and breathe social media marketing. Marketing through social media is a marathon, in the sense that it takes time and consistency to build a following. So the sooner you start the better.
At LYFE marketing we offer industry specific content creation, social media monitoring and engagement, and in-depth analytics on your business’s online presence. We are a full service when it comes to social media and stay on top of the new social media trends, so you can focus on all the leads being brought in.