Social Media Trends
Social Media Trends dominate much of online activity today- it’s the most popular and effective way of interacting with friends, brands and following news. During this year the development in Social Media have been explosive, and we expect even bigger developments in the coming year. So, let’s look at what Social Media has in store for you this year!
At Cloudnames, we’ve written many articles, including a free guide on everything you need to know to benefit from using Social Media as part of your marketing strategy. You can download your free copy today!
In the new year, we are expected to see some fantastic changes and bigger opportunities in communication, interaction, advertising, buying and selling goods (or services) on the internet. Last time we checked, there were more than 2 billion active social media users globally, and it’s reported that these numbers will continue to grow 25% each year.
At Cloudnames we have noticed how the expansion of social media has served businesses enormously. In 2015, we saw a 69% increase of businesses that created more content for consumers around the world. Whether it’s blog content, ads, images, live streams or videos- marketers have tapped into social media in ways that are highly effective, personal, trendy, organic and cheaper than traditional mainstream advertising efforts.
Many companies are now actively using social networks to generate better sales, build income as well as spread awareness for their brand (or business)- some are exercising and exploring new ways to improve and understand their relationship with consumers. This suggests that 2016 will host fresh ideas and exciting changes in the online social scene.
Communication is Key
The one thing we advise all our clients is; when it comes to online content- the focus should always be on quality over quantity! There are plenty of businesses out there, that are too concerned with promoting their goods and services and relaying their brand message as opposed to communicating on a real level with their consumers.
We believe that brands will have a real advantage to correspond with users by creating relevant consumer-driven content that is no longer repetitive or uninspiring across multi-channels with the help of innovative content creation tools.
Instead of cross-promoting the same content on all channels using the “copy-paste” model, brands will be able to utilise an archetype model that calls out to audiences on each channel in an individual and unique way.
We recently shared an article with you about Instagram’s new Boomerang app, which allows you to shoot a one-second burst of five photos that comes to life as a silent video, which you can play forward and then reverse in a loop.
Although a product of Instagram, Boomerang’s photo-video app can be used and shared on a variety of channels, it’s not limited to Instagram. Marketers believe that this could be the next best app to deploy for social media marketing purposes. It’s fast and simple to use and doesn’t require users to have Instagram accounts.
Content on social media that contains video is proven to be more engaging. Brands are beginning to use videos to show personality. Tools like Boomerang is the best way for brands to reach new followers successfully. This means that you will have better opportunities to market your brand in a trendy and practical way.
Incorporating more content options along with text will encourage more engagement. More and more users look to visual stimulation- so don’t forget to include video, audio or photos in your articles or blog content.
Social media in 2016 will allow your business to build specific audiences on different channels through clever engagement processes. Remember, social media is about being in the moment and on the go. Social media is transforming all the time- so keep up with new trends and stay current.
You should consider combining scheduling posts in advance with more spontaneous content in your marketing efforts.
For instance, live streaming is expected to soar in digital and social marketing in the coming year. YouTube has featured live-streaming options for a long time now, and many dedicated websites allow users to broadcast video feeds instantly.
Periscope for Marketing
One social media tool that is expected to change the course of content marketing for businesses worldwide is Periscope– which was recently acquired by Twitter. This tool gives users the opportunity to broadcast a live video of some stretch of their lives, which ultimately creates a big impact immediately.
Live streaming is anything but new, but it has reemerged in industry discussions thanks to tools like Periscope which can be used by anyone- in fact, everyone seems to be using it. The purpose it serves goes beyond its conventional use of streaming videos- it’s become a successful way to enhance customer service and marketing your brand’s messages.
Take for example Adidas- they were in the limelight after posting a unique Periscope live stream of soccer star James Rodriguez. The talented sportsman was filmed live while signing his contract extension with the company.
Adidas- the popular sportswear company gave fans a chance to watch and observe a special moment- which created brilliant impact and reinvented the brand giving them the opportunity once again to be global leaders in sporting goods industry.
This is what the sports empire had to say about their marketing efforts: “At the Adidas Group, all of us put our entire dedication and brainpower into our mission of making the Adidas Group the global leader in the sporting goods industry Why?Because we want to create as much value for all our stakeholders as possible. No matter whether you are an athlete, a fashionista, a (potential) employee or any other stakeholder, we strive to create value for you.”
Facebook To Join The Fun
All signs are pointing toward new product release for live streaming features. More apps are being developed into promoting your product or services in anticipation of its release date, you can also do a live unboxing or provide a firsthand look at testing and prototypes. The options are endless- and extremely powerful.
We know that this will be an interesting trend to follow, and if it’s as impressive as it’s said to be, then we can bet that major brands will likely invest in this strategy to obtain interest and create a hype around new releases or increase popularity.
Twitter introduced the live video app Periscope earlier this year, and now Facebook is joining in on the fun. The world’s largest social network has been testing a new feature that will enable its 1.5 billion users to use their smartphones to shoot video so other people can see what they are doing as it happens. In terms of marketing- this tool can be virtuous.
Chair building contest
At Cloudnames we too use video content to demonstrate what goes on in our workspace and so forth. We issued a post a while ago titled ‘Chair building contest’- this allowed us to interact with our followers on a personal level- giving them insight into the developments of moving into our new office space- and building our own IKEA office chairs!
A spectacular video called ‘The Moon over Istanbul’ was shared- which meant viewers could spectate on the Supermoon rising over Istanbul in a fast motion video- putting 8 hours of filming into a 30-second snippet.
We can confidently say that new apps like Periscope and Facebook’s new “Live” option will give your business (no matter how big or small) the opportunity to engage on a new, more exciting level.
If you are attending a trade show, or the CEO is giving a keynote, or if you are having an office/client Christmas party- streaming it live and providing consumers with a real look into the reality of your business is the way forward.
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Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest have gained huge interest this year by introducing new “buy” button features for advertisers and users of their platform. Mobile users of Facebook and Pinterest who see a product that they like (in a sponsored post) can now use one click to purchase an item, without ever leaving the application.
The concept of web marketing is expanding as more and more businesses are using web-shops to sell products and services online- but to be able to do this directly from your social media page means being able to increase the chances of selling your goods broadly over a variety of channels.
Consumers shopping via your social media page eliminates any barriers the shopper may have when having to purchase goods from you in a physical store. It means you can scale your business or brand more easily- simply because you can reach more potential customers.
By the end of 2016, most major social media brands will feature some kind of buy button naturally as an element of their advertising campaigns. For instance- Pinterest unexpectedly took the world’s marketing stage with its huge e-commerce potential.
A Shopify study found that an average price of purchase made through Pinterest is $50—that’s higher than any other major social platform.
Instagram also implemented their new call-to-action buttons, which has proved to be a winner for the network and its advertisers. The actionable buttons hold similar interface as their ‘sponsored’ tags.
The mock-up design demonstrates a variety of options for calls to action. From ‘Shop Now’ to buttons directing users to install an app, sign up, or simply ‘Learn more’.
2016 will see more businesses looking to use internal resources in the effort to get the word out. More companies are encouraging their own employees and staff to share, update and promote their business on their own social media accounts. Some results are astonishing!
They call it ‘Employee social advocacy programs.’ And, research has shown growth of 191% since 2013. It’s expected to take off in the year ahead. If you want to learn how to turn your staff into a social media army of promoters. Therefore, nothing does it better than word of mouth.
A good example, Starbucks has 36 million Facebook likes and 10 million Twitter followers. The American coffee giant has clearly mastered the art of social media. It’s transformed fans and followers into real revenue. Starbucks’ Tweet-a-Coffee Twitter campaign, generated $180,000 in direct sales in less than a month- if that’s not impressive- then we don’t know what is!
First impressions count
They even have a twitter page for dedicated staff and partners to the company- showing appreciation and value to all their employees as well as sharing occasions like birthdays socially on their online platform. This ultimately leaves a great impression on the consumer.
Using staff as brand advocates are all about showing how human and personable your company can be. You want to show how satisfied your employees are because happy employees will present to you- happy customers. Your staff can post comments, images and videos- to show how progressive and exciting your business is.
Goodbye last year, bring on the new!
Finally, it’s obvious that marketers across the globe are probably busy designing their strategies for 2016. We recommend that you take into consideration trends that are going to have the biggest impact on your marketing efforts.
We can tell that 2016 will bring in a mix of new trends. Along with the continuation of some trends that began earlier this year. Some that we have mentioned in this article, and loads that we have shared with you on our official blog page.
We want to leave you with one last insight: don’t forget that user behaviour is changing. Especially when consumers are searching information on products and services. Thus, while using search engines is still the common way to find information.
There are many users who are performing their searches directly on social media.
So, consumers are more prone to finding visual content over text-heavy content. They know that if they search for info on social media- to them, this content is far more trustworthy.
Also, consumers (or customers) value feedback from others. Whether it’s a product review, star ratings or simply comments. Online users would rather get real information detailing your brand or business, over what they can find over search engines.
This means- your social media marketing must move beyond Search Engine Optimisation for google search ranks! Therefore, keeping relevant is vital- a concept which Facebook has already tackled when promoting or boosting content.
Facebook To Dominate Social Media
In conclusion, as long as Facebook continues to add new functionalities to tighten up security and safety for users. It will remain to be the dominant player on social media. Plus, Facebook recently launched their fast and responsive ‘Instant Articles’ feature.
The technology allows publishers to instantly post content to Facebook as it’s created. On the go. When instant articles launched, it was limited to nine major publishers including NBC News and BuzzFeed. Since then, other publishing houses have been invited into the fold.
In conclusion, we’ll leave you with how Facebook describes their Instant Articles feature as:
“Powerful new creative tools bring your stories to life. Instantly zoom into high-resolution photos and tilt to explore in detail. Watch autoplay video come alive as you scroll through the article. See where it all happened with interactive maps. Hear the author’s voice with embedded audio captions.”
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