Is your social media marketing plan ready for 2016?
Keeping up to date and in the loop, especially with the latest social media trends, can be a daunting prospect, but it’s important to always keep your clients and ideal customers in mind and apply what you can to their benefit.
In this article, we have a fantastic infographic provided by the team at SproutSocial, a popular social media management and insights platform for business. Let’s explore the latest 2016 social media marketing trends.
The changing world of social media marketing
The marketing world is an ever-changing one, especially so when it comes to social media. New marketing techniques and approaches surface regularly in response to buyer habits and how customers consume information.
Try to notice what trends will appeal to your ideal buyers and if they’ll be more effective at reaching them across your marketing than the activities you’re doing now.
Here's how the latest 2016 marketing trends are shaping social media today:
Key insights to take away
Real-time engagement and quick responses
One of the key reasons to take your business onto social media is to open up communication with your audience, your clients and customers, for good and bad, to share the human part of your company with them and discover how you can give them what you want.
Because of the always-on nature of mobile devices and platforms like Facebook and Twitter, your customers expect to be able to reach out to you any time and receive a timely response. This doesn’t mean you need to be available 24/7, but most people want an answer quickly, with over 53% within half an hour.
There are lots of ways you can do this without it taking up hours of your time, but from a business point of view it’s worth putting a system in place as the user that doesn’t get a quick response might very well go to your competitors…
Video video video!
It’s no secret that video is increasingly popular and important when it comes to content and social media. With popular platforms like Twitter’s Periscope and Facebook Live, over 40 years of video are consumed each day!
What this means for your business is an opportunity to start producing and promoting your own company videos. Videos are more engaging than any other form of content, allow you to show off your personality and company, and give you the ability to share more information than copy and images alone.
You don’t have to be a video wizard - simply start off small, maybe 30 seconds to 1 min videos showing your customers how to get the most from your products, or some quick tips and tricks that help them out.
Social media advertising
Paid advertising is what fuels the biggest digital businesses today and given the highly targeted and flexible nature of social media advertising, it’s a great time to set aside some of your business’ marketing budget to exploring social advertising channels.
With Facebook and YouTube introducing exciting and ‘wow’ experiences such as their 360 video, this allows you to both reach your ideal clients and new audiences via social media and also take advantage of that all important video medium.
Using social to influence your search engine results
Social media is becoming an important piece of the puzzle to helping you climb those search engine rankings. It’s not the only thing that matters, but there are key elements in play that can help improve your search engine position simply by being active and popular across social media:
- Search engines consider your social media popularity as one of many factors when positioning you in search results; are you available on different platforms, are you active, are you popular and have great engagement with fans and customers?
- YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook posts can be optimised for search including keywords, links and images
- Customers are heavily influenced by ratings and feedback and online reviews. By keeping your online profile as credible and positive as possible, you’ll help people make a more informed choice and might just sway their decision by your glowing reviews
Pushing mobile further
Mobile devices (phones and tablets) are more and more prevalent with over 80% of Internet users owning a smartphone.
With mobiles accounting for almost half of all online traffic it’s impossible to ignore the need for your business to have a mobile-friendly presence, whether it’s a social media page or mobile-friendly, responsive website.
Quality over quantity
Whilst this is a good rule of thumb for most avenues of business, when it comes to social media, there is a tendency to let our pride and competitiveness get the better of us and focus on simple numbers and their volume rather than real data.
Yes having 5000+ followers on Twitter is an admirable achievement, are they really all local, or valued customers and genuine fans? One of the emerging social media trends in 2016 is the drive to look beyond the black and white numbers of likes and follower counts and into the real heart of the matter - how many really engaged fans do you have that keep returning to view and share your content? Do you have 100’s of likes but no comments, or a handful of likes and a thriving discussion in the comments section too?
It’s much easier to sell to your existing customers than to new ones, so make sure the fans and followers you win are genuine and really interested in your company.
And speaking of local, authentic followers, don't underestimate the value of joining in with Twitter hours in your area. They're a great way to engage with other business owners and the local community to build up your business' profile.
Follow the social media trends and apply them where you can
Integrating these trends into your social media marketing strategy will set you for success in 2016. These are the main trends that consumers love and they way the social media landscape is moving, but that does not mean they will stay this way forever.
Be sure to familiarise yourself with the most recent trends and update your marketing strategy as appropriate according to your capacities, business and customer needs.