Looking into the future of social media marketing for a business does not require extensive research or rubbing a lamp in hopes of a genie granting you a wish. Instead, you can follow trends and data that currently exist and chart your findings with correct accuracy. With that chart, you can start to put your plans into place and take advantage of current trends. At the end of the year, you can put together a review process which can be used to tweak your plan for the following year.
When it comes to social media marketing, there are only two questions a business needs to ask themselves; when are they going to take the leap, and how are they going to implement it. But before those questions are answered, a business needs to know how social media marketing is advancing. So without further ado, here is what every company needs to know about the future of social media marketing.
On social media, nothing gets more attention than a post that is tagged. If you are unfamiliar with what tagging means, it’s when a social media user makes mention of a company in their post which can lead back to their website or social media page. So what businesses are quickly picking up on is that many posts that the average person creates about services or products on social media are untagged. So there is an increased need for trawling through social media sites such as Twitter and Instagram. How do they do this? Companies simply go to the search option to find any mention of their business or products. Companies are converting those untagged mentions into leads which increase the chances of sales.
Algorithms that govern search engine rankings continue to become essential and are becoming increasingly smarter. They can weed out spam and other content that is deemed useless. So what social media marketers need to realize is that your content needs to be attention grabbing and cannot sound scripted. The content needs to start following a new set of rules. One of the rules is that the content needs to encourage the visitor to start a conversation about the product, not just a fancy way to get the visitor to click on the link. These algorithms will only get smarter, which means it will force businesses to stop using clickbait tactics. For example, a clever or shocking headline that will take you to a story that never delivers on what the original headline is will no longer be tolerated and can even get your companies social media page flagged.
When social media first hit the ground running, a safe bet to get followers and gain exposure was hiring celebrities and fashion models. That no longer is considered a safe bet though. The trend is now smaller niche players that have the experience, which will pack a bigger punch than a celebrity with millions of followers. The reason for this emergence is because these smaller players have a personal link to their followers and interact more often with them. Because of this, the content that the influencer posts to the right target audience aligned with the brand will bring more leads to their customers. Another bonus is these influencers can also be hired at a lower cost compared to celebrities. In addition, when these niche players respond to comments on their social media, it won’t feel scripted or forced. There will be emotion behind their answers because they have experience and passion in their field and can relate to the visitor.
The popularity of videos continues to grow because it conveys a message to customers much quicker than text does. In recent years, experts state that 50-60 percent of all content viewed online is video based. So you're now seeing businesses posting more video related content on their social media pages such as Instagram. These videos are even available for visitors who are not signed into their account and are just browsing through various social media accounts. A video has the ability to portray the emotion that a visitor can visibly see. It can be difficult and time consuming to try and convey emotion into text, not to mention that the attention span of people is on the decline.
Whether its text, photo or video, original content is beginning to win the war against content which is duplicated. High-quality original content actually provides better ranking to social media posts on sites such as Facebook. It also encourages visitors to stay on the page instead of navigating to other accounts. Original content is fresh and doesn’t feel forced compared to duplicated content. Aside from that, you also want to establish a sense of credibility. If you’re able to create content that is rarely talked about in your industry, it will help demonstrate your businesses industry knowledge. The fresher and more knowledgeable your content is, the more engagement you will get from your visitors and followers.
Short videos that disappear within 24 hours are quickly becoming popular. These easy to create social media posts have spread from Snapchat to Instagram. Even Facebook is beginning to make these types of video posts available. The reason why these are growing in popularity is they users require very little time to read them, which means they can process the information quickly. This can be especially effective for companies that are promoting deals for their products.
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Florind Metalla is the Director of Client Relations at Social Pulse Marketing Inc., a leading influencer marketing agency. He specializes in developing strategic online marketing campaigns that help companies grow through effective online marketing strategies, improved sales performance, and overall customer experience.