Anyone who was around to see the rise and fall of Myspace understands that social media is constantly evolving. While consumers don’t have to worry much about this, business owners and marketers must consistently be on their toes when it comes to social media trends. It’s important to note that not all of these trends are good ones, but if you can take advantage of positive changes while mitigating negative ones, you’ll be poised to outperform your competition in the social space.
1. Influencer Marketing Evolves
Influencer marketing has become an essential aspect of reaching new customers. Whether it’s Justin Bieber promoting new headphones or a local news personality recommending a restaurant on social media, the simple fact is that consumers believe the word of others. In fact, 84 percent of people trust online reviews just as much as their family and friends.
This has led influencer marketing to move towards micro-influencing. Influencers with as few as 1,000 social media fans have been shown to frequently drive more conversions than those with over 100,000. Consumers love to trust celebrities, but they don’t want to feel like they’re being bought off. Micro-influencing achieves the best of both worlds for them.
“Social media influencers are one of the fastest-growing methods to connect with and acquire consumers today. As the new voice for word-of-mouth advertising, they are the next generation of marketing,” said Scott Rodgers, Tier10’s chief creative officer. “Realizing the growth rate and influence they derive from their following, we’ve taken the initiative and identified influencers and business owners within our Honda markets and have featured them in our ‘Life Is Better’ commercials for the Northwest Honda Dealers and the Northern Ohio Honda Dealers.”
Read Next: Influencer Marketing to Increase ROI
2. Cries to Delete Facebook
Millions were astonished when they found out some of their personal information may have been improperly used by Cambridge Analytica. Individuals who make a career out of marketing, though, didn’t experience the same level of surprise. Everything we do online is available for scrutinization, but this simple fact didn’t dissuade people from starting the hashtag movement #DeleteFacebook.
The improper use of user data will undoubtedly create unease with many users, but the fact of the matter is that most of them are going nowhere. Nearly 50 percent of people admitted the misuse of data wouldn’t even cause them to reduce their time on Facebook. Marketers do need to realize, though, that many individuals have decided to sign into the social media giant less frequently.
This means Facebook marketing strategies will need to become more focused. In the grand scheme of things, though, the social giant has become too ingrained in our cultural structure for any single event to ruin its marketing potential.
3. Video Marketing Tactics Need Adjusting
There are several big changes going on when it comes to video marketing via social media. If you’ve recently watched a Facebook video that lasts more than two minutes, for instance, you likely saw a random ad inserted during the middle of playback. Google has also created a new format, known as Outstream Video Ads, that allows advertisers to insert video via high-quality mobile apps and partners.
This will certainly change the way paid videos are handled, but even video marketing that you’re hoping to organically grow may need updating. This is because Facebook will begin to throttle videos they consider low quality or if they feel engagement manipulation is taking place through distribution or sharing schemes.
Social media platforms are striving to offer more high-quality video content, and this means marketers will have to acquiesce. Unfortunately, new algorithms mean ignoring social media video is no longer a viable option, so you’ll have to respond to this trend regardless of how big of a headache it becomes.
Read Next: 5 Reasons Video Marketing Works for Automotive Advertising
4. Chatbots Become Part of Sales Funnels
Even the best marketers or most social media savvy business owners can’t be online all the time. This means a customer could send a message via their favorite social channel and not get a response for several hours or more. Unfortunately, consumers reach out via social media specifically for the purpose of getting a quick reply. This is where chatbots are coming in.
Chatbots are programs that can immediately respond to consumer messages. The “Away” message on Facebook is a rudimentary example of this, but these chatbots can even be programmed to answer specific product questions and provide customer service. The beauty company Sephora, for instance, saw an 11 percent increase in their bookings when they began utilizing such a program on Facebook Messenger.
Failure to utilize chatbots on social media doesn’t mean a company’s numbers will decrease. It does mean, however, that they’re likely missing out on conversions that these nifty programs could be driving.
5. The Call-Out Culture Demands Satisfaction
People have used tools such as Yelp for years to review companies they’ve done business with. More recently, though, consumers are beginning to realize that they can leave these reviews right on a company’s social media pages. In fact, it’s pretty simple to tag a business in a public post that could go viral within a few hours. This has created the call-out culture – where people feel the best way to get action from a company is to call them out publicly on social media.
Initial research into this social phenomenon shows that nearly half of all consumers have called out a company online. What’s more is that over one-third of these consumers would break ties with a company entirely if they didn’t receive a response to such a call out. When added to the problem of visible complaints front and center on a company’s social page, this means business owners must become more timely in their social media customer service responses.
If you read a social media trends of 2018 article in January, there’s a high likelihood that the information is already outdated. Social platforms are dynamic environments, and events that may seem unrelated can have direct effects on how they operate. This is why business owners must be consistently able to respond in a timely manner to changes, and if you’re unable to do so, it’s essential to find someone who can.