In today’s world, social media is one the most effective marketing channel for any company. With billions of people handling at least one account each on a social media site, it’s critical for you as a business to be on these platforms as well if you hope to reach members of your target market.
However, building up your social media isn’t quite as easy as you might imagine. For one, you need to remember that there’s fierce competition out there. Companies in your field are also on social media, and there’s a significant chance that many of these firms have larger budgets than you. With that in mind, you need to play smart.
Thankfully, this one of the many benefits of digital marketing strategies. Social media is ruled by trends — things and concepts that are the most “in vogue” right now. Trends differ between social media platforms broadly, but some are generally encompassing. It’s important to consider these as you chart a course forward.
Live Streams and Sessions for Engagement
If there’s one thing that captured everyone’s attention in 2020, it was the COVID-19 pandemic. It forced life to halt to a standstill, and people were instructed to stay at home.
Nevertheless, life must go on, and social media played a significant part in this. To maintain social distancing but still connect with others, people hopped online. Meetings soon became a standard on Zoom, and companies turned to live streams on social media to optimize their operations.
Naturally, this led to a surge in the use of live streaming tools across all social media channels. For instance, Facebook saw a significant upsurge in its live streaming and messaging channels — especially in areas most hit by the virus, like Italy and the United States.
As a stat sheet from Facebook showed, the number of views on Facebook Live and Instagram Live doubled in just a week at a certain point.
In 2021, it’s pretty evident that we’re not entirely out of the woods just yet. Life is slowly beginning to return to normal, but the coronavirus situation continues to evolve. People and companies remain committed to communicating through their devices, and social media live streaming is still a prominent part of this.
If you’re looking to optimize your social media strategy, you can’t possibly do it without live streaming. While everyone remains at home, you could engage your followers with live streaming sessions and grow your audience base from there.
Stories as Instagram’s Top Content Source
Instagram launched Stories in 2016. While the feature had a pretty rough landing due to comparisons with Snapchat, it has since risen to become one of Instagram’s biggest hits. On average, 500 million people react with Stories daily on Instagram, and there’s no sign of them going away soon.
If you aren’t using your Stories, it’s recommended that you do so. Incorporate videos and pictures into the component — primarily videos, which seem to outperform other content formats on Instagram.
People tend to spend more time viewing videos on their Stories than images. You need to get on Stories now, and you need to do so with engaging videos.
Virtual Reality is Coming
Thanks to the stay-at-home orders and prolonged social distancing requirements, people have begun looking into alternative reality iterations. For now, virtual reality remains one of the most effective technology trends out there.
The allure of virtual reality is easy to see. It allows you to get the sense of actually being somewhere — or with someone else, even if they’re on the other side of the planet. In a period where people are forced to stay home, this is the type of development that we desperately need.
There are already signs that 2021 will see more integration between social media and virtual reality. Facebook is working on revamping its Oculus to allow people to connect with others, play games, explore, and more.
As a business, you could leverage virtual reality to enable consumers to view what you’re selling. Industries like art, real estate, e-commerce, and more — those which deal with tangible assets and products — will undoubtedly benefit from this.
Upwards Growth for Social Commerce
Over the years, we’ve witnessed a significant shift that brings social media together with improved user experience. This shift has led to the development of more tools to connect social media with seamless online shopping.
For instance, Instagram allows e-commerce companies to add product tags and embed checkout links for products on their pages. Facebook even allows you to set up an entire shop, encouraging people to browse what you’ve got and make purchases right from the platform.
If you’re a marketer, this is a significant trend that you should be working on. Data shows that around 54% of social media users use these platforms to research products before purchasing. With social media playing a more critical role in influencing purchase decisions, you could use it to optimize your sales.
With social commerce, you can significantly optimize your customers’ purchasing journey. Now, users will be able to see a product on social media and purchase it from the app directly. There’s no need to leave the platform, go back to the website, and then begin looking for the product again.
By allowing customers to purchase straight away, you’re improving their experience and also reducing the chances of abandoned carts and transactions. Putting a “buy now” link or button on your platform will improve your chances of making a sale on your own. If your business deals in selling, you’ll need an effective social media storefront that provides shoppable posts and easy-to-purchase links.
Purposeful Marketing Campaigns
Social media has always been an excellent tool for driving engagement with meaningful causes. With the pandemic still going on out there, “meaningful causes” have taken on a new form. People want to lend a helping hand, and brands are also expected to do something.
This year, it’s important to lend a helping hand as best as you can as a business. With social media, it’s much easier and more comfortable to do so. You can use purpose-driven engagement and relief campaigns that help the most vulnerable of people, and you can use social media to increase your following while doing it.
Collect leads from events or customers entering your store. A product like OnSpot Social has the software that will help you collect the leads so you can create some purposeful marketing campaigns on top of your current marketing.
At the end of the day, customers follow brands that they can relate to. When they see a more humane side of you, they’re bound to believe more in your message.
Interested in developing your own social media marketing plan? Contact our social media marketing agency in Philadelphia to learn more!