A new year has begun and you have great plans to grow your business. Like personal new year’s resolutions, you may have committed to some business resolutions. There are many ways one can improve one’s business. Maybe you want to invest into more SEO to boost your company’s online presence. Maybe you want to get more involved in local SEO. Maybe you want to hire or better train a salesperson or sales team to bring in more and higher-paying deals. Maybe you want to get more interaction between your brand and customers through more social media engagement.
While the abovementioned goals are noble and things your company should look into, especially if you’re struggling with them, this article will be about social media marketing. You may have been using social media for years, but have not fully utilized it to its potential. On the other end, maybe your company is brand new and you haven’t yet done anything on social media. Regardless of how big or small your company is or what industry your business is in, having a strong social media presence is important not only in building online brand awareness, but also in building brand trust in your customers. Like many other aspects of internet marketing, social media is constantly changing so social media marketers must always be in-tune to the changing social media landscape and adjust their social media marketing plans as needed.
If you think that posting canned content once or twice a week on a few social media platforms is all you need to do, you’re greatly undermining its power and usefulness. It’s no wonder your social media marketing efforts aren’t giving you the results you’re looking for.
Social Media Marketing Trends to Look for in 2019
Below are some of the social media marketing trends you should keep an eye on in 2019 to bring your social media marketing to the next level and help make your business successful and increase social media lead generation.
- Be Visual
Did you notice the increased prevalence of video on Facebook and Instagram? People are more drawn to video and are more likely to react through commenting and sharing it than text-only or picture posts. The social networks realize that video works, and therefore, give higher preference and placement to video posts. If you’re not doing video nor have a YouTube channel with multiple videos, you’re missing out on vital engagement with customers and your message is less likely to reach as many eyes.
More social media platforms are incorporating their own built-in video platforms. While many have a time limit for videos, some like Instagram allow users to record long videos up to an hour long. Longer videos are something to keep an eye on as they are expected to become more popular alternative to traditional TV shows.
If you’re inexperienced or nervous or too busy to do a video, there are different types of videos out there. You don’t need to always to a long professional presentation. You could do that to demonstrate how a product works. Most people who watch videos online are looking for short, entertaining, informational videos that are casual, candid and have a sense of authenticity. Facebook live is a great place to start. With Facebook live you conduct essentially a live broadcast which can be as long or short as you want. This and other ‘live’ video options will be further discussed in the next point.
- Go ‘Live.’
YouTube has been giving people access to ‘live’ video for awhile now. The ‘live’ video trend has become so popular that social media channels like Facebook and Instagram have launched their own ‘live’ video platforms.
‘Live’ video is different from recorded video in that there is a greater element of authenticity, spontaneity and personalization that is limited or absent in recorded video. These ‘live’ videos are more entertaining and facilitate greater engagement and interaction.
Besides interaction ‘live’ video creates authenticity and personalizes your brand, which are both key in winning over the trust of customers and would-be customers. When you make a mistake on ‘live’ video, your audience will better connect with you and be more willing to trust you enough to do business with you.
- Spontaneous, User-Generated ‘Stories’ Will be More Important
Have you ever wondered why Facebook and Instagram came up with the ‘stories’ feature? People love these short, temporary ‘live’ video stories or updates. They are quick and easy to make and they are equally short to watch which is convenient for people’s busy lives and the need for instant, on-demand entertainment and information. Facebook ‘stories’ are also temporary which requires new content and ‘stories’ to be regularly uploaded.
On a different vein of the same, uncanned content are reviews, recommendations and comments, which are created by the consumer, not brands. The modern-day shopper doesn’t merely make a purchase with the first big brand they think of. Instead they do massive amounts of comparison shopping looking at prices, researching companies and their shipping and return policy and they ask around and read reviews. Reviews and recommendations are two of the leading decision-making aspects shoppers use. If other people, whether or not they know them like a product, the customer will more likely make a purchase.
Try to encourage customers to review your company’s product and recommend their experience at your establishment. When other customers see that your customers love your products and have enjoyed their experience at your business, they will be more likely to give your company a shot.
Recommendations and reviews aren’t the only ways to get user generated content. Contests and giveaways such as photo contests where a customer poses with one of your products or giveaways to the first so many people that like, comment and share your page on Facebook or use your brand’s hashtag. This kind of content will also engage customers, whereby drawing attention.
- The Rise of AI Chatbot Customer Service
With the prevalence of mobile smartphones and tablets, online purchasing has become the new norm. Gone are the days of people calling to make an order or to ask questions. Companies such as Facebook and Amazon have been quick to utilize AI chatbots to give customers an enhanced online ordering experience through prompt, personalized chat-like online conversations.
Facebook’s WhatsApp is an example of an AI chatbots that companies are using to connect with customers during the purchasing process. WhatsApp uses computers to immediately respond to customer inquiries in a personalized, easy to use manner, whereby enhancing the customer service experience for the customer. Some companies have also used Facebook messenger for handling customer inquiries in a timely manner that also feels intimate and personal.
- Greater Importance on Organic Reach
Social media networks such as Facebook are constantly changing their algorithm to determine the content and visibility of content on users’ newsfeeds. To give users a greater experience, Facebook is limiting sponsored and paid posts from brands and giving greater priority to posts created by users’ friends and family. While this may seem bad for business, those who had good SEO and a great organic reach didn’t experience as great a decline as companies who didn’t have a high organic reach because they relied on paid search methods. If you invest in SEO and people naturally find you online, you’ll also be likely to be more visible on social media as recommendations and customer engagement are both ranking factors for both.
Like every other aspect of online marketing, social media is constantly changing. To be successful in your social media marketing campaigns and strategies, you must stay abreast of the ever-changing social media trends. Video, user generated content and a greater emphasis on SEO and expanding your business website’s organic reach are social media marketing trends to pay attention to in 2019.
Did you know that social media can also be a powerful tool in boosting your company’s sales? At Aktify, our trained sales professionals can help you harness the power of social media marketing to boost sales and generate sales. We even use social media to bring to life “dead” leads. If you’re looking to boost your online presence through social media, we can also help boost your sales. Contact us today to learn more.