Social media plays a critical role in the marketing mix of most modern businesses, but it is important to understand that social media marketing is constantly evolving. The past few years have seen the rise of key trends like live video content, personal branding and customer service as marketing, and this year will see new trends emerge.
For marketers, it is imperative to keep pace with the latest approaches. After all, it is only through doing so that brands can make the most of social media platforms and reap the rewards. In this blog post, we look at the state of play in 2019, as well as the steps you need to take to keep moving forwards with your social media strategy.
Adapting to New Sharing Habits
One of the major trends that digital marketers need to be aware of is the changing nature of organic reach. In a series of charts published by Neil Patel, the extent of this shift is laid bare, with the key takeaway being that content now has less organic reach in 2019 than it did in 2015, when average shares per post peaked.
Indeed, since 2015, the average number of shares blog posts receive from the social web has declined every single year. In response, spending on social media advertising has gone up, with a particularly sharp increase occurring between 2015 and 2016. Most likely, this can be explained as being a response to declining organic shares.
Meanwhile, despite around two-thirds of businesses stating that they ask employees to share company content on social media platforms, a similar number report that their employees do not actually follow through.
Today, when content is shared organically, it is often for personal branding purposes. According to a study carried out by the New York Times, 68 percent of people said they share content to provide people with a better sense of who they are and what they are all about, while 78 percent do so in order to grow and nourish relationships. Marketers looking to maximise organic reach need to focus on content that can fulfil these goals.
Having More Meaningful Interactions
Another social media management trend for marketers to pay attention to is the increased importance of genuinely meaningful interactions. As Danny Goodwin points out in an article for Search Engine Journal, social media is about relationships and with regards to marketing, there has been a shift towards more one-to-one communication.
For businesses, it is no longer enough to use social media to improve visibility; audiences now expect a two-way relationship. That means engaging with users when they ask questions, responding quickly and effectively to customer service complaints, and replying to casual comments with useful, funny or engaging content.
The benefits of meaningful interactions are numerous. According to research from the Harvard Business Review, users that interact with customer service reps on social networking sites are more likely to make purchases from that business or retailer, and are also willing spend higher amounts on those purchases.
Moreover, examples of good customer service that are publicly visible on platforms like Facebook and Twitter can go a long way towards improving the reputation of a brand and ensuring social media followers feel valued.
Using Social Media to Tell Stories
For many brands, social media channels are primarily intended to attract sales. However, while sales-type content may be able to attract traffic in certain circumstances, it is often a more effective and sustainable strategy to prioritise the building of personal connections with your brand. This is best achieved through storytelling.
In fact, Social Media Week 2019, one of the biggest events in marketing and social media London has to offer, has made 'Stories' its main theme. The event's website makes the case for social media being the single most influential storytelling platform in the world, given there are now more than 3 billion social media users.
When it comes to this focus on stories, however, it is vital that brands put customers first and focus on what matters to them. Think about what your business wants to say, and then say it in a way that resonates with people.
The rise of experiential marketing was based on the idea that memorable moments which connect customers and brands lead to lasting loyalty. This same basic premise applies to social media marketing too. Stories that connect with your audience in a meaningful way will make a lasting impression, leading to deeper relationships.
Working with Social Media Influencers
Finally, a key part of social media management is finding ways to reach out to people who would otherwise be difficult to connect with. It is precisely here that the concept of influencer marketing shows its worth, because social media influencers have established audiences with whom their opinions hold sway.
One of the key findings of a recent Linqia study, The State of Influencer Marketing 2018, was the fact that 92 percent of marketers that used influencer marketing found it to be effective. This statistic helps to explain why average investment in influencer marketing has increased dramatically over the past few years.
While influencer marketing has often focused on influencers with extremely large reach, one of the growing trends is that of nano influencers - ordinary people with around 5,000 social media followers. This group have the advantage of being seen as completely disconnected from brands by their followers, potentially increasing trust.
According to statistics compiled by Tribe, 93 percent of influencer marketing campaigns in 2019 use Instagram, with 60 percent of influencers citing it as their most effective platform. The aforementioned Linqia study also found that 92 percent of marketers believe Instagram is the most important influencer platform, followed by Facebook.
The Last Word
With any social media marketing strategy, it is crucial that you keep moving forwards, and this means keeping pace with wider trends and utilising the latest techniques. In particular, it is vital to respond to the demise of organic sharing, focus on creating meaningful interactions, tell engaging stories, and work with influencers.
ClickJump is a boutique digital marketing agency, and with well over a decade of experience, we are one of the leading authorities on social media London has to offer. If you require assistance with taking your social media management to the next level, we would love to hear from you, so please contact us today.
By Rebecca Hamano Cabot
I have been consulting on Social Media Strategy for a number of years now, providing management solutions as well as running social media campaigns for a diverse client base. I spent the previous decade of my career working as a specialist in the tech industry which, combined with my passion for social media, has put me in a unique position to exploit social media platforms to their best. I maintain a vigorous program of professional development, allowing me to stay at the forefront of my industry. Follow me on LinkedIn @ Rebecca Hamano Cabot to keep abreast of my latest findings and industry news.