Fifty-two percent is huge. I was honestly surprised when I read this figure on Hootsuite.com, a social media management platform, that recently conducted interviews and surveys on marketing. As opposed to traditional ways of marketing, social media was found to be the prominent ‘go-to’ source to fulfil the marketing needs of most organizations and individuals.
Undoubtedly, social media has become an unavoidable part of our lives and also considering the technology we have grown accustomed to, it isn’t easy to imagine a life without our laptops and phones with easy apps to let us stay online & connected all through the day. These platforms not only allow us to voice our opinions; they are also extremely relevant for marketers since it provides room for two-way communication between the brand and its audience.
So, whether you are an individual or a company make sure to get your brand ‘discovered’ by following these top four trends to your maximum advantage:
1. Influencer Marketing
2020 brought a transformation in the way marketers chose to manage marketing campaigns. Marketing professionals are turning to influencers to endorse their brand since they have been recognized to grab the attention of an audience quite effectively.
When it comes to millennials, only 1% of the population trust advertisements, however, social media analytics have proven that 33% millennials trust blog reviews by influencers. Additionally, about 40% of people stated that they tend to purchase products after they see a YouTuber or Instagram influencer talk about it.
Influencer marketing, no doubt, is emerging as one of the most effective strategies to promote a product or an organization. Although some influencers may be expensive, people are also considering micro-influencers (1000+ followers) since they tend to have a more personal relationship with their audiences and perform highly in terms of engagement. Having a personal relationship with your audience builds trust more effectively, and there is minimal room for negative publicity.
2. Social Media Wellness
Social Media Wellness is about being discerning to the ways in which it can have an impact on mental health. Social media users now need to be extra careful while posting content online, such that it is more friendly and less toxic.
Some people are taking initiatives to reduce time spent online for themselves and others, calling it #DigitalDetox. Professionals who understand the impact of social media on mental health and are empathetic towards the cause, are victorious in gaining consumer trust and hence greater engagement.
While creating a post, consider how your consumer’s consumption habits are changing. The focus is on quality over quantity. Cultural sensitivity, political correctness, and potential language perception barriers depending on who your target audience is are some of the things to be careful of. Social media is a sensitive platform, and you need to ensure that you or your content doesn’t offend anyone. This includes race, gender, different age groups, ethnicity, religion and so on.
3. Domination of Video Content
Video content is identified as one of the most engaging methods of marketing and is soon predicted to take over as the number one advertising and promotional technique. Video content analytics show higher engagement rates, and hence, higher recognition for brands and individuals.
Studies predict that by 2022, 82% of online content will include videos. People are transitioning into video content by excessively using story posts as a start. The growing use of TikTok best illustrates the domination of video content!
TikTok is a massive platform to reach out to teenagers and millennials across the globe. Since the pandemic, people have been actively using it to promote their products. TikTok even introduced a feature for business owners to market themselves. If the content is good enough, and the individual has over ten thousand followers, TikTok could add the individual to the ‘Creator fund’, through which influencers can even monetize their uploads.
One of the most effective methods of engagement on the platform is through ongoing trends, also recognized as #TikTokChallenge. Hootsuite statistics show that TikTok is the 6th largest social networking platform in the world, with over 1.65 billion downloads, and 400 million daily active users
4. Customer Engagement
Customer engagement is the most crucial aspect of marketing. The more you engage with your audience, the more trust you build among them. The interaction also helps identify any loopholes in the marketing strategy and make modifications accordingly.
Engagement on Instagram and LinkedIn, both, require significant use of the right hashtags to connect with the right audience. You could keep tabs on what’s trending, what hashtags are most used or followed and create your content accordingly. Twitter is an actively used platform for professional content, with over 145 million active users daily. It is an important ‘strategy’ for business, marketing, and promotions. However, considering that the app has a high number of users posting up to 500 million every day, it will be essential to be strategic, use the right hashtags, and understand your way around Twitter to engage with your target audience successfully.
These platforms, when used effectively, also helps you gather feedback and understand how your product is doing in the market. For that, it is first necessary to be ‘discovered’ by your tribe following the trends that are here to stay.