By Kelly Rogan, on 14 June 2016
Social Networks are responsible for so many changes all over the globe from new ways of communicating to new ways for businesses to reach consumers to new ways of behaving and interacting, the social network trend is only going to continue and expand. But this is not new information, since Facebook’s launch in 2004 the number of people who use at least one form of social media has been increasing rapidly with a current 2.22 billion people in the world using social media. The projected about of people who will be on social media in 2019 is 2.72 billion people, which will be a whopping 36% of the total population. This number will continue to increase especially with all the new generations that are growing up already exposed and used to the social network lifestyle.
Social media, as many things, is full of constant changes. The marketing aspects will be part of this change and marketers will need to keep up and stay ahead. From Snapchat’s advertising to Instagram’s newsfeed algorithm there are tons of changes already happening this year and there will be many more. Here we will describe the 3 ways social marketing will change to keep you up to date and ahead of the game!
1# Visual content rules
This is a trend that will continue to rule and can be seen with the boom of Instagram, which is an incredibly visual platform. Written messages are quickly becoming irreverent as visual images and videos are taking over social networks and grabbing the attention of the users. If your social networks or ads contain only text then it is time to boost your strategy with eye-catching images and videos. The posts, which only contain text are getting lost in the mix and blending into the background on social networks. You will be wasting your time and money if the majority of your posts are text based so start focusing your team’s efforts on visual and attractive posts!
2# Newsfeed algorithms are unavoidable
This trend of adding an algorithm to newsfeeds is being seen on many different social networks and it will continue to spread and affect marketing strategies everywhere. The affect of these new algorithms changes the order that users view posts. Instead of showing the posts arranged according to the date and time of the post, they will now be shown according to “relevance”. Now what exactly is “relevance” and how will it affect businesses?
The News Feed algorithm aims to show the right people the right information at the right time, according to a Facebook publication back in August 2013. Other social networks such as Instagram have been adapting very similar algorithms in attempt to give people a better experience, therefore forcing businesses to change the way they leverage social networks. The criteria that is used in this new algorithm is the following:
- The amount of shares, comments and likes that a post obtains from the network in general as well as from friends.
- If the post has been hidden by anyone.
- How often people have interacted with this type of post in the past both in terms of the post format (image, video, etc.) and content.
- How frequently there is interaction with the account that posted the story.
This affects businesses by decreasing the amount of organic reach through social media. Companies can no longer depend on social networks to reach their new and existing customers since many times their posts simply won’t be shown. The focus needs to be on creating content of high value and interest to the user so you can actually benefit from the new algorithms and have your posts be placed high up on the news feed.
3# Social Commerce will be everywhere
This is a concept that is already being seen in some social networks such as Pinterest and Twitter. The idea is that the user is able to make purchases for items without ever leaving the platform. The user simply clicks on the buy now button in Twitter or add to bag button in Pinterest and they can make the purchase right on the social network itself. Although users need time to adapt and feel comfortable to start making actual purchases, the average order on Pinterest is already $50, which is higher than any other social network.
With a whopping 2.22 billion users on social networks worldwide, it makes logical sense that companies would market themselves on these platforms so doesn’t it make even more sense to sell directly on them as well? This is a semi controversial topic since many people feel that social networks don’t have the purpose of selling but of helping people connect and converse. The response to this is, if people are buying then there will be companies selling. Pinterest has already been successful with the online purchases and other social networks will be quick to follow suit.
Nothing is constant in social networks other than change. This means that companies need to be ready to adapt quickly and leverage all of these changes to their advantage. Whether you need to start creating visually pleasing images/videos, changing your strategy to post more interesting and engaging content or even start selling your products on social networks, it is the knowledge and implication of these changes that is the most important for your brand to succeed!