If you are planning to use social media to boost your business’s marketing efforts, congratulations you are on the right track. Social media marketing is becoming a mission critical component of a business’s marketing mix and delivers solid returns on investment. With social networks like Facebook having more than a billion monthly active users, it makes tremendous sense to tap into this ever growing user base on social media to market product and services.
Another reason why social media marketing is such a good idea is that people are spending more time on social media; it is the top internet activity. There are more chances of your target customer coming across your brand on social media than anywhere else on the web.
While there is absolutely no doubt you will need to tap into the immense potential of social media if you are to stay one step ahead of the competition, you must ensure you are aware of the latest trends prevalent in social media marketing. You need to implement these trends, if you are to ensure the best possible outcome for your social media campaign. You ignore them at your own risk, because the audience you are targeting with your social media marketing campaign expects brands to implement these trends.
That’s because they enhance their levels of engagement with a brand. These trends are taking the whole process of promoting a business on social media to a whole new level.
So what are these trends? Take a look:
Mobile Friendly Social Media Content
Did you know there are around 7 billion mobile devices on this Earth? Another study estimates that global smartphone users will total 1.75 billion in 2014. A large percentage of these users will be accessing social networks through their mobile phones. Facebook alone has around a billion monthly mobile users. Twitter has around 198 million mobile users. This means social media content can no longer purely cater to users who are accessing social media from their desktops alone. It needs to be mobile friendly.
How do you go about doing this? You need to make sure that the content you create is easy to share on mobile. For e.g. it’s important that you ensure the photos you share on Facebook perfectly fit mobile screens; if you are using Facebook Ads, desist from using sidebar ads as they most likely won’t show on the news feeds of your followers, it’s better to pick Page post ads or Sponsored Stories instead.
Also make optimum use of Twitter which offers features like photo tagging and the ability to share 4 photos in a single tweet. Something else you can do is maximizing the potential of Instagram, which is already becoming a popular social network for smartphone users. 26 Tips for Using Instagram for Business is a great read if you want to make good use of this particular social network.
Visual Content Rules
Did you know that photos receive 2 times more likes on Facebook than text posts and links combined? They also attract a whopping 87% of total interactions. If you want to optimize the use of Twitter by increasing retweets of your tweets, you need to add a photo URL to your tweet; retweets can increase by a good 35%.
The key takeaway for marketers from these figures is that they need to make visual content an integral part of their social media campaign. While you can put a visual content strategy in place to come up with infographics and videos for branding purposes, why not think about implementing a social media strategy where you ask your fans and followers to share visual content on your Twitter feed or Facebook timeline.
Don’t be surprised. Brands are using visual content created by their fans and followers on social media to market themselves. There are brands that are making good use of the selfie craze to generate brand awareness. Brands are also asking followers to share images to tell their stories. Hotels are asking visitors to share pictures of their stay; products based businesses are asking customers to share pictures of some of the innovative ways they’ve used their products and so on and so forth.
The idea is to share interesting content on social media to trigger better brand engagement. Don’t just depend on text based content to do the job.
Engage with Influencers
One of the most untapped social media marketing trends is to interact with influencers in your niche. One reason why it might be unexploited is because many marketers/business owners find it difficult to connect with these influencers. They have an inferiority complex that dissuades them from connecting with thought leaders on Twitter, Facebook or any other network.
What they don’t realize is that the very nature of social media gives them the opportunity to get rid of their insecurities, and any complexes they might have. There is no face-to-face interaction, although social media interaction can be moved offline after a period of time, if possible.
So, the question is – how do you go about engaging with influencers at a one-on-one level through social media. First, you need to identify them and once you do, you must start following them and start interacting with them. If they’ve tweeted a link to their newest article, retweet it and tell them how good it was or ask them some questions about it. If they’ve shared their thoughts about a latest happening in their niche, share your own thoughts with them by commenting on the Facebook post or tweeting a reply to them. They might or might not answer back.
The point is you need to keep doing what you are doing. If you focus on having meaningful conversations with them, your efforts will bear fruit.
But, before you begin engaging with Influencers (if you’ve not been doing that already) go through The Definitive Guide to Influencer Targeting. It offers a detailed look into the ‘how’ of influencer targeting, definitely a must-read.
Social media trends can come and go, but what will remain is the power of social media to engage its audience. Your job is to harness this power and make it work for your business, any which way possible. Make use of the trends that you believe will benefit your business best and do away with the rest.
Another thing- Do not allow your social media marketing campaign to stagnate. If it is not working modify and reimagine it. Keep working at it. This is the only way you can make sure it keeps delivering the returns you are looking for.
Author Bio: Jeff Davis is living in California and currently associated with Quick Laptop Cash – A place for selling a laptop online. He has been in this field for the last 6 years and is responsible for troubleshooting issues. Interact to discuss projects, technology solutions.