Successfully maintaining a social media account is a challenge in the competitive market of brands. While the task needs constant improvement and growth, a brand must keep up with the evolving marketing trends. Evolution in the marketing industry is inevitable but here are 10 social media marketing trends that have proven to be useful and will continue to be so in the near future.
Every brand invites likes, shares and comments from its audience, to seek their validation and appreciation. Moreover, engagement also shows that your message has been conveyed to the audience and has been accepted well. One of the best ways to build engagement is by communicating with the target audience in their language, while keeping your brand personality intact. Another trick is to make your posts conversational so that the audience feels like joining in. This may include quizzes, puzzles, contests, polls, games or simple shareable content.
Some of the brands that are known for their engaging content are Honor India, Huda Beauty, Porsche, Amul and Netflix.
Live streaming on Instagram and Facebook, introduced in 2016, is a way in which you can include your audience in the brand’s day-to-day activities, giving the brand a human persona. The sessions could be conversations with experts or public figures, behind the scenes of brand shoots, or an innovative product launch. Moreover, live sessions invite immediate engagement, contributing to increased brand visibility.
Stories were introduced by Instagram in 2016, and by Facebook, YouTube and WhatsApp (as status) in 2017. Stories can be in the form of photos, videos, GIFs, and text using emoticons and tags. These focus on the storytelling aspect that gives the users a deeper insight into the brand.
The engagement on these stories can be calculated by views and ‘Swipe Ups’, and including stories in your social media strategy can prove to be highly effective. Some of the brands with the best stories are Nykka, Sabyasachi, Converse, National Geographic and Buffer.
Conduct Podcast Sessions
Audio and visual forms of content have always been popular modes of communication. While they are most effective when used together, audio media, in the form of Podcast and radio, has gained great mileage. While these may not be applicable for every brand, you can always strategise an unconventional way of including them in your marketing strategies.
Some of the most popular podcasts include In the dark, Stuff you should know, Cyrus says, The Indian startup show and Ear hustle.
Promoting User Generated Content
To engage, users often tag brands when using their products — that is user generated content (UGC). Reuse these posts to promote your products and services as they are organic testimonials. These, in turn, will help attract new customers. You can take this strategy a step further and invite more UGC through games and nominations.
Some brands that have used UGC well would include Starbucks, Coca Cola, Netflix and Calvin Klein.
Not all brands wish to attract the same target audience and not every section of the audience is interested in similar kind of products and services. This difference in demand and supply gives rise to Niche Marketing. The initial step of this marketing strategy is to zero in on the target market that you, as a brand, wish to communicate with, so that you can study the section well and plan your brand awareness campaigns. This skill enhances customer relationships, reduces competition, improves visibility and lets you showcase your expertise.
About *85% of the Gen Z audience learns about new brands and products through social media, and *67% of them have shown a trait of influenced marketing, i.e., following the lead of people they follow. Clubbing these two factors leads us to Influencer Marketing, which gained popularity on social media in 2010. Allowing niche influencers to promote your brand adds to the human appeal and relatability.
Brands like Marriott, Daniel Wellington, Air Bnb, Zara, Duroflex and Allen Solly have used influencer marketing well.
Experiment With Topical Content
Topical content allows you to get creative and improve your visibility through search engines. These are thematic communications that reach out to a wider audience giving you a larger scope of marketing. Topical content could include trending topics, special days and holidays that we all celebrate, important news items that you as brand might want to highlight, and product updates or launches. You can also participate in trending topical posts across platforms to improve visibility.
Invest in Performance Marketing
You invest a lot of your time and fund in researching and drafting a social media marketing campaign. Yet, it might fail to yield satisfactory response and results. This is a sign that you must try Performance Marketing, a combination of online marketing and advertising that allows advertisers to pay only for measurable results such as lead generation, sales, and clicks. This activity is dependent on paid marketing channels like -
● Native advertising
● Sponsored advertising
● Affiliate marketing
● Social media advertising
● Search engine marketing
These aim to improve the efficiency of your marketing attempts and give your campaigns a boost.
Keeping a brand realistic and approachable has become an integral part of marketing on social media. Invite conversations on your brand’s social media accounts through direct messages or comments. Speak to your audience, engage them, resolve their queries, encourage them to try your products and services, reply to their messages or compliments, and make sure to address their complaints. The key is to reply actively and show that your brand is prompt. Besides building a brand image, it also improves engagement and conversion rate.