Key trends to keep in mind when building a social media campaign
[Update March 2017] Social media platforms empower marketers to drive conversation, engage audiences and turn them into loyal customers. According to Empathica, brand advocates bring in 33% more sales and 18% more traffic than regular customers*.
Despite the vast opportunities to creating meaningful connections with consumers on social media, the impact doesn’t come overnight. With such a large number of active users (see map below), this also means there’s a high risk of attracting ‘off-target’ people. Moreover, the social media landscape and users’ expectations are constantly evolving.
Here are 6 key elements marketers must keep in mind when building social media campaigns.
1. Evolution of social media: from organic to paid
The social media model is shifting with a shrinking organic reach and an increase of paid options. On Facebook, the organic reach can be as low as 2%. It becomes harder for brands to engage with users through organic content.
Marketers must think about new strategies combining Earnt (exposure you get through word-of-mouth), Owned (content and platforms you own) and Paid (advertising) content across multiple social media platforms. Using advertising options to amplify owned social media becomes essential while we have to keep sharing engaging and relevant content.
2. New video formats: Live stream and 360
We also observe the emergence of live streaming social media with Facebook Live, Meerkat and Twitter’s Periscope. With 10 million users and 200 million broadcasts**, Periscope offers great opportunities to marketers to share live events or brand experiences (don’t forget to promote the live stream before the event and of course, make sure the content you stream is interesting and entertaining).
However, trolls and offensive live comments are a challenge for social media managers. The success of brand live streaming depends on the marketers’ ability to manage inappropriate conversation.
Marketers can also share brand experiences in a very unique way with Facebook and Youtube 360 videos. 360 videos can be very powerful; it is immersive, sharable and users shape their own story generating a deeper experience and connection with the brand. Moreover, users can enjoy the 360 video experience with or without headset (download our white paper ‘Virtual and augmented reality: the future of immersive marketing’ to know more about 360 videos).
3. Snapchat copycats
Recently we’ve seen the rise of the Snapchat copycat, Facebook. It’s been integrating elements of what’s made Snapchat successful in many of their products, including Whatsapp, Instagram and Facebook stories.
This is a great opportunity for brands to start capitalizing on these new features, because Facebook has the reach. Your existing fans, and customers are most likely already on Facebook and Instagram. The same cannot be said for snapchat.
4. Sponsored Stories
You can now sponsor Instagram Stories as well, meaning there are endless opportunities with Facebook’s robust targeting system – making sure that you reach the right people, at the right time.
5. Think mobile first
Brands have to think mobile first with the increase of mobile centric social media users. In Asia-Pacific, over 1.2 billion people are active on social media and 1.07 billion are active mobile social users. Moreover, some social media like Instagram can only be fully used on mobile. Being mobile is even more important if you target millennials so make sure your content is adapted for mobiles, tablets and eventually for new mobile devices like smartwatches.
6. Be data-driven with social media analytics and reporting tools
If content is king, data is queen. Understanding what your audience wants is key. This is why data-driven insights are essential to strategically create and distribute personalized and relevant content that will attract and retain the right audience.
To understand the behaviour of audiences and identify the kind of content they are interested in, marketers can collect data from their social media platforms by using analytics tools like Hootsuite.
7. Engagement is key
Consumers might interact with brands for different reasons:
- For promotions and discounts
- To get the latest product/service information
- For customer service
- To see entertaining content
- To share their feedback about a product/service
Once you know what interests your consumers, you can engage your audience inspiring them to take part in the conversations or by offering rewards & incentives to spark positive reactions/conversions aligned with the brands’ objectives.
8. Real-time conversation
Real-time is key to get exposure and create engagement. This includes identifying, using trending topics and generating real-time conversation. Users expect quick responses from brands on social media, especially when they complain. It Is crucial for marketers to work on faster response times in order to retain their customers. Marketers can use social media listening tools to track conversations and to quickly respond to their customers.
*Empathica – "Socializing the Retail Experience"
** Periscope statistics – 2015 & 2016
Struggling with social? At Catalyst we've helped world-class brands such as ghd with their social strategies. To learn more, give us a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org