Year on year, we see the use of social media increasingly enhancing brands’ reputations across the world and creating an engaging level of interactivity. Social media can bring businesses and customers together, building a closer relationship.
However, with the constant improvements, new features and updates, it can get confusing as not all features will work for all businesses. With that in mind, here are some of the top trends for 2019, and how to make the most of them.
Social media Stories
With over three million people using Facebook Stories and almost a billion using Instagram Stories, the popularity of this tool as a successful, effective marketing tool is growing fast. The trend for live, raw story telling is here to stay.
Stories are fast becoming the most effective and engaging way to promote products and services and the proof is in how many brands are using it a main form of communication with their target audience all day, every day.
While Stories seem at first glance to be firmly rooted in the B2C space, for B2B brands, they allow a glimpse into company culture, what it’s like to work there and what is important to them. B2B companies can also use live channels to share their expertise on particular areas of insight.
Social ecommerce and chatbots
Utilising the power of social media to sell products or services – social ecommerce – is a trend that is expected to grow this year. Again while social commerce may more easily fit in the B2C space, for B2B brands, social media has an important role to play in the buying, conversion and customer experience process.
The average B2B decision maker will read between three to five pieces of content before making a purchasing decision. Social media plays a central role in creating those touchpoints allowing brands to integrate high-quality content with positive touchpoints every step of the way to improve trust with the audience.
The growing expectation for customers to be in constant contact with brands has also lead to the rise in chatbots. According to research by Falcon, 68% of consumers believe messaging between business and customer is the best way to communicate, and the most productive way to solve issues and queries. At a time when customers are expecting immediate actions, and top-quality service at every stage of the purchasing process, a well organised, helpful chatbot combined with an engaging, social ecommerce strategy is by far the best way to gain trust from target audiences, and see sales rising as a result.
Video is an extremely powerful way of engaging audiences on social media channels. It’s interesting to note that over 85% of all videos viewed on social media are in mute, and over 60% of these are on mobile. This is a huge proportion of the population watching engaging videos (with subtitles) while they are out and about. This dependence on informative content available any time, any where is a key trend we have seen over the past couple of years, and we can only expect more of it during 2019.
Purpose driven marketing
Keeping social media content aligned with business objectives is the main rule when it comes to social media marketing, but there’s no harm in branching out into wider topics to increase engagement and build a personality to the brand by talking about values and beliefs. It is no secret that brands who engage in topical conversation, and expose their brand values receive higher engagement rates from their followers and customers.