What’s that popular cliche, “What is trendy today, is gone tomorrow?” OK, I think I made that up, but in the world of digital, its kinda true.
The social media landscape is continually evolving with new platform features, emerging platforms (Hi TikTok), and updated algorithms. As a social media strategist, I make sure to stay ahead of the trends so I can share the latest strategies and tactics that will keep your social media game fresh.
Fueled with the latest research, I put together three key trends that your brand should consider implementing in your 2020 social media strategy.
Online Brand Communities
I’ve been building and managing online communities since the days of message board forums in late 90’s and now the internet’s best kept secret for relationship building and recommendations is finally getting its moment in the spotlight.
An online brand community is defined as a dedicated space for members to come together and authentically engage with brands, as well as one another over a shared interest of a product or service.
The recent rise of online communities is because buyers -not brands -are in the driver’s seat when it comes to influencing the buying process. In fact, 92% of today’s consumers trust peer recommendations over paid advertisers when it comes to making a purchasing decision.
That is why, to gain a competitive edge, companies need to build a community where business community managers actively engage with clients, consumers, and prospects and make them feel like they’re a valuable part of the brand.
A well created online community is consumer-centric and not a space for brands to promote their latest product. This means contributors drive the content and conversation by offering peer-to-peer support, share helpful information, authentic feedback, and act as a trusted referral source for prospects.
Access to real-time consumer insight in communities benefit brands by providing value-driven data that could help them grow, create new strategies for lead generation, earn new business and promote consumer retention.
Online communities can be built on many platforms, some popular ones are- Facebook Groups, LinkedIn Groups, Slack, vBulletin, and bbPress. Before deciding which platform to use, bring your internal team together to identify your online community business goals, target audience and their online behaviors, then start researching platforms that align with your goals and will work with your target audience.
Focus on the community first and brand second. The top priority of members is interaction over a shared interest. If you meet their needs first, their conversations will provide the insight you need to grow your brand and business.
Video Content Marketing
Once again, video makes the trend list. From short-form videos such as Stories to long-form content on YouTube, videos continue to dominate social by driving more views, engagement, and response than any other social strategy.
A study conducted by Cisco reports by 2022, 82% of all online content will be video.
Below are stats to help guide your business in the right direction to make educated decisions when creating your 2020 video marketing strategy.
- 72% of consumers prefer to learn about a product or service through video.
- Facebook users view an average of 8 billion videos daily. Posts with video see the highest engagement at 13.9%.
- “How To” searches increase on YouTube by 70% every year.
- Tweets with video garner 10x more engagement than those without.
- LinkedIn users are 20x more likelyto share a video on the platform than any other type of post.
- Instagram Stories ads increase ad recall, purchase intent, message association, and CTR.
- Brands allocated 45% of Instagram ad budget on Stories.
Brands who see the most success with video marketing are ones who create content that aligns with their brand message and overall business goals
To optimize awareness and engagement on social media, keep videos around 30 seconds and your content concise.
Shoppable posts are the latest online shopping trend brands are using to sell their products or services. From small businesses to major retailers, social’s role in eCommerce is growing because it combines the convenience of online ordering and social media.
A shoppable post allows consumers to purchase the product or service directly from the picture or video they are viewing.
One tap to the link on the image consumers are redirected to the product page significantly reducing the average online buying time. The process simple, it keeps buyers engaged and the content is sharable expanding the ad’s reach while stretching the brand’s dollar.
Social media platform features provide a seamless, interactive shopping experience for buyers to discover new products, read reviews, purchase products, and services directly within the app through stoppable posts.
Forbes states that 72% of Instagram users have purchased a product in the app.
Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat all offer shoppable posts. Over the next 12 months, we will continue to see platform features evolve and strengthen, so expect social shopping to be a mainstream retail channel for brands in the near future.
Don’t skimp on visual content. Today’s audience is attracted to interactive visuals, especially short-form product videos and high-quality images so make your virtual storefront an immersive experience for your buyers.
Before you go investing time and money into these trends, do the research to find what strategies will have the biggest impact in your industry and deliver the best results for your brand.
While it’s important to keep up with the latest shiny objects in social media, your overall objective is to create engaging content that gives your audience a remarkable experience. That trend that will never go out of style!
Let’s Connect on Social!
LinkedIn – Deirdre A. Lopian