Social media trends

Social media trends

Explore emerging social media trends.

The advent of social media has been a game changer for brands and businesses looking to connect with their customers. Technological developments have continually offered new ways of attracting users, adopting agile marketing methods, making social channels an ideal platform for brands to engage customers and develop relationships. As social media develops with many smaller and niche social networks appearing. it’s worth exploring some of the social media trends.


Social messaging

We all use applications such as WhatsApp, iMessage and Facebook Messenger to communicate with our families and friends. What’s stopping us doing the same with the businesses that we deal with?

The rise of Conversational Commerce is driving a growing number of organisations to recognise that the latest messaging platforms – with their powerful threads and the ability to extend capabilities with dedicated chatbot functionality – are becoming an essential channel for customers. It makes sense to be where your customers are and, with Facebook’s combined WhatsApp and Messenger throughput alone now processing three times as many messages as traditional daily SMS volumes, it’s clear that messaging has an important role to play in the end-to-end customer journey, however the quality of the integration with other digital and assisted channels will prove critical.

The change has occurred as historically many organisations used social media poorly, simply shouting about products and occasionally having to manage spats in public. As Facebook opened Messenger to brands and as Twitter enabled individuals to see how swiftly brands responded, social media is becoming more social.

Social messaging offers brands the chance to communicate one on one with their customers and this provides a new, personalised level of customer service. Social messaging is said to be particularly popular with millennials, with an estimated 2 billion people using the platforms by 2018. Social messaging also offers brands an online chat service without having to invest in costly systems. Both Facebook and WhatsApp are free to use services, which can provide an around the clock customer response service. At the same time, it’s important not to barge into conversations where you are not invited – tread with caution!


Real time communication

It’s said that over 40% of marketers plan to adopt live video, with Facebook and Periscope being the most popular channels. As both Twitter and Instagram launched their own live video streaming options, giving more customers the opportunity to engage with brands – irrespective of the geography of the event.

Live streaming is also a great way for brands to run live Q&A sessions from their social channels, which are a fantastic way to drive engagement. It can however, also be quite boring as few people actually watch the stream – I think of it as watching a party you couldn’t get to and there’s a feeling of missing out.

Example of Periscope live streaming

Example of Periscope live streaming

Social Commerce

Social commerce or eCommerce on social platforms isn’t new, but as more and more platforms adopt in-app selling options, the opportunity for brands to increase social sales is rising. Subtle selling on social media is much more appropriate than ‘buy now’ buttons, as people are coming to the platforms to see interesting or inspiring content. Pinterest has a range of buy now options and it’s easy when in the ‘flow’ to explore social media spaces like Pinterest and end up buying without consciously being in shopping mode.

As you begin to introduce new elements into your social media strategy, make sure you are tracking their impact using analytics tools to measure which strategies are bringing you the biggest return on investment and helping you achieve your goals.

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