Social media is a great way to interact with the public – you can reach multiple audiences through various channels, choosing to be serious, witty, comical, dramatic or even weird. If you use social media at all, you’ll stumble across a brand, a company, a product or even a person that connects with you – and what do you do? Hit follow!
With the world of social media ever changing with new ideas, content, hashtags and fads there are a few trends that are seeing more love than others as we move forward into 2019.
Social listening is one of these trends. By monitoring digital conversations, companies are able to understand what customers are saying about a brand or industry online. This includes mentions or keywords on social media, blogs, forums and even news sites. Customer service and reputation management are heavily influenced by the feedback social listening provides; however, there seems to be a growing interest in using social listening for lead generation and social selling. 88% of customers are now consulting the internet prior to making a purchase and companies that engage in social selling get a 119% higher ROI compared to traditional tactics. Not many brands are currently interacting with these leads, minimizing current competition. As this continues to grow, timing will be a factor for companies, as 35-50% of all leads go to the first respondent.
Social media has also seen influencers become a major trend. People with millions of followers have the ability to promote or mention a product, gaining an extreme amount of exposure for the brand. The power of social media influencers is real – but so is their price tag. Prices for these influencer services have been on the rise, with some costs ranging from $2,000 to $50,000 (!), leaving businesses to look at other options, such as micro-influencer marketing and local influencer marketing.
Micro-influencers typically have less than 10,000 followers. The difference is most of their followers are genuinely interested in what they have to say. This group of influencers is more engaged, not massively targeted by advertisers and are viewed as more trustworthy and down-to-earth with an authentic voice for the companies and brands they mention. They are also more affordable, with a rate of about $180 per Instagram post.
Local influencers can also increase your brand in a smaller market. If you’re not a massive global brand or an e-commerce business, local influencers can help long-term campaigns and promotions. Brands can also drive more revenue by working with relevant local influencers in their markets who can introduce these companies to their audiences.
Make It Personal
With the amount of information that is now available at the click of a button, it’s become very easy to gain insights into all kinds of information about the people behind the screens. This has enhanced personalization, which has increased consumer expectations for experiences.
Based on a consumer’s purchase history, clicked links, social media posts and other online behaviors, content, products, emails, etc. can now be even more tailored to an individual’s taste and interests. These personalized experiences can really boost a campaign performance, even if it can be a bit concerning with how much of your personal information is out there. 96% of marketers believe that personalization advances a customer relationship, and customers are appreciating the suggested products, videos and deals directed their way. This will only increase as more and more people venture online and companies utilize the tools to track their audiences.
Being able to adapt and shift in social media throughout 2019 will greatly benefit the consumer process and provide new and exciting ways to connect in real-time. It will be interesting to see how these trends grow and change throughout the next year and what companies respond to their benefits!