It’s 2016 and if you don’t have powerful marketing tools, your business will be left in the dust. But there are so many platforms to use and audiences to reach, it can be hard to know exactly how to bring your social media game to the next level. These 6 tips will have you up to date on the most impactful trends in social media this year
1. Mine your social network data to solve every problem.
Social media data mining techniques are so powerful that they can sometimes feel like you’re looking into a Magic 8-Ball and asking it to solve your biggest and most confusing business problems. Analyzing your social data allows you to observe the behavior trends of your users, offering precise insights into their browsing and purchasing habits that they wouldn’t be able to tell you on a customer experience survey even if they tried. Your social media data is a treasure chest of information that you can and should unlock to help you predict your users’ future actions and your company’s biggest faults.
2. Real-time responses need to be in real time.
According to Search Engine Watch, 70% of Twitter users expect a response from brands they interact with, and 53% of them expect that response within an hour. If you want to keep users happy this year, you really need to step up your real-time engagement. And this is on all platforms – if you have a presence, you must have a team on guard ready to field questions and respond to comments. Facebook now tells users how quickly brands tend to respond their customers; there is no such thing as too fast. The good news here is that there are some awesome new social listening and automation tools out there to help you make the impossible possible. No excuses.
3. Make live video streaming your new live update.
Speaking of real-time, live streaming took the internet by storm in 2015 as new apps likePeriscope and Meerkat were released, and autoplay videos became the new normal. Facebook introduced autoplay video at the end of 2013, and many advertising pundits were certain it would quickly frustrate consumers, fade away, and die out. They were completely wrong.
Live streaming is an incredibly easy way to connect with your audience in real time, making it possible for you to create value and deliver exclusive content for your users without spending countless resources on developing pre-packaged marketing scheme. Live streaming is also the best way to show your users the humans behind the brand, which is the surest way to build trust and a community around your business.
4. Ditch your email inbox for team communication solutions.
Finally. No more slogging through your inbox to find out what you were supposed to do before the next conference call. For years now, various social networking tools for in-office use have tried (and failed) to take over emailing as the most effective way to communicate internally at work. We don’t know why it took so long, but new social networking platforms like Slack, which has been around for just two years now, have taken off in the workplace, making it easier than ever to communicate in themed chat rooms and to search through archives. Now over 1 million business users rely on Slack to get through the day, and a host of awesome competitors, including Facebook at Work, are sprouting up so your business can once and for all say goodbye to the black hole of the unread email inbox.
5. Reconsider shelling out for advertisements.
Many of the most successful startups in 2015 relied exclusively on organic content on social media platforms to drive sales. Vapejoose is one such startup that fully recognized the potential return on investment of using Instagram influencers and relying on their fans in lieu of paying for advertisements. In their first twelve months, they made over $1.5 million, and they cite their presence on social media platforms, and particularly Instagram, as the entire reason for this extraordinary growth. Using influencers and leveraging not only Instagram, but also Snapchat and Twitter, is an incredibly cost-effective and attractive way to build your user base.
6. Bring all hands on deck.
While 80% of companies now have a dedicated social media team, most also have a hugely untapped resource when it comes to social networking ambassadors: everyone at the company who isn’t on the social media team. This year, consider launching initiatives that incentivize your entire team to go out and snap shots of workplace events and then post them with a certain hashtag. Starbucks, for instance, has already generated over $180,000 in direct sales through its Tweet a Coffee Twitter campaign, which has been so successful because the company started an employee advocacy program that encourages staff to share updates about the brand on their own accounts.