Things You Should Be Looking For in the Upcoming Year and How You Can Incorporate Them Into Your Social Media Strategy
Social Media is constantly changing. I feel like every month or so there is a new hot platform or technology that is taking the internet by storm, and it can be really difficult to stay on top of it. You don’t have to get lost in all of that confusing chaos. Here are some of the most popular trends on social media that I’ve been tracking for our clients, and ways that you can use them to increase your following, engagement, and sales.
A new trend that Social Media Experts are seeing is the increased use of messaging by millennials to make purchases. Studies show that 62% of millennials are more loyal to brands that engage with them via social media messenger versus those that do not, and that companies were seeing up to a 100% increase in conversions from these conversations. Since these customers are increasingly shopping online, and using mobile to do so, messenger apps have become the most convenient way for them to interact with your brand.
Pay close attention to your messaging apps, especially Facebook. Your customers, especially your younger customers, are asking questions there instead of calling your shop. 2017 will see customer service making a huge move from the phone onto social media. You don’t want to miss out on these sales! Make sure that in your Facebook settings you have your notifications turned on, along with the option to receive an email every time one of your followers sends you a message.
Time is of the essence. Responding to these messages in a timely fashion is important because Facebook displays your response time and response rate on your profile. Your followers notice these statistics and will not send you a message if they feel like you will not respond to it. If you are hard pressed for time and do not have the ability to reply to your Facebook messages quickly, you can set up Chatbots that will automatically respond to comments and questions.
I have discussed using videos in a previous blog, and this concept is even more relevant now. Videos are taking over social media. If you upload a video onto your timeline, it will play automatically on peoples feeds. This is huge. Compare this to sharing a video from YouTube, in which your follower has to manually click on the play button, and the difference in your engagement results are massive. These results are only increasing, especially with the growing popularity of Facebook Live, Snapchat, and the new video features on Instagram. These features are free and easy to use. Use them! Take video of your designers working. Or giving tips on flower care. Or even fun videos of your delivery drivers. If the content is authentic, your followers will love it and interact with it. Remember, they are not just following your brand to see post after post of product. They want to get to know you and interact with you as well. City Line Florist did this wonderfully when they jumped on the #MannequinChallenge trend and created a fun in-store video that reached over 10,000 people and generated almost 5000 views ORGANICALLY.
I’m really excited because as video becomes more and more popular on social media, the ability to create them is becoming more accessible. As a company, we plan on incorporating them more into our upcoming social strategies. And you can too! Apps such as Ripl and iMovie are easy to use, and create fun videos you can share on social media. Interactive photos such as Facebook 360 Photos are also a great way to quickly get your followers to interact with you.
There is a huge opportunity for brands to increase their reach and engagement via their employees. They are your digital street team, sharing and supporting your content to a brand new group of followers. As you spend more money on promoted ads and boosted posts, the need for a quick, easy, and cheap way to increase your following and engagement is becoming apparent. Encourage your employees to share your content on their personal social media channels, and incentivize them to do so. Not only will you increase your following, but you will reach so many more potential customers because a private social media page is not held to the same algorithms that business pages are held to.
An easy way to do this is by sharing information about your employees on social media. Employee of the month, featured designer, etc. is not only great and authentic content, but it is content that said employee will WANT to share on their own profiles. Why not try this out with the upcoming Floral Design Day holiday taking place on February 28th? You could feature your in house designers once a day or week leading up to the holiday.
Central Square Florist did a wonderful job with this when they featured Jackie in their International Womens Day post. The post organically reached 20% of their followers and had huge engagement, including 5 shares off of the share that Jackie herself did.
There is no way around it. The ever changing social media algorithms make it hard for your followers to see your organic content. And now every social media channel uses some sort of paid advertising especially Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. Strictly publishing organic content is no longer going to cut it. Not if you want your followers to actually see your content. Studies show that Facebook’s latest algorithm change has seen a 52% decline in organic reach for businesses, with businesses now only reaching an average of 1% of their followers organically.
It’s not all bad though. Because social media channels are putting so much emphasis on the importance of paid content, they in turn are having to step up their game when it comes to analytics and targeting. Companies want to see that their money is being put to good use. Be on the lookout this year for easier to use analytics on channels such as Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram, and improved targeting when it comes to your ads on these channels.
I like to refer to social media as being an art, not a science. What was popular or worked 6 months ago, is probably not the case today. It can be extremely difficult to keep up with the ever changing algorithms and updated technology that can make or break your social media campaigns. Staying up to date with the latest trends is very important, and if you ever need any help or have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact the experts at GravityFree!