Since the beginnings of digital marketing, social media has become a thriving, multifaceted community with more than 3.2 billion people worldwide, participating daily. Over 90% of millennials regularly use multiple platforms, and more than 85% of Generation Zers research new products by using social media. It’s easy to see why nearly three-fourths of marketers believe social media is an effective part of their business.
Though there was a time when social media was considered trendy, now it’s just a regular–though necessary–tool in the marketer’s box. Therefore, it is essential to be abreast of the tendencies that are currently taking place in the industry, both with organic social media and especially paid social media.
Whether we’re branding a company or marketing a product, crafting social media content with your audience in mind is key. The problem is, marketers don’t always have a firm grasp on exactly who that audience is nor do they do a good job of tailoring the message to target specific audiences. This one-size-fits-all approach simply doesn’t work for varied audiences.
Segmentation means to strategically sort your audience into meaningful groups based on individual interests and preferences. Segmentation looks beyond basic demographics by allowing targeting and the ability to build rapport and a sense of community with targeted audience members. In the coming years, segmentation will be a defining line between the savviest social media strategies, and those just winging it.
Creating paid social media campaigns in Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter allows you to segment your audience and deliver customized content to a target audience that represents your customer base.
Using Creative Content and Video in Paid Social Marketing
If a picture says a thousand words, a video tells a kazillion. Utilizing video in paid and organic social media campaigns helps tell your story in a more entertaining, educational, and inspiring way. If this is not already part of your strategy, get on board with creative content and video this coming year.
Social media platforms, including Facebook and Instagram, are already encouraging brands to produce video content through Story Ads. This is in part because these ad campaigns usually see higher click-through rates than traditional News Feed ads. Twitter is also jumping into the fray with six-second video ads. Personalized content will take this trend to the next level.
Video is long past the status of a hot new trend, but it remains a significant trend in social media marketing
Metrics that Matter in Social
From followers to post engagement percentages, the world of social media metrics can be confusing. On top of that, new metrics seem to be created on a weekly basis.
Your social media goals are what determine your metrics. For every goal, you need a related metric, which will help determine if your social strategy is hitting the mark or not.
Generally speaking, the most common and often essential metrics to pay attention to are engagement, impressions and reach, share of voice, referrals and conversions, and response rate and time. These combined will give you a 360º view of your social media performance.
Long-term plus engagement equals more than a short-term spike in Likes. Rather shoot for something viral (which is difficult), brands are trying to understand what’s driving conversations with customers.
The takeaway? Watch the numbers and follow the metrics that produce the best results. Having a strong reporting platform and someone to understand the analytics is key. If you are just throwing out campaigns and not tracking results, how are you to know what is working?
More advanced, dynamic and direct social ads
Dynamic Ads are Facebook’s machine-learning ad unit that delivers a customized version of the ad to everyone, based on the ad types they are most likely to respond to.
The format is available for any campaign that uses objectives for catalog sales, traffic, and conversions. According to a Facebook test, Dynamic Ads delivered an average of 34% improvement in incremental ROAS, 10% improvement in lift, and 6% lower cost per incremental purchase compared to carousel-only ads.
Brands are still investing heavily in social ads for a good reason. Consumers are becoming increasingly comfortable with the concept of social shopping. Coupled with the fact that ads are becoming more advanced, it’s easier than ever for brands to encourage direct business from customers on social media.
The recent introduction of Instagram shopping also highlights the growth of direct social selling. The platform essentially represents another arm for eCommerce and retail brands looking to start selling on Instagram without having to funnel followers to a bio link.
Social media is the place to nurture trust.
Brands would do well to remember that social media isn’t just a platform for marketing and advertising; it’s truly the best place to nurture trust and build a relationship with their audience. Social media offers the ultimate opportunity for communicating brand value and engaging with potential customers on their level.
Doing this requires brands to find ways to have a free flow of dialogue and let their hair down. Showing your brand’s human side and increasing transparency will build confidence with audiences. Focus on fun, simple engagement, be responsive to customer communication, and find meaningful ways to show social responsibility and a deeper level of social interaction. Doing this will help you stay ahead of the curve on everything else on social media.
Social media is continually evolving. Every year, everything from algorithm updates to emerging trends shapes and informs the myriad of ways we interact online.
As you plan your organic and paid social media marketing strategy, consider how you can implement some or all of these trends in your online strategy. But remember — it doesn’t make sense to jump on the latest marketing trend without first having a strategy in place!
And if all of this just seems too overwhelming or unclear, let us know. We have a dedicated, in-house team that eats and breaths social media everyday and we would love to nosh on your campaign!