Social Media has an enormous potential. Businesses have realized this very soon, and are working hard to utilize it to the fullest. In today’s era, where customers have become quite smart and tech savvy, creating a social presence has become mandatory.
For social media marketers, 2016 has been a great year so far. New social platforms, applications, and engagement methods have brought a great change & opened gates for new business opportunities. Social media management strategies have evolved a lot this year and will keep on evolving in the future as well. It is quite difficult to predict the social media landscape for the next year.
Here are some of the recent trends in 2016 that have influenced social media management strategies. Keeping a close eye on these trends and planning accordingly can help businesses reap maximum benefits from their social presence with a beneficial strategy.
Are you fast enough?
A fast response time is the key ingredient for a great social customer experience. According to a source, 53% of Twitter users expect a response within 60 minutes when contacting a brand. That number climbs up to 72% when a complaint is the concern. So ask yourself “Are you fast enough to respond to a query in 1 hour?”
Thus, one strategy that social marketers need to implement is faster response times. If you are not quick enough, keep in mind that someone else definitely is!!
Customer Engagement leads to Sales
There’s a no-brainer to the fact that the more customers you have, the more sales you can achieve. If you are able to engage your customers, you can easily achieve a great sales number. Social media has played a vital role in this regard. It gives you an opportunity to interact with the prospects and give them a platform to share their valuable feedback for your brand. It’s worth mentioning that customers’ buying decisions are influenced more by social media rather than business websites.
Indeed, an increased number of customers are turning to social media not only to get inspired but to buy products as well. Call-to-Action buttons on social media like “Buy & Know More” are gaining popularity, helping businesses drive more revenue. Social media has a great influence on the buying decisions, as 71% of consumers tend to purchase a product based on social media referrals. Thus it is essential to be ready to deliver social media support anytime.
Social Media Boosts SEO
The contest for visibility has never been so fierce. The demand for content strategy is at its peak, as every company wants to optimize its organic rankings and attract more traffic to its website. This is of great importance as most of the business owners target their websites to be listed on the first page of Google Search Engine Results Page (SERP).
Although social media doesn’t influence search rankings directly, but greater social signals (in the form of likes, shares, tweets, & re-tweets) can definitely help you rank higher. In addition, social content is now increasingly indexed by search engine and is more visible in search results.
Most of the users turn up to social media to read the reviews and comments. Thus, optimizing social posts according to the relevant keywords & hashtags will do the magic, and boost up your organic rankings.
Think of Mobile Users
You’ve already lost the battle if you have ignored mobile users. Seems weird? Recently, Google revealed that searches on mobile have surpassed those on desktops in 10 countries, including the US & Japan. Thus, it would be foolish to ignore mobile users. Mobile users, who were once considered to be a bonus, have now become a prerequisite. A business cannot afford to leave them out.
What social media managers need to learn from this? Mobile devices including smartphones, tablets, and smart watches have to be on your priority list. Mobile customized content has been more effective in reaching out to potential customers.Thus, social media services must be aimed keeping mobile devices in consideration.
Videos Continue to Dominate
There’s no denying the fact that users love watching videos online than reading text-heavy posts. Plenty of researches indicate that content within videos is far more engaging as compared to the plain text. YouTube is the second most popular website, only after Google. The traffic it gets has surpassed the likes of Facebook & Twitter, with over 1 billion users, a one-third of the total internet’s population.
That is why, it is recommended to engage users through videos. You can get a competitive edge by ranking these videos on results page. As I mentioned earlier, users tend to click pages that are on the first page of search engine. A video on the first page of Google encourages users to click and ultimately bring in more traffic to your website and help improve brand value.
LinkedIn strengthens its position
LinkedIn has emerged out as a key player in the B2B segment. It is, without any doubt, the #1 social network for professionals and the real “Super Man” of the B2B space. The launch of Influencers program has turned it into the largest content curator, and the most preferred destination for industry news and events. Hence, LinkedIn has become a must for an organization to create a valuable social presence, if dealing with other businesses and not with consumers directly.
Advertising Costs have Risen
The fastest & the easiest method to rank higher on SERP is a paid advertisement.
Increasing visibility both on search engines and social media has become difficult these days. This is mainly due to increased competition, which has further led to a rise in the cost of advertisements across different platforms. While you can still set up a successful online campaign with a limited budget, but it is wise to be prepared for any surge in the budget.
The best learning to take from this trend is to optimize your social media posts for the relevant keywords, to boost organic rankings and reduce the AD budget.
Outsourcing Social Media Management
2016 has been a good year so far for outsourcers as well. Social media outsourcing companies have taken their support agents out of silos and trained them with additional skills. As I mentioned in my previous point, advertisement costs have risen. This has prompted companies to outsource their social media management services to experienced, professional agencies for better handling of their social presence.
Outsourcing adds speed and agility to a social media marketing strategy and at the same time ensures that the costs don’t go out of your budget. These agencies employ experts who experienced in customer engagement, and up-to-date with the recent advancements in the social media landscape. After all, it is important to write compelling content that attracts more visitors to your website. Have a read at this article which could help you to decide whether to outsource social media management or keep it in-house.
Some of the biggest names like Google, Facebook and Twitter keep on releasing new and advanced features to improve user experience while keeping social marketers on their toes. These trends will continue to permeate social media and search engine landscape in the coming year as well. Social marketers can benefit from this year’s trends, and can prepare well in advance for their upcoming social media marketing strategies.