Modern social media has been around for more than a decade.
But it’s just getting started.
The world of social media changes every year. Old social networks grow or become obsolete. And new ones skyrocket into center stage. Just consider these changes in 2014-2015:
- Twitter adds 300,000 users per day.
- YouTube is the second-largest search engine.
- 25% of search results for the world’s top 20 largest brands are linked to user-generated content.
With social media constantly evolving, marketing strategies are short-lived. Businesses that don’t adapt fall behind.
Here are three ways to be part of social media trends today:
1. Use Real-Time Engagement
A 2013 study by Lithium Technologies revealed that more than 70% of users expect to hear back from brands they interact with on Twitter, and 53% expect that response within an hour. But brands aren’t meeting those expectations.
Researchers at Twitter measured the business impact of responding. Customers were willing to pay airlines $9 more, if the airline was responsive on Twitter. But if the airline responded within six minutes, that price jumped to nearly $20.
What happens if customers don’t hear back on Twitter? The majority of respondents in the Lithium survey said there were negative brand consequences. These issues ranged from telling friends and family about the bad experience to escalating concerns through other channels.
Prioritize social media as a way to offer consumers real-time engagement. Use a live social media dashboard, like Hootsuite, to keep track of all your social networks. Invest in a real-time brand monitoring tool, like Mention, to know exactly what customers are saying.
Start interacting with your customers. Offer your followers the engagement they expect.
2. Consider Live Streaming
Video is the latest trend in social media. With smartphones and high-speed Internet, video is accessible to more people. Think about these incredible increases:
- YouTube: Seven billion views watched each day.
- Snapchat: Ten billion video views daily.
- Facebook: Videos have up to 135-percent more organic reach than a static photo post.
Moreover, live streaming is capturing people’s attention. Periscope signed up one million users in 10 days when it launched. With a few months, it had 350,000 hours of video streamed daily with 10 million users.
Brands are taking full advantage of the trend. General Electric has leveraged Periscope to get younger viewers excited in their technology. To do so, they hosted an event called #DRONEWEEK.
A GE-designed drone live streamed video while flying over a new GE facility. The brand interacted with thousands of curious viewers. The company also had behind-the-scenes interviews with popular scientists Neil deGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye.
Red Bull was one of the first companies to take advantage of Periscope. They live streamed their Red Bull Guest House music show.
Experiment with video and live streaming. It may serve a purpose for product launches, events, and behind-the-scenes coverage.
3. Be Mobile
Mobile is not a new strategy. But there has been an important change in the past few years.
Mobile devices have become the primary screen for most social users. For millennials, 92% consider their smartphone their primary Internet device.
As of January 2015, 80% of Internet users own a smartphone. And an estimated 2 billion consumers worldwide will own smartphones in 2016.
Plus, smartphones drive commerce. The USA Today reports that 47% of people access businesses via mobile at least once a day, and 58% have tried to enroll for a new service or account on their mobile devices.
In the words of Jesper Termansen, CMO of Templafy: “From businesses to individual consumers, everyone is connected to everyone, everywhere, all the time.” Therefore, mobile is no longer an optional business strategy.
How can your brand adapt? Create a mobile web experience for smartphone users. If you are a retailer, consider developing a mobile app for your store. And use push notifications to tie together your in-store, social, and mobile experiences for customers.
Social media will always change. Right now, talk to your customers in real-time, consider live streaming an event, and discover how to enhance the mobile experience.
Don’t get left behind. Stay ahead of the social media curve.
Thank you to our guest blogger: Shayla Price, Outreach Specialist/SimpleTiger.