In the present digital marketing landscape, social media marketing has emerged as one of the most indispensable tools for marketing products and services. Here are some statistics supporting same.
- In 2016, social media sphere enjoyed more than 2.3 billion active users and more than 1.9 billion active mobile social users.
- More than 83% of marketers have already utilized social media marketing to boost their sales and gain better brand identity.
So, before you finalize your social media strategy for the year, we present you in this blog post Top 4 Social Media Marketing Trends that will dominate in the year 2017.
1. Live Streaming Videos are Rocking it
The trend of live video is not going anywhere rather will continue to rise in the year 2017. In fact, 14% of marketers experimented with it in 2016 itself and 43% plan to use live video this year. (As per Social Media Examiner).
Every social platform has introduced the feature of live streaming, and it has become the hottest thing in the social media. Facebook ‘s Live Video, Twitter’s periscope and Instagram stories has created quite a buzz in social media.
Thanks to live video feature, Facebook has enjoyed lot of growth this year and particularly on the New Year’s eve, live streaming on Facebook reached a record-breaking number. Even Instagram did not lag behind and enjoyed 100 million active users on Instagram Stories. (Source TechCrunch)
Now one question must be crossing your mind, which channel you should be focusing on for your live streaming efforts in 2017? Well, firstly, you need to analyze, on which social channel your target audience spends most of the time and accordingly come up with a plan to connect with them on those networks. Many brands are nailing this feature to keep their followers engaged and the bonus is followers can watch an event live which they otherwise might not be able to attend. Live Videos gives excitement of enjoying ‘in-the moment’ content rather than seeing a recorded video later.
Brands are using the feature of live video for product demonstrations, for launch of new products & services, holding Q& A sessions, short clippings of company’s logo creation and much more.
Take a look at the example of this brand, how it used Facebook live to give their followers pleasure of ‘in- the-moment’ content.
Grazia – an Italian Women’s magazine collaborated with Facebook’s London headquarters to put together their first ‘community issue’. To make the audience feel part of the event, Grazia, live streamed their many events giving users a behind-the-scenes footage and also gave them a chance to participate in live debate where they can submit questions live or over social media. This turned out to be a huge hit with their audience resulting in further increasing of their fan base.
So, if you haven’t though of a Live Video Strategy for your business yet, now is the time to get one.
2. Rise of Chatbots
Digital assistants like Siri, Alexa, Cortana and Google Assistant are now enjoying the center stage as artificial intelligence has reached a level of societal proliferation. Building upon the back of digital assistants, social media giants like Facebook, WhatsApp, Google Allo and even Twitter have introduced chatbots into their services. These chatbots allow common questions to be answered, and reduces the response time by a great deal. Thus, customer service executives can handle more in-depth queries and customers can get immediate assistance without waiting for a returned email or being placed on hold over a phone call.
Majority of brands entering the market are also now turning to chatbots for customer care and customer service resources as none can afford the cost of bad customer service. These bots facilitates the communication process by quick automated response. Seeing the capability and popularity of these chatbots, this awesome technology is going to be much more widespread and make the most interesting social media trend for the year 2017.
Here is how Facebook Messenger is preparing for the increase in automated service.
- As per Verge, there are approx 11,000 active Facebook Messenger Bots.
- Over 300 million people actively use audio and voice calling features on Facebook Messenger.
There are many Facebook Messenger bots that are doing exceedingly well, among them my favorite is 1-800-Flowers. The chat bot in 1-800-Flowers Messenger is one of the finest e-commerce bots available. User can place order using Facebook messenger straight away rather than website. Bot is quick, easy, and, the best part is, you can complete a purchase without going through 30 long steps.
3. Social Media e-commerce will emerge as a powerful medium for sales
Social media platforms have emerged as a powerful avenue for sales. It is impacting the e-commerce industry in a magnanimous way, as per the numbers, approx 37 million social media visits led to 529,000 orders.
Here are some more statistics uncovered:
- As per a survey conducted by Aimia, 56% of consumers said, they actively follow brands on social media and browse their products for sale.
- Again, 31% of online shoppers responded they are using social media specifically to look for new products to purchase.
- Facebook dominates as a source of sales and enjoys the highest conversion rate for all social media e-commerce traffic at 1.85%.In addition,an average of 85% of all orders from social media comes from Facebook.(Source Shopify)
- Further, an article by Feedteck.com reveals that Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter are amongst the most popular social media sites that bring more traffic to eCommerce stores as against other social networks.
Social media giants such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest give users an opportunity to purchase products directly within their apps. People spend huge amount of time interacting with engaging content on these social channels and end up indulging in online shopping. Like if you cater to beauty industry then sharing informative content on hygiene topics including how to get rid of skin tags, tanning etc. will make an interesting read. So, when devising your social media strategy for 2017, leverage these shopping habits of users to further boost your sales.
When it comes to Facebook presence and promotion of products, some brands are doing it really well, here is an excellent example of same.
Microsoft has earned a whopping 6.2 million likes on it’s Facebook Page, they have created an engaging page for their fans and followers. To keep their primary audience engaged, it avoids too much tech talk or any technical lingo on it’s page rather uses a refreshing approach towards its products. Their strategy is to emphasize work-life balance through their posts to show how Microsoft products are good for both work and play.
4. Paid Social Reigns
As per a report by Content Marketing Institute, paid advertising on search (76%), promoted posts (76%) and social media ads (74%) increased dramatically year-over-year into 2016.
With the changing social media algorithms,it becomes even more difficult for brands and businesses to rely completely on organic content. On the other hand paid content is growing faster than ever. The purpose of this is to ensure users get to see only high quality and engaging content in their news feeds. Each social media platform is paying emphasize on some sort of content preferential treatment. So, in order to get maximum mileage out of your content, you need to better your writing. The whole point is that readers get to enjoy entertaining and high-quality content.
For instance- Take a look at the case study of Castrol Moto- the motorcycle division of the international castrol brand. For the first six months brand completely relied on organic reach and still managed to achieve some impressive numbers.
Here is the snapshot of without paid and with paid :
The brand was able to witness pretty impressive organic growth on their Facebook Page but the main challenge faced by Castrol was, they primarily wanted to target North America as organic reach cannot be controlled by region so 5,000 fans were of little or no value to them.
However, in the next six months they started a targeted paid social campaign wherein they created a mix of ads and promoted posts based on region, interests and age.
Results can be seen in the above picture, brand saw a huge jump in raw numbers. Moreover, brand was able to easily fetch more qualified followers and fans on their website link page resulting in boosted engagement by a factor of 11.
For 2017, paid social is going to be the main area of focus for brands, making it easier for them to grab attention of their target audience and drive more conversions.
Last Note: 2017, is certainly going to be an interesting year in social media. So, now you know the trends, thoughtfully devise your social media strategies around these trends and get the maximum ROI out of your marketing campaigns.