Social Media is the wild west of the 21st century. Not for the faint of heart, those hoping to reap its lucrative rewards must be ready to evolve, experiment and explore every corner of the landscape.
Experience has taught us that social media trends are always changing, and this year is no exception. If you want your brand to thrive as a social media tycoon, here’s how to do it:
1. Live Videos
What used to drive the popularity of shows like “America’s Funniest Videos” is taking off as the latest addiction of social media users - the ability to capture the real, raw and humorous moments of life through live video streams. Statistics show that 43% of businesses are already planning to invest in interactive videos this year. This is because videos are watched… like crazy! Here are just a few of your options:
YouTube – YouTube is the parent platform of this trend, and has long been the go-to place for everything from DIY instructions, to music videos, to missed television moments. YouTube recently launched its live video feature and it’s skyrocketed in popularity. Since users are already accustomed to coming to YouTube for all video needs, taking advantage of its live feature is natural next step for brands.
Facebook Live – Facebook continues to be a booming place of engagement for users between the ages of 24 and 65. In an effort to stay current, Facebook launched its live feature, opening up a world of new options for brands to connect in real-time with audiences. Simply tapping the “What’s on Your Mind” prompt at the top of the screen and then tapping the “Live Video” icon will allow you to post live streaming videos of your brand in action. Brands can use Facebook Live to give viewers an inside look into daily operations, answer questions, explain product features and more!
Twitter’s Periscope – Periscope users are those who want to be “in the know”. With an alert that sounds like a whistle, users can to tune in when anyone they follow is recording live. Not only can users view others live, but they can interact by submitting comments and emoji responses. This is a great way to keep the attention of audiences you’ve already acquired on Twitter.
2. Temporary Content
In September 2011, a little app called Snapchat casually entered the scene. But, it didn’t stay that way for long. What made SnapChat so special? It offered users the ability to post content that disappeared in 24 hours! This caused SnapChat to spread like wild-fire among teens and 20 somethings looking to circumvent the potential consequences of permanent social media posts. Not to be out-done, other platforms have since responded by adding this feature to their repertoire. This trend can ultimately help your brand solidify the story it’s telling through a new and creative lens. Here are the three best platforms offering temporary content today:
SnapChat – Yes, SnapChat is still king. Reported to have over 100 million daily active users and 400 million “snaps” per day, this platform dominates with the millennial audience and those coming up behind them (think ages 15-23). Users can post photos and videos edited with a quirky variety of features unlike any other platform out there. Snapchat is the “silliest” and most casual of all the platforms, but if your brand wants to target users in this age bracket, a presence on SnapChat is a MUST.
Instagram Stories – This fall Instagram launched their own version of SnapChat called “Stories”. Instagram is already a great hub for brands with great visual appeal like photographers, travel agencies, clothing and home décor stores, food companies and more. Stories allows video, boomerangs and still images accompanied by text overlays, landmarks, emojis and other fun features which allow brands to get creative.
Facebook Stories – Soon after Instagram’s launch, Facebook launched its own temporary content feature called “Facebook Stories” (we know, very original.) Facebook stories allows users to post pictures and video decorated by various filters and stickers. It too boasts a light-hearted and fun feel. Brands might use this feature to keep audiences up to date on the latest and keep them engaged with fresh content daily.
3. Social Messaging
Statistics show a quarter of all apps are uninstalled after a single use except messaging apps. Messaging apps have been slowly but steadily on the rise for a few years now and today, the popular ones retain about a billion monthly active users. So what is social messaging and where does your brand start? Social messaging is instant messaging built around social networking platforms. Social messaging offers users the ability to have one-on-one and group conversations in private, making it a great way to take customer service to the next level! If your target audience is beginning to shift to private messages, then follow them there! Here are three of the top social messaging apps to check out:
WhatsApp – WhatsApp is a cross-platform instant messaging application that allows iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Windows Phone and Nokia smartphone users to exchange text, image, video and audio, from anywhere around the globe – for free. Yup, free!
Here’s the bottom line: These new trends have something in common, they give you the chance to show customers you’re authentic, fun and willing to make things personal. Your ability to create TRUST and INTIMACY with your audience will determine your brand’s future on the social media frontier. Are you up for the challenge?
Get started now with Jennasis! Click here for a consultation and assure your brand continues boldly into the future!
Kelly Kershaw is a freelance writer, occasional blogger, and heart-of-the-matter conversation enthusiast. She calls the buzzing suburbs of Philadelphia home, where she enjoys life alongside her wonderful husband Rob and son Jordan. To read more, follow her blog at kellykershaw.com.