Social media strategies rarely stay stagnant, but newer trends are making brands rethink the way they measure value from their social media efforts. From both an engagement and e-commerce perspective, there have been major changes in capabilities over the past couple of years. The way brands can adapt and take on these new trends may be a major factor in their online success, especially during these times when social distancing is the new norm.
How Many “Likes” Does It Take?
Testing the removal of public “like” counts on platforms, like Instagram and Facebook, is causing brands to shift their priorities when it comes to measuring engagement. Since quantity has taken a back seat (even if temporarily), quality is now the main driver. This is a good move, as reactions and likes have always been a vanity metric that doesn’t translate into actions toward a brand, which in turn forces influencers and brands to make more meaningful partnerships and communication plans.
Social listening will take a step forward, so that brands can focus more on sentiment and what’s actually being said, rather than focusing on numbers that really can’t provide much insight. This shift will help push more brands to understand and lean into their consumers’ ideal experiences, catering their communications and product values from a consumer-first standpoint.
Ever since Mark Zuckerberg announced in 2018 that organic Page reach would again be lowered in place of posts from people you care about, brands are finding value in creating separate groups for their Pages.
While Pages are helpful for reaching new audiences, groups allow your online communities to truly engage with one another. Whether it’s sharing helpful tips about products or simply bonding over a shared interest, these groups can reveal ideas or feelings that could really add value to your brand. For example, you could use groups as a type of focus group for feedback on your brand or maybe give your most loyal customers access to a VIP group with exclusive tips and promotions.
Ephemeral + Video Content
If you’re not already using video content for your online marketing, yesterday is the time to start. Don’t think video content has to be high production quality, either. With the growth of stories and other types of ephemeral content (aka disappearing content), it would be silly to spend a lot of money on video that will disappear in 24 hours. Apps like PicPlayPost, Ripl or Adobe Spark can even help turn static images into awesome video content. It’s time to get creative with your tools to make the best videos you can in a short period of time.
Newer niche platforms like TikTok rely solely on video, and their growth is not slowing down. Most of this new content has an unedited (aside from filters) and authentic feel, which brands can mimic to help foster genuine relationships with their online communities.
The New Window Shopping
With the incredible success of influencer marketing, shopping through social media is already becoming a norm. The added pressure of COVID-19 on retail is pushing brands to get even more creative to continue driving growth through uncertain times.
Clever story-telling through posts and stories can go a long way for selling on social, and from a user perspective, buying has never been easier. More platforms are adopting ways to shop where users never even have to leave the site. An increase of shoppable posts and stories should be expected in the coming months, so retailers (and consumers) should keep an eye out.