Social media has made it easier for most of us to share our creatives, be it in blogs, so that others can read, comment their positive thoughts and critic our thoughts and give us a chance to find new angles to approach our articles.
As many brands find their way to the social platforms, employ ways to grow and build their presence, leverage on the platforms that can help them reach their target audience and get their return on Investment(ROI), social media is evolving.
For brands that strategize well on how to maximize the social media platforms presence, they will reap big time. It will be unfortunate if brands won’t focus on best strategies and trends that will build their brands authority and monetary value out of Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, TikTok, WhatsApp, YouTube among others.
Evolution of Social Media over the past decade
“Social media has evolved from the way people interact with the formats that are relevant yet clearly it’s still evolving. More platforms pop up while others crush but what remains constant is that social media has evolved into a necessity today.” Joshua Nsimbi
“Social media has evolved so fast since 2010. We had almost 1 billion users then – Now out of the 7.7 billion people in the world at least 3.5 billion are on social media, 3.2 billion using a mobile phone! We have live video, ads, social data.” Michelle D Harris
“Social media has evolved it offers a way for businesses to bring their brand online and spread awareness. There’s also the potential for those same companies to engage their customers online and handle customer service issues quickly.” Farirai Nyakudya
“Social media today is not exactly what it was ten years ago, nor will it be ten years from now. Social media marketers need to pay close attention to changing trends and learn which facets of social media work best for their niches to succeed in the long run.” Barrack Onyango
Top Social Media Trends in 2020
Niche groups: You need to be part of a community that is related to what you do so as to continuously interact, gain and share knowledge. These include: focused groups on Facebook, Twitter Chats such as #AfricaTweetChat, WhatsApp Groups and LinkedIn Groups among others.
More Conversations: People want attention that makes them feel you are there conversing with them at a personal level in terms of replies, comments and direct message chats. 2020 will have more focus on conversations that will build relationships and end with a conversion to make a sale of a service or a product.
Micro Influencers: Brands have now realized it is better to focus on influencers with fewer followers but with a target audience that can be engaged in conversations that will enable the audience knowing more about the brand and the specific product or service during the campaign. This will also increase talkability.
Video will be everywhere: It will be very difficult for brand strategists to avoid videos in their social media marketing. This will also involve the selection of right content creators who can help in creating short videos infused with comedy, drama and story to get the message home and communicate the call-to-action.
For instance, if l had the version of this article in video and in text, high chances are that you could have chosen to watch rather than read it to the end.
Short, native and call-to-action videos: People now watch short and sweet videos on social media. Boring and length videos turn away the targeted audience. Adding a call-to-action creatively into the videos is highly recommended in case it is a brand marketing oriented video. This is where content creators play a major role. Some can use comedy and infuse the brand’s message to make it more interesting.
Take on the removal of Instagram Likes
For a long time, Instagram has been the best platform for selling beauty and fashion related products and services. The platform has been the most preferred by most brands for influencer marketing due to the fact that there’s so much showing and seeing on Instagram.
Since Facebook Inc. company announced the removal of likes from Instagram, brands are now finding new strategies to approach their customers as well as choosing the right influencers to use for their social media marketing execution.
According to Dave McNulty, vice president of marketing at Vodka brand Stoli, he believes that the hiding or removal of likes shouldn’t negatively impact how brands work with influencers in developing successful content. He further noted that successful content is a result of brands building real relationships with credible influencers and giving them the creative license to be authentic with their audience.
“The removal of likes will encourage genuine engagement and content. It will hopefully stop fake likes and fake images and fake influencers. It will encourage people to think for themselves and to not just like things because it’s popular to do so.” Michelle D Harris
“…brands are going to get value for their money to some extent. Influencers on the other hand will have to invest more in the content they share, because brands will rely heavily on their backend data.” Francis Yaw Gidiga Alfafa
“There’s some sense of ‘l am the queen here’ when likes are involved, forgetting the likes might not be equivalent to engagements and ROI at the end of it all. With conversations under the posts, they might lead to a conversion since consumers feel valued.” Janet Machuka
“It will definitely encourage a lot more creativity in the content we put out.” @molopo_t
“Quality over quantity. Authenticity over Fake Influence. Review of engagement metrics. More critical data analysis. Better fit of influencer for brands backed by scientific process.” Athi Geleba
“It encourages creation of content that triggers conversation through replies. Helps businesses measure success of influencers.” Sir Micky
Macro Influencers still a good choice for social media marketing?
Each type of influencer has a role to play when it comes to social media marketing for a certain brand. It comes down to what does the brand want? If it is awareness only then Macro fit best. If it is engagements, conversations and ultimately sales, micros.
Given the change in change in SEO and SEM by Google. Macro are important to help get the brand out there. Before engagement, I believe awareness is key. They are better at putting the brand out there.
Nevertheless, if brands just pick macro influencers because of the numbers and forget to focus on the niche, things might go south and the choice can be termed as poor.
When should brands use influencers to their marketing?
Firstly, brands need to note their goals for the campaign they are to roll out. For instance, some brands can choose to involve them during the brand awareness stage, some during the brand conversation stage to maintain the campaign and create leads. Some will choose the sales stage. In all these stages, brands need to figure out which influencer to use, how much is invested into the influencer campaign and if they are the only form of social media advertising. Is it wise to use them other than sponsored ads?
Nevertheless, different influencers are employed into the campaign depending on the targeted social media analytics too. Is it reach, engagements, conversations, impressions, mentions, likes, shares among others?
Keeping your Communities Active
An active community is the most important aspect of a thriving brand on social media. Over and over again we have seen brands do seasoned marketing through giveaways, questions and even competitions on offline that are shared on the social media platforms.
Brands need to come up with ways to to keep their communities active such as: hire a social media manager to constantly respond and interact with the community, a tweet chat can be planned such as #AfricaTweetChat on a certain day consistently so that the community can engage in, content can be personified and have a niche that you’ll constantly share content on for easy following.
Social Media is constantly growing. Don’t bury your head in the trends l mentioned above. Dive into research at least weekly to check what has changed to keep yourself up to date. Alternatively, you can follow Africa Tweet Chat on Twitter for weekly sessions that will help you learn more from the community.