Social media sites and apps have become a staple of modern life. And just like food and fashion, social media has its own trends that constantly shift the industry’s landscape. Staying on top of these trends allows a business to use these marketing and communication tools more effectively. As we continue into 2017 new trends are on the rise online.
Having a picture on your social media posts is no longer enough to catch the eyes of potential customers. Having video content is much more likely to gain the attention that a business needs to attract more3 customers. Even more important, 2017 is fast becoming the time for live video broadcasts. Facebook Live and Periscope, the two largest live streaming services, have seen a marked increase in use. By hosting events via live video companies have the chance to engage directly with consumers while attracting new audience members. Brands can host live question and answer sessions or product demos via live video feeds, to name just a few examples.
Messaging apps for customer communication
Many social media sites offer tools for instant messaging directly with customers, and this is becoming a very useful option for customer communication. Customers can ask questions and get help in a way that is more convenient for them. This option gives a business an easy way to engage with customers because these tools are free, and a single customer service representative can manage multiple conversations at once. This gives a business a cost-effective way to start communicating with customers that are not likely to engage via the phone or email. It also gives customers a sense of being closer to the firm because they can interact with it one on one.
Bots programmed with algorithms for communication are taking some of the strain off of customer service reps. By using automated tools companies can give customers a direct communication method that does not take up employee time. These bots can also operate around the clock, giving customers the opportunity to engage with a company on their own time. With the rise of millennials, who prefer self-service options, these bots will become more important for answering consumer questions and concerns.
The major social media players like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest already offer great ecommerce tools, giving customers the chance to buy directly through those apps. This trend is predicted to grow in the coming year as other platforms add similar shopping tools. Businesses should jump on this trend as much as possible, because many consumers will follow favorite brands on social media, and respond positively to posts about new products and sales. By using these tools to announce new offerings a company can give consumers diverse ways to shop and purchase products.
As smartphones and apps engage more and more with VR videos, brands have the chance to take up these trends to their advantage. Virtual reality videos allows users to explore content in a more immersive way, discovering things and viewing the video at multiple angles. Some brands have used this to great effect to showcase charity efforts in action or to allow customers to get a view into production methods. By creating and uploading virtual reality experiences brands can go deeper into marketing their production and distribution strengths.
New social media trends will continue to pop up as the year continues. Savvy social media managers need to watch out for these shifts so they can be ready to utilize tools that work well for specific needs, and bypass those trends that won’t support the company. Managers should not take on every trend possible, but instead think critically about how these new options will help grow or hinder the firm.
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