As you may know, social media have become a force to be reckoned with in the world of marketing. In fact, almost 70% of US citizens are on Facebook, and 73% are on YouTube regularly. And this is just one of the reasons why you should care about your digital presence. So, you need to be conscious and adaptable to the ever-changing trends in the social media landscape. For this reason, let’s talk about the future of social media marketing and the trends to keep an eye on.
You need to stay updated to prevent (or backtrack) your company from losing followers on social media. The most efficient way to do this is to figure out what might not be working for you anymore. You can do this by observing trends likely to sweep the social media platforms in the near future. So, what lies in the future for social media marketing?
Most people associate social media marketing with influencer marketing. There is a good reason behind this. Namely, influencer marketing has taken over social media swiftly, leaving print marketing far behind in terms of engagement (according to Google Trends).
Ever since this big switch occurred, influencers with thousands of followers have become a valuable tool for marketing products organically and effectively. This has made influencer-brand collaborations an indispensable part of social media marketing.
The whole point of collaborating with an influencer is to use their reputation to bolster your own or your product’s image. Another benefit of collaborating with an influencer lies in the possibility of reaching both the target audience of your brand and other demographics that the influencer of your choice attracts.
Social media platforms are a force to be reckoned with.
The rise of micro-influencers
In theory, this all sounds very straightforward. You find an influencer with a large following, you assess the fit between your product and their content, and you go on to collaborate. Easy-peasy!
Well, not necessarily. With great power comes a great price point, which is why big influencers are not as easy to draw in nowadays. This means small and medium-sized businesses can benefit from collaborating with micro-influencers. Although micro-influencers reach fewer people, they usually have higher engagement levels compared to more prominent influencers.
Smaller influencers come up with better ways to attract and keep their followers
Influencers who have less than 10 thousand followers (sometimes called nano-influencers) achieve a more tight-knit, more meaningful dialogue with the people that follow them.
So, even though you may not be reaching a whole lot of people, collaborating with a smaller influencer is considered to be more effective for raising your website traffic. You want to use the power of social media not just for spreading the word about your product but for spreading it effectively. Smaller influencers usually attract more specific, devoted audiences.
This means they will advertise your product more genuinely and creatively than big influencers’ stock approach to sponsored posts. In turn, your website traffic should increase since people are more likely to trust a smaller, genuine influencer when they recommend another brand to them.
Your product or service will be seamlessly and creatively integrated into the micro-influencer’s profile.
As a result, you can market your products through an influencer at a fair price. Furthermore, supporting a smaller influencer establishes a stable partnership you can rely on for years to come.
Chatbots and Artificial Intelligence
Chatbots are usually associated with building a unique website for your brand. However, lately, chatbots have entered the world of social media and made customer-brand interaction easier and quicker.
If a customer has a specific question or request, they will be able to communicate through the chatbot. As a result, you won’t lose people’s interest just because you failed to respond to them personally and immediately.
For instance, major companies like Mastercard have embraced this trend all the way. Their social media interactions employ an AI chatbot character that can inform the customers about their expenditure on Facebook Messenger. You can easily integrate chatbots into your social media platform and use them to resolve customer issues, provide information about products, contact information, guidelines, explanations, etc. Basically, anything you want them to do instead of you.
Using all the features and tools on a social media platform is key to raising engagement
The content of your posts needs to be engaging and ‘shareworthy’ if you want to improve engagement. Lately, major social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, have tweaked their algorithms to favor posts that attract meaningful interactions. How do you achieve this?
Simply – make use of all the resources social media platforms provide. For example, do not underestimate the power of Facebook groups and the features that they offer. Facebook groups are becoming the perfect platform for connecting with specific audiences, from live videos and engaging stories to story polls.
You can improve engagement by creating a small Facebook ‘community’.
It’s the very membership in a Facebook group that provides people with a sense of closeness and belonging. So, a Facebook group is a platform within a platform where people will pay closer attention to posts. In turn, followers will be more comfortable making their contributions within the close-knit ‘community’.
Exclusivity is the future of social media marketing
As social media evolve, it is no longer the mass reach that you should be aiming for. Even on Instagram, exclusivity is increasingly valued. This is why some influencers, contrary to usual practices, turn their profile private to spark interest and gain more followers in this way.
However, this approach may be too radical for some. Instead, you can turn to a similar ‘exclusivity’ strategy in the form of the Close Friends feature on Instagram. You can market your product to a select few people and, in that way, create an air of exclusivity. This marketing trend is believed to be the future of social media marketing because it approaches advertising in an entirely novel way.