Even though social media channels are only a decade old, it is already difficult to imagine life without them. The same goes for social media marketing; it has become an integral part of the marketing repertoire of a B2B marketer.
According to HubSpot, 84% of B2B marketers today use social media marketing to attract leads and convert them to paying customers, while raising their brand visibility simultaneously. They all have realized the value of social media and consider it a central part of their business strategy.
Here’s a look at some of the current trends in the social media marketing scene:
- Quality, not quantity: The age-old axiom of ‘Less is More’ is perfectly applicable to social media today. With the enormous proliferation of channels, billions of worldwide users who, in turn, follow hundreds of accounts, the sheer number of updates and postings every minute is mindboggling.
In such a crowded space, naturally, users are beginning to narrow down what they read to highly relevant and up-to-the-minute content, rather than reposts and outdated material not directly relevant to them.
Offering high-quality, personalized content on social media is one of the key trends that will continue to be popular.
- Live Video Streaming: YouTube has over a billion users – that’s about a third of the total population on earth. On average, 48 hours of video are uploaded every minute on YouTube. (Check out this one about making cat food at home: already over a 100 thousand views in less than a day! What’s with videos and cats?)
And this is just one social channel for uploading and sharing videos. There are many more – chief among them being Twitter’s Periscope and Facebook’s Livestream – that have thousands of viewers.
The popularity of livestreaming indicates a growing curiosity about events happening now and a general boredom with old mediums of content. The ease of uploading videos on these sites and their accessibility contributes enormously to the spike in recognition and usage of these sites.
- Chatbots: According to Matt Schlicht, Founder/Editor of Chatbots magazine, a chatbot is a “service, powered by rules and sometimes artificial intelligence, that you interact with via a chat interface. The service could be any number of things, ranging from functional to fun, and it could live in any major chat product (Facebook Messenger, Slack, Telegram, Text Messages, etc.)”.
In other words, chatbots are agents created to replicate conversations that customer service agents have with customers. Facebook chatbots are already changing the way people buy online, by incorporating store agent chatbots into Facebook Messenger app. Chatbots are a godsend for customers looking for instant replies to their comments and questions as they’re able to create and deliver apt responses using AI without human intervention. Businesses looking to improve customer services while cutting down on human resources will find chatbots increasingly appealing.
- Expiry Dates for Content: Online content is getting more and more crowded and fighting for readers’ attention, consequently, marketers are coming up with novel ideas to make their content stand out. With Snapchat pioneering the idea of “expiring stories”, the fear of missing out (FOMO) on content that would be deleted at a given time made users lap it up urgently. The urgency did the trick. Not surprisingly, other players are fast catching up, with Instagram and Facebook adopting the ‘expiring content’ concept for their campaigns.
- Consolidation of Social Media: In recent years, we have seen Microsoft acquiring LinkedIn, Facebook buying out WhatsApp and Instagram, and other mega players acquiring smaller start-ups. There is an ongoing trend of consolidation of social media channels that will change the landscape in the coming days.
- Multifunctional Apps: Social media apps need to include ads for revenue generation purposes. However, when the ads become intrusive and/or irrelevant, there is a danger of the user leaving the app altogether.
Caught in this Catch-22 situation, mobile app manufacturers are introducing secondary functionalities on their apps – search, relevant content, assistance, etc. – to keep the user engaged in the app for longer periods. These multitasking apps are another trend that is sure to see more enthusiastic support from users and marketers alike.
- Changing algorithms for Post Feeds: As we mentioned in point 1, with more and more content crowding social media platforms, channels are coming up with sophisticated algorithms to show only select posts on timelines – these are not dependent on the recentness of the post alone. Other factors, such as whether or not a purchase has been made, now figure in the criteria for which posts show up more. With changing algorithms, marketers need to rethink their ways of promoting their content on social media.
These are a few of the trends in social media that have changed the way online marketers have attracted leads and prospects.
Digitant’s inbound marketing experts will be happy to talk to you about how we can generate more and better leads for your business, and make the most of your marketing dollars.