How Consuming Social Media Has Changed
How Consuming Social Media Has Changed
(This article was originally published on Blue)
In 2018, social media came of age! Twenty-one years ago, the completely forgotten social media site – SixDegrees – gave us a glimpse into our connected future. Now, social media is the always-on portal to our real-time world.
If you use the internet, you’re consuming social media. It’s a fact, 98% of internet users are on social channels already. Social media sites are where everyone hangs out. About a third of our online time is spent on social media – over two hours every day and growing.
But social is fluid – reflecting the fads and trends of its audience. There are constant subtle shifts in platform parameters. Savvy marketers don’t wait for an authoritative organization to conduct a survey regarding their business. Instead, they get the news from their social analytics.
Where Are Your Customers Hanging Out Now?
Because social media is growing up alongside its consumers, it’s in an ongoing state of change. What’s cool for a teen can’t be the same for a millennial or Gen X audience. Social is a global age-sensitive phenomenon.
We all know the demographic at Facebook is skewing towards an older cohort. Snapchat is the darling of Gen Z. And every channel has something unique to add to the mix. However, what we’re seeing here is a clear heads-up for visuals and video.
Already marked as the key trend for 2019, video content is driving the percentages seen in these 2018 user changes. Here is proof the power of visuals. Visual content is more likely to get shared on social media. In fact, Snapchat users share over 9,000 videos per second!
How Long Do Consumers Stay on the Major Networks?
Facebook and YouTube are the superstars of social. And they’re the top two platforms for video. But, like great hair or a cheeky smile, the top social channels all have special qualities.
Still, it’s a distracted world. Digital consumers can be juggling on average as many as eight social networks! The thing to remember here is that your audience hasn’t necessarily moved away from Facebook. Instead, the way they use Facebook has changed in recent years. Your consumers have likely added another network to their mobile home screen or they spend time where the visuals are more appealing such as on Instagram.
To find how your consumers have migrated – look to the demographics! Has there been a seismic shift in the user base of the channel? Facebook experienced an exodus with concerns over data privacy and sites like Google+ were canceled entirely for similar issues. Social media algorithms are constantly changing. These are all issues that reflect in the numbers as the network addresses user’s anxieties.
Why You Should Lend More Budget to Social Media in 2019
It’s no secret, social marketers are adding to their budgets. With everyone online all the time, digital marketing is the key. And marketers must grow to meet customer expectations.
But here’s the catch, more platforms are moving towards a pay-to-play model. While organic engagement is still possible, it won’t be long before organic visibility is a thing of the past.
What are your goals for social? What does your brand need to achieve? Why are you on social media anyway?
Goals and objectives could be:
- Making more sales
- Growing brand loyalty
- Increasing customer retention
Chances are you’ll need that bigger budget to compete with social advertising. But before you spend, identify your aims! Getting the most bang for your buck takes planning. Don’t forget to build on social successes by analyzing your past performance, constantly. Pay close attention to top performers based on engagement and the type of content that drives the most traffic with the lowest bounce rate. These are indicators of content marketing winners!
Compare digital to traditional advertising when most of the world is online. Not surprisingly the move is toward bigger spends on social.
Increase Marketing Staff To Compete
Social media is an astonishing mass communication tool. But someone has to write the tweets, create the content, answer the comments. And then campaigns don’t run themselves.
Streamlining operations is the mantra of businesses everywhere. But where do your social marketing efforts go without more staff?
It’s not the number of hands in the game. It’s what those hands are doing. Creating a video, responding to clients and visitors, and dishing up answers for customer questions may be tops. Is there more?
Automate Solutions With Chatbots
Yes! Start filling the gaps with automated solutions such as chatbots to provide customer service and software to help with the content creation process. Use what you have.
Start An Employee Advocacy Program
Do you have loyal employees? Encourage them to share company kudos on social media with tools such as Bambu by Sprout Social. Need help setting up your employee advocacy program or gamifying your system, that’s part of what we do here at Blue! Get in touch with us on any of our social sites to talk more about how you can amplify results with employee interaction.
Turn your staff into brand ambassadors. Promoting the company softball game, or the Christmas charity drive with their network of friends and family shout authenticity to your social audience.
Get your social marketers working smarter, not harder.
Other Departments Where Social Marketers Can Make a Difference
Here’s the point. What kind of impact do you expect from your social efforts? Social engagement drives results across the board. One hand washes the other. For example, sharing website teasers (like blog posts) sends visitors to the website to read more.
Pique the curiosity of casual social visitors and they’ll visit the website for more information. Offering something for free – an ebook or report – might get you their email address. Another lead to add to your list!
Tailor your social interactions for specific results. Every department gains from a well-planned social strategy.
Important Features & Strategies for Social Marketers
Useful features change as social media evolves. What worked in 2016 could be useless in 2019. Likewise, strategies must adapt to the new landscape. Marketing plans for next year will guide your actions. Effective planning exposes where you’re failing or succeeding.Social marketers rely heavily on social analytics. A constant refrain from business owners is, “I’ve spent $$$s on this campaign, what’s my ROI?” Different social media analytics tools track specific data.
It’s crucial to know what posts are working for you and what posts are falling flat. With tools like Sprout Social, you can engage in social media listening, respond effectively, involve your team, record information about your users like a social CRM, track engagements, tag incoming and outgoing posts, and more! If you’re looking for more comprehensive reporting in your social media analytics, we can help set that up for you!
Social Marketers’ Must-Have Tools
Social media management tools are the big guns in social marketers’ arsenals. A close second is social media analytics software. Social marketers know they need to measure their results.
The tools that count for social marketers are the tools that help them do their job.
Where does your audience spend their time? How do they consume content? Social marketing is all about your brand. How it solves your audience’s problems. Are you spreading a consistent message that covers your client’s needs?
Delight and inspire your readers with content they can’t resist. Visual demonstrations create a potent impact.
Graphic content is dominating social media and the appeal of video is a solid bet. When social media works, nothing on the net can take its place.