Business Marketing Trends and Updated Features on Social Media in 2017
Social Media continues to be a dominant force for business operations and marketing
We are so fortunate to be in the social media industry! We have been providing social media services for the past two years and it’s apparent that social media marketing is increasingly becoming a necessity, especially for the growth of small and local businesses.
Back in 2015, Hootsuite defined social media marketing as the use of social media to increase brand awareness, identify key audiences, generate leads, build meaningful relationships with customers.
Today this definition is as accurate as ever. And it very clearly captures the benefits and uses of social media for your business goals.
Think about what you use your personal social media accounts for. Just like yourself, social media users join social platforms to be entertained, to learn, and to share, creating internet communities for virtually any industry.
If you’re still not clear on how this creates an important opportunity for the growth of your business, you are encouraged to read up on the benefits of social media marketing.
Among them is the fact that marketing your business through social media is one of the CHEAPEST ways to reach a wide audience. A much wider reach than you would achieve through traditional forms of marketing. #moneysavingtips #budgetconscious
Do keep in mind; gaining an audience will not happen overnight. In order to drive interactions between your business and consumers, you have to be posting frequently.
Before you go on a posting spree, be careful what you post!
Take a look at Pinstripes’ Instagram (@PinstripesBBB), they create videos on how to make the popular drink called “old fashioned” and how to create one of their new menu items at home.
Fun, isn’t it? You could scroll through their feed for a good amount of time and still be entertained. Would you dash into the venue because of it? Maybe not. But their creative content stands out enough to help them keep their business in the minds of their viewers.
Here’s what you should take away from this: social media is supposed to be informative and entertaining to the viewer!
Social media users don’t necessarily like to be flooded all the time with posts about your product and why they should buy it.
We’ve said it all along, content is king!
If you want to gain attention for your business, you can think about ways to showcase your product/services creatively and in ways that could be useful for your audience. Below are a couple of new and useful features on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest that you could consider using to help you market your business.
Let the brainstorming begin!
Facebook Live sets the stage:
We all know and love Facebook. Today, it continues to lead with the introduction of Facebook Live. If you are not yet familiar with Facebook Live or if you know about it but have never used it, it’s time to jump on the bandwagon because Live video streaming is not going anywhere. In fact it’s estimated to become the next big thing in social marketing and here is why:
- Video appeal: Viewers tend to prefer visual content to written content.
- “In the moment”: Rather than seeing a recorded event, social users want to experience something as it is happening.
- User engagement: Live video opens the door to live feedback such as user-contributed questions or comments
Facebook even has a “Live-feed notification” feature. This means when you start a Live video, those people who frequently interact with your business page will receive an instant alert of your activity prompting them to tune in.
While the notification feature lends a helpful hand, you can also try these tips to increase your viewer count:
- Promote Yourself: Tell viewers when you’re broadcasting ahead of time with a written post. A school of thought says one day’s notice is enough time for people to tune in.
- Engage with Viewers: Be sure to say hello to your live commentators by name and answer their questions about what you are doing. They will be thrilled to get an immediate response to their interactions with you and would be more likely to do so again.
In addition, Facebook saves Live Feeds as a video on your page. This makes the content available to viewers who were not able to tune into your live feed and it allows the video to be shared and viewed multiple times.
Twitter: More Chirp for your Tweet
Twitter has been the app known for keeping things short and sweet,and if you find it challenging to create compelling content in just 140 characters or less, you are not alone.
Thankfully Twitter threw marketers everywhere a bone this month. By altering what counts towards the character limit, it is now easier to express more within the 140 character restriction.
Check out the following changes:
- Who you are replying to will appear above the tweet text rather than within the tweet text itself, so you have more characters to have conversations.
- You can tap on “Replying to” to easily see and control who’s part of your conversation.
- When reading a conversation you’ll actually see what people are saying rather than seeing lots of @usernames at the start of a Tweet.
Yes the 140 character restrictions have loosened up, but you don’t have to use all 140 characters. You can mix up the length and practice concise writing.
- Be useful to your audience: Learn about your audience’s interests, needs, and fears. This means following your followers and taking the time to read their tweets to help your business learn more about them
- Post at the right time: Industry practice shows that the best times to tweet are 12 pm, 5 pm, and 6 pm. Try it out and see what gives you the best results. Yours may be different based on your industry, product or service.
- Engage with your audience: Social media studies show 42 percent of consumers expect a 60 min response time on social media. Other forms of engagement include retweets, asking questions, or running Twitter Polls for customer feedback.
Tweet, Tweet, Tweet. Since its start in 2006, Twitter has become a great platform to engage with your tribe and build meaningful relationships- one follower at a time.
Instagram: The year of the live video
Instagram appears to be giving Facebook a run for its money. With its recent addition of Instagram stories and Live Feeds, the platform is not falling behind on this current trend. The main difference between the two platforms is that on Instagram, Live video feeds have a maximum duration of 24 hours as opposed to Facebook’s unlimited feed time.
Try out some of these videos for your business and look out for BizCrown Media’s Live Feeds for tips.
- Company announcements: Easily use your phone camera to share exciting news about your business.
- Product Demos: got something new to show off? Show it off Live for more urgency.
- Q&A Sessions- get viewers to ask you live questions and respond in real time. Everyone appreciates a good shout-out.
- Lessons and Tutorials: Show your consumers creative ways to make use of your product, think back to the Pinstripes example or think of our videos on Instagram, where we provide useful tips on how to use social media and marketing to accomplish business goals.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that the attraction to Live video is the natural nature of them. Don’t try to be too perfect, show your viewers who you are and own any on-air mistakes. This gives your viewers a more personal relationship with your business and your brand.
Pinterest: The Underdog
Many people underestimate Pinterest and focus on other platforms instead.
That is a mistake.
Can you believe that BizCrown Media doesn’t have a Pinterest page yet?! But we’re working on it! There has been a 27% increase in Pinterest accounts of Fortune 500 companies over the last year, and if that isn’t enough of a sell, take into consideration the 70 million total Pinterest users available to your business. Many also say the revenue margins per unit sold are the highest on Pinterest.
Many also say the revenue margins per unit sold are the highest on Pinterest.
Here are some Tips to gain better engagement with your “Pins”:
- Best Times to Pin: While this depends on your audience, according to SocialFresh, the best times to post are 2 pm, 4 pm, and 8 pm. to 1 am. EST. Hubspot also says Saturday morning is the best time to post.
- Cross-promote: Share pins in your newsletter to get consumers to find your Pinterest account. This is a great way to gain direct subscribers and interactions.
- Open your board to Pinterest users: Open Board is just one of many cool features on Pinterest that help your audience feel like a part of your business. This allows users to contribute their own pins to your wall (after your approval). Take Anthropology for example. Their open board allows Pinterest users to share their favorite Anthropology products, helping them interact with the brand. It’s also promotion for your brand that you don’t have to do yourself. Talk about win-win.
- Add links to individual pins. Pinterest has a leg up on Instagram for having the ability to add a link to every pin. That’s huge, as you can link many pins to many services or products on your website.
If you’re still learning how to use social media for your business, you can use some of these tips to help you out on any of the platforms. As you’ve seen, the great thing about social media is that various platforms allow you to create a variety of content that will appeal to your current and potential customers. You just have to know how to use it and stay current with the services they offer for business marketing.
Are you up on some other trends on other social media platforms that could be useful to our readers? Please share in the comments section!