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5 trends in social

Social media is a constant disruptor in the world of marketing. The leading platforms are in continual development, bringing in new and exciting features for users to engage with. In the world of marketing this is helping brands captivate their audiences in different ways through a variety of different tools. Fresh from winning four awards for our social media work in 2018, Group Account Director Sharon Smith takes you through our current top 5 social media trends.

Rise of micro-influencers

Micro-influencers are social media users who have a smaller following, usually under 20,000, but their audience is often more engaged than that of macro-influencers. This is a rising trend, with 92% of social media users considering micro-influencers to be more believable, creditable and are more likely to trust their recommendations. Brands who work with micro-influencers to target their relevant audiences can get better value for money and convey their key messaging more effectively with 92% of consumers saying that micro-influencers are better at explaining how a product works and demonstrating how it should be used correctly.

Responsive customer service

Social media has changed the way that brands can care for their customers. In today’s world, customers don’t want to be left on hold on the phone, waiting to get help. Instead consumers are jumping onto social media platforms to communicate with a brand. Having excellent customer service can really help differentiate a brand and social media can help brands deliver good customer service efficiently and proactively. Conversely if someone has a bad customer service experience, they will share their experience on social media and that can influence a purchase decision of other potential customers.

We will also see a demand for a quicker response time to enquiries: consumers today expect an instant response. With chatbots, social listening and CRM tools, there really is no excuse for brands not to deliver on their customer service promises. As consumer expectations continue to increase, personalisation is a great way that brands can improve customer service on social media channels.

Video content

Video continues to be a powerful way for brands to boost engagement with its customers and it is great for B2B businesses to showcase their brands. In fact, viewers remember 95% of a message when they watch it in a video compared to 10% when reading it in text. With that being said 90% of videos being consumed are being watched on mobile phones, which means that it is important for brands to make sure that they are adopting a mobile first approach.

Each year we are seeing that video content and the way that people are consuming video content is growing. Additionally, we will continue to see the growth of live video content consumption by users. According to Curata, the top three most effective types of video content are customer testimonials, tutorial videos, and demonstration videos. This is significant because 80% of consumers believe demonstration videos are helpful when making purchases. Videos are a great way for brands to create more awareness of their brand through interesting, educational and entertaining content that captures the attention of their audiences. 

The ‘storification’ of social

More and more we’re seeing the amplifications of social media stories taking place. Why is this trend so important? As much as people love telling their stories and showing the world what is happening in their life, they love seeing what is happening in other people’s lives too. Stories also give viewers an insight into live events that are taking place. It’s really a peephole into what is happening right now, whether that is seeing what a celebrity is doing all day, or in the B2B world, it could be watching what is happening at an event or trade show. It’s about being able to share and experience real moments in real time. Instagram has really dominated this trend by introducing exciting features such as A/B polling and a slider pole, which is a great way for a brand to engage and interact with its audience. By using stories to connect with users, it introduces authentic communication and user reach figures can be higher then for an actual post. 

Privacy and transparency

Another major trend is that social media users want the platforms and brands that they engage with to be more transparent. Users are becoming increasingly cautious of how social media networks approach privacy and information, especially after Facebook’s data scandal with Cambridge Analytica in 2018. With that in mind, being on top of privacy and transparency is highly important for brands as this will establish trust in the brand and the platform. It is especially important for brands to communicate with its audiences that their privacy and data are protected because if users don't believe that their data is being used appropriately, or if they don’t think brands that are advertising are behaving openly and responsibly, they will stop engaging. That’s why both brands on social media and the platforms themselves need to be hyper-vigilant about privacy and transparency in the year ahead.

If you’d like to find out more about our award-winning social media work and how we could support you, please get in touch with Sharon on s.smith@clearb2b.com

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