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Social Media Trends to Watch Today

Social Media Trends to Watch Today


Some used to call social media a fad, but it has become a popular marketing strategy that cannot be ignored. There is always something new to report, but what’s hype and what has staying power? Here are some key trends to watch that will keep you in the know.

Social Listening

Social listening is searching the web and social media platforms to find mentions of keywords or a brand. This monitoring includes untagged mentions, industry keywords indicating product interest, blog mentions, news sites, and forums. Often, the goal of social listening is customer service, however, the trend in social listening moving forward will be lead generation and social selling. Today, only a few brands do this but the number is rising. Marketers have found that they can exactly match customers with services on social media. This means revenue and that makes social listening a trend worth following.

Transparency and Privacy

More than 51% of Americans say they don’t trust platforms to protect their privacy and information. A large number of consumers are concerned that advertisers can see their social media posts and over 80% want to see more brand transparency on social media.

Social platforms are still thriving, in fact, well over 50% of Americans are on social media. However, it is a question of trust. Users will stop engaging if they don’t feel that their data is being protected and used appropriately or if they feel advertisers are not acting openly and honestly. Both social platforms and social marketers must practice vigilance regarding transparency and privacy to maintain good customer engagement and relationships.

Storytelling

Social media is popular because it allows us to share our life experiences. We tell stories through our posts and we see everyone else’s lives in our news feeds. This phenomena started with written posts and photos and increasingly has moved to video. Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat have all embraced the storytelling trend and have changed the way we engage online.

This change means an opportunity for brands to share their human stories. When companies tell stories, they influence product purchases. Storytelling is personal and immediate for the audience. As a tool, it requires a combination of media including video, images, and graphics. This takes time and creativity, more so than a written post. The pay-offs can be great, however. When customers and prospects feel deeply connected to your brand via your story, engagement occurs at a whole new level.

Video content

Video content continues to grow in importance. Some experts say soon 80% of what we consume online will be video.

Always popular on YouTube, live video’s popularity is soaring on other platforms as well. Now on Facebook and Instagram, you are notified when someone is going live. Social media users are drawn to live video due to their authentic nature. Videos raise brand relevance and increase trust.

The power of video also dovetails with our last trend, storytelling. Video content is a great way for a brand to humanize and to connect with consumers. With video, companies can show who they are in addition to what they do. When customers can relate to you on a personal level, their investment grows, they are more likely to purchase, and their relationship with you strengthens.

One reason for the video trend is due to the ease of content production. It has become less complicated to create quality video content today. This is good news for marketing professionals.

To that end, be sure to also offer engaging and exciting content and know that you will be on trend with this popular form of content.  

Direct Sales Tool

While social media is typically seen as a way to build an online community and to engage with customers, many brands are now also using social channels like direct sales tools.

Instagram, due to its digital catalog interface design, is particularly suited to this type of sale. Many companies are forgoing links back to online stores and opting instead for direct sales options on Instagram via BigCommerce. This one-click option allows customers to see a product in a post and buy it on the spot.

Instagram is building a proprietary shopping app in 2019 and more platforms will be looking to adopt this no-frills sales method as time goes on. Direct sales on social media is a trend whose time has come.

Conclusion

These new trends give consumers a value-add experience, marketers a challenge, and bottom-lines a boost. We’re excited about these trends and continue to watch them and others as they emerge. If you are looking for help adopting one or more of these in your business or have questions, let us know. We are here to help at Alt Creative.



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