Social media has become one of the most important tools for marketing and communications over the past decade. A strong social media presence is essential for practically all midsize to large businesses and organizations. Many small companies rely almost entirely on social media to generate buzz about their brand. It’s an essential piece of your business-marketing strategy. If you only take away one thing from this blog, it should be that your business needs a social media presence.
By sharing your content on social media, you have the power to reach an entirely new audience. You can increase brand awareness and engagement and get more followers. But it’s not enough to show up on every social media platform and sporadically post a link to your content. You need to develop a social media strategy by doing research and setting goals. A successful social media presence should generate engagement — that includes likes, follows, shares, comments, retweets and, most importantly, click-throughs to your sales funnel.
To maximize your potential on social media, you have to monitor the latest social media trends. Just as technology continues to evolve and transform the AV industry, social media is always changing. We’re rounding up a few social media trends you should watch:
- Social media as a brand discovery engine. The average person spends two hours and three minutes on social media every day. During that time, many people discover new brands on their social media feeds. Brands have the opportunity to connect with potential customers through social media ads that can target a specific group of individuals. And customers have the opportunity to research brands through social media.
- Growth of e-commerce on social media. According to Statista, nearly 80% of internet users in the U.S. have made at least one purchase online. Until recently, many people have been reluctant to embrace social e-commerce. Facebook and Instagram have rolled out “buy now” features on social media to promote direct purchasing. Social media is quickly becoming the default way to engage with new and potential customers. (Check out our recent blog for tips on turning your social media traffic into sales.)
- Customer service with social media. As many people are spending less time on phone calls and more time on social media, customers are utilizing social media to reach out to brands with questions, comments and complaints. Through social media listening, brands can identify their customers’ concerns in real time and respond promptly with solutions. Most customers don’t care what department they’re interacting with; they just want a seamless experience.
- Stories that inspire authentic customer relationships. Originally just a Snapchat feature, “stories” on other social media outlets now exist as vertical videos and images that appear outside of your regular feed and last only 24 hours before they disappear. Instagram, Facebook and Twitter have each introduced their own versions of stories within their platforms. Stories provide an intimate inside look into brands, but they require creativity, planning and consistent posting. The highlight-reel-type content is a great way to share your brand story and further connect with customers.
The last 12 months have been transformative for social media, and it should be no surprise to hear that the next 12 months will be just as transformative. We will continue to see social media evolve with an increased reliance on digital connectivity for work, education, socializing and connecting with others.
If you’re looking for additional help in developing a social media sales strategy, rAVe [CREATE] has proven success in social media marketing for the AV industry.