Wow! 2016 has flown past, and the changes in Social Media have been absolutely mind-blowing! Live video streaming has completely exploded, new apps have come and gone while Facebook has grown to over 1.7 Billion users worldwide and is now thinking far beyond the “like” with multiple “reactions” available now to respond to posts on your newsfeed.
Keeping an eye on the trends can really help us pinpoint where the world of social media marketing is headed as we get ready for 2017. Below are my top 5 things to keep in mind as you are planning out your social media strategy and budget for the next year.
Don’t ignore the rise of video as the world continues to get smaller, information is being consumed faster and in visual formats. Find new ways to engage your followers with exciting videos featuring behind-the scenes interviews or previews. Most video is watched without sound, so take the time to add captions to your videos (either yourself pre-upload, or using the built-in caption tools from Facebook or YouTube.
2. Private Messaging
Consumers want direct access to brands and they want it now! Keep an eye on evolving options on private messaging apps to help you business connect directly with your followers. Facebook Messenger is becoming increasingly popular with both customers and brands for on-demand customer services. Twitter and Instagram also have direct messaging features that allow followers to ask questions. Keep in mind that social media users expect a reply in less than an hour – so make sure you have someone on-call to answer those inquiries when they come in!
3. Mobile First
With over 76% of Canadians owning a smartphone and over 50% of Google searches happening on these devices, make sure your website and social media are mobile friendly! If you aren’t sure if your website is mobile-ready, you can run a quick check at https://search.google.com/search-console/mobile-friendly . For social media, you will want to make sure your links and images show up nicely on mobile phones. On mobile, videos are usually viewed without sound, so be sure to add captions!
Advertising space online is limited, and organic reach on all social media platforms is decreasing daily. Be prepared to spend more $$ to get your products and services in front of the right audiences. Social networks are meant to be social, so it makes sense that promotional content needs to be paid for, just as it is on any media publication. Small businesses can still afford to pay-to-play on social though, providing enough time is spent to set up proper targeting and content for social ads.
5. Focus & Plan
Don’t try to do everything. Focus on where your target market is most likely to consume your content and engage with your brand. Spend your time developing content that reflects your brand message and adds value to the social network where you spend your time. If social media plays a large role in your marketing plans, it may make sense to outsource the community management or advertising on social to an expert that can achieve higher results in less time, thus leaving you with more time to do what you love!
To learn more about how to maximize the effectiveness of your Facebook marketing efforts, schedule a complimentary consultation with Teach Me Social. Teach Me Social owner Kelly Farrell has been helping empower Canadian Small Businesses through social media since 2012. Teach Me Social offers effective social media services which include training sessions and consulting as well as full-service social media account management.