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Social Media’s Most Compelling Changes in the Last 12 Months

There has been a huge increase in business activities and opportunities on social media for marketers. The number of active users will grow by over a million each year over the next five years and it’s no surprise that a lot more businesses are now turning to these social media platforms to reach out to their audience. Doing this has instantly paved the way for some significant changes on our top platforms. Here are a few:

 

Instagram

Instagram followed in Snapchat’s footsteps but released more innovative features for Stories.

In October, Instagram added polls, acting as a tool for fast and efficient feedback. Capitalizing on this, US businesses that are using Instagram to promote their product has risen to 70.7% in numbers! And to prove its effectivity, studies show that at least 30% of users have purchased a product or service they first discovered on Instagram.

Instagram Shopping also went live in March 2017, creating a new e-commerce experience for its users. These posts normally include a clickable shopping link, enabling the customer to shop without leaving the app (65% of the top performing posts feature actual products).

Evidently, Instagram has matured to a platform that marketers showcase their products through ads and social media influencers. These developments prove that it is absolutely vital to optimize a website, particularly for e-commerce brands, to be as reachable as possible for this ever changing customer demand.

 

Snapchat

Snapchat has had its work cut out to keep its users active while facing some serious direct competition with Instagram.

Its latest venture into augmented reality (AR) filters has driven on developments. Snapchat collaborated with artist Jeff Koons in October to launched an augmented reality art exhibition, so Snapchat users can view artwork which had been geo-tagged through a lens.

They then launched ‘Context Cards’. TripAdvisor, Foursquare, Michelin and Goop, made it possible to allow users to see more information about business allowing users to instantly find restaurant names, make reservations and even book an Uber to get there.

 

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This latest update shows the user’s demand to absorb information in a proactive way. For businesses, this means ensuring that curated and original content is optimised for use of local information, such as GMB – user behaviour has changed, so your business must adapt to meet this insatiable thirst for information.

 

Facebook

Unlike the other platforms, Facebook offers its users the option to save videos that are broadcasted live after they have ended. This gives the opportunity for content to be effective long term. Facebook Live also allow subtitles, which is a feature not yet avaialble on Instagram and Snapchat. 85% of users watch videos without sound, so this is hugely helpful.

Notifications of a live video as it is being broadcasted allows businesses to capitalise on their followers, providing an opportunity for a ‘big reveal’, creating hype culture on social in the run up to a campaign.

 

Twitter

Twitter introduced as a huge change to ease the burden of the previous character limit, although some argue that it has has lost its unique selling point.

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Marketers and businesses should be very careful with this freedom because although this allows businesses to promote and discuss freely, the concise nature of a tweet is something that its users obviously appreciate. Check out the example above.

 

So, what can we expect from 2018?

 

Voice search

Content must be optimised for voice search as artificial intelligence continues to rise, as we’re anticipating 50% of all searches to be made by voice in 2020.

 

Augmented Reality (AR)

The rise of AR will permit immersive shopping experiences for users. Ikea already updated their app, allowing potential customers to view how products look in their own home. This combination of video and shoppable media, exemplifies the demand for immersive user experiences.

 

Social media is a crucial marketing channel for all businesses sizes. A great social media strategy is never set in stone. It is a constant work in progress that changes when necessary. So get out there, create a strategy and start optimizing it as you continue to grow and learn more about your business and your audience.

 

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