The introduction of the Internet has tremendously changed the way brands and consumers interact and behave. For instance, consumers can make public complaints and brands can offer real-time customer service, or social media customer service.
Social Media Changes
The social media landscape is vast and constantly evolving, which can affect the social media strategy for a number of brands small and large, if they don’t adapt quickly. These changes are a result of things, such as consumer privacy issues, cyber security, and fake news.
In response to the Cambridge Analytica debacle, Facebook introduced an algorithm update, which focuses on content from family and friends, instead of posts from companies. Meaning, brands who advertise on Facebook must tailor their social media strategies to accommodate the update(s).
The adoption of influencer marketing is a growing trend, due to consumer privacy concerns. If brands center their advertising strategies on influencer marketing and choose influencers who already support them, it might have a positive impact on Millennials. However, brands should be honest or they could face push-back and risk alienating Millennials altogether.
That said, remaining transparent about consumer data on every marketing platform and how that data will be used will gain consumer trust.
Since social networks comprise a large portion of online interactions, are likely to get bigger, and adjust to consumer needs, so too should brands in order to remain at the forefront of current industry trends.
Further, “Although 77% of marketers use at least one social media platform for marketing purposes, less than half (48%) say that they see ROI from this strategy” (Siu, 2018). So, what should marketers do to increase their ROI? Marketers should:
- Focus on Engagement by offering incentives
- Collaborate with Influencers since they’re trusted by consumers
- Concentrate on Niche Communities because they’re more appealing and content-specific
- Employ Storytelling, not product selling to humanize the brand
- Immerse yourself in Social Media Advertising (Lee, 2018).
Even though most social media channels are driving marketers to utilize their advertising platforms if they want to be successful on social media, it doesn’t mean you have to pay a fortune to afford it. For instance, Facebook Ads start at $1 a day, which is a small price to pay considering what marketers stand to gain from their social media initiatives. “In fact, one marketer used Facebook ads to generate $36,499 revenue from a $4,159 spend. That equates to an ROI of 776% – which I’ll bet is much better than the average ROI you’re currently getting on an organic Facebook post” (Siu, 2018).
The future implications of social media marketing means that brands and consumers will fully engross themselves. In other words, messages will be everywhere that the target audience is. If you thought messaging clutter was bad now, you ain’t seen nothing yet. “Stores will have sensors that read credit cards when you walk in. ON their watch, phone, computer even tagged on products on TV shows. Coupons will show up based on the targets behavior. This is the type of environment the new market will provide to push your wares it may lead buyers and sellers to, miss the good ole days” (Alarcon, n.d.)
Ultimately, the best way to begin your social media marketing strategy is by developing a strategic, multi-channel method that is centered around engagement, monitoring performance, and making adjustments as necessary to accommodate changing platforms, users, and user behavior. Good Luck marketers!
Infographic by- Invesp Consulting
Cover image courtesy of Impact