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The Evolution of Social Media

We live in a world with technology at our fingertips and where social media has slotted so effortlessly into our lives we can’t imagine a time without it. Connections and conversations that used to be private are now laid out for the world to potentially see.

Brands have not been shy in taking up a presence in these conversations, but to stay relevant there must be adaptation and flexibility with how you manage your social media presence. It is no longer enough to just post content through your channels, social media has become one of the first experiences that your customers will have with your brand and therefore it’s wise to make a lasting impression.

Here are five ways to ensure that you integrate social media and its changing role into your business in the most effective way:

  1. Messaging and customer service: This year every brand needs to be across the variety of ways that customers can message you via social media channels. It is not just about monitoring the visible conversations anymore, in 2017 most social networks will be investing in their messaging platforms. 62% of millennials are more loyal to brands that engage with them via messaging. By aligning your customer service arm with your social team you will have the resources to keep on top of this new trend.
  2. Visual real-time content: With the advent of Snapchat and its heavy influence on timely content, brand will need to ensure they can keep up with real-time opportunities. Facebook did well with its Facebook Live launch last year and other platforms are following suit. Being able to showcase content in the moment it happens to your audience will help with engagement and brand advocacy.
  3. Stop automating and look for opportunities: Content used to be quite simple, provide value to your audience and it will serve you well. Most brands would develop content in advance and schedule it all in and job done. However, this year we will see more brands move away from this automated process which can be quite robotic and also risky if not monitored. Brands can get caught out from scheduled posts that seemed innocent at the time but could come across as ignorant or even offensive when published alongside other world events. Rather than automation brands need to ensure they are nimble and responsive to what is happening around them to maintain solid engagement.
  4. Augmented reality: With Snapchat facial filters really taking a hold of the millennial and Gen Z audiences, other platforms are following suit, including Facebook last month. The ability to augment images and video will be something that all social channels start to play with and is a key opportunity for brands to join in. Brands that take hold of this trend and bring it into their content to showcase their brand personality will do well. We love some of the innovative ways Taco Bell uses the platform to engage with their audience.
  5. It pays to know your audience: Social media advertising will continue to grow and if you don’t invest you will not be seen. But don’t look at this as such a negative thing, with the growth of advertising platforms there is more data and more knowledge available on your audiences. By using these platforms well you can start to look at this as a key opportunity to truly understand who you are talking to and look for ways to enhance your brand via this knowledge.

If you want to know more about social media and the impact it can have on your business, have a look at our workshop calendar for 2017 where we are running a number of training courses for individuals and businesses across Melbourne.

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Rebecca Stalker

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