|Social media marketing won’t stand still in 2018
Social media has established itself as the ideal marketing platform for countless brands of all sizes. After all, it’s free and has a massive reach, with millions of people accessing it multiple times a day. But as with every aspect of digital marketing, the world of social media is changing all the time. And that means marketers who rely on the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to get their brand message out must change too.
So what key developments do you need to be aware of in the coming months?
Facebook news feed is about to change
The rise of so-called ‘fake news’ has prompted Facebook to drastically overhaul how content is displayed on its website. Since the site began as a site for online socialising, it is going back to its roots and showing users more posts from friends and family, rather than publishers, celebrities and businesses. In a blog post, Facebook said: “With this update, we will also prioritise posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people. To do this, we will predict which posts you might want to interact with your friends about, and show these posts higher in [the] feed.”
Businesses that heavily market themselves on Facebook should look closely at what the changes mean to them, and perhaps focus on generating comments and debate rather than likes and establishing their page as a trusted source of information and wider content.
Snapchat makes Snap Map public
Snap Map is now available to any internet user, rather than just people with a Snapchat profile. Marketers can therefore view a heat map-style display telling them where lots of posting activity is going on. As a result, they can move quickly and join in the conversation straight away, taking real-time marketing to a brand new level.
However, another change at Snapchat has prompted concerns that it could negatively affect people’s relationships with brands. A recent redesign was intended to keep friends’ and branded content separate, with users swiping left to see and interact with people they know and swipe right to see branded and celebrity content. But many Snapchat users are petitioning for the app to go back to the old layout, as they don’t necessarily see a distinction between the two. It’s a reflection of how people feel a strong connection with their favourite brands and celebrities, so it’ll be interesting to see whether or not Snapchat backs down.
Instagram introduces scheduled posts
Instagram is to follow the likes of Facebook and Twitter by letting business users schedule when they want posts to go live. According to social media scheduling platform Hootsuite, which is working with Instagram to offer this ability, users have been “crying out” for it for several years. As Chief Executive Ryan Holmes says: “Now, they can manage large volumes of content, multiple team members and multiple Instagram accounts with ease and security.”
Young vlog fans seeking ‘edgier content’
YouTube has transformed the nature of celebrity, with people setting up channels at home establishing themselves as hugely influential figures, particularly among young people. And that fact hasn’t been lost on big brands, many of whom aim to build relationships with influencers to get them to talk up their products and services to their audience.
Fashion and lifestyle vlogger Zoella was perhaps the biggest name in this field, but a new poll by Childwise has found that 5-16 year-olds are increasingly moving away from wholesome social influencers and embracing ‘more edgy’ vloggers.
So if brands are actively targeting young people, do they need to respond accordingly and put out riskier and edgier content in order to get through to their target market?Alternatively, should they be asking tough questions about what kind of influencers they want to be associated with? Are controversial figures worth the risk?
Twitter introduces Sponsored Moments
Twitter has launched a new feature that allows brands to participate in in-stream sponsorships, which means advertisers can sponsor Moments from premium content partners. This could help them engage their audience with relevant content and expand their reach beyond the content partner’s existing followers.
Sources / Further Reading
News Feed FYI: Bringing People Closer Together Facebook
Snapchat’s Snap Map is now available outside of the social media service BT
Hootsuite Announces Scheduling and Publishing for Instagram GLOBE NEWSWIRE
Logan Paul ‘more popular’ than Zoella with children BBC News
How sponsored Moments connect publishers and brands Twitter