Keep it Moving: Social Media Trends for 2017 and Beyond
Without a doubt, our world has become immersed in social media. Did you know the average user spends approximately two hours a day checking his or her social media accounts? Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat, they have overshadowed other communication mediums such as newspaper, radio and television.
Social media has risen in the ranks as an improved way of communicating. It can be used not only for socializing with friends but also keeping in touch with distant family members, dating and marketing to grow your business. It is the single most powerful way to travel a message far and wide, at very little or no cost to the sender.
What’s the Latest?
You know how technology keeps getting smaller? The first mobile phones were enormous compared to today’s sleeker, smaller models. The “less is more” theme is increasingly prevalent among technology, and social media is no different—as evidenced by the networking app Instagram, allowing easy picture and video sharing from a smartphone, with little or no written content accompanying it. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video might just be worth 10 times that amount.
“Don’t spin your wheels in too many directions. See what your viewers like. Observe what they respond to.” – Louis Silberman, Owner/CEO National Laser Institute
Of course, the selfie trend is now a permanent fixture in society as well, although it has evolved from the self-conscious, pure vanity type to those that include group activities such as dinner parties and other gatherings, to business sharing, such as before- and after-treatment selfies.
In social media, a follow is when someone chooses to see all of another person’s (or business’) posts in their content feed. Following is a way to keep track of someone in whom the follower is interested.
There is a trend for businesses to post more frequently. Whether it’s a day spa, a heart surgeon or even a celebrity, social media provides opportunities to share products that the business likes, what’s going on within their community, endorsements and more.
Live video streaming is on the rise, giving followers the opportunity to connect directly with a person or business for an event or interview they might not otherwise be able to attend. In fact, Mark Zuckerberg’s 2017 graduation speech at Harvard University live streamed on Facebook.
In our unpredictable political world, news trends in social media suggest that people are showing more emotion toward what’s going on in the world. Interestingly, the number of social media posts expressing feelings on the 2016 presidential election outcome shattered numerous records for posts on a particular topic. When world events happen, we respond to them immediately with blogs, posts and emojis that reflect our feelings toward them.
Of course, we can’t talk about social media without talking about the hashtag trend, which has been used for some time now to categorize content so users can easily find topics in which they are interested, located in one place.
Boomerang is an app from Instagram that allows you to capture bursts of photos and string them together to make a GIF-like video that users can share. That crazy picture of your friend jumping into the pool after too many margaritas? It’s perfect for Boomerang.
Filters and photo manipulation are additional ways to share photos in ways that are cute, fun and entertaining, but they also allow individuals and businesses to reinvent their look, or as some may describe it, sway others’ opinions about them.
Scripted versus Spontaneous Content
Social media content can be both formal and scripted, or informal and spontaneous—each type has its own set of advantages. For example, if you want to share a presentation on the best type of sunblock, you could do so in a scripted format, explaining in bullet points the various types available, along with a few examples of how and when to use the sunblock. You could even include anticipated objections from potential buyers and how to overcome those objections.
On the other hand, unscripted or spontaneous content allows you to show what is happening in the moment. Perhaps you could share a picture of two friends at the beach, putting on sunblock. One friend points out a huge sunburned spot on her friend’s back, and they joke about being one hour too late with the re-application. It’s a real-life example to which many can relate and laugh about—yet still, it gets the message out. Sometimes, in a hurry to get content out, there are grammatical mistakes, or photos in which people aren’t looking their best—but that’s okay. In our reality television-based society, people respond to reality.
Mobile Ads, Targeted/Boosted Posts and Influencers
Mobile ads in social media are similar to Google pay-per-click ads, in that businesses pay to appear on relevant website pages. They can also be used to share images such as before and after photos You can increase engagement by targeting specific viewers. For example, you can designate your targeted Facebook audience as females, aged 20-40, who make at least $50,000/year, read Vogue and belong to a gym. You can also boost posts to reach more people, using your own budgeting and targeting options.
People are often surprised to learn how frequently posts are boosted. Those posts that do exceptionally well as far as engagement don’t necessarily occur organically.
Influencers aren’t just a social media phenomenon, they’re also a marketing venue that has become an increasingly popular way to help get a message out. In our industry, they are beauty/fashion bloggers, Facebook users with 10,000+ friends and Instagram favorites. Basically, you pay or inspire influencers to talk about you and the products and services that you offer. Khloe Kardashian is the perfect example. With more than 60 million Instagram followers, it’s no wonder that Kybella paid Khloe to be its spokesperson. You can easily find an influencer in your community who might be willing to talk about you in exchange for a treatment.
eCommerce in Social Media
It’s becoming easier every day to purchase items through social media. You can easily link your social media pages to your website and/or other purchasing sites such as PayPal or Amazon. You can also add links to YouTube videos that will take viewers to purchasing pages.
Keys to Success
The key to social media for businesses is to engage their audience by educating, entertaining and evoking emotions within them. If a business’ posts make readers smile, cry, feel connected—or even shock or anger them—they’ll continue checking your posts. When it’s time for them to seek out a service, you’ll be in the front of their minds. More engagement ultimately means more sales.
Thanks to user-friendly social media sites, it is now easier than ever to share your message. As far as budgeting and engagement goes, don’t spin your wheels in too many directions. See what your viewers like. Observe what they respond to—which posts get the most “juice.” Then, adjust your budget to boost/push out more posts like those. Start with baby steps, and you can watch your business grow with the help of social media.