Social media has never been as significant as it is now as a way of reaching and connecting with your audience. Social media trends are forever changing, and businesses are starting to rethink the way they are using their platforms.
There seems to be a heavier focus on the importance of using social media to create meaningful relationships with customers as opposed to competing for the largest following.
There is an emerging emphasis on ‘quality’ over ‘quantity’. Whereas before, companies were fixated on the number of likes, views and shares a single post received, there is now a greater focus on social listening as a means to measure performance.
Tapping into what customers are saying about your business and the products and services it offers, gives you much deeper and valuable insights into what customers think and feel about your brand than the number of likes you’ve received on your latest post.
A shift in influencer marketing
In recent years, influencers have played a huge role in the advertisement of products and services. As well as rethinking the way performance is measured across social media platforms, businesses are now re-evaluating the types of influencers they are using to promote their companies.
Influencers with smaller audiences are being sought after, rather than ‘like’ driven influencers with large followings, due to consumers perceiving micro/nano influencers to be more trustworthy and genuine. These types of influencers also tend to have better relationships with their followers and smaller audiences are generally more engaged.
Businesses are benefitting from using lower profile influencers by building relationships with these close-knit communities and having them share honest views of their brand.
Opting for influencers with a smaller, more open and honest platform may also help your brand image, by providing transparency and authenticity to your customers.
Engagement with individuals
In addition to reaching out to smaller groups, many companies are interacting with individuals via social media in order to create meaningful relationships with consumers. This customer engagement method has proved particularly popular on Twitter. Companies will look out for users that have mentioned their brand and will directly respond to these individuals.
Engaging with your audience makes your customers feel listened to and valued by your organisation. It also encourages discussion amongst consumers, which can increase brand recognition and enable you to gain valuable insight.
Keeping with the theme, user-generated content (UGC) has become a big trend on social media. UGC is where a consumer will post content featuring a brand and the company will share this content across their own social media platforms.
Again, this allows businesses to form deeper relationships with their customers and provides a sense of community. It also encourages customers to create and share content highlighting your products. Many businesses have a specific hashtag for customers to use when showcasing their products.
Stories were a big trend in 2019 and are predicted to stick around for 2020. Instagram and Facebook stories are an excellent way to connect with your audience, allowing you to show what goes on ‘behind the scenes’ which can help you to appear to be more real and relatable to customers.
Interactive Instagram stories have recently blown up and are a fantastic way to encourage engagement from your audience. You can even use interactive stories to conduct market research by asking your followers questions or creating a poll for them to participate in.
Ultimately, there appears to be an emphasis on driving more intimate social experiences across platforms in an attempt to form tight-knit relationships with customers and increase engagement. Building long-term, meaningful relationships with your existing consumers is perceived to be more valuable than growing your following.