If you are a part of social media marketing, then you know how quickly social media can change. It’s important to stay in the know with what is working and what isn’t, what’s new, and what’s fading to the background.
Here is a list of 10 things that are hot right now on social media:
1. Live video
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, then you have probably figured out that video is here to stay. Facebook lives always have a lot of engagement. Instagram Stories are proving to be follower favorites. Since stories disappear after a certain amount of time, FOMO has followers always checking them. They are also a great way to post multiple times a day without junking up someone’s feed if they don’t want to see them. So, if you’re afraid of getting in front of the camera, you better brush up on those public speaking skills!
Instagram TV is a relatively new feature offered by Instagram. It allows users to create channels to upload videos between 15 seconds and 10 minutes. Instagram created it so that users could create videos longer than what was allowed in the feed or stories. They probably also realized the increasing popularity of video!
3. Hashtags on Instagram
The best way to be seen on Instagram is to add hashtags. Non-followers can see your content when they search for a hashtag that you’ve used in your content. They can also help you with your branding to curate user-generated content. For example, if you ask fans to submit photos with a branded hashtag that you’ve chosen, then you can track this hashtag to get user-generated content. The maximum number of hashtags you can use is 30. It’s suggested to use all 30 hashtags. There seems to be a correlation between the number of hashtags and the number of likes.
Chatbots are a piece of AI software that can chat with a user using natural language. They are used a lot with Facebook messenger. Chatbots have come a long way over the years and we are seeing more and more of them. They are good to use from a business standpoint because they are a cost-effective alternative to paying a real customer support employee.
5. Targeted Ads
Facebook has made it very easy to set up targeted ads for a specific demographic. It’s a very precise form of advertising. In addition to picking your demographic, Facebook has also made it easy to set your budget. You can pick daily, weekly, or the lifetime of an ad.
6. Social Listening
It’s important to learn what people are saying about your brand. With social listening you’ll be able to decipher the general sentiment about your brands, products, competitors, or industry. Some of the best social listening tools are:
7. User-generated content
We briefly touched on this in number 3 when talking about hashtags. User-generated content is basically brand related content that is voluntarily produced by that business’s followers. This is a great and easy way to increase your followers.
a. One way to use UGC is to highlight posts that have mentioned your brand. (see number 6 for how you find it with social listening).
b. One great way to get customers involved is by hosting a giveaway or contest. Offer giveaway or contest entries in exchange for a post with your branded hashtag.
c. Followers and customers love to be a part of their favorite company’s brand, so offer to integrate them into your advertising campaigns. For example, Disney encouraged their customers to share photos of them wearing Mickey Mouse ears with the #ShareYourEars hashtag. They pledged a $5 donation for every tagged photo with a $1 million-dollar cap. Doing something like this helps your customers feel like they are a part of your brand because you’ve gotten them involved.
Both Facebook and Instagram have allowed users to generate stories. The story creators love them because they aren’t permanent. Let’s face it, most of the posts in a feed have been perfectly curated to help make the feed look beautiful and perfect. Since a story in only fleeting, they can be used to show the “real” story, the one that isn’t perfectly curated. Fans love this authenticity. They also have FOMO which keeps them coming back to check the stories before they’re gone.
9. Facebook Groups
Facebook has realized people have grown tired of all the targeted ads and want more of a sense of community again. Groups are being revived and Facebook is leading the way. Groups are a great way to connect with your fans and followers without having to worry about algorithms and whether or not people will see your posts (as long as they’re in the group!). It’s also important to know the difference between Facebook groups and Facebook pages. A page is used to create a public appearance for your business. They are also required if you want to create Facebook Ads and for analytics. Facebook Groups are intended to create a private community where everyone can engage and connect.
10. Private Instagram accounts
Some brands have started creating additional private Instagram accounts, almost giving it a sense of a private Facebook group. Private accounts aren’t affected by the Instagram algorithm and will also create FOMO. Some of the users leading the way in this trend have said the growth on the private accounts have far outweighed any growth they’ve gotten from the explore page.
Looking at the new trends, there seems to be a common theme. Be consistent, authentic, create a sense of community, involve your fans and followers, and get comfortable in front of the camera.
At Valley Virtual Assistance, we specialize in keeping up with the trends to keep your business growing. Schedule a call with us to see how we can help you grow and scale your business with the use of social media.