It seems like everything we do these days revolves around social media. Whether we get there before our morning coffee to check updates from our friends and family or use it for advertising our businesses. The social media trend isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon. If you spend a good portion of your day on these platforms, you’re not alone. In a recent survey found on Digital Information World, the average person spends 2 hours and 22 minutes a day online. This includes everything from scrolling through a Facebook timeline to posting pictures on Instagram.
While it may seem like a huge percentage of the day spent on social media, that is nothing compared to how many people access each of the platforms monthly. Facebook has reached nearly 2 billion active users regularly, with Instagram and Twitter at just over 1 billion.
Social media marketing is nothing new. It appeared shortly after social media took off. Just a few years ago. It wasn’t uncommon for a company to explode, seemingly overnight, by using social media as the catalyst. Just recently, user-generated content has been one of the best ways to utilize social media and attract a broader audience. A notable company that has done fantastic at this in 2019 was TheEverygirl, which saw an increase in followers, up to 800k, and growing, thanks to their hashtag strategy of sharing user-generated content.
However, just when you think you have a firm understanding of social media and how the features work for you, they go and change things. Fall of 2019 has been a busy few months of changes to most of the major platforms, including Facebook and Instagram. What are these changes? How will these affect your business and your marketing strategy? And importantly, how can you cope with the continually changing landscape of social media platforms and your marketing efforts.
How To Cope With Social Media Changes
Are you biting your nails, waiting for the next shoe to drop? With an evolving landscape and changes happening what seems monthly, it is enough to throw anyone for a tailspin. However, relax. You could get worked up, try and rework everything you have done, or make the changes in strides. True, staying ahead of the game is what makes a great marketer, but implementing the strategy is what keeps you on top.
Understand that social media and marketing will continue to go hand and hand. They will continue to update. They will all evolve. The goal for social media is making the process of others to connect easily and fun. However, it is an optimal place for businesses to reach a large audience, given that over a billion users are found on almost all platforms each month.
Being a social media strategist will keep you ahead of the pack. It will give your agency value. Most importantly, it will help your clients expand their marketing efforts and funnel more money to their brand. Having a social media strategist is the best option for executing the highest converting social media posts. You need to create content for more than designs sake, you can drive sales too.
Most significant Changes To Social Media in 2019 – Possible Changes in 2020
Perhaps you are aware of some of the changes that have been going on with social media. Maybe you aren’t. But there have been some massive updates that have come out you should know. As marketers, you must stay up to date. Let’s take a look at some of the major platforms on their own and what is happening.
#1 What Happened to Google+?
So by now, you have probably heard that Google+ is no more. We weep for it’s passing. Not really. This shouldn’t have come as a shock to most, as it wasn’t utilized by very many, and didn’t deliver the features we had hoped for. Google retired Google+ back in April of 2019, and for most marketers, there wasn’t much commotion about it. If anything it allowed us more time to focus our efforts in other areas.
#2 Simplified Shopping On Instagram
Instagram is rivaling Facebook for the top spot among the social media giants. In 2019, there have been a few updates to look for and put into action. The biggest change is that businesses can now promote sponsored posts from their influencers. What this means for brands is that they can set ad targeting. There is quite some setup that will take place for the brand and influencer, but it is well worth the increase in the marketing potential.
Another massive update for Instagram and one marketing agency should have taken notice of was the ability to do in-app checkouts. For e-commerce brands, this is another fantastic revenue source that has tremendous untapped potential. Now customers don’t even have to leave the app to make a purchase. This has streamlined the process for consumers. Brands can share pictures of their products; customers add these to the cart and complete the checkout. What could be easier?
#3 Faithful Facebook
If you actively use Facebook for social media marketing, you aren’t alone. This is one of the most used platforms, with over three million companies actively use Facebook for advertising. If there is one thing we know as a marketer, Facebook and Google love to change things. They are constantly updating. They are the companies that make us chase our tails.
In June, Facebook announced the launch of its cryptocurrency and digital wallet service called Calibra. While how this service will work out, and we wait to see, there are many opportunities for expansive e-commerce businesses through the app and money transfer services.
Video editing tools have also been updated in 2019. These tools allow users and marketers to video trim, crop images, image/text overlays, additional font options, and much more. These additions have made it easier than ever to design in-app, saving time and money for both consumers and marketers.
What most of us marketers are most excited about was the announcement of automated ads. What automatic ads did was give marketers the ability to sell a better service plan to their clients. There are less time and effort to implement an advertising campaign. This service will ask only a few questions, such as what your goals are. They will then take this along with an ad you have already created and makeup to six different versions for you. Not only does it take the guesswork out of posting, but it also provides notifications too!
Videos were also updated this year, with a change to the algorithm. There top priorities that influence ranking now include:
Intent- The higher the search return, the better.
Video Length-Facebook loves longer videos. Consider over 3 minutes.
Original Content-repurposed content will take a backseat.
Viewer Duration– Videos that capture attention for longer than one minute are prioritized.
#4 Targeting Audiences With LinkedIn
In 2019, marketing through the professional social media platform, LinkedIn has grown. There are numerous opportunities for marketers to take advantage of it. Some of the new features include over 20 new templates for business to business audiences. These include member skills, job titles, and much more. New marketers will rejoice! Other changes include an update to the algorithm that actually priorities your interests and people you know versus those you don’t care to see. This change will allow marketers the opportunity to target a specific audience.
#5 More Customizable Options With Twitter
This year Twitter decided to roll out a new desktop design to improve user experience. The plan also gave users more options for customizing. This is a welcomed change over the old design. The ease of the navigation bar, while excellent for users, there are great changes for brands too. The recently launched Twitter ArtHouse has given companies better access to influencers. However, this positive also comes a negative. Twitter, to limit spam, has reduced users’ ability to follow to 400 a day. This is fine for most marketers unless you practice spammy tactics.
#6 Advertising with TikTok
Have you tapped into TikTok? This video-sharing app allows users to create 15-second videos and share them on multiple platforms. TikTok has grown since 2017 and has now reached 1 billion active users. The change to TikTok this year was the addition of advertising potential. Similar to social media giants, TikTok now has interest-based advertising. This can be a perfect marketing potential for anyone trying to reach the younger crowds, as the target audience that uses TikTok is in their late teens early 20s.
How These Updates Have Impacted Marketing Strategies?
As a marketing agency or marketer, you might be wondering how these changes to social media might affect your marketing strategies. In a way, many of the changes that have happened and will happen are meant to make marketing easier and gives a greater opportunity. However, some limitations have occurred, you should be aware of and keep in mind when designing a social media campaign.
The good news here is with all the updates rolling out; this gives you ample opportunity to market new services to your customers. Reinvest in your social media marketing. Define your target audience and use the social media platform that gives your clients the best chance at growing their customer base. While you could use all the platforms, it might be more advantageous for you and your client to use one or two versus all the outlets. This is especially true when building your brand presence. If you choose to have free accounts across all the platforms, make sure you are consistent with how you represent either your business or your client.