Whether it be algorithms, popular social platforms or the type of content that’s currently peaking our interest this month, the world of social media is constantly changing. Staying on top of trends and changes can be a make or break for your social media marketing strategy, but it can be tough to change habits and systems, especially if they’ve been working for years.
Our Branding & Buzzing team took a deep dive into social media expert Micheal A. Stelzner’s industry report, How Marketers Are Using Social Media to Grow Their Businesses. His study surveyed over 4800 marketers with the goal of understanding how they’re using social media to grow and promote their businesses in 2019. As an agency, we track these changes and make it our goal to educate our clients and growing team on this ever-changing industry.
Here’s an inside look at our Branding & Buzzing teams perspective of the social media marketing changes in 2019:
Report findings: Most business-to-business (B2B) marketers use Facebook and a significant percentage use LinkedIn. B2B marketers have increased their use of Instagram in the last year, up from 57% in 2018.
Over the past several years we have seen our clients shift advertising dollars from traditional print to Facebook which partly explains the increase in use. In addition to this, Facebook continues to be the favoured platform for publishing custom content, public groups and event pages. On the other hand Instagram has more aggressively been embraced as both an advertising vehicle for new customer acquisition and conversion along with building communities for the brand’s sales team.
Report findings: Messenger bots haven’t caught on with marketers. Only 14% of marketers are using bots (down from 15% in 2018). Only 32% of marketers plan on increasing their bot activities, down from 39% in 2018. Interest in learning more about Messenger bots dropped to 45% from 70% in 2018.
New tech is always coming and going, so be aware and don’t always jump on every new trend. Instead, explore the reasons behind why it’s so popular and if it’s something that’s a phase, or here to stay. If the function works and you can execute to the fullest potential then dive in. In 2017 more than 60% of our clients requested a discussion about Messenger bots, and not one of them put this strategy into play. That being said, there’s still some great benefits to bots. What I see as most useful are messenger bots for restaurants and food service clients.
Report findings: A very significant 94% of marketers use Facebook (followed by Instagram at 73%). Sixty-one percent of marketers claim Facebook is their most important social platform. Facebook ads are used by 72% of marketers and 59% plan on increasing their use of Facebook ads over the next 12 months.
There’s no denying that Facebook is king when it comes to digital ads. The access marketers have to its user’s information, interests and activity is endless, and extremely helpful when trying to target a specific demographic. It’s an incredible tool to use that has valuable insights, and what I think is a very important stop on that brand awareness or purchasing journey. Although the consumer may find it creepy that an ad for a brand will pop up after they recently visited that brand’s website, it hits a notch on their brand recall belt. Facebook pixels are a marketer’s best friend and I don’t see this platform going away anytime soon!
Report findings: A significant 93% of all marketers indicated that their social media efforts have generated more exposure for their businesses. Increased traffic was the second major benefit, with 87% reporting positive results. These benefits have remained in the top two spots for the last 5 years.
Working mainly with B2B clients, organic and paid social media efforts are the driving force behind attaining each brands KPI’s: impressions, reach, engagement, clicks and followers. With both our organic and paid social media efforts, we must be flexible with our strategy as the platforms grow and advance as a means to achieve the benefits of social media marketing.
Report findings: For the first time in our study, how to achieve better engagement is the top question marketers want answered. This is likely in reaction to Facebook news feed changes made in early 2018 that incentivize meaningful social interactions.
Outside of my #agencylife, engagement (mainly on Instagram) can be the most wonderful thing, or the most frustrating, so it’s no surprise to me that it’s a rising topic. People post, people scroll, and just like many have forgotten how to talk to one another in real life, many have forgotten the importance of engaging one another on social. These networks are not one way streets; you shouldn’t just post and exit or, as a user, simply scroll forever. We all window shop, but the best support comes from action whether online or offline. If you’re posting content as a brand, engage the comment sections of others; let your audience know you’re there and paying attention to them too. If you’re a user and see content you enjoy, say so! It’s a social network, be social.
Report findings: YouTube was the number-one video channel used by 57% of marketers followed by Facebook native videos (50%).
Facebook followed by Instagram continues to be the most commonly used platform. Instagram has been increasing its efforts to become a multi-media platform to stay at the top, integrating “Story” style posting that Snapchat pioneers, and IGTV for long form videos. While Instagram continues to venture into hosting video and time-based content, Youtube remains the number-one video channel used by marketers and content creators. Paid brand campaigns and partnerships have been defaulting to sponsored static and “story” posts, however we can see with these statistics that there is still an appetite for video content, and there is opportunity for growth in sponsored video content outside of Instagram.
Report findings: Instagram is the number-one platform marketers want to learn more about, surpassing Facebook for the first time.
Instagram in all its curated glory is an extension of your brand, and first impressions matter. Think of your Instagram feed as the first person your clients see when they walk through the front door. Your social pages are a representation of your business, and Instagram gives everyone an opportunity to showcase the best, brightest and most exciting information we want consumers to see. Posting high quality photos, creating content for your target audience, authenticity in captions/messaging, and engaging with followers should be the focus. Instagram is surpassing Facebook for a reason, so make sure to give your IG page the attention and love it deserves.
Whatever your social media marketing goals are, it’s important to monitor and track what your target audience is looking for and which platforms they’re gravitating towards. Stay flexible, creative and open to trying new things because social media waits for no one!