It’s easy to pooh pooh anything labelled “social media trend” since we’ve seen so many of them come and go. But there are a few social media trends with staying power that B2B companies should consider using to reach potential customers in the social media world where many of them live and breathe each day. Here are four big trends that are worth the effort and experimentation. Not every tactic will work for every company, but if you are responsible for raising the profile of your company’s brand, it’s important to try these on for size and fit. A well-timed live video or a chatbot could move the dial substantially, so it’s worth the effort required to test them out.
Live videos that drive discussion
Looking at statistics on live video streaming, it’s apparent that most people would cut their cord entirely if all live television content could be streamed online. Already a younger demographic of millennials and Gen Z’s has largely left appointment television, opting for streaming and by 2022 about 80 per cent of all internet traffic will be video. The technology is more accessible than ever as well, allowing small and medium sized businesses the possibility of live streaming events.
Chatbots prove to be popular with users
If you’re like most people, you prefer messaging a business rather than calling a customer service line. In fact, 56 per cent of people say they’re more comfortable with texting with a company than waiting on a call centre phone line for the next available operator. People like chatbots for a variety of reasons, but the main ones include: asking a quick question to clarify info; asking for human support; getting a more in-depth answer to a question; resolving a problem; getting help with completing a purchase.
On Facebook, more than two billion messages are exchanged between people and businesses on a monthly basis. Chatbots aren’t going anywhere, so it’s well worth deploying one if you haven’t already. They’re straightforward to implement and expand the channels of communication between you and your potential customers.
Ephemeral content attracts FOMO-prone people
Ephemeral content – the kind that disappears after 24 hours – is something businesses can use to their advantage, largely because of its time-limited nature. Prospects prone to the famous “fear of missing out” (FOMO) will be drawn in, but only if this “one-time-only” opportunity has higher value than the run-of-the-mill content that’s available any day of the week. In order to get people to feel compelled to react, it needs to communicate its importance as ‘must-watch’ content. Though it does require more work and planning than other content, strategically launching ephemeral content with a campaign mindset can get your audience invested simply because they don’t want to miss out.
Story ads attract more viewers than ads in their feeds
According to Instagram, 1/3 of the most viewed stories are from businesses, not individuals. The key with story ads is to remember that shorter attention spans are what has contributed to the rise of online video, so make sure your content is digestible and impactful. It should not only capture the attention of users as they scroll through their feeds, but it should also relay brand messaging or key points in the first five seconds of the video. You can choose one of three formats: videos, still ads or carousels. There are numerous ways to use story ads for retargeting, promoting an offer, kicking off a campaign, or polling your audience for insights. However, you choose to use them, remember to make them memorable, since your audience will only see your story ad once.
Social media for businesses is a key part of any marketing toolkit in 2019, with new and exciting trends that have staying power. If you want to get ahead of your competitors and on top of these emerging long-term trends, trying out some of the methods above will put you ahead of the pack.
Need help defining and honing your social media content and brand voice? Clever Samurai has more than 20 years of getting it right for a wide variety of B2B brands.